Books are vital to education. In an effort to promote education about what it really means to be transgender, I have compiled a list of the most recommended books for transgender children, their parents, their families and friends. This is an incomplete and ever-growing list of titles, but it’s a place to start on your journey towards understanding and supporting the transgender person in your life.


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

This is an enlightening and invaluable reference book, providing topical information to those wanting to understand and support friends and/or loved ones who are transitioning.

It contains a lot of affirming information, including studies, quotes and experiences of a wide range of individuals who provide a narrative on the many multi-layered and complex issues transgender individuals face. This is a well-researched reference written by and for transgender people.

Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue

Written by a transgender man, Transgender 101 is exactly what the title suggests: a very basic introduction to a very complex issue. This book is aimed at a wide audience, not just for transgender people, but for friends, loved ones and professionals. It covers transgender history; the psychological, social and physical processes; and the differences between gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, while acknowledging that there’s no “one way” to be, feel, or act transgender. The author’s tone is non-judgmental and conversational.

The Transgender Guidebook: Keys to a Successful Transition

Written by an experienced professional specifically for transgender clients, this book is geared toward trans women, with secondary information for trans men. It is a good guide of what to expect for someone thinking about or in the process of transitioning, with a great wealth of resources cited for more information. A must read for those considering gender reassignment surgery.

Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not

Based on a collection of articles by a transgender woman, this introductory book is a valuable resource for friends and loved ones of transgender people. It’s a quick read and covers many topics, mostly through personal anecdotes and conversations with others. Think of it as a Transgender primer, with references to other resources for more in-depth information.

Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children

This book contains 32 essays written by mothers of transgender or gender variant children. Each of the stories convey the underlying theme of the book: love your child unconditionally, whether they conform to society’s (and your) expectations or not. The stories give the reader great insight into ways parents manage this often unforeseen life event through their open, frank, and honest retelling of their journeys. This book is an excellent resource for parents of trans people who have just come out, or for trans people who are worried about coming out to their parents.

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

This book gives gender creative children and their parents information and support and provides professionals a solid approach to supporting gender creative clients. Psychological, medical and anecdotal stories are woven together into an affirmative and loving celebration of gender creative children and their families to provide a thorough view of all the elements of raising or otherwise supporting a gender creative child. This is a wonderful resource for parents of gender creative kids and others seeking information.

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

This heartwarming story of an ordinary family fighting to make a safer world for their transgender daughter is both engaging and informative. The Maines family’s journey includes conflict with the schools, a landmark court case, the kids’ growing up, Nicole’s transition, and Wayne’s finally coming to terms with having a transgender daughter. It’s an inspiring story and it’s likely to make you think about gender in ways you haven’t before.

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals

Combining research and personal stories from parents, family members, and transgender people themselves, the authors provide an accessible resource that will prove itself indispensable not only for parents and families of transgender children, but also for anyone who works with young people. It includes extensive lists of websites, fiction and non-fiction books, and organizations to help parents, teachers, and family members navigate these waters.

The Transgender Teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Teens

Separated into easily digestible sections, complete with callouts, questions, and bullets that break down the larger issues, this is a very well-organized book that can be read cover to cover, but is also useful for quick reference needs. It directly addresses the fears and concerns of parents to help enable them to take an active role in being a supportive influence. Overall, this book is a wonderful resource for parents of trans, non-binary, and gender questioning youth.

Raising the Transgender Child: A Complete Guide for Parents, Families, and Caregivers

Addressing the biological, psychological, medical, social, legal, and spiritual aspects of gender identity and expression, this book answers the many questions families have when a child explores gender expression. It dedicates considerable space to resources including websites, faith groups, legal and medical resources, recommended transgender fict
ion and much more. This is a must-read for every person who has a trans child or teen in their life.

Parenting Built On Love: How to Live Authentically, Love Unconditionally, and Lead by Example to Help Your Child Take Responsibility for Who They Become

Children learn from their parents and the lessons can last a lifetime. Broken into short, highly informative sections that clearly outline the author’s theories and back them up with real experiences, the reader will see themselves and their perceived good intentions going up in flames as they recognize all the parenting mistakes they have made, and are probably still making. Using her own experience of her transgender and pansexual son, the author shows the reader how to change their way of thinking and emphasizes the importance of self-love, acceptance and authenticity before she gets into the nuts and bolts of what you can do to be a better parent.