Spotlight on Transgender Literature

Highlights from Strand’s LGBTQ+ table

This week, President Trump banned transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. Strand believes that discrimination is not acceptable anywhere. Below, we have compiled a list of fiction and nonfiction transgender stories from our LGBTQIA+ table on the main floor. Trans rights are human rights, and a cis-normative, trans-exclusionary outlook is the only thing that is a burden.

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1. Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano

Julia Serano’s powerful updated second edition of her 2007 book is part gender theory, part personal biography. In it, she discusses how trans discrimination has roots in sexism and how feminist and trans activists can embrace notions of femininity.

2. I am J by Cris Beam

J (named Jennifer at birth) is a boy in a girl’s body. As he gets older his body matches who he is inside less and less. Misunderstood by his friends and family, J finally decides to take steps to becoming who he truly is, changing schools, taking testosterone, and confronting his greatest fears on his journey to becoming himself.

3. At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces by Mary Collins & Donald Collins

In this dual memoir, mother and son Mary and Donald share their conflicting perspectives on Donald’s transition. While Donald wanted to align his body with who he was inside, Mary was reluctant to allow her son to change his body, believing she was losing a daughter. Deeply moving and informative, At the Broken Places shows the power of love in a time of transition.

4. Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

In her insightful memoir, Janet Mock discusses the difficulties of growing up trans and multiracial. As she pushes toward self-realization, she carves out a space for herself in a society that challenges queer people of color in every capacity.

5. Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

When Jazz was five, her loving and supportive parents allowed her to transition into life as a girl. In her touching memoir, Jazz shares her experience with discrimination and public scrutiny and how she became the wise teen she is today.

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