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Resources for Transgender Day of Visibility

Transgender pride flag

In uncertain times like these, publishing progressive and thought-provoking books at Beacon Press becomes ever more urgent. “One of my great joys at Beacon Press is being able to sign progressive books . . . [that] deserve to be read and debated,” said our editorial director Gayatri Patnaik. Crucially, we sign progressive books to lift up the voices of our marginalized communities. This is true for the continued support needed for the transgender community.

Since the start of the Trump administration, we’ve seen LGBTQ rights come repeatedly under attack, especially when it comes to human rights for the transgender community. Just look at the multiple bans on trans people serving in the military and anti-trans bills. Attacks like these are fueled by the all-too-common misconceptions about the community and transgender issues that persist today. What better way to disabuse ourselves of these myths than to read about their experiences in their own words? This is the important part for Transgender Day of Visibility: visibility is not a substitute for equality, but an important starting point. In order for people outside of the trans community to become allies, we need to understand and listen to their stories as they have lived them, which requires empathy and learning what to fight for.

Now more than ever, we are committed to providing resources that speak to our current political climate and social activism. See below for some recommended reading from our Transgender Perspectives category that helps to make sense of the issues and also provides ways for us to take action and to advocate for transgender voices to be heard. You will also find additional blog posts by our trans authors as resources.



A Queer and Pleasant DangerA Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins to Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today

Kate Bornstein

“A singular achievement and gift to the generations of queers who consider her our Auntie, and all those who will follow.”
Lambda Literary


Transgender WarriorsTransgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman
Leslie Feinberg

“Men and women have had their histories. This is the history book for the rest of us.”
—Kate Bornstein




Trans LiberationTrans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue
Leslie Feinberg

Trans Liberation brings together a diversity of agendas, giving a fresh, urgent twist to everything from the politics of national health-care reform to debates about infant genital mutilation and queer history.”
—Rachel Mattson, Village Voice Literary Supplement


You're in the Wrong Bathroom“You’re in the Wrong Bathroom!”: And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions About Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People
Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD and Laura A. Jacobs, LCSW-R

“Amid all the misinformation about trans lives and people, this is a refreshingly accurate book that covers the most pernicious myths and also has the virtue of being written accessibly. Everyone from therapists and teachers to parents and young people will find the book invaluable.”
—Carol Bernstein, former president of the American Psychiatric Association


At the Broken PlacesAt the Broken Places: A Mother and Her Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces
Mary Collins and Donald Collins

“When one person in the family transitions, everyone transitions. At the Broken Places is a profoundly vulnerable and brave account of a son struggling to be seen by his mother, and a mother learning to see her child as he sees himself. A necessary and beautiful book.”
—Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent  


Nina Here Nor ThereNina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender
Nick Krieger

“In our media context, where only one kind of narrative about transition seems to be allowed, this alternate personal story can feel pretty revolutionary . . . He writes incredibly perceptively about issues like gender and class, approaching them through storytelling and subtle personal exploration instead of explaining through standard social justice language . . . Nina Here Nor There offers an honest, personal take on many aspects of identity...”


Just Add HormonesJust Add Hormones: An Insider’s Guide to the Transsexual Experience
Matt Kailey

“This is the perfect primer for those of us with transsexual friends and loved ones, those on their own path of self-discovery, and those who simply have questions about it all. For all of us, Kailey has the answers.”
—Michael Thomas Ford, author of My Big, Fat, Queer Life


Additional Resources


Sylvia Rivera

Donald Collins’s “The Great Work Continues: A Trans Boy Reflects on Transgender Day of Visibility”

“While Trans Day of Remembrance demands we recognize trans lives lost to aggression and hate, Trans Day of Visibility elevates our collective history (including said deaths), and calls us to consciously partake in movements to address physical, emotional, cultural, and political violence towards trans folks.”



Donald Collins’s “My Reflections on Transgender Day of Remembrance”

“Recognition of trans lives gets stronger when we communicate. Strengthening familial bonds, having friends we trust. Making workplaces, schools, doctor’s office and places of worship safe through education and funding. Talking about where gender meets race, sexual orientation, class, and ability. All this starts with conversations, showing up and being present.”


Trans People Are Not a Distraction

Laura A. Jacob’s “‘Trans Troops Disrupt Military Readiness’ and Other Busted Myths About Transgender People”

“But we will not be legislated into nonexistence. We will not accept faulty logic, or discriminatory speechifying, or even the violence used against us. We’ve been there, we’ve done that. We’ve seen the harm. Falling victim to bombast and falsehoods are what weakens our society, not diversity. And the trans community refuses to be the next scapegoat.”



Laura Erickson-Schroth and Laura A. Jacobs’s “Barred from Bathrooms, Barred from Rights: The Dragnet of Anti-Trans ‘Bathroom Bills’”

“The bulk of criticism about trans people using bathrooms is directed at trans women. It often focuses on their potentially being sexual predators who would target cisgender women and children. Fears of trans women as sexual predators stem from myths about trans women transitioning for sexual gratification.”

Transgender pride flag