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I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World

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What can we hope for at the end of the world? What can we trust in when community has broken our hearts? What would it mean to pursue justice without violence? How can we love in the absence of faith? In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into th What can we hope for at the end of the world? What can we trust in when community has broken our hearts? What would it mean to pursue justice without violence? How can we love in the absence of faith? In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author's characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. Taking its cues from contemporary thought leaders in the transformative justice movement such as adrienne maree brown and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, this provocative book is a call for nuance in a time of political polarization, for healing in a time of justice, and for love in an apocalypse.


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What can we hope for at the end of the world? What can we trust in when community has broken our hearts? What would it mean to pursue justice without violence? How can we love in the absence of faith? In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into th What can we hope for at the end of the world? What can we trust in when community has broken our hearts? What would it mean to pursue justice without violence? How can we love in the absence of faith? In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author's characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. Taking its cues from contemporary thought leaders in the transformative justice movement such as adrienne maree brown and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, this provocative book is a call for nuance in a time of political polarization, for healing in a time of justice, and for love in an apocalypse.

30 review for I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This was an interesting read because I've read Kai Cheng Thom's work and was blown away by her in previous years. This essay collection pulls back the curtain to the trauma that accompanies fame whether that comes from the work or being a SJW on the internet (self-declared, since I think of this as a negative term), questions the assumed safety inherit in queer communities, and proposes a few approaches of restorative justice moving forward. Out from Arsenal Pulp October 8, I had a copy th/>Out This was an interesting read because I've read Kai Cheng Thom's work and was blown away by her in previous years. This essay collection pulls back the curtain to the trauma that accompanies fame whether that comes from the work or being a SJW on the internet (self-declared, since I think of this as a negative term), questions the assumed safety inherit in queer communities, and proposes a few approaches of restorative justice moving forward. Out from Arsenal Pulp October 8, I had a copy through Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Kai Cheng Thom’s I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World might not seem much, but don’t let first appearances fool you. We need to start talking about this book and have conversations about the subjects raised within it. I Hope We Choose Love dives deep into hard-hitting waters as it takes on social issues such as suicide, transphobia, physical and sexual violence alongside Kai’s own experiences as a therapist/queer activist/Chinese trans woman/all of the Kai Cheng Thom’s I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes from the End of the World might not seem much, but don’t let first appearances fool you. We need to start talking about this book and have conversations about the subjects raised within it. I Hope We Choose Love dives deep into hard-hitting waters as it takes on social issues such as suicide, transphobia, physical and sexual violence alongside Kai’s own experiences as a therapist/queer activist/Chinese trans woman/all of the above. There isn’t anything too graphic/explicit, though, and I think the level of sensitivity and eloquence in her writing really shows her background as a writer and social worker. It is an interesting experience reading this book. I thought I’d wanted something easy and quick to read, but I found myself perfectly content to take my time with this one and it’s not just because there is so much to digest. It is a book that catches me unaware, one that offers new perspectives while getting me to think more critically about topics I thought I already knew enough about. In this way, reading the book itself feels like being engaged in a seemingly one way discussion. It made me think and feel and wonder — everything I’d hope for and expect in a book like this. All in all, a highly insightful, thought provoking and necessary read. I definitely want to see more people picking this book up.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Serra

    What an extraordinary book. Kai's words echoed so many whispered conversations and hesitant offerings I've had over the past few years, wondering if our fate is an ever-constricting response to trauma. Kai holds a mirror up for all of us to gaze into with honesty, which means feeling into the ways we have each failed to treat others with grace, allowing that little rush of superiority to take us over, or the shame of having gotten something wrong and feeling like everything you've built will cru What an extraordinary book. Kai's words echoed so many whispered conversations and hesitant offerings I've had over the past few years, wondering if our fate is an ever-constricting response to trauma. Kai holds a mirror up for all of us to gaze into with honesty, which means feeling into the ways we have each failed to treat others with grace, allowing that little rush of superiority to take us over, or the shame of having gotten something wrong and feeling like everything you've built will crumble as a result. I wept at the stories towards the end of the book about Kai's grandfather's funeral, about wondering where Kai's mothers and elders have gone. The poetry is haunting and powerful. I plan on spreading the word far and wide about this book and hopefully, engaging in some rich conversations about community as a result.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leonicka

