The story of a transgender trailblazer, reflecting on masculinity, blackness, community, and the American South—told in her own words.
LESSONS FROM THE LAST WORLD
by Raquel Willis
St. Martin’s Press, Spring 2022
Raquel Willis is a powerful woman. But growing up as a young boy in the South made being herself almost impossible. In this moving and provocative memoir, Raquel relives the many risks she faced in her struggle to become a fierce advocate for her community—and the powerful woman—that she is today. Today, she is known as a transgender trailblazer, both for work with the Transgender Law Center and speaker at the National Women’s March. She offers intimate reflections on masculinity and blackness, informed by a tumultuous relationship with her father. From a childhood built in opposition to expectations, all the way through her transition at a flagship Southern university, Raquel demonstrates that her story is but one thread in the larger tapestry of Black trans American life; a tapestry that has never truly been chronicled from this millennial, Southern perspective.
Raquel Willis is a Black queer transgender activist, writer, and speaker who has dedicated her life to inspiring and elevating marginalized individuals, particularly transgender women of color. In 2018, she was named a Jack Jones Literary Arts Sylvia Rivera Fellow. She is the founder of Black Trans Circles, a project of the Transgender Law Center. In 2018, she was named an Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellow. Her writing has been featured in Out, Essence, Autostraddle, Buzzfeed, Medium’s Cuepoint, ForHarriet,The Root and VICE.