The Book


There’s no single story about being transgender that sums it all up. No one generally ‘chooses’ this ‘lifestyle’ as it is neither a choice nor a lifestyle, any more than any other pre-designated category such as race or ethnicity. – Carla Ernst



Life Without Pockets – My Long Journey into Womanhood is an intimate true story chronicling Carla Ernst’s journey from male to female. It is an intensely personal story written to help all audiences better understand not only about gender dysphoria, identity, and transformation, but how to live an authentic, fulfilling, and productive life, despite marginalization and prejudice.

Carla offers her take on what it’s like to “transition” in the context of societal expectations, while candidly revealing the mental,emotional, physical, spiritual, and social impact that gender change can have on a human being.

Sadly, we still live in a world where transgender people not only face discrimination but are stabbed, strangled, mutilated, hanged, burned, shot, and beaten to death.

Dedicated to a close personal friend who took her own life due to trans-bullying, the book thrusts the reader into the sober reality of “trans-marginalization. The author’s wish is to help those going through gender transition to better understand and cope with the confusion, pain, and fear inherent in the transgender experience, and for the loved ones around them to work towards understanding and acceptance. Thus, the goal of the book is simple. If it prevents the loss of just one life due to trans-bullying, then the book has achieved its purpose.

In response to the countless questions that Carla—like most transgender people—receives about being transgender, the book is written in an FAQ style. She uses her personal experiences to convey the unique challenges of being transgender while providing a broader framework of the many influences that gender has on an individual and people around her. The book is also a practical 21st Century guide to living a life based not on the expectations of others, but on the continuing revelation and brave embrace of who we indeed are.

Whether you are on that journey yourself or are a loved one of a transgender person, Life Without Pockets is a compelling narrative that will transform the way you think and feel about transgender. If the book prevents just one suicide due to trans-bullying, then the effort will be considered a success. Through her life experiences, and by completing this book, Carla has found her own sense of joy, peace, and happiness. In these pages, you are sure to find insight, laughter, and perhaps a few tears. But most importantly, a clear view of the road less traveled. You can learn more about the book and obtain it at