Below, parents and families can find books that are focused on how to navigate the coming out process as a supportive person in a student’s life. These books can be requested free of charge, with the goal of empowering families to create safe and affirming spaces for every student, regardless of their identity.
A Guide to Gender: the Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook
Where do we start, when it comes to learning about something that’s everywhere, infused into everything, and is often one of the primary lenses through which we see ourselves and others? When it comes to understanding gender, it’s best to begin with deep breath, then with section one of this book by social justice advocate Sam Killermann, who uses clear language, helpful examples, and a bit of humor to help the medicine go down.
This book is not overwhelming, it’s not overly complicated, and it’s not exhausting to read. It is a few hundred pages of gender exploration, social justice how-tos, practical resources, and fun graphics & comics. Sam dissects gender using a comprehensive, non-binary toolkit, with a focus on making this subject accessible and enjoyable. All this to help you understand something that is so commonly misunderstood, but something we all think we get: gender.
A Guide to Gender is broken into four sections:
- Basic Training (which sets the foundation of knowledge for the book, defining concepts of social justice, oppression, privilege, and more);
- Breaking through the Binary (beginning with a discussion of gender norms, and working toward a more nuanced understanding of gender identity, gender expression, and sex);
- Feminism & Gender Equity (how feminism can be a solution to the injustices folks of all genders face); and
- Social Justice Competence (a series of short, practical lessons that will help readers put the learning from the book to work).
It’s written for people who want to learn for themselves, educators who are hoping to better communicate themes of gender to others, and activists who want to add a gender equity lens to their vision of justice.
It’s not meant to be the end of one’s journey into understanding gender, but a great place to start. Because gender is something we all deserve to understand.
The inspiring true story of transgender actor and activist Nicole Maines, whose identical twin brother, Jonas, and ordinary American family join her on an extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all.
Nicole appears as TV’s first transgender superhero on CW’s Supergirl
When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But by the time Jonas and Wyatt were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt’s insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, to accept Wyatt’s transition to Nicole, and to undergo a wrenching transformation of their own, the effects of which would reverberate through their entire community. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Amy Ellis Nutt spent almost four years reporting this story and tells it with unflinching honesty, intimacy, and empathy. In her hands, Becoming Nicole is more than an account of a courageous girl and her extraordinary family. It’s a powerful portrait of a slowly but surely changing nation, and one that will inspire all of us to see the world with a little more humanity and understanding.
Conscious Parent’s Guide to Gender Identity
If your child is questioning their gender identity, you may have questions of your own—The Conscious Parent’s Guide to Gender Identity helps answer those questions, providing a relationship-oriented approach to supporting your child’s journey.
Conscious parenting means being present with your children and taking the time to understand their point of view, especially when it comes to supporting their exploration of gender identity. Using this mindful method, you can support and guide your children as they discover their authentic selves.
With this easy-to-navigate guide, you’ll learn how to:
- Communicate openly with your child about gender identity
- Empower your child to make their own decisions
- Create a welcoming environment at home
- Guide your child through social and medical transitions
- Help your child feel comfortable with friends, at school, and in your community
- Deal with others’ opinions about your parenting choices
- Plan a happy, successful future for you and your child
This mindful method of parenting will allow you and your children to strengthen your bond while allowing them to be who they truly are.
Once a Girl, Always a Boy
Jeremy Ivester is a transgender man. Thirty years ago, his parents welcomed him into the world as what they thought was their daughter. As a child, he preferred the toys and games our society views as masculine. He kept his hair short and wore boys’ clothing. They called him a tomboy. That’s what he called himself.
By high school, when he showed no interest in flirting, his parents thought he might be lesbian. At twenty, he wondered if he was asexual. At twenty-three, he surgically removed his breasts. A year later, he began taking the hormones that would lower his voice and give him a beard?and he announced his new name and pronouns.
Once a Girl, Always a Boy is Jeremy’s journey from childhood through coming out as transgender and eventually emerging as an advocate for the transgender community. This is not only Jeremy’s story but also that of his family, told from multiple perspectives?those of the siblings who struggled to understand the brother they once saw as a sister, and of the parents who ultimately joined him in the battle against discrimination. This is a story of acceptance in a world not quite ready to accept.
Raising My Rainbow
Raising My Rainbow is Lori Duron’s frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of her and her family’s adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son.
Whereas her older son, Chase, is a Lego-loving, sports-playing boy’s boy, Lori’s younger son, C.J., would much rather twirl around in a pink sparkly tutu, with a Disney Princess in each hand while singing Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.”
C.J. is gender variant or gender nonconforming, whichever you prefer. Whatever the term, Lori has a boy who likes girl stuff—really likes girl stuff. He floats on the gender-variation spectrum from super-macho-masculine on the left all the way to super-girly-feminine on the right. He’s not all pink and not all blue. He’s a muddled mess or a rainbow creation. Lori and her family choose to see the rainbow.
Written in Lori’s uniquely witty and warm voice and launched by her incredibly popular blog of the same name, Raising My Rainbow is the unforgettable story of her wonderful family as they navigate the often challenging but never dull privilege of raising a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son.
The Transgender Child
This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college. What do you do when your toddler daughter’s first sentence is that she’s a boy? What will happen when your preschool son insists on wearing a dress to school? Is this ever just a phase? How can you explain this to your neighbors and family? How can parents advocate for their children in elementary schools? What are the current laws on the rights of transgender children? What do doctors specializing in gender variant children recommend? What do the therapists say? What advice do other families who have trans kids have? What about hormone blockers and surgery? What issues should your college-bound trans child be thinking about when selecting a school? How can I best raise my gender variant or transgender child with love and compassion, even when I barely understand the issues ahead of us? And what is gender, anyway? These questions and more are answered in this book offering a deeper understanding of gender variant and transgender children and teens.
The Transgender Teen
Is it just a phase, a fad, or a real issue with your teen? This comprehensive guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising a teenager who may be transgender, gender-variant or gender-fluid. Covering extensive research and with many personal interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the author covers pressing concerns relating to physical and emotional development, social and school pressures, medical options, and family communications. Learn how parents can advocate for their children, find acceptable colleges and career paths, and raise their gender variant or transgender adolescent with love and compassion.
This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids
Written in an accessible Q&A format, here, finally, is the go-to resource for parents hoping to understand and communicate with their gay child. Through their LGBTQ-oriented site, the authors are uniquely experienced to answer parents’ many questions and share insight and guidance on both emotional and practical topics. Filled with real-life experiences from gay kids and parents, this is the book gay kids want their parents to read.