Embracing Transgender Identity

by Paul Illidge (May 2024)

“Untitled” —Lorenza Böttner, 1980

At the urging of a friend who has always been on the cutting edge of communications technology, I recently submitted: Embracing Transgender Identity to be searched on an AI site. To my astonishment, in no more than ten seconds I received a full outline for a book on understanding and navigating transgender experience.


Embracing Transgender Identity by Paul Illidge

Table of Contents:

Introduction 1. Understanding Gender Identity 1.1 Defining Gender 1.2 The Spectrum of Gender Identity 1.3 Biological and Social Perspectives

Chapter 1: Discovering Your True Self 2.1 Exploring Personal Identity 2.1.1 Early Signs and Realizations 2.1.2 Coming to Terms with Gender Identity

Chapter 2: Navigating Transgender Terminology 3.1 Definitions and Concepts 3.1.1 Transgender vs. Cisgender 3.1.2 Non-Binary and Genderqueer Identities

Chapter 3: The Journey of Transition 4.1 Social Transition 4.1.1 Coming Out to Friends and Family 4.1.2 Legal and Name Changes 4.2 Medical Transition 4.2.1 Hormone Therapy 4.2.2 Surgical Options

Chapter 4: Mental and Emotional Well-being 5.1 Coping with Gender Dysphoria 5.1.1 Developing Coping Strategies 5.1.2 Seeking Professional Support 5.2 Building Resilience and Self-Esteem 5.2.1 Affirmation and Self-Love 5.2.2 Community Support

Chapter 5: Navigating Relationships 6.1 Family Dynamics 6.1.1 Communicating with Family Members 6.1.2 Understanding and Overcoming Challenges 6.2 Romantic Relationships 6.2.1 Dating and Disclosure 6.2.2 Building Healthy Connections

Chapter 6: Transgender Advocacy and Activism 7.1 Historical Perspectives 7.1.1 Milestones in Transgender Rights 7.1.2 Ongoing Challenges 7.2 Empowering Change 7.2.1 Alliances and Advocacy 7.2.2 Community Engagement

Chapter 7: Intersectionality and Diversity 8.1 Exploring Intersectionality 8.1.1 Overlapping Identities 8.1.2 Recognizing Privilege and Challenges 8.2 Inclusive Spaces and Representation 8.2.1 Media Representation 8.2.2 Creating Inclusive Environments

Chapter 8: Resources and Support 9.1 Mental Health Resources 9.1.1 Counseling and Therapy 9.1.2 Hotlines and Crisis Intervention 9.2 Community Organizations 9.2.1 Support Groups 9.2.2 Online Communities

Conclusion 10. Embracing Your Transgender Identity 10.1 Celebrating Personal Growth 10.2 Building a Positive Future

Appendix A. Glossary of Terms B. Recommended Reading C. Additional Resources


I sent this AI-created outline to numerous friends, telling them I was thinking of using AI to write my next book, or rather to “generate” my next book. Their shock and concern that after all these years I was embracing transgender identity threw me for a loop. They had completely missed the point. It was just an idea for a book, not a personal coming out. In spite of the confusion, praise for the outstanding quality of the proposed book, with its so well structured outline, was generous and solidly supportive. I wondered who at AI should take the credit. I had nothing to do with the creation of what people were finding an extremely proficient outline.

To my complete surprise, query letters that I had sent to a dozen literary agents on a whim to see what response the outline would receive, if any, produced a decent number of positive and enthusiastic replies in a little over a week, with requests from four agents to read a sample chapter, based on what one of the agents called “a wonderfully extensive and important outline.”

Within a week, as I say—as opposed to the standard three to four months it takes to receive an agent response to a query about one’s proposed book—the AI-created book proposal had prompted immediate, serious and interested replies. The agents made it sound like the book could go places, what with the current media topicality of the “transgender movement” throughout the West.

I got to thinking that with all this attention and approving reaction to AI’s efforts, maybe it was time to bite the binary bullet, abandon my own intelligence and embrace the artificial one everyone seemed so impressed by.

What harm could it do?


Table of Contents


Paul Illidge’s most recent book is the true crime financial thriller RSKY BZNS (New English Review Press, 2022), a “fascinating story” (Frank Abagnale, Jr., author of Catch Me if You Can), a “gripping and intricate read” (Conrad Black). His book THE BLEAKS (ECW Press), was a Globe & Mail Best Book of 2014. Books in his Shakespeare Novels series Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, are all available internationally at www.kobobooks.com

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


6 Responses

  1. >What harm could it do?

    I presume that is an ironic question?

    In the end, things will work themselves out the way the universe always works things out. For the time, it’s a multi-polar trap.

    Been reading the Dune books, and they are prophetic in terms of AI, especially as the books were written in the 60s and 70s.

    “Thou shalt not make a machine in the image of mind”.

    It is consciousness which creates. Automation does not. And it is that which will suck the “information” out of society.

  2. It’s funny. It’s scary.
    A while back I wrote a story wherein a once famous writer, now burnt out, suddenly has an inspiration to write a novel that is sheer gibberish (inspired by some of the modern books his son has been reading), as a prank. Well, the book becomes a runaway best seller, particularly in Europe and ultimately he is awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
    I’m going to submit it to NER one of these days.

  3. I would be thrilled if you used it, Carl. And fascinated to see
    what responses it might generate.


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