Transgender & Gender Fluid Books Explore Books for Readers of all Ages & Needs
Biographies, histories and resources for those looking to know more about the transgender community
Children & Young Adults (YA)
Transgender fiction & resources aimed at young readers
Adults, Parents and Guardians
Resources for adult transgender people and parents raising transgender and gender non-conforming children
Short informational books about gender written for young readers
Books for All Audiences
On Christopher Street: Transgender Stories
Photography by Mark Seliger, Foreword by Janet Mock
From Amazon: Renowned photographer Mark Seliger, best known for his portraits of celebrities, musicians, and artists, has called the West Village home for nearly two decades. For his latest book, On Christopher Street: Transgender Stories, his curiosity inspired him to shoot a handful of portraits—documentary style—in hopes of capturing the color, flamboyant characters, and theatre of a famous, but vanishing neighborhood.
What Seliger discovered was a nightly carnival of personalities that open up the visual discourse about sexuality and the constant ebb and flow of the transgender world we all inhabit today. The end result is a collection of 74 beautiful, black and white portraits, all taken with Seliger’s Hasselblad camera, and never-before-published.
Autobiography of a Transgender Scientist
by Ben Barres
From Amazon: Ben Barres was known for his groundbreaking scientific work and for his groundbreaking advocacy for gender equality in science. In this book, completed shortly before his death from pancreatic cancer in December 2017, Barres (born in 1954) describes a life full of remarkable accomplishments—from his childhood as a precocious math and science whiz to his experiences as a female student at MIT in the 1970s to his female-to-male transition in his forties, to his scientific work and role as teacher and mentor at Stanford.
Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition
by Julia Kaye
From Amazon: Instead of a traditional written diary, Julia Kaye has always turned to art as a means of self-reflection. So when she began her gender transition in 2016, she decided to use her popular webcomic, Up and Out, to process her journey and help others with similar struggles realize they weren’t alone. Julia’s poignant, relatable comics honestly depict her personal ups and downs while dealing with the various issues involved in transitioning—from struggling with self-acceptance and challenging societal expectations, to moments of self-love and joy. Super Late Bloomer both educates and inspires, as Julia faces her difficulties head-on and commits to being wholly, authentically who she was always meant to be.
Song in a Weary Throat
by Pauli Murray
From Amazon: In a voice that is energetic, wry, and direct, Murray tells of a childhood dramatically altered by the sudden loss of her spirited, hard-working parents. Orphaned at age four, she was sent from Baltimore to segregated Durham, North Carolina, to live with her unflappable Aunt Pauline, who, while strict, was liberal-minded in accepting the tomboy Pauli as “my little boy-girl.” In fact, throughout her life, Murray would struggle with feelings of sexual “in-betweenness”―she tried unsuccessfully to get her doctors to give her testosterone―that today we would recognize as a transgender identity.
by Janet Mock
From Amazon: With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another—and of ourselves—showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.
Sissy: A Coming of Gender Story
by Jacob Tobia
From Amazon: It took Jacob years to discover that being "a sissy" isn't something to be ashamed of. It's a source of pride. Following Jacob through bullying and beauty contests, from Duke University to the United Nations to the podiums of the Methodist church--not to mention the parlors of the White House--this unforgettable memoir contains multitudes. A deeply personal story of trauma and healing, a powerful reflection on gender and self-acceptance, and a hilarious guidebook for wearing tacky clip-on earrings in today's world, Sissy guarantees you'll never think about gender--both other people's and your own--the same way again.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
by Susan Kuklin
From Amazon: Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults, and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.
Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen
by Arin Andrews
From Amazon: In this revolutionary memoir, Arin details the journey that led him to make the life-transforming decision to undergo gender reassignment as a high school junior. In his captivatingly witty, honest voice, Arin reveals the challenges he faced as a girl, the humiliation and anger he felt after getting kicked out of his private school, and all the changes—both mental and physical—he experienced once his transition began. Arin also writes about the thrill of meeting and dating a young transgender woman named Katie Rain Hill—and the heartache that followed after they broke up.
Some Assembly Required is a true coming-of-age story about knocking down obstacles and embracing family, friendship, and first love. But more than that, it is a reminder that self-acceptance does not come ready-made with a manual and spare parts. Rather, some assembly is always required.
How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States
by Joanne Meyerowitz
From Amazon: From early twentieth-century sex experiments in Europe, to the saga of Christine Jorgensen, whose sex-change surgery made headlines in 1952, to today's growing transgender movement, Meyerowitz gives us the first serious history of transsexuality. She focuses on the stories of transsexual men and women themselves, as well as a large supporting cast of doctors, scientists, journalists, lawyers, judges, feminists, and gay liberationists, as they debated the big questions of medical ethics, nature versus nurture, self and society, and the scope of human rights.
