Resources for Youth
These are resources for, or created by, transgender, non-binary or gender diverse youth and young adults. (articles, blog posts, non-fiction books, videos etc).
For more fiction books, see Fiction Books -- Teen, Youth & Young Adult in the Books/Poetry/Art/Bookstores section.
*** For support groups and supportive organisations for youth, see Community Resources for Youth - Support Groups & Organisations section under this In the Trans Community section.
DRAWING CREDIT: Miyu @cutymiyu
LGBTQ+ Equity Centre, Maryland, 2017. Video. (US)
"Why do people share their name and pronouns? How do you do it? This video is presented by the LGBT Equity Center at the University of Maryland, College Park with the gracious support of Learning Technology Strategy unit. It is a part of the broader campaign to support #TransTerps and can be a helpful tool to start a round of introductions using pronouns in a classroom or meeting.
More information can be found at http://trans.umd.edu "
LGBTQ students share their coming out stories
The Beacon. Video. 2019. (US)
"Six University of Portland students share what it was like to come out to their friends and family."
Seventeen (magazine). Video. 2017.
"Coming out and sharing who you are...can be very personal, can be very intimate, and it can just be you starting to live your life openly." 5 stories from 5 brave teens on coming out."
ARTICLES and BLOGS
Being transgender is not a choice
By Chris Mosier.
Graphic. Jul 2021. (US)
“Hall of fame triathlete, All-American duathlete, 2x national champ & 1st transgender man on Team USA.”
Coming out letters - templates
Skipping Stone. Calgary.
"Coming out can be scary, challenging, exciting, relieving and so much more all at once, and for some sharing this through writing is more comfortable. To give a place to start for those who might need, we’ve created these template letters."
Click to see:
Template - Parents & Caregivers
Template - Friends & Partners
It’s how I feel. It's not how you feel’: Four teens explain why they reject the gender binary
“The first time someone used my pronouns, I almost cried”
By Adrienne Matei. Illustrations by Agata Nowicka. June 2020
“A growing number of US kids are rejecting traditional gender identities in favor of being non-binary, but many feel misunderstood and face prejudice.”
By Cassie Brighter. My Trans Child - Transgender Teens. Jul 17, 2021.
"Remember, you’re in charge of what happens next."
Advice from a (transgender) mom to transgender teens.
Open letter to a transgender young person
By John Pavlovitz, March 2021.
“I just want you to know that I see you, that I am for you, that I am in your corner as you struggle to simply be and to breathe freely and to step fully into the dreams you have for the future. I want you to know that I am fighting for you today as I am able, and that I will keep fighting for you because you are so worth fighting for.”
John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from North Carolina. A 25-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice – both inside and outside faith communities. He is the author of A Bigger Table, Hope and Other Superpowers, Low, and Stuff That Needs to Be Said.“
Resources for parents
By Schuyler Bailar. Pinkmantaray.
Directed to trans kids who want to come out to their parents.
“To any trans kids reading this– Hiya! Before you dive into these resources, I just want you to take a deep breath and remind yourself that your identity is absolutely, completely valid — regardless of what your parents say about it, what they call you, or who they want you to be. You are you, and you know yourself best. Though I cannot promise that they will get to a place of complete understanding, I can promise that you will not always feel the crappy things you’re feeling right now if you do the intentional work to move forwards. And you’re already off to a great start: you’re here, looking for help. That’s so resourceful. You got this. I’m rooting for you.”
‘There’s no rulebook’: Letters to transgender and nonconforming youth from those who have been there
By Serena Sonoma. 2018.
Personal stories and advice from various transgender and nonconforming youth.
"We all know the challenges that come with childhood, as kids navigate school life, peer pressure and puberty, and growing up to find their place in the world.
Many transgender men, women and nonbinary people alike, can relate to having felt punished growing up for not sticking to the status quo of gender binary, because we were anything but cisgender, even if we did not have the language to understand it.
And although visibility has made great strides in the TGNC community, it is important that we keep our youth in mind. Many of us did not have others within our community to look up to. To ensure that never happens again, INTO interviewed 10 transgender and gender non-conforming people, asking what advice they would like to give to our youth on their journey."
BOOK LISTS (bibliographies)
Sexual orientation and gender identity: Recommended fiction and nonfiction resources for K-12 schools
By Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Public Library. 2nd edn. (Alberta)
This resource list has been compiled by Dr. Kristopher Wells (Edmonton Public Schools), Lindy Pratch (Edmonton Public Library), and Dr. Alvin Schrader [Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (ISMSS), University of Alberta]
Trans YA books by trans authors
By YA Pride. 2019 (US)
“…we wanted to publish a list of our favorite trans YA books written by authors who are trans and/or non-binary. (While I believe cisgender depictions of trans character can be great, at a moment like this, trans voices need to be uplifted.)
Transgender books: Definitive reading list (FTM/MTF/LGBTQ)
By Jackson Bird. Transgender Hub. Jan 2018.
NOTE: reading level and audience varies
“When I was in college I read through the entire trans section in the library which was mostly very academic gender study kind of things, but over the years I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on the trans book scene, so today I thought I would share some of my favourites.”
Books Jackson has read by trans-non-binary authors:
NOTE: reading level and audience varies
Ultimate trans book rec list!
By Jackson Bird. YouTube video. Aug 9, 2017.
“101! Memoirs! YA! Gender theory! History!”
NOTE: reading level and audience varies
BOOKS FOR TRANS YOUTH etc...
For personal stories and autobiographies, see the section AUTOBIOGRAPHIES under Books. Poetry. Art. Bookstores.
