Title: Coffee Date
Author Name & Publisher: K. Lynn (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 1, 2015 — 44 pages
Alice is finally happy with her body and her life—except for the part where revealing she’s trans winds up leaving her hurt and abandoned over and over again. She’s decided she’s done making herself miserable by looking for love.
Love finds her anyway, in the form of Hank, the new guy at her local coffee shop. He’s sweet, friendly, charming… and will probably turn out like all the rest. Determined not to shatter the fantasy and lose him before she has to, Alice holds fast to her secrets.
But if the truth doesn’t ruin everything, the lies will, and it seems no matter which choice she makes Alice is set for just one more heartache.
First of all, in the blurb, it says Alice is happy with her body and her life. However, almost right away, it becomes clear she isn’t–she’s disappointed with her love life and she still wants gender confirmation surgery. That’s fine; trans people have all different feelings about those things, and representing one perspective is all right. However, it’s not what the blurb says, so for some readers, that could be distressing.
Second, the plot (trans woman doesn’t reveal she hasn’t had bottom surgery) is really tired. Hank’s reaction was predictable, but what really annoyed me was how fast Alice took him back and how he kept saying that being angry made him say things he didn’t mean. His reason for being upset was also a little iffy. It was all a bit too tidy.
I was expecting that the conflict between Alice and Hank might be something other than her identity or her body or that the story might stick to the light, sweet tone it had at first.
This is the second gender-themed story I’ve read by this author, and I really do feel she has potential to explore these things better and more deeply. I think she’s doing a good thing and simply needs to focus on developing more skill with writing trans characters. Despite my reservations about this story, I’m looking forward to seeing her take her trans characters to the next level.