J spun. His stomach clenched hard, as though he'd been hit. It was just the neighbour lady, Mercedes. J couldn't muster a hello back, not now; he didn't care that she'd tell his mother he'd been rude. She should know better. Nobody calls me Jeni anymore. J always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a 'real boy' and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible - from his family, from his friends...from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he's done hiding - it's time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.
Cris Beam ihas an MFA in writing from Columbia University and teaches creative writing at Columbia, New York University. I Am J is her debut novel.
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