March 31st is a day to respect and support transgender people in our community (people who have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the biological gender they were assigned at birth).
You want to be an ally? Be a good listener! So here are 5 books written BY people from the transgender community. There’s something here for every age reader, no matter what sort of journey you’re on – be it a journey of awareness and acceptance or self-discovery.
If I Was Your Girl
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
This book is for you if: you enjoy contemporary romance and coming-of-age stories.
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 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. George 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. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
I recommend this to: all junior readers, parents, and lovers of middle grade fiction.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
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.
I recommend this to: young adult and adult readers, parents of trans/gender non-conforming teens, teachers.
Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation
Today’s transgenders and other sex/gender radicals are writing a drastically new world into being. In Gender Outlaws, Bornstein, together with writer, raconteur, and theater artist S. Bear Bergman, collects and contextualizes the work of this generation’s trans and genderqueer forward thinkers — new voices from the stage, on the streets, in the workplace, in the bedroom, and on the pages and websites of the world’s most respected mainstream news sources. Gender Outlaws includes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.
This book is for you if: you want to learn more about diverse gender experiences; you want to smash the kyriarchy; you value Own Voices narratives.
My New Gender Workbook
AUTHOR: Kate Bornstein
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2012
GENRE: Nonfiction, Gender Studies
PAGE COUNT: 293
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Cultural theorists have written loads of smart but difficult-to-fathom texts on gender theory, but most fail to provide a hands-on, accessible guide for those trying to sort out their own sexual identities. In My Gender Workbook, transgender activist Kate Bornstein brings theory down to Earth and provides a practical approach to living with or without a gender.
This book is for you if: you or someone you know is questioning their gender; the gender binary doesn’t make sense to you; you want to learn more about diverse gender identities; you want to smash the kyriarchy.
This reading list is not the be-all-end-all. Yes, it’s important to read Own Voices narratives. But there are so many YouTube channels, zines, blogs, and Instagram accounts by incredible trans/gender non-conforming creators who have so much to offer – be that a safe space to form your identity, an education, or a family. So go forth and read, watch, listen to their stories.
Please comment any books, channels, or accounts you want me to share some love to!