by Dr. Jem Tosh
Every now and then I get asked for introductory guides to gender diversity for families, allies, and folks trying to understand their own gender experience. While some have approached me through my research work, saying that they found my books helpful and affirming, my books are mostly written for an academic audience so they are less accessible than others that are available. Below is a list of books that provide information on what gender diversity is, descriptions of personal experiences, and reflections on the current context of being trans and nonbinary when hostility and transphobia can be frequent occurrences. These texts answer common questions, provide advice on how to thrive, are affirming, and centre trans and nonbinary voices.
Gender: A Graphic Guide by Meg John Barker and Jules Scheele
Is masculinity 'toxic'? Why are public toilets such a political issue? How has feminism changed the available gender roles - and for whom? Why might we all benefit from challenging binary thinking about sex/gender?
In this unique illustrated guide, Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele travel through our shifting understandings of gender across time and space - from ideas about masculinity and femininity, to non-binary and trans genders, to intersecting experiences of gender, race, sexuality, class, disability and more.
Tackling current debates and tensions, which can divide communities and even cost lives, Barker and Scheele look to the past and the future to explore how we might all approach gender in more caring and celebratory ways.
Trans Like Me by CN Lester
A personal and culture-driven exploration of the most pressing questions facing the transgender community today, from a leading activist, musician, and academic.
In Trans Like Me, CN Lester takes readers on a measured, thoughtful, intelligent yet approachable tour through the most important and high-profile narratives around the trans community, turning them inside out and examining where we really are in terms of progress. From the impact of the media's wording in covering trans people and issues, to the way parenting gender variant children is portrayed, Lester brings their charged personal narrative to every topic and expertly lays out the work left to be done.
Trans Like Me explores the ways that we are all defined by ideas of gender -- whether we live as he, she, or they -- and how we can strive for authenticity in a world that forces limiting labels.
Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
In Beyond the Gender Binary, poet, artist, and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate Alok Vaid-Menon deconstructs, demystifies, and reimagines the gender binary.
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.
How to Understand Your Gender: A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are by Alex Iantaffi and Meg John Barker
Have you ever questioned your own gender identity? Do you know somebody who is transgender or who identifies as non-binary? Do you ever feel confused when people talk about gender diversity?
This down-to-earth guide is for anybody who wants to know more about gender, from its biology, history and sociology, to how it plays a role in our relationships and interactions with family, friends, partners and strangers. It looks at practical ways people can express their own gender, and will help you to understand people whose gender might be different from your own. With activities and points for reflection throughout, this book will help people of all genders engage with gender diversity and explore the ideas in the book in relation to their own lived experiences.
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource By and For Transgender Communities
There is no one way to be transgender. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a revolutionary resource - a comprehensive, reader-friendly guide for transgender people, with each chapter written by transgender and gender expansive authors. Inspired by Our Bodies, Ourselves, the classic and powerful compendium written by and for cisgender 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 issue, such as race, religion, employment, medical and surgical transition, mental health, relationships, sexuality, parenthood, arts and culture, and many more. Anonymous quotes, testimonials, art and poetry from transgender people are woven throughout, adding compelling, personal voices to every page. In this unique way, hundreds of viewpoints from throughout the community have united to create this strong and pioneering book. It is a welcoming place for transgender and gender-questioning people, their partners and families, students, professors, guidance counselors, and others to look for up-to-date information on transgender life.
Trans Affirmative Coloring Book by Theo Nicole Lorenz
If you're transgender, non-binary, or another gender under the wide and wonderful trans umbrella, this book is for you. With ten coloring pages celebrating trans identity, beauty, and relationships, the Trans Affirmation Coloring Book is a reminder to treat yourself kindly, because who you are is amazing. Also, everyone in this book is trans.
The Trans Affirmation Coloring Book is also available as a free download at gumroad.com/theonicole
The Trans Self-Care Workbook by Theo Nicole Lorenz
If you're transgender, non-binary, or any other gender under the wide and wonderful trans umbrella, this book is for you. A creative journal and workbook with a difference, this book combines coloring pages celebrating trans identity, beauty and relationships, with practical advice, journaling prompts and space for reflection to promote self-affirmation and wellbeing.
Drawing on CBT and mindfulness techniques, the book covers topics including body positivity and neutrality, coming out, euphoria and dysphoria, building new friendships and navigating relationships with your friends and family, and is the go-to resource for anybody who has ever felt the pressure to conform to a singular definition or narrative.
Theo Nicole Lorenz's heart-warming and empowering illustrations of trans people will provide reassurance that you are never alone, and are a reminder to always treat yourself kindly.
Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words edited by Lindsay Herriot and Kate Fry
Growing Up Trans shares stories, essays, art and poetry created by trans youth aged 11 to 18. In their own words, the works illustrate the trans experience through childhood, family and daily life, school, their bodies and mental health. Together the collection is a story of the challenges, big and small, of being a young trans person. At the same time, it’s a toolkit for all young people, transgender or not, about what understanding, acceptance and support for the trans community looks like. In addition to the contributed works, there are questions and tips from experts in the field of transgender studies to challenge the reader on how to be a trans ally.
Growing Up Trans came out of a series of workshops held in Victoria, British Columbia, to bring together trans youth from across the country with mentors in the community.
The Queer and Transgender Resilience Workbook: Skills for Navigating Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression by Anneliese Singh
Resilience is a key ingredient for psychological health and wellness. It’s what gives people the psychological strength to cope with everyday stress, as well as major setbacks. For many people, stressful events may include job loss, financial problems, illness, natural disasters, medical emergencies, divorce, or the death of a loved one. But if you are queer or gender non-conforming, life stresses may also include discrimination in housing and health care, employment barriers, homelessness, family rejection, physical attacks or threats, and general unfair treatment and oppression—all of which lead to overwhelming feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness. So, how can you gain resilience in a society that is so often toxic and unwelcoming?
In this important workbook, you’ll discover how to cultivate the key components of resilience: holding a positive view of yourself and your abilities; knowing your worth and cultivating a strong sense of self-esteem; effectively utilizing resources; being assertive and creating a support community; fostering hope and growth within yourself, and finding the strength to help others. Once you know how to tap into your personal resilience, you’ll have an unlimited well you can draw from to navigate everyday challenges. By learning to challenge internalized negative messages and remove obstacles from your life, you can build the resilience you need to embrace your truest self in an imperfect world.
Dr. Jem Tosh (they/she) is a Doctor of Psychology, a Chartered Member and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Full Member of the Canadian Psychological Society and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. They are the author of several books, including Psychology and Gender Dysphoria: Feminist and Transgender Perspectives (Tosh, 2016).