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Trans Community
Edited by Laura Erickson-Schrot
From Amazon: While trans people share many common experiences, there is immense diversity within trans communities. There are an estimated 700,000 transgender individuals in the US and 15 million worldwide. Even still, there's been a notable lack of organized information for this sizable group.
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a revolutionary resource-a comprehensive, reader-friendly guide for transgender people, with each chapter written by transgender or genderqueer authors. Inspired by Our Bodies, Ourselves, the classic and powerful compendium written for and by women, Trans Bodies, Trans
Selves is widely accessible to the transgender population, providing authoritative information in an inclusive and respectful way and representing the collective knowledge base of dozens of influential experts. Each chapter takes the reader through an important transgender issue, such as race,
religion, employment, medical and surgical transition, mental health topics, relationships, sexuality, parenthood, arts and culture, and many more.
Where’s My Book? A Guide for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth, Their Parents, & Everyone Else
by Linda Gromko, M.D.
From Amazon: Linda Gromko, MD is a Board Certified Family Physician who has worked with the transgender community for nearly eighteen years. She explains the basics of gender identity, sexual orientation, puberty, puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and gender affirming surgeries. She shares years of her patients’ wisdom and practical information on getting through every day in the best way possible—from coming out to parents, to school issues, to coping with depression, to love and sex.
The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens & Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity
by Rylan Jay Testa, Ph.D.; Deborah Coolhart, Ph.D.; Jayme Peta, M.A.
From Amazon: The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises and activities from evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to help you address the broad range of struggles you may encounter related to gender identity, such as anxiety, isolation, fear and even depression.
The activities in this book will help you explore your identity internally, interpersonally and culturally. And along the way, you’ll learn how to effectively express yourself and make informed decisions on how to navigate your gender with family, friends, classmates and co-workers. The book also includes chapters on sex and dating, balancing multiple identities, and how to deal with stressful challenges when they arise.
by Julia Serrano
From Amazon: In the updated second edition of Whipping Girl, Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist, shares her powerful experiences and observations—both pre- and post-transition—to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole.
Serano's well-honed arguments stem from her ability to bridge the gap between the often-disparate biological and social perspectives on gender. In this provocative manifesto, she exposes how deep-rooted the cultural belief is that femininity is frivolous, weak, and passive, and how this “feminine” weakness exists only to attract and appease male desire. In addition to debunking popular misconceptions about transsexuality, Serano makes the case that today's feminists and transgender activists must work to embrace and empower femininity—in all of its wondrous forms.
Children & Young Adult (YA)
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship
by Jess Walton
Grade Level Pre-Kindergarten – Kindergarten
From Amazon: One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways. Errol can't figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: "In my heart, I've always known that I'm a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas." And Errol says, "I don't care if you're a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend."
My Princess Boy
by Cheryl Kilodavis
Grade Level Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 1
From Amazon: Dyson loves pink, sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses. Sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara, even when climbing trees. He’s a Princess Boy.
One of a Kind, Like Me / Unico Como Yo
by Laurin Mayeno
Grade Level Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 1
From Amazon: Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It's almost closing time - will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time? One of A Kind, Like Me / Único como yo is a sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality. It's a unique book that lifts up children who don't fit gender stereotypes, and reflects the power of a loving and supportive community.
Red: A Crayon's Story
by Michael Hall
Grade Level Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 1
From Amazon: Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries!
Jacob’s New Dress
by Sarah and Ian Hoffman
Grade Level Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 2
From Amazon: Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can't wear "girl" clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by children who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.
The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy
by S. Bear Bergman
Grade Level Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 3
From Amazon: Have you ever wondered what happens to your birthday wishes? Funny or serious, sad or wonderful, every wish gets read by a Birthday Wish Fairy. This year, David wishes for something his Wish Fairy has never heard of before – to turn into a girl.
I am Jazz
by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Grade Level Kindergarten – Grade 5
From Amazon: From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
Annie’s Plaid Shirt
By Stacy B. Davids, Illustrated by Rachel Balsaitis
Grade Level Kindergarten – Grade 1
From Amazon: Annie loves her plaid shirt and wears it everywhere. But one day her mom tells Annie that she must wear a dress to her uncle's wedding. Annie protests, but her mom insists and buys her a fancy new dress anyway. Annie is miserable. She feels weird in dresses. Why can't her mom understand? Then Annie has an idea. But will her mom agree?
It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity
by Theresa Thorn, Illustrated by Noah Grigni
Grade Level 1 – 2
From Amazon: Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.
I Am Not a Girl: A Transgender Story
by Maddox Lyons & Jessica Verdi, Illustrated by Dana Simpson
Grade level 1 – 2
From Amazon: Nobody seems to understand that Hannah is not a girl. His parents ask why he won't wear the cute outfits they pick out. His friend thinks he must be a tomboy. His teacher insists he should be proud to be a girl. But a birthday wish, a new word, and a stroke of courage might be just what Hannah needs to finally show the world who he really is.
by Marcus Ewert
Grade Level 1 – 3
From Amazon: Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows. . . . Unfortunately, when Bailey's awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary. "You're a BOY!" Mother and Father tell Bailey. "You shouldn't be thinking about dresses at all." Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey's imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together. And Bailey's dreams come true!
by Alex Gino
Grade Level 3 – 6
From Amazon: When people look at Melissa, they think they see a boy named George. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.
Melissa thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. Melissa really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part... because she's a boy.
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Grade Level 4 – 6
A fictionalized account of the true story of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst, who ran away from an orphanage, lived as a boy, moved to California and became a stagecoach driver.
by Ami Polonsky
Grade Level 5 – 7
From Amazon: Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?
Lily and Dunkin
by Donna Gephart
Grades Level 5 – 7
From Amazon: Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.
Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.
One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.
The Boy in the Dress
by David Williams, Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Grade Level 5 – 7
Dennis’s dad is depressed since his mom left, and his brother is a bully. But at least he has soccer. Then, he discovers he enjoys wearing a dress. Told with humor and respect.
The Other Boy
by M. G. Hennessey
Grade Level 5 – 10
Twelve-year-old Shane, a transgender boy, has moved to a new city and school where people only know him as a boy. He loves playing baseball, reading graphic novels and hanging out with his best friend. But an older boy undermines Shane’s privacy. Show Shane’s range of emotions from anxiety and fear to happiness and courage. Discusses hormone treatments directly.
Adults, Parents and Guardians
He's Always Been My Son
by Janna Barkin
From Amazon: This inspiring and moving story, told from the heart of an extraordinary family, recounts the emotional and uplifting journey of raising a transgender son. Janna Barkin's family has come a long way since their child, Amaya, first told them he was a boy and not a girl and this captivating memoir charts the family's experiences of raising Amaya, from birth through to adulthood. With powerful chapters written by Amaya's family and friends, Janna shares personal stories of the support and discoveries her family has encountered and provides a 'care package' of advice for families facing similar issues, including a glossary of terms and a list of hand-picked support sources.
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family
by Amy Ellis Nutt
From Amazon: When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But by the time Jonas and Wyatt were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt’s insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, to accept Wyatt’s transition to Nicole, and to undergo a wrenching transformation of their own, the effects of which would reverberate through their entire community.
Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son
by Lori Duron
From Amazon: Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy's boy, Lori's younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi."
C.J. is gender variant or gender nonconforming, whichever you prefer. Whatever the term, Lori has a boy who likes girl stuff—really likes girl stuff. He floats on the gender-variation spectrum from super-macho-masculine on the left all the way to super-girly-feminine on the right. He's not all pink and not all blue. He's a muddled mess or a rainbow creation. Lori and her family choose to see the rainbow.
Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached
by Hillary Whittington
From Amazon: When Hillary and Jeff Whittington posted a YouTube video chronicling their five-year-old son Ryland’s transition from girl to boy, they didn’t expect it to be greeted with such fervor. Beautiful and moving, the video documenting Hillary’s and Jeff’s love for their child instantly went viral and has been seen by more than seven million viewers since its posting in May 2014.
Helping your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents
by Irwin Krieger
From Amazon: If you are the parent of a transgender teen, this book will help you understand what your child is feeling and experiencing. Irwin Krieger is a clinical social worker with many years of experience helping transgender teens. This book brings you the insights gained from his work with these teenagers and their families. According to the author, “Today’s teens have access to a wealth of information on the internet. Teenagers who are wondering about gender identity soon find out what it means to be transgender or transsexual. Parents, on the other hand, know little about this topic. When a teenager declares he or she is transgender, parents fear that their child is confused and is choosing a life fraught with danger. I wrote this book to help parents of transgender teens gain an understanding of this complex subject.”
Gender Born, Gender Made
by Diane Ehrensaft
From Amazon: A groundbreaking guide to caring for children who live outside binary gender boxes. No two children who bend the “rules” of gender do so in quite the same way. But all gender-nonconforming children have one thing in common―they need support to thrive in a society that still subscribes to a binary system of gender.
