“Soar, Adam, Soar” by Rick Prashaw— “Coming Out. Coming In. Coming Home”

Prashaw, Rick. “Soar, Adam, Soar”, Dundrun Books,  2019.

“Coming Out. Coming In. Coming Home.”

Amos Lassen

From the moment that Adam Prashaw was born, his life was filled with surprises. He was assigned female at birth and spent years living as “Rebecca Danielle Adam Prashaw” before coming to terms with being a transgender man. He captured hearts with his humor, compassion, and intensity. A tragic accident cut his life short, yet he left a legacy of changed lives and many social media posts documenting his life, relationships, transition, and struggles with epilepsy and these were candidly and truthfully written. Adam’s father, Rick, shares his “Soar, Adam, Soar” with us. A former priest, retells Adam’s story alongside his son’s own words. From early childhood, through coming out first as a lesbian and then as a man, and his battles with epilepsy and refusal to give in. We are witness to  Adam’s drive to define himself, his joyful spirit, and his love of life. which continues to conquer all.

Adam directly influenced why Canada has legal same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. It is a beautiful experience to  have a father write about his transgender son and we see so much here about love, family, gender, sexuality, illness, and spirituality and just life in general. There were moments that my eyes filled with tears because of both the sensitivity of the subject and the writing. Because his father wrote this book, we get the sense that he is sitting right besides us validating everything we read. This is the story of life and death and of truths, of courage and hope.

Rick Prashaw found a unique approach to writing this with his late son. He beautifully brings everything together through the themes of  “non-conforming gender identity, the varied pressure of academia, and the lonely-yet-public stage of social media offers instructors multiple opportunities to bring theory to life.” We become very aware of the challenges of young adulthood with being transgender and adding to the burden.

Prashaw shows us that a fathers love for his child knows no bounds. He stuck by his son as he  transitioned from female to male at age 20. When Prashaw and his wife divorced, Adam stayed with his father. Adam was both a fascinating and resilient son. Using Adam’s social media posts gives us a unique insight into his struggles with growing up and epilepsy, and his journey to transitioning. There is no question that Prashaw loved and respected his son and gave him as much freedom as possible allowing him to become the wonderful person he was in his short life.

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