Resources for Trans Teens

A header with ripped paper in the color of the trans pride flag in the background. Over it are the words "Resources for Trans Teens"

 

Whether you're just starting on the path of self-discovery or fully comfortable in your identity, having an idea of the resources available to you can be reassuring and affirming. While there are a lot of online resources available for trans youth, today we've focused on gathering some of the best and newest non-fiction books (and eBooks) available to you through the library.

Please keep in mind that while all of these were published in the last decade, some of the information may be outdated already. Thanks to the constant work of trans activists and allies, areas such as transgender legislature are evolving faster than the publishing world can keep up with. Even so, these are all good places to start reading and will often provide additional resources at the end of the book.

An Important Note: Under Florida Statute 257.261, all patron records at ACLD are completely confidential. We will not give out your information or check out history to anyone, even a parent. If you are concerned about being outed by checking out any of these books, make sure you have all copies of your library card in your possession, your own email is on your patron account, and that you have changed your patron login information to something unique and secure.

Taking these steps can help protect you until a time when you are safely able to come out. (If, of course, you want to come out. But more on that in a bit.)

  

A long thin section heading banner. It has a light pink background with chalk to the left in the trans pride flag colors. To the right are the words "for teens"

   

Trans Teen Survival Guide by Owl and Fox FisherTrans Teen Survival Guide by Owl and Fox Fisher [2019]

Frank, friendly and funny, Trans Teen Survival Guide will leave transgender and non-binary teens informed, empowered and armed with all the tips, confidence and practical advice they need to navigate life as a trans teen. Wondering how to come out to your family and friends, what it's like to go through cross hormonal therapy or how to put on a packer? Trans youth activists Fox and Owl have stepped in to answer everything that trans teens and their families need to know. With a focus on self-care, expression and being proud of your unique identity, the guide is packed full of invaluable advice from people who understand the realities and complexities of growing up trans. Having been there, done that, Fox and Owl are able to honestly chart the course of life as a trans teen, from potentially life-saving advice on dealing with dysphoria or depression, to hilarious real-life awkward trans stories.

  

    

  

  

  

Identifying as Transgender by Sara WoodsIdentifying as Transgender by Sara Woods [2017]

This great guide is a much-needed way to introduce young readers to the gender galaxy. Readers will become familiar with some of the many gender identities a person can have, such as trans man, trans woman, gender fluid, bigender, or two-spirit. Theyll learn about bodies beyond the gender binary, as well as the differences between gender expression, gender identity, and sexuality. A chapter on transphobia and cissexism acknowledges the discrimination and mistreatment that trans people face, but the support that trans communities can provide is also emphasized. Perfect for both transgender teens and young trans allies.

  

  

    

  

  

  

Coming Out as Transgender by Corona BrezinaComing Out as Transgender by Corona Brezina [2017]

An accessible guide to coming out to family and friends, this title provides transgender readers with insight about what steps to take when thinking about coming out. It addresses how to answer questions that friends and family might ask as well as the potential steps involved in a gender transition. For trans allies, this resource is a useful tool to understand how to be supportive of a loved one during their journey to express their true gender. Readers also will learn how to fight back against transgender discrimination at school and in their community.

   

  

  

  

  

  

Health Issues When You're Transgender by Susan MeyerHealth Issues When You're Transgender by Susan Meyer [2017]

Transgender people deal with a range of health issues. Some are specific to the community, others affect it disproportionately, and others impact transgender and cisgender people alike. Readers will learn about mental and emotional health, gender dysphoria, hormone replacement therapy (including puberty-blocking hormones), gender affirmation surgery, and more. Theyll be reminded that, while surgery and hormone treatments can be life saving, they are neither right for every transgender person nor a requirement for being transgender. Theyll also read about the barriers to care that transgender people frequently face and get advice on dealing with a health care system marked by cissexism.

     

    

  

  

  

  

Coping with Gender Dysphoria by Ellen McGrodyCoping with Gender Dysphoria by Ellen McGrody [2018]

For transgender youth, the process of exploring gender can be exciting, but also difficult and painful. This book discusses the challenges of living with gender dysphoria, offering young adult readers resources and strategies for coping in different contexts: at home, at school, out in public, and in seeking medical care. Each chapter defines relevant terms, shares relatable anecdotes, and features easy-to-read informational sidebars, addressing the experiences and needs of youth with a variety of gender identities and social locations. Beyond merely helping them deal with transphobia, this book offers transgender teens support and advice for navigating life and thriving.

    

    

  

  

    

 

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G. and J.R. ZuckerbergA Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G. and J.R. Zuckerberg [2019]

In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and JR 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!

And be sure to check out the companion guides, including A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns.

  

  

  

  

  

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My New Gender Workbook by Kate BornsteinMy New Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein [2013]

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 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.

Bornstein starts from the premise that there are not just two genders performed in today's world, but countless genders lumped under the two-gender framework. Using a unique, deceptively simple and always entertaining workbook format, complete with quizzes, exercises, and puzzles, Bornstein gently but firmly guides readers toward discovering their own unique gender identity.

  

  

  

The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ash HardellThe ABC's of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell [2016]

Hello and welcome to the ABC’s of LGBT. Ashley Mardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube presents a detailed look at all things LGBT+. Along with in-depth written definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, links to online videos, and more, Hardell aims to provide a friendly voice to a community looking for information.

