Author: Francis Gideon
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 78 Pages
At a Glance: Recommended, particularly for anyone who is interested in exploring a thoughtful trans romance.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: The last time Joël Paquet was in New York City, he nearly died. Too distracted by his problems, he didn’t look when he crossed the street and was nearly made into a pancake by a transport truck in the downtown core. The only saving grace of this trip, other than the cute person working as a living statue who saved him and then took him out for coffee, was the fact that his near-death experience finally gave him the courage to come out as trans.
Five years later, Joël Paquet is one of the most in-demand horror writers in North America. Going to New York City from his current Montreal home for the Black Markets Horror Con should be exciting, but when he gets an email that uses his birth name, he nearly cancels the trip altogether. The only thing that keeps Joël going is the thought of that living statue who saved his life once before.
Review: Joël Paquet is attending a Horror Con in New York for the second time, but it’s the first time he’s attended the con as his authentic self. Flashback five years, and his first attendance was certainly memorable, more for the craziness of his near-death experience, and the mysterious connection he unexpectedly finds with his savior—a cute girl working as a living statue. They have some real moments while sharing a coffee, and he wishes he’d gotten her number. His epiphany includes his confession to his agent that he’s trans, and he’s grateful for her support as well as his publisher’s.
The second time around, there is a glitch in the program and his birth name shows up on a panel list. While his agent takes care of that, there are a few other minor hiccups that he’s able to handle. In his downtime, though, he goes looking for the long lost human statue who saved his life those years ago, even though he’s limited in ideas of where to start.
After his panels are over, he’d like to just relax, but a stranger approaches and asks him to sign something. He realizes that he recognizes the “stranger” as his savior, but things have changed there as well. The question is, can they connect again, or has too much changed in the last five years?
Different Names for the Same Thing is the second really engaging story I’ve read in the last month with trans main characters. I am so happy that these stories are being written and that the characters are multi-layered with desires and wants and insecurities and fears. I like that the author did not shy away from them expressing their sexuality as well. I think the authenticity of their portrayal allows the reader to connect on an emotional level and empathize with the anxiety that everyone feels in a new relationship. I definitely recommend this story for anyone who is interested in exploring a thoughtful trans romance.
You can buy Different Names for the Same Thing here: