Cheryl B. Evans
Author's Blog

Sarah Talk LGBT Positive Radio 
Interviews Cheryl B. Evans about her book I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a transgender child - Listen to podcast below.

Reviews & Testimonials

Since the book I Promised Not to Tell - Raising a transgender child was released in July 2016 I have received some very encouraging words from readers.  This page was created as a way to share some of those words with you.   If you wish to seek out other independent reviews you can visit the book's pages on various retail sites including: Amazon, Apple, Kobo, etc. 

Here are links to the two main Amazon sites where reviews have been posted:   Amazon.com     Amazon.ca

You can also find the book on the goodreads book review site:     goodreads


Editorial Reviews:

I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a Transgender Child is a non-fiction parenting memoir written by Cheryl B
Evans and her husband had two children, two girls born four years apart. The elder, Mariah, was a girly girl who loved dolls, dressing up and making cookies. Jordan was different. She loved playing ball and skateboarding with her friends. Rather than dolls, she collected action figures and playing cards. At first, their mom figured she had one girl and one tomboy, but as Jordan grew older, she began to realize that this was not something Jordan would outgrow. As Evans' daughter approached puberty, Jordan suddenly began to wear dresses, high heels and makeup, much to the surprise and delight of her older sister and mom. But along with the abrupt change in style came alarming changes in behavior. The normally outgoing and cheerful preteen became withdrawn and depressed. Finally, Jordan approached his parents and told them about the information he had found on the internet. Jordan had been reading about transgenders, and he had finally come to understand who he was all along. He was a boy, not a girl, and his parents, while cautious and not a little apprehensive, supported him on every step of his transition journey. 

Cheryl B. Evans' non-fiction parenting memoir, I Promised Not to Tell, is an honest and inspiring tale of Jordan, Evans' second child, who was born with the physical characteristics of a girl, but identified as a boy from the time he was small. Evans covers the basics of what the term transgender means and how her son's announcement impacted her and her husband as well as Jordan's sister. She discusses the steps Jordan had to take in having counselling sessions with therapists, meeting with doctors, and making arrangements with the school he was attending. Milestones are shared, such as Jordan's first haircut and return to the boy clothes he enjoyed wearing as a small child, and his enthusiasm for working out and building his newly emerging male body. Evans also discusses her spiritual questioning, and how it was more for the benefit of her daughter than herself. While this was originally written as a journal for herself, she realized that it might help other parents of transgender kids or those who want to understand more about the transgendered. She also includes a complete list of resources as well as a glossary of terms.

I was highly impressed with Evans' story and found myself cheering on her and her husband as they supported their son through each step of his transition journey. Evans writes beautifully, and her accounts of Jordan's and their lives is authentic and moving. As I read it, I wished that every parent of a transgendered child would be so supporting and willing to embrace what at first glance seems a strange and unlikely scenario. I'm hoping that I Promised Not to Tell will be an invaluable guide to those parents who find themselves in the same position that Evans and her husband did. Towards the end of her book, Evans discusses the beauty of loving and accepting others as they are, and her message is even more urgent in today's political climate where transgendered individuals have been demonized and made to feel unwelcome. I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a Transgender Child is a bright light showing the way to acceptance through knowledge, understanding and love, and it's most highly recommended.   ~  Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite - 5 Stars!

 

"I Promised Not to Tell is quite possibly one of the most important books to date on a very controversial and little understood social issue: transgenderism. If you are facing such a situation with your child, I urge you to read this book. Both you and your child need what Cheryl has so kindly shared with readers and parents. And when you do, I’m sure you will come away impressed not just by the courage shown by Jordan in this book, but by the love Cheryl and her husband have for their children and their compassion for all people.   I loved I Promised Not to Tell.  Couldn't put it down. Highly recommended reading." ~ Viga Boland for Reader's Favorite 5 Stars!
​I Promised Not to Tell is a heartfelt account of one mother’s long journey; a mother who gave birth to two baby girls and is now the mother of a young woman and a young man – the young man a transgender son who had been born a girl.

Cheryl B. Evans gave birth to daughters Mariah and Jordan. She had always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and was lucky enough to realize her dreams, supported in no small part by her best friend and life partner, her husband, Jim. The author recounts her memories of her two daughters; her girlie-girl daughter, Mariah, who loved dance class and playing with Barbie dolls, and her second born daughter, Jordan, who seemed to revel in being the family tomboy. According to the author, the markers were there from a very young age, but the family had merely rationalized Jordan’s tomboy tendencies as a “phase.” The only problem was, Jordan never outgrew her so-called phase, although she did try to conform to society by dressing like a girl and wearing make-up once she reached puberty. However, with her newly-minted feminine persona came a drastic change in personality. Suddenly, the happy and outgoing Jordan of old had become moody and withdrawn. Things finally came to a head after Jordan had confided in a friend at school that she had cut herself and wanted to kill herself by overdosing on Advil. The concerned friend had told the school principal who, in turn, alerted the author and her husband. The reason for her unhappiness? Jordan believed that she was a boy trapped in a girl’s body and could no longer go on living as a girl.

That day began a very long journey of discovery and learning for the author and her husband at a particularly vulnerable time for Jordan, who was in the midst of adolescence. There were the simple things they dealt with on a daily basis such as remembering to use the proper pronoun, to the more difficult ones involving Jordan’s psychological examinations as well as the physical ones, to those involving actual surgery. The author candidly discusses the introduction of hormones to quell the estrogen and introduce testosterone into Jordan’s body, the transitional steps which involved the binding of the breasts and the packing of the underwear. There is much to be gleaned from the author’s voice which alternates between a touching eagerness to be understood as she discusses the difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity to a positively scornful tone when she brings up the issue of the washroom debate and transgenders. Other times, her voice is fearful and heartbreaking as she talks about the suicide of another transgender child and the eventual diagnosis of Jordan as an epileptic.

While the author makes mention of the difficulties her family has encountered in their journey of learning and acceptance, it would appear that their journey has been much smoother than most. From a very accommodating principal and teachers who made Jordan’s early transition go smoothly, to the accepting friends he hung out with and even his babysitting charge, Trevor – all seemed prepared to help and accept Jordan throughout his transition. The same can be said for much of the author’s family. While the author does touch upon the fact that there had been some sensitivity and unhappiness on the part of their eldest daughter’s acceptance of her sister’s transition at the outset, there seemed to be very little in the way of actual challenges. Also, in the introduction to the book, the author speaks of the bigotry, hatred and discrimination directed to transgender individuals - yet there appears to have been none directed at the author’s family or her son.

Especially touching, however, is the author’s closing remarks in the introduction where she states: “Our real names have been changed throughout the book. By doing so, it gave me a way to share our family’s story with you and still honour the promise I made to my son when 'I promised not to tell.'” Clearly, the author’s compassion and love for her children and her family shine through the pages of the book, making it a must-read for any parent with a transgender child or one they suspect is transgender. ~ Marta Tandori for Readers’ Favorite - 4 Stars!

Reviews & Testimonials Received by Email:

With full disclosure this email was received from a family member. It was emailed by a relative that my family only gets to see every couple of years.  Yes, she may be bias which is why I'm disclosing the relationship. Never the less here is what she had to say:  "I just finished the amazing story of your family's journey. It is very well written . I am so proud to be a part of your family!  You, Jim and your two children are so brave! I'm at a loss for words except to say that Jordan is very lucky to have been born to the most wonderful parents In the universe. I love you all !  [❤] ️ [💛] [💚] [💙] "  ~ that note made me cry.
​I Promised Not to Tell by Cheryl B. Evans:

I give this book a rating of 5-stars and would definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to become more aware about Transgenderism. This is not just another story; this is the real life journey of one family. As I read this book, which is written by Mom, I felt as though I was sitting in her living room as she shared a very personal, emotional and uplifting journey that their entire family had experienced. I Promised Not to Tell is a powerful title and so fitting as it shows a very trusting relationship between Jordan, his parents and his sister, Mariah not to reveal his identity. This is a story where the Love of family comes first and foremost.

I feel more educated now on a subject I knew absolutely nothing about. Cheryl explains the lengths that she and her family went to in order to find the help and resources for their son so that he could live his life as he knew, true in his heart, to be male; his true self. After reading this book you will have a better understanding of what Transgenderism means. Cheryl also offers her help to the reader with a private email address where she can be reached to answer any questions if you find yourself on a similar path. Thank you for writing this book Cheryl.​

Thank you for writing this book Cheryl.       Signed:  Gail


​​When I first started reading this book I NEVER. in a million years. would have thought it would have been the kind of book to actually bring me to tears.  And, through those tears, I still couldn't put it down. It only took me a day and half to complete, literally couldn't put it down .

The strength , love , courage and compassion this family has , not to mention the understanding , is absolutely amazing. I Promised Not to Tell , has taught me a lot about a transgender persons outlook on life , and also the outlook on the family , I learned to be more compassionate and understanding towards people in general . The journey this family had to get where they are , may not have been an easy one, but I am glad Cheryl was the person to help change the rules .

I highly recommend reading this book.  Not only was in extremely informative , but positively heartwarming .

Thank you Cheryl , for sharing your family story with us.      Signed:  Carole

Good afternoon Cheryl,
I am a UK based psychotherapist who works with the transgender community. I have created a holistic/therapeutic guide on kindle for parents/teachers who are not well versed around gender issues. One of my clients mum read your book and I have encouraged others too from a mothers point of view.    
Well done, the world needs more mums like you.  ~ Sam Carbon

It means a lot to know people in the UK are also benefiting from the sharing of our family's story.
Good afternoon Cheryl, I am a UK based psychotherapist who works with the transgender community. I have created a holistic/therapeutic guide on kindle for parents/teachers who are not well versed around gender issues. One of my clients mum read your book and I have encouraged others too from a mothers point of view. Well done, the world needs more mums like you.

Reviews by Bloggers:

Laurie at the baking bookworm posted a 4.5/5 star review of I Promised Not to Tell, on August 5, 2016, less than one month after the book was released.  According to her blog she claims a rating of 4.5 stars means "Awesome! Almost perfection; definately would recommend.  Update:  This same reviewer made a post at the end of 2016 sharing she had read a total of 126 books during the year.  The post titled My Favourite Books of 2016 lists I Promised Not to Tell among her favourites.  It is a huge honour to be included on this list among so many talented authors.  That post can be found here:   My Favourite Books of 2016.

You can read her independent review of I Promised Not to Tell on her blog - link provided below:

http://thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca/2016/08/i-promised-not-to-tell-raising.html

Laurie also shared the book on Instagram (see image below)

Amy at Readaholic Zone read and reviewed I Promised Not to Tell
and had this to say about the book on her blog:

"This is not the first book that I have read in regard to someone's journey transitioning from one sex to another,
but it is the one I have learned the most from. This is not just a book it is a learning experience.  An important
one for people of all ages. There is so much more I would like to mention about what I read, I could brag about
this book for pages, though I think it is more important that you pick up a copy and read it for yourself."   

     You can read her full and detailed review here:   Readaholic Zone's Book Review

Amy posted her full review to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads 
Fellow Author Peter H. Green read and reviewed I Promised Not to Tell
and had this to say about the book on his blog:

"While we Americans seem stymied by the hate speech which divides our country, we might well pause, take a deep breath of cool, Canadian air and heed a cue on the contentious transgender issue from our neighbors to the north. Confronted with a daughter who had felt and dressed like a boy from early childhood, preferred sports to dolls and who at 13, wished she were a boy, Cheryl B. Evans and her husband crisscross their country in search of experts who can help the family solve their dilemma. After much study, prayer and consultation with their child, they all agree that sex reassignment is the best way to proceed. The book resulting from their journey into the unknown serves as a fascinating history of how this well-meaning family, not unlike yours or mine, faced this stark diagnosis and moreover serves as a manual for anyone confronted with a similar issue........ "   

 "   

    Peter posted his full review on Barnes & Noble and Goodreads 
Fellow Author Dalia Husu read and reviewed I Promised Not to Tell
and had this to say about the book on her blog:

"As a trans woman, I was moved by Evans choice to keep an open mind as she, too, navigates through Jordan’s self-discovery process and transition. As I read into the story, I related to Jordan’s personal experiences when it came to many of the key issues that trans people struggle with on a daily basis. But what was most refreshing and deeply moving, was the love and support that Evans demonstrated throughout the entire story."

     You can read her full and detailed review here:   Dalia Husu Review


Shop: Amazon.com
Sarah Talk LGBT Positive Radio 
Interviews Cheryl B. Evans about her book I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a transgender child - Listen to podcast below.

Shop: Amazon.co.uk
Shop: Amazon.ca