Diane Ehrensaft has worked with children like Felicia, Sam, and Maggie for over 30 years. In Gender Born, Gender Made, she offers parents, clinicians, and educators guidance on both the philosophical dilemmas and the practical, daily concerns of working with children who don’t fit a “typical” gender mold. She debunks outmoded approaches to gender nonconformity that may actually do children harm. And she offers a new framework for helping each child become his or her own unique, most gender-authentic person.
Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth: Schools, Families, and Communities in Action
by Elizabeth Meyer, Edited by Annie Pullen Sansfaçon
From Amazon: Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth brings together cutting edge research, social action methods, and theory on the topic of transgender youth and gender creative children. Organized in three sections covering theoretical and clinical, educational, and community perspectives, the chapters specifically address issues and challenges in education, social work, medicine, and counseling as well as recommendations that are relevant for parents, families, practitioners, and educators alike. The result is a well-researched and accessible book that will provide support and knowledge to a broad audience of individuals invested in improving the social worlds of gender diverse children and youth.
The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes
by Diane Ehrensaft and Norman Spack
From Amazon: In this up-to-date, comprehensive resource, Dr. Ehrensaft explains the interconnected effects of biology, nurture, and culture to explore why gender can be fluid, rather than binary. As an advocate for the gender affirmative model and with the expertise she has gained over three decades of pioneering work with children and families, she encourages caregivers to listen to each child, learn their particular needs, and support their quest for a true gender self.
The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals
by Stephanie A. Brill & Rachel Pepper
From Amazon: Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college. How can parents advocate for their children in elementary schools? What are the current laws on the rights of transgender children? What do doctors specializing in gender-variant children recommend? What advice do other families who have trans kids have? What about hormone blockers and surgery? What issues should your college-bound trans child be thinking about when selecting a school?
How can I best raise my gender variant or transgender child with love and compassion, even when I barely understand the issues ahead of us? And what is gender, anyway? These questions and more are answered in this book offering a deeper understanding of gender variant and transgender children and teens.
The Transgender Teen
by Stephanie A. Brill and Lisa Kenney
From Amazon: This comprehensive guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising a teenager who may be transgender, gender-variant or gender-fluid. Covering extensive research and with many personal interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the author covers pressing concerns relating to physical and emotional development, social and school pressures, medical options, and family communications. Learn how parents can advocate for their children, find acceptable colleges and career paths, and raise their gender variant or transgender adolescent with love and compassion.
Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self-Love for Brown Bois
by The Brown Bois Project
Our friends at The Brown Boi Project looked high and low for a health curriculum that centered on the needs of these communities, and when they didn’t find it they created it.
The curriculum encompasses areas on mental, spiritual and emotional health, and shares the lived experiences of GNC and trans POC on the margin. It provides step-by-step directives on how pelvic exams are performed, and comprehensive STI tables and safe sex advice specifically tailored to the sexual experiences of GNC, MoC and trans people. In addition to expansive health practices, Freeing Ourselves gives open-ended guidance on diet, energy and physical practice; holistic care through gender transition; and direction on how to choose health care allies that best center the needs of the community.
The very real stories, shorts and poems of Brown Bois chronicled in the book delivers an empathetic energy that can make talking about sex, sexuality and health care easier and more applicable.
Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue
by Nicholas M. Teich
From Amazon: This well-rounded resource combines an accessible portrait of transgenderism with a rich history of transgender life and its unique experiences of discrimination. Chapters introduce transgenderism and its psychological, physical, and social processes. They describe the coming out process and its effect on family and friends, the relationship between sexual orientation, and gender and the differences between transsexualism and lesser-known types of transgenderism. The volume covers the characteristics of Gender Identity Disorder/Gender Dysphoria and the development of the transgender movement. Each chapter explains how transgender individuals handle their gender identity, how others view it within the context of non-transgender society, and how the transitioning of genders is made possible. Written for students, professionals, friends and family members.
A Quick Easy Guide to Trans Identities
by Mady G. and Jules Zuckerberg
From Amazon: In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and Jules Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!
Beyond the Gender Binary
by Alok Vaid-Menon
From Amazon: Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today's leading activists and artists. In this installment, Beyond the Gender Binary, Alok Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. The only limit is your imagination.
A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns
by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson
From Amazon: Archie, a snarky genderqueer artist, is tired of people not understanding gender neutral pronouns. Tristan, a cisgender dude, is looking for an easy way to introduce gender neutral pronouns to his increasingly diverse workplace. The longtime best friends team up in this short and fun comic guide that explains what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use them. They also include what to do if you make a mistake, and some tips and-tricks for those who identify outside of the binary to keep themselves safe in this binary-centric world. A quick and easy resource for people who use they/them pronouns, and people who want to learn more!