Books can be illuminating portals into the experiences of trans and gender-nonconforming (GNC) individuals.

The list below — which highlights titles by and about the trans and GNC community — is divided into sections by audience age and alphabetized by author's last name.

* Books by #OwnVoices authors

AdultYoung AdultMiddle GradePictureOther


The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals
by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper
‍Just about everything you ever wanted/needed/hoped to know about raising a transgender child is available in this indispensable guide for all families and institutions that include transgender members.
Also see: The Transgender Teen.

In the Darkroom
by Susan Faludi
At 76, feminist writer Faludi’s (Backlash) father went to Thailand and returned to Hungary as Stefánie, all the while insisting she was “still [Faludi’s] father.” In trying to understand this new identity, Faludi examines her father’s history as Holocaust survivor, U.S. immigrant, husband, father, Hungarian returnee — and how her reincarnations shaped the woman she became.

*Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us
by CN Lester
British musician and trans rights activist Lester affectingly uses personal life experiences of coming out and living an authentic life to illuminate wider issues of acceptance, understanding, and inclusion. Lester channels history to connect trans communities from past to present, while drawing on pop culture to underscore the immediacy of contemporary nonbinary identity.

OP Original Plumbing: The Best of Trans Male Culture
edited by Amos Mac and Rocco Kayiatos
A San Francisco zine turned national print publication, Original Plumbing is 10 years young. Founders Mac and Kayiatos collect their “favorite moments from each issue,” compiled between striking fuchsia covers, filled with so much color, life, and love. “Needless to say, there is not just one way to be a trans man.”

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family
by Amy Ellis Nutt
Jonas and Wyatt were born identical twin boys, but by toddlerhood, Wyatt knew she was a girl. Their mother Kelly supported Nicole unconditionally; father Wayne's understanding took longer. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nutt edifies readers with history, science, medicine, and law, deftly exposing the family’s challenges without demonizing the ignorant, fearful, at times downright nasty naysayers.

Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children
edited by Rachel Pepper
Journalist/author/therapist Pepper “focus[es] on the emotional experience of mothers, highlighting the parallel process that parents go through along with their transitioning child” because “no one feels this change as acutely as mothers.” Pepper’s mothers are as diverse as their gender nonconforming, nonbinary children — who vary from age six to 60!

Unbound: Transgender Men and the Remaking of Identity
by Arlene Stein
Award-winning, gay journalist Stein follows the remarkable journeys of four young people, who each had their top surgery on the same day by the same Florida surgeon. Together, the diverse challenges, choices, and outcomes for these four individuals — three of them trans, one of them a gender-bending butch lesbian — create an inclusive collage of the vast spectrum of the contemporary transgender experience.

Young Adult

*Trans Mission: My Quest to Grow a Beard
by Alex Bertie
YouTube star Bertie – who’s British and transgender — shares his coming out with unflinching honesty, raw vulnerability, sharp insight, and quite a bit of gentle humor. Unusual is the addition of a chapter from Bertie’s mother, who intimately shares her POV as the mother of a transgender son.

by Akwaeke Emezi
Children in the town of Lucille are told there are no monsters. But there are monsters. And Jam — guided by Pet, who crawls out of her mother’s painting — will hunt and expose the monster lurking in her best friend’s home. That Jam’s transgender identity is treated as a factual nonevent is a refreshing approach to character diversity.

Symptoms of Being Human
by Jeff Garvin
"The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?” Keep wondering: Riley Cavanaugh isn’t answering.

*Stage Dreams
by Melanie Gillman
Ghost Hawk descends on a California-bound stagecoach and kidnaps Grace, a Georgian trans woman escaping Confederate conscription. Delightful hijinks and adventures ensue. Gillman is an award-winning creator of “positive queer and trans comics for younger readers,” and her Wild West escapade is enhanced with intriguing glimpses into little-known transgender military history.

*Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen
by Jazz Jennings
Transgender teen activist/reality TV star Jazz Jennings, who voiced her gender identity at 2, who became a transgender icon at 5, shares her first 15 years. The middle-grade companion to her picture book, I Am Jazz.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
written and photographed by Susan Kuklin
Six transgender and gender nonconforming teens speak out — candidly, vulnerably, openly — about their diverse experiences. Kulkin's photographs are especially revealing.

by Meredith Russo
Through life’s dramatic changes, Eric and Morgan have shared every birthday together. Morgan’s mother is dead, his father has shut down; meanwhile, Eric’s seemingly perfect family is imploding. At 13, Morgan desperately needs to tell Eric, “I want to be a girl.” Eric wants to know who Morgan really is — especially who Morgan is to him.

*If I Was Your Girl
by Meredith Russo
New girl Amanda — born Andrew 19 years ago — escapes the abuse and violence of her hometown to start anew with her father, who she hasn't seen in six years. New school, new friends, maybe even new love ... if only her secret stays safe.

