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A Partial Booklist

A Partial Booklist

Boenke, Mary (ed.) Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgendered Loved Ones. The only book I’m aware of that includes stories by trans and non-trans people, that is by, for and about families.
Bornstein, Kate. Gender Outlaw and My Gender Workbook. Kate deconstructs gender in a humorous, gentle way. Highly recommended.

Boyd, Helen. My Husband Betty. Very well-written account by the wife of a cross-dresser, covering the various issues she went through in the ongoing process of coming to terms with her husband’s identity.

Boylan, Jennifer. She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders. Memoir of an MTF, especially focusing on the changes wrought in her marriage by her transition. Some partners have told me this book was especially meaningful to them, as it addressed some of their issues more than most trans autobiographies. (Many have said that this book combined with Helen Boyd’s “My Husband Betty” pretty much addressed the various issues they faced.)

Brown, Mildred. True Selves. A classic “Trans 101” that many trans people send to friends and families to try to convey something of what it means to them to transition.

Cameron, Loren. Body Alchemy: Transsexual Portraits (Photographs of FTMs). www.lorencameron.com
Cohen-Kettenis, Peggy T; Pfafflin, Friedemann. Transgenderism and Intersexuality in Childhood and Adolescence (2003). Presents an overview of the research, clinical insights and ethical dilemmas relevant to clinicians who treat intersex and transgendered youth and their families. This authoritative examination of sexual, psychosexual and gender differentiation in children and adolescents makes this an indispensable resources for mental health, medical and educational professionals who work with children and youth.

Colapinto, John. As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl. Very well-written and researched book that tells the true story of David Reimer. This book is very important, as it exposes the truth of the “twins study” that was the basis for John Money’s claim that an infant could be raised to any particular gender role successfully, as long as the socialization began by about age 2. As the leading sex expert of his day, Money’s claims determined the medical treatment protocols for intersexxed and transsexual people for several decades.

Green, Jamison. Becoming a Visible Man. Autobiography of a well-known transman activist, the founder of FTM International. Good medical information and sociological insights into the transition process. Highly recommended.

Jorgensen, Christine. The Christine Jorgensen Story. This classic is a “must-read,” whether MTF or FTM. Jorgensen’s experiences make it so clear what it was like to transition at a time when doctors really had no idea precisely how a body can morph from male to female (or vice versa). Every single person who transitioned at that time was an experiment, and the result of that accumulated knowledge is that we have it much easier today. It’s a brave thing to transition now; to transition before doctors really had any idea how the human body would react was an incredible leap of faith!

Kailey, Matt. Just Add Hormones. Well-written autobiography, told with humor and a different perspective than most of the autobiographies I’ve read, in that Matt did not take refuge in the lesbian community prior to his transition. He lived as a heterosexual woman, and now identifies as a gay transman.

Khosla, Dhillon. Both Sides Now: One Man’s Journey Through Womanhood. I read this book and Matt Kailey’s “Just Add Hormones” in the same weekend and was struck by how valuable it is to have various autobiographies to read. Different people will resonate with different stories, as some will reflect their personal experience more than others. Matt and Dhillon are very different from each other, yet both underwent a similar transformation of self, from living female to living male. Dhillon’s book is very engaging, and inspiring, because he transitioned and retained his job as an attorney.

Kotula, Dean. Phallus Palace. Photos and stories of transmen. Some of the surgery photos are very graphic, making this book unsuitable for use in educating many people’s families. (It might raise more fears than it will allay!) But it is an excellent resource for transmen seeking detailed surgical information, which is often unavailable in print form.

Lev, Arlene. Transgender Emergence. Written by a therapist, this book is a great reference text for therapists. Good historical treatment about how we got to where we are in terms of the standards of care, the medical model currently in use in the U.S., etc. This is a highly academic book, not as accessible to the general public as True Selves.

Mallon, Gerald P. Social Services with Transgendered Youth (1999). Explores the childhood and adolescent experiences of transgendered persons, and offers suggestions that will help social workers and youths’ families learn more about the reality of transgendered persons’ lives.

McCloskey, Deirdre. Crossing: A Memoir. Autobiography of an MTF who transitioned on the job within academia. McCloskey is an economist, and professor of Human Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Morris, Jan. Conundrum. A classic, the autobiography of Jan Morris, who transitioned in the 1960s. Morris has some thought-provoking ideas about gender, sex and being born trans.

Valerio, Max. The Testosterone Files. Excellent autobiographical account of one FTM’s experience with transition.

Vanderburgh, Reid. Transition and Beyond: Observation on Gender Identity. This book grew out of this therapist’s work with several hundred transgendered clients. Reid, ftm himself, addresses the myriad and complex issues that can arise during all facets of transition. A good resource for friend, co-worker, family, therapist or other care provider of a trans person, also for the trans person as well.

Walworth, Janis. Transexual Workers: An Employer’s Guide. Recommended by a client who found it useful in approaching her Human Resources department during her transition.

World Professional Association for Transgender Heath: Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders, Sixth Version, (2001). An evolving set of international interdisciplinary clinical guidelines.

List complied by Reid Vanderburgh and Lukas Walther

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