Stranger in the Mirror:
The Search for Me
by Erin L LeBlanc
This memoir provides amplified inspiration of resilience for anyone moving through adversity. Erin LeBlanc describes the highs and lows of her journey of self-discovery, putting the pieces of the puzzle that is her life together to form her authentic self. She shares knowledge, tools, and practices as an emotional survival guide based on her experience for those living with Gender Dysphoria, their family and friends, supporters and allies, and the transgender and LGBTQ+ community. As a human advocate, Erin shows the world how to take the stigma out of transitioning while showing up committing to living life as her authentic self.
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While Stranger in the Mirror clearly tells of the pain that Erin and others with Gender Dysphoria endure, a pain that is easy to overlook if you do not see or feel it firsthand, it also demonstrates how living authentically and enthusiastically as yourself can lead to great joy. This book takes you through the ups and downs of Erin’s journey. It is heart wrenching and heartwarming and ultimately shows the triumph of a very courageous woman. I am very happy to recommend Stranger in the Mirror to all. Those going through a transition will know they are not alone and will have a brave example to follow. Those whose lives have not been exposed to transition will learn, laugh and see we are not all that different – we all struggle but when we listen to our true self, we all have the ability to triumph.
Lesley C. Kendall
Law Society of Ontario Certified Specialist (Family Law)
Family Law & Fertility Law
Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham LLP
Excerpt from Stranger In The Mirror: The Search For Me
Conviction: by Erin L LeBlanc
May 25, 2015
Had a session earlier in the week with my long time therapist about how my weekend went with my family. It was still emotional for me to recount. She was totally blown away by my family’s response and even she was overwhelmed and had tears. So, there we were, both crying. But she said that after all the tears after all the years that I have had in her office, it was about time we had tears of joy! She gave me a big hug and was so very happy for me.
It was now time for some really hard work to begin. I scheduled a meeting with my gender therapist who I recently added to my medical team. I figured I would have a lot to work through and talk about immediately following my visit with my brother and sister, and I wasn’t wrong. We had an intense session, to say the least. Not intense with respect to conflict between us, but intense in that I was trying to process a ton of emotion. Fortunately for me, she was able to get me back on track. She’s been working with transgender people for over a decade, pretty much exclusively. I was not her first case by a long shot. She told me that during recent sessions with me while trying to figure this all out, to figure me out, she discovered I was a textbook case.
When we reviewed the narrative, that was my life, all the signs and typical markers were there. It was clear to her that I indeed suffer from Gender Dysphoria and was transgender. As such, it was time to start aligning with my correct gender, externally, and as my authentic self. I had so many triggers for my dysphoria that it was time. It was my time. So, together, we worked on a plan to prepare me for the rest of my life - my true life. No longer to be the shadow of who I really am. But to step into the light and the sunshine, to grow as a person and be true to me. And so, it began.