    Read this slow. It's dense, so resist the need to summarize your feelings in a soundbite or hot take. Just... Sit with it for a while. Then talk about it out loud (in person even!) with one friend. (This is not a casual books-and-wine club book.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jase

    Gosh I love this!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    “And we will have to give up our defences, our time-worn defences of dissociation and numbness, as well of those of rage and revenge. We have to be able to care, even when it seems impossible because caring would destroy us. We have to believe that we will survive each other, because there is something waiting for us when the ice melts.” The description on the back of ‘I Hope We Choose Love’ says that it “proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, vengeance, a “And we will have to give up our defences, our time-worn defences of dissociation and numbness, as well of those of rage and revenge. We have to be able to care, even when it seems impossible because caring would destroy us. We have to believe that we will survive each other, because there is something waiting for us when the ice melts.” The description on the back of ‘I Hope We Choose Love’ says that it “proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, vengeance, and forgiveness” and I don’t know that it does- I wanted more, more answers, more concrete steps of things we can do, actions to take. IHWCL asks the right questions, it points out the tired fallacies that aren’t serving us, it sets us on a good track. It’s what I needed to read and I appreciate it deeply. I just wouldn’t describe the contents as solutions so much as ruminations.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    I received an ARC via Edelweiss. A really compassionate and insightful collection of essays about what's going wrong in queer communities from a trauma-informed perspective. This is one I'll be coming back to repeatedly.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    this book has given me so much to think about— about the way that social justice spaces for so many of us give us the freedom to be our whole selves, until of course we are deemed in some way problematic and unenlightened and therefore canceled; about the way that we in movement spaces often reject the extremes of the dominant culture, like defaulting to invalidating individual experiences, by adopting our own extremes, like believing and validating all individual experiences to the point of ena this book has given me so much to think about— about the way that social justice spaces for so many of us give us the freedom to be our whole selves, until of course we are deemed in some way problematic and unenlightened and therefore canceled; about the way that we in movement spaces often reject the extremes of the dominant culture, like defaulting to invalidating individual experiences, by adopting our own extremes, like believing and validating all individual experiences to the point of enabling harm; about the differences between healing, and justice, and accountability; about the ways that immigrant parents and communities teach us lessons to the best of their ability to keep us safe within white supremacist, cis heteronormative culture, and the contradiction between the way that white trans kids are so often affirmed and supported even though it's white/western culture that created the norms that cause so much harm in communities of color that are struggling to conform. phew. i deeply appreciated the honesty and insight and rejection of binaries in all their forms, but especially the ones that we create in movement/social justice/qtpoc spaces.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Watson

    As I was reading this book I imagined myself coming back to read parts of this book again. An examination of the tension between queer/punk community, and the people within it identified as perpetrator or victim of violence. I relate a lot to the position Kai Cheng Thom speaks from, her philosophical examination of her experience trying to fit into queer culture and then looking at it again from a more wisened place. I appreciate her ability to put into words the very real struggle in queer comm As I was reading this book I imagined myself coming back to read parts of this book again. An examination of the tension between queer/punk community, and the people within it identified as perpetrator or victim of violence. I relate a lot to the position Kai Cheng Thom speaks from, her philosophical examination of her experience trying to fit into queer culture and then looking at it again from a more wisened place. I appreciate her ability to put into words the very real struggle in queer community to keep ourselves and our friends alive, to keep compassion and empathy at the forefront, and to not give up on love.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Duchaine

    This is not a book “for” me, in that Cheng doesn’t waste her time or her words coaxing white cis women through understanding the tensions in social justice communities or about the legacy of trauma. But I am a huge fan of this author’s work and I am so grateful for her thoughtful, complex and heartbreaking writing. Optimistic and shining, candid and raw. Thank you!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Antoine Dumas

    According to my social media feeds, this book connected with a lot of people. I am not one of those people. Don't get me wrong: Kai Cheng Thom is brilliant. But this book was a meh for me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    emmy

    Featured in a blog post at https://booksbeyondbinaries.blog/2019...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth Steigerwald

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Edwardson

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cat Haines

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Pettis

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karyn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  22. 5 out of 5

    Florian

  23. 4 out of 5

    Audacia Ray

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allison

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mattie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Beck

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Clementine Morrigan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Elizabeth

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