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Transgender Books for Children, Young Adults and Adults

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Trans Community

Edited by Laura Erickson-Schrot

While trans people share many common experiences, there is immense diversity within trans communities. There are an estimated 700,000 transgendered individuals in the U.S. 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

Linda Gromko, M.D.

Linda Gromko, M.D., is a board-certified family physician who has worked with the transgender community for nearly 18 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. Why is this book important? We know that transgender kids and their families need specialized information. Alarmingly, the suicide attempt rate among trans youth is close to 50 percent! This book is intended to give gender-nonconforming kids some of the information they need to grow to be happy, productive, loving and loved. It’s intended to provide the information we need as parents, educators and health care providers to do better with and for our kids. Honest, accurate, sensitive and straightforward, Dr. Gromko’s advice and explanations are a breath of fresh air. Anyone curious about this topic can benefit from her wisdom and clarity.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

Susan Kuklin

A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love and struggles of transgender teens.

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

Arin Andrews

In this revolutionary first-of-its-kind memoir, Arin Andrews 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, Andrews reveals the challenges he faced as a boy in a girl’s body, 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.

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. 

The Gender Quest Workbook: A Guide for Teens & Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity

Rylan Jay Testa, Ph.D.; Deborah Coolhart, Ph.D.; Jayme Peta, M.A.

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.

 

Books for Children and Young Adults (YA)

10,000 Dresses (Grades 1 – 3) 

Marcus Ewert

 A modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside. While Bailey dreams of beautiful dresses, no one wants to hear about it because he is a boy. Then, an older girl comes along who is inspired by Bailey, and they make beautiful dresses together.

The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy (Pre-K - Grade 3)  

S. Bear Bergman

Follow Tulip as he deals with the birthday wishes of all the 9-year-olds in North America. Tulip receives a wish from a child known as David who wishes to live as Daniela. He doesn't understand how to help, so he seeks the wise counsel of the Wish Fairy Captain.

Annie’s Plaid Shirt (K – Grade 1) 

Stacy B. Davids

Annie’s mom tells her that she must wear a dress to her uncle’s wedding. Annie protests, but her mom buys her a fancy new dress anyway. Annie is miserable. Why can't her mom understand? Then, Annie has an idea. But will her mom agree?

The Boy in the Dress (Grades 5 – 7)

David Williams and Quentin Blake (Illustrator)

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.

George (Grades 3-6)

Alex Gino

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy; she knows she’s a girl. George really wants to play Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web. Will she be able to?

I am Jazz (K – 5) 

Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings

From the time she was 2 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. Based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.

Gracefully Grayson (Grades 5-7)

Ami Polonsky

Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “He” is a girl on the inside. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson?

Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship (Pre-K – K) 

Jess Walton

Introduces the youngest readers to understanding gender identity and transition in an accessible and heart-warming story about being true to yourself and being a good friend.

Jacob’s New Dress (Pre-K – 2)  

Sarah and Ian Hoffman

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. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? Speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.

My Princess Boy (Pre-K – 1)  

Cheryl Kilodavis, Aladdin

Dyson loves pink, sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses. Sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara, even when climbing trees.

Lily and Dunkin (Grades 5-7)  

Donna Gephart 

As eighth grade begins, both Lily and Dunkin are trying to establish new identities for themselves. Everyone sees Lily as Timothy, but she is ready for the real her to be known. Dunkin just moved to town and wants to leave his past behind..

One of a Kind, Like Me / Unico Como Yo (Pre-K – 1) 

Laurin Mayeno

Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. A sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality.

The Other Boy (Grades 5-10)

M. G. Hennessey

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.

Red: A Crayon's Story (Pre-K – Grade 1)  

Michael Hall 

A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis. Almost everyone tries to “help” him be red until a friend offers a new perspective. He’s blue! About finding the courage to be true to your inner self. This can be read on multiple levels.

Riding Freedom (Grades 4-6)

Pam Muñoz Ryan

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.  

 

Books for Adults and Parents

Gender Born, Gender Made

Diane Ehrensaft

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.

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

Amy Ellis Nutt

Captures the inspiring true story of identical twins, one of whom is transgender, and a family’s journey to acceptance.

The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes

Diane Ehrensaft and Norman Spack

A comprehensive resource that explains the interconnected effects of biology, nurture, and culture to explore why gender can be fluid, rather than binary. A guide through the rapidly changing cultural, medical, and legal landscape of gender and identity.

Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son

Lori Duron

A frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of Lori Duron and her family's adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son. Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy's boy, her younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink, sparkly tutu. Based on Duron’s popular blog.

Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached

Hillary Whittington

Whittington's first told Ryland’s story in a short video for the teachers in his new school as he began kindergarten. The video soon went viral. In this moving account, you are now taken on the path of his parents as they transform their understanding of gender and learn to take the many steps needed to support the life of their child.

Supporting Transgender and Gender Creative Youth: Schools, Families, and Communities in Action

Elizabeth Meyer and Annie Pullen Sansfaçon (Editors)

Specifically addresses issues and challenges in education, social work, medicine, and counseling and offers recommendations that are relevant for parents, families, practitioners and educators alike.

Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue

Nicholas M. Teich

A readable and thorough primer on the history, terminology, types, politics, and medical and social realities of the transgender population. Written for students, professionals, friends and family members.

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals

Stephanie A. Brill & Rachel Pepper

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

Stephanie A. Brill and Lisa Kenney

This comprehensive guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising a teenager who may be transgender, non-binary or gender-fluid. Covers topics relating to physical and emotional development, social and school pressures, medical considerations, and family communications.

Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self-Love for Brown Bois

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.