Diana Goetsch - This Body I Wore

Thursday, June 23, 6:30pm CT
Register for the Crowdcast here

Left Bank Books and Charis Books and More / Charis Circle welcomes award-winning essayist and poet
Diana Goetsch,
who will discuss a captivating memoir of one woman's long journey to late transition,
This Body I Wore: A Memoir,
on Charis's Crowdcast page at 6:30pm CT on June 23rd.
Please register now for the event to receive reminders.
Diana Goetsch in conversation with Charis Circle Executive Director, E.R. Anderson.
Join us on Crowdcast and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!


Long before Laverne Cox appeared on the cover of Time, far removed from drag and ballroom culture, there were countless trans women living and dying as men, most of whom didn’t even know they were trans. Diana Goetsch’s This Body I Wore chronicles one woman’s long journey to coming out, a path that runs parallel to the emergence of the trans community over the past several decades.

“How can you spend your life face-to-face with an essential fact about yourself and still not see it?” This is a question often asked of trans people and a question that Goetsch, an award-winning poet, and essayist, addresses with the power and complexity of lived reality. She brings us into her childhood, her time as a dynamic and beloved teacher at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, and her plunge into the city’s crossdressing subculture in the 1980s and ’90s. Under cover of night, crossdressers risked their jobs and their safety to give expression to urges they could neither control nor understand. Many would become late transitioners, the Cinderellas of the trans community largely ignored by history.

Goetsch has written not a transition memoir, but rather a full account of a trans life, one both unusually public and closeted. All too often trans lives are reduced to before-and-after photos, but what if that before photo lasted Fifty years?


Diana Goetsch is an American poet and essayist. Her poems have appeared widely, in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Ploughshares, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and in the collections Nameless Boy, In America and others. She also wrote the “Life in Transition” blog at The American Scholar. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and The New School, where she served as the Grace Paley Teaching Fellow. For twenty-one years Goetsch was a New York City public school teacher, at Stuyvesant High School and at Passages Academy in the Bronx, where she ran a creative writing program for incarcerated teens.

Charis Circle Executive Director, Errol "E.R." Anderson ( they/them or he/him) manages the programming, fiscal, and daily operations of Charis Circle, and is always interested in the ways our communities can share skills and resources. A native Atlantan, E.R. came to Charis as one of the founding members of the Young Writer's Group in 1997, and has enjoyed helping build connections between communities of activists, artists, and academics in this city ever since. E.R. co-facilitates the Race-Conscious Parenting Collective, the Gender Creative Parenting Collective, and Trans and Friends. When not at Charis, E.R. is working on a novel, And Let God Sort Them Out


This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

Left Bank Books Foundation is also actively accepting donations to allow greater access to our event programming. Our mission is to increase public access to books and their authors, hold space for community conversations guided by books and their authors, increase critical literacy and the love of reading for St. Louisans of all ages, and do so in a way that centers marginalized communities. We approach our work in an intersectional way, to include hosting events and sponsoring projects that address racism, sexism, and gender identity, while also giving a platform to the best literary voices of the day. All donations to support the work of the Left Bank Books Foundation are tax deductible. Donations over $20 automatically enroll you in the Left Bank Books Friends Loyalty Program.  https://www.aplos.com/aws/give/LeftBankBooksFoundation/friend

Please contact us at info@chariscircle.org or 404-524-0304 if you would like ASL interpretation at this event. If you would like to watch the event with live AI captions, you may do so by watching it in Google Chrome and enabling captions: Instructions here. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Virtual Event
This Body I Wore: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374115098
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - May 24th, 2022