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Authenticity Reading

Authenticity reading, also called sensitivity reading, is the evaluation of a work based on a specific lived experience. This is useful in cases where an author is writing from the viewpoint of a character that has a different background from themselves, such as a cisgender person writing a transgender character, and is especially important when writing about marginalized identities from outside a direct experience.

 

Authenticity reading helps with

  • fact checking

  • identifying internalized biases

  • identifying harmful or overused stereotypes or tropes

  • ensuring authentic voice

 

Authenticity reading isn’t intended to censor or restrict. Rather, it’s meant to ensure that a piece of writing is coming from a place of compassion and humanity and to acknowledge that the choices we make and the words we choose can have unintended consequences.

During an authenticity read, I’ll be reading your work from the perspective of my own lived experience. I will provide in-text commentary and a written report. I will not be changing any text during this process.

I do authenticity reading for the following perspectives:

  • trans masculine identities

  • nonbinary identities

  • FtM* identities

  • late transitioning (transitioning as an adult)

  • asexuality

  • social anxiety

*Many trans people reject FtM and MtF labels. These labels imply that the person who transitioned was not always their true identity. They also reinforce the problematic binaries implicit in assigned sex at birth and reduce people to their genitals.

However, they also provide helpful language and common labels that some trans people identify with. As my own gender identity is firmly affixed as “It’s Complicated,” I feel that FtM is not entirely inaccurate to my own feelings regarding my gender experience.

 

Both FtM and MtF should be avoided when referring to trans masculine and trans feminine communities as a whole.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune,
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