Beyond those searching for a label, this book is also for allies and LGBT+ people simply looking to pack in some extra knowledge! Knowledge is a critical part of acceptance, learning about new identities broadens our understanding of humanity, heightens our empathy, and allows us different, valuable perspectives. These words also provide greater precision when describing attractions and identities. There is never anything wrong with having and efficient, expansive vocabulary!

Note: This book is still cataloged under the author's previous name.

  

  

  

  

Gender: Your Guide by Lee AirtonGender: Your Guide by Lee Airton [2018]

The days of two genders--male, female; boy, girl; blue, pink--are over, if they ever existed at all. Gender is now a global conversation, and one that is constantly evolving. From the differences among gender identity, gender expression, and sex, to the use of gender-neutral pronouns like singular they/them, to thinking about your own participation in gender, Gender: Your Guide serves as a complete primer to all things gender. You will learn how gender works in everyday life, how to use accurate terminology to refer to transgender, non-binary, and/or gender non-conforming individuals, and how to ask when you aren't sure what to do or say. It provides you with the information you need to talk confidently and compassionately about gender diversity, whether simply having a conversation or going to bat as an advocate

  

  

  

  

  

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trans (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Brynn TannehillEverything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trans (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Brynn Tannehill [2019]

Leading activist and essayist Brynn Tannehill tells you everything you ever wanted to know about transgender issues but were afraid to ask. The book aims to break down deeply held misconceptions about trans people across all aspects of life, from politics, law and culture, through to science, religion and mental health, to provide readers with a deeper understanding of what it means to be trans.

The book walks the reader through transgender issues, starting with "What does transgender mean?" before moving on to more complex topics including growing up trans, dating and sex, medical and mental health, and debates around gender and feminism. Brynn also challenges deliberately deceptive information about transgender people being put out into the public sphere. Transphobic myths are debunked and biased research, bad statistics and bad science are carefully and clearly refuted.

This important and engaging book enables any reader to become informed the most critical public conversations around transgender people, and become a better ally as a result.

   

  

Gender Identity: Beyond Pronouns and Bathrooms by Maria CookGender Identity: Beyond Pronouns and Bathrooms by Maria Cook [2017]

Busting the myth that the gender identity movement is a new phenomenon, this book teaches teens about some of the first openly transgender public figures in history, such as Lili Elbe, the first recorded person to ever medically transition in the 1930s, and Christine Jorgensen, who medically transitioned and rose to fame in the 1950s. The stories of activists and other important public figures are highlighted throughout the book and offer plenty of opportunity to connect with the history of the gender identity movement on a human level. From the Stonewall riots to the institution of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, teens will gain a rich understanding of how gender identity fits into culture, past and present.

Readers learn concepts that are crucial to understanding the basics of gender identity, such as how gender identity differs from physical sex and sexual orientation, why drag queens and transgender women are not one and the same (although transgender women can be drag queens!), and the importance of gender-specific and gender-neutral pronouns. Teens also discover works of fiction featuring or starring transgender characters, from television shows to novels to award-winning films.

  

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves edited by Laura Erickson-SchrothTrans Bodies, Trans Selves edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth [2014]

There is no one way to be transgender. Transgender and gender non-conforming people have many different ways of understanding their gender identities. Only recently have sex and gender been thought of as separate concepts, and we have learned that sex (traditionally thought of as physical or biological) is as variable as gender (traditionally thought of as social).

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

  

A long thin section heading banner. It has a blue background with a paper airplane to the left in the trans pride flag colors. On the right are the words "memoirs and compiled personal stories."

 

Some Assembly Required by Arin AndrewsSome Assembly Required by Arin Andrews [2014]

Seventeen-year-old Arin Andrews shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this winning memoir. We've all felt uncomfortable in our own skin at some point, and we've all been told that it's just a part of growing up. But for Arin Andrews, it wasn't a phase that would pass. He had been born in the body of a girl and there seemed to be no relief in sight. 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 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.

  

  

Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan CoyoteTomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote [2016]

Ivan writes movingly about many firsts: the first time they were mistaken for a boy; the first time they purposely discarded their bikini top so they could join the boys at the local swimming pool; and the first time they were chastised for using the women’s washroom. Ivan also explores their years as a young butch, dealing with new infatuations and old baggage, and life as a gender-box-defying adult, in which they offer advice to young people while seeking guidance from others. (And for tomboys in training, there are even directions on building your very own unicorn trap.)

Tomboy Survival Guide warmly recounts Ivan’s adventures and mishaps as a diffident yet free-spirited tomboy, and maps their journey through treacherous gender landscapes and a maze of labels that don’t quite stick, to a place of self-acceptance and an authentic and personal strength. These heartfelt, funny, and moving stories are about the culture of difference—a “guide” to being true to one’s self.

  

  

  

  

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan KuklinBeyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin [2014]

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.

  

  

  

Out! How to Be Your Authentic Self by Miles McKennaOut! How to Be Your Authentic Self by Miles McKenna [2020]

Activist Miles McKenna came out on his YouTube channel in 2017, documenting his transition to help other teens navigate their identities and take charge of their own coming-out stories. From that wisdom comes Out!, the ultimate coming-out survival guide. Find validation, inspiration, and support for your questions big and small—whether you’re exploring your identity or seeking to understand the experience of an awesome queer person in your life.

  

  

  

  

  

  

Redefining Realness by Janet MockRedefining Realness by Janet Mock [2014]

Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents' firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person--no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles.

This powerful memoir follows Mock's quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn't until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don't fit the mold created for you.