Transformed: San Francisco is not your run of the mill thriller … or LGBT love story. Instead, it’s a thoughtful, funny, heartfelt take on what it actually means to be a trans man in today’s world. And it’s a brilliant, spot-on snapshot of the rapidly disappearing original, quirky San Francisco. When places like the Center for Sex & Culture hadn’t yet lost their lease to tech gentrification.
Charley McElroy is a handsome, well-heeled travel writer and CIA informant who also happens to be a female-to-male trans man. And he’s not without his problems. Charley’s not only having a midlife crisis — he gets suspended by the Agency after forgetting to pay his taxes. Only days earlier, yet another marriage proposal has been spurned, and Charley’s also feeling just plain hopeless about love.
In his grief and confusion, he befriends Electra, a high-powered Manhattan socialite-turned-dominatrix rebuilding her life in San Francisco. Electra is also up for some soul-searching, after being unceremoniously kicked out of Manhattan in a messy divorce.
After news that she played dom to her friend’s husbands behind their backs, People Magazine dubs her ‘The Society Dom’. Being in San Francisco gives her the chance to try on the life of a professional Dom … but will she? She wants to … but ….
Charley turns out to be Electra’s committed cheerleader, loyal friend, and emerging love interest. In turn, Electra helps him cope with the mess his life has become. Along the way, meet Frankie, a disgruntled lesbian police sergeant who has been demoted by the SFPD for being a whistle blower.
Frankie proves to be the perfect pal and crime-stopping foil for Charley and Electra, after Electra discovers a terrorist plot in the making … while at San Francisco’s famed leather event, the Folsom Street Fair.
Here she finds Randy, a Christian fundamentalist, a man who’s hell bent on memorializing his late Daddy (think Fred Phelps) with a lethal plot to destroy the ‘hedonists’ of San Francisco. Yet, neither the SFPD nor the CIA will take the threat seriously – mainly because Electra’s an unknown, Charley’s suspended and Frankie’s on the outs with the chief.
So Transformed takes off. It’s been described by the U.S. Review of Books as ‘fun romp through San Francisco” and “a novelty of sex, gender issues, sexual orientation, hate, love, and mystery.” The review goes on to say the book, “… should be in the library of every GLBTQ person.”
What we know is that Transformed is a true page-turner … yet it’s also a thoughtful read, as well. Straight and gay readers alike come away with a deeper understanding of what it means to be a trans person, or even a defrocked society dominatrix.
In the words of one reviewer – it’s a thriller with a huge amount of heart.
Check out Transformed: San Francisco.
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