Day 17 : A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.


There was a time when I was with my father, driving down the highway in the volkswagen that I’d come to cherish. We passed through Paris, Ontario and we stopped in two places that just so happened to be doors away from each other.

First, a used book store. This was something that my dad and I would do – search for musty treasures among the rows of creased paperbacks. This trip, we’d stumbled upon one of these treasures.

“I read this many years ago. We can read this on the way home in the car,” he said. I agreed to it. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin. Sounds good. It won a Hugo and a Nebula award, I’ll give it a chance.

We stopped in the bakery, grabbed some treats, and headed on our way.

This book was hard to wrap my head around. The language wasn’t difficult, but it was the introduction of the main race in the book.

They were completely androgynous. They had no gender identity.

I honestly couldn’t even imagine that easily. It took me a few months before I could negotiate what that may even resemble. 

While I may get poo-poo’d on for not being able to easily imagine a completely non-gender based society, I really don’t care. That’s the point of this article – that I experienced a full block from a concept.

I’ve never experienced this before.

To encounter something that my mind couldn’t conceive.

Gay marriage? No problem. Trans-folk? Sure, why not? Being without physical representations of gender identity? Blows my fucking mind.

Well, I should say, it did. I’ve got a handle on it now, but I still hesitate when I think about it. I see the entire world in gender-based terms without thinking about it.


Well, there it is. This mindfuck of a book. It’s absolutely fantastic! GO READ IT NOW!