Imagine you are a proud lesbian and a feminist. You have the odd doubt about your sexuality but you understand how the male-dominated world works and are angry about it. You even go to prison to protest at the ultimate in male violence: nuclear weapons. Then one day, a shock realisation occurs that not only are you not a lesbian, but you are in fact, a man. Your world is turned upside down. This is Charlie’s story.
A New Man is a story of broken families, isolation and a total collapse of identity. It’s also inspirational: after suffering destructive episodes of mania, homelessness and loss of friends and dignity, Charlie manages to continue life without medication and get by. Throughout all these challenges lies the conflict of self-identity within, as Charlie knows deep down that he is male. He represses this, believing that he should fight against stereotypes of what it is to be a woman. The repressed feelings keep resurfacing and Charlie finally takes steps to be a man. He becomes heterosexual and remains a feminist. Living as a man, the world treats him differently and he has to adjust quickly. Charlie, however, is now stable, far happier and feels right in his new body.