Something Like Gravity
by Amber Smith
Chris arrives to spend a summer with his aunt in rural North Carolina after surviving a brutal attack back home in Rochester. Maia, his nearest neighbor, is reeling from the sudden death of her older sister and caught between two grieving parents who still acrimoniously live together four years after their divorce. Chris and Maia’s almost bike-into-car crash reluctantly sparks a collision of emotions that morphs into falling in first love.

by Brie Spangler
Hirsute, comparatively behemoth Dylan might have sort-of-maybe fallen off his roof — on purpose. At mandatory therapy, he meets quirky, smart, enigmatic Jamie. Their initial antagonism soon turns to genuine friendship, then quickly moves toward more — but Dylan somehow missed something Jamie revealed to the whole group, so what’s gonna happen when he finds out?

by Ellen Wittlinger
Angela's announcement about his transition to Grady as a high school junior leaves both his family and friends divided. Author Wittlinger creates Grady's world with deft accuracy, filled with contemporary details and all-too-real situations.

MIddle Grade

Obie Cover Book

Obie Is Man Enough
by Schuyler Bailar
Obie knew his transition would have ripple effects. He has to leave his swim coach, his pool, and his best friends. But it's time for Obie to find where he truly belongs. As Obie dives into a new team, though, things are strange. Obie always felt at home in the water, but now he can't get his old coach out of his head. Even worse are the bullies that wait in the locker room and on the pool deck. Luckily, Obie has family behind him. And maybe some new friends too, including Charlie, his first crush. Obie is ready to prove he can be one of the fastest boys in the water--to his coach, his critics, and his biggest competition: himself.

*Zenobia July
by Lisa Bunker
For spunky middle-schooler Zenobia July, a fresh start in a new home and new school with new friends means she’ll finally be able to live as her authentic self. Bunker herself is transgender; she’s one of two openly transgender women elected to the New Hampshire House of Representatives in November 2018!

Freeing Finch
by Ginny Rorby
At 12, Finch has had plenty of struggles. Her father left, her mother died, she lives with her stepfather, who, less than year after losing her mother, gave Finch a stepmother. Finch has always been a girl, but the parents she’s got left don’t seem to understand. Luckily, nearest neighbor Maddy — and her menagerie of rehabilitating wildlife — is exactly the support Finch needs to be her true self.

Wandering Son (multi-volume series)
by Shimura Takako, translated by Matt Thorn
A groundbreaking graphic series from Japan about two middle-school friends coming-of-age: Nitori who wishes he could be a girl and Takatsuki who wishes she could be a boy. Creator Shimura treats both protagonists’ journeys of self-discovery with gentle honesty.

Picture Books

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
by Christine Baldacchino, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant
A little boy shows his class the power of the little orange dress. With gentle humor, author Baldacchino debunks all the shoulds and shouldn'ts of children's behavior merely based on the number of x-chromosomes.

Julián Is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love
Across her stupendous watercolor, gouache, and ink spreads, Love captures the transformative power of being seen. With his grandmother’s unconditional affirmation, young Julían’s daydreams become spectacular reality in Broadway actor Love’s triumphant author/illustrator debut.

*When Aidan Became a Brother
by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
When Aidan, a transgender boy, learns he’s going to be a big brother, he helps his parents prepare for the newest addition to their family in the most welcoming ways. Lukoff's author’s note reveals that parts of his own story are “very much like Aidan’s.”

Who Are You? The Kid's Guide to Gender Identity
by Brook Pessin-Whedbee, illustrated by Naomi Bardoff
Inspired by the work of Gender Spectrum, a non-profit group dedicated to creating gender sensitive and inclusive environments for children and teens, this colorful book explains bodies, how we express ourselves, and identities in easy-to-understand language for all ages.

*The Boy and the Bindi
by Vivek Shraya, illustrated by Rajini Perara
A little boy shows his class the power of the little orange dress. With gentle humor, author Baldacchino debunks all the shoulds and shouldn'ts of children's behavior merely based on the number of x-chromosomes.


Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man
by Emmanuel Acho
“You cannot fix a problem you do not know you have.” So begins Emmanuel Acho in his essential guide to the truths Americans need to know to address the systemic racism that has recently electrified protests in all fifty states. “There is a fix,” Acho says. “But in order to access it, we’re going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations.”

So You Want to Talk About Race
by Ijeoma Oluo
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don't dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

It's Always Been Ours
by Jessica Wilson
In It’s Always Been Ours eating disorder specialist and storyteller Jessica Wilson challenges us to rethink what having a "good" body means in contemporary society. By centering the bodies of Black women in her cultural discussions of body image, food, health, and wellness, Wilson argues that we can interrogate white supremacy’s hold on us and reimagine the ways we think about, discuss, and tend to our bodies.

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