For fiction books, check the Fiction - Teens, Youth and Young Adults section under Books/Poetry/Art/Bookstores.
The ABC's of LGBT+ (gender identity book for teens)
By Ashley Mardell. 2016. Ages 12-16 yrs. (US)
The 21st Century has seen very positive movement for LGBT+ rights in the last few years – the overturning of DOMA, SCOTUS ruling in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, American transgender politicians elected to office and landmark moments such as Apple becoming the most valuable company in the world under the leadership of an openly gay CEO. We are living in a post-binary world where gender fluency and awareness of how people identify is essential.
Ashley Mardell, one of the most trusted voices on YouTube, presents a detailed look at all things LGBT+. Along with in-depth definitions, personal anecdotes, helpful infographics, resources, and more, Mardell’s book is proof it does get better every day in a world where people are empowered by information and understanding. In Mardell’s own words, "This book is also for allies and LGBT+ people simply looking to pack in some extra knowledge… a critical part of acceptance. Learning about new identities broadens our understanding of humanity, heightens our empathy, and allows us different, valuable perspectives.”
Whether you are a questioning teen, a teacher or parent looking for advice or anyone wanting to learn the language of respect, this book is an essential guide for you."
Gender identity workbook for teens: Practical exercises to navigate your exploration, support your journey, and celebrate who you are
By Andrew Maxwell Triska LCSW. Jan 2021. 12-16 years. (US)
Supportive exercises and advice for teens exploring gender identity
“Discover more about who you are and who you might want to become. Whether you’ve been pondering big feelings and questions about your gender, or you’re just a little curious about it, the Gender Identity Workbook for Teens is an interactive workbook that will walk you through what gender identity actually is. You’ll learn that there are endless ways to express yourself and that there’s no right or wrong way to identify.
Try out writing prompts, quizzes, and activities that will help you organize and understand your thoughts about your identity, along with practical advice for talking about your gender, determining new names and pronouns, and getting involved with supportive communities both in real life and online. "
--- Find the right language―Get clear, detailed information on gender identities across all spectrums, including nonbinary, nonconforming, cisgender, transgender, genderqueer, agender, and more.
---- Real examples―Read reassuring stories from real teens about their experiences with gender identity, plus a practical Q&A section for handling everyday scenarios you might encounter.
---- What gender really means―Learn about the different components of gender identity, and then explore how you feel about your own brain and body, and learn why it’s okay if you’re still figuring out who you are.
Take the first step on the path to discovering your authentic self. “
Andrew Triska, MSW, LCSW, is an individual, family, and couples therapist whose practice focuses on queer and trans clients. His experience includes a wide range of work in New York's hospitals, clinics, and nonprofits. He is proud to be a trans-identified clinician."
The gender quest workbook: A guide for teens and young adults exploring gender Identity
By Rylan Jay Testa, PhD, Deborah Coolhart, PhD and Jayme Peta, MA. 2015.
"This one-of-a-kind, comprehensive workbook will help you navigate your gender identity and expression at home, in school, and with peers.
If you are a transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) teen, you may experience unique challenges with identity and interpersonal relationships. In addition to experiencing common teen challenges such as body changes and peer pressure, you may be wondering how to express your unique identity to others. The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises, and activities from evidence-based therapies—such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—to help you address the broad range of struggles you may encounter related to gender identity, such as anxiety, isolation, fear, and even depression.
Despite outdated beliefs, gender no longer implies being simply male or female, but rather a whole spectrum of possibilities. This fun, engaging workbook is designed specifically for teens like you who want to explore the concept of gender and gender identity and expression—whether you already identify as TGNC or are simply questioning your gender identity.
The activities in this book will help you explore your identity internally, interpersonally, and culturally. And along the way, you’ll learn how to effectively express yourself and make informed decisions on how to navigate your gender with family, friends, classmates, and coworkers. The book also includes chapters on sex and dating, balancing multiple identities, and how to deal with stressful challenges when they arise.
Rylan Jay Testa, PhD: As a clinical psychologist, his research focuses on understanding and preventing self-destructive behaviors and health disparities, particularly among transgender and gender-nonconforming people. He is highly respected for his work in both the field of psychology and in the transgender and gender-nonconforming community.
Deborah Coolhart, PhD, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and an assistant professor at Syracuse University. Her ...work focuses on the strengths and challenges of transgender people and their loved ones, and she has published several journal articles and book chapters on transgender-related topics. Coolhart created a clinical team of master’s students who work specifically with transgender clients, their partners, and their families in a free university clinic—providing a valuable service to the transgender community in New York.
Jayme Peta, MA, MS, has been working with and for transgender and gender-nonconforming youth for over 15 years. Peta holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Naropa University, and is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University. Peta has given numerous trainings and workshops on working with transgender populations. Peta’s current research examines the childhood experiences of transgender adults.
This book has been selected as an Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Book Recommendation — an honor bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives."
Growing up trans: In our own words
Edited by Dr Lindsay Herriot and Kate Fry. Aug 2021. (CANADA)
"What does it mean to be young and transgender today? Growing Up Trans shares stories, essays, art and poetry created by trans youth aged 11 to 18. In their own words, the works illustrate the trans experience through childhood, family and daily life, school, their bodies and mental health. Together the collection is a story of the challenges, big and small, of being a young trans person. At the same time, it''s a toolkit for all young people, transgender or not, about what understanding, acceptance and support for the trans community looks like. In addition to the contributed works, there are questions and tips from experts in the field of transgender studies to challenge the reader on how to be a trans ally.
Growing Up Trans came out of a series of workshops held in Victoria, British Columbia, to bring together trans youth from across the country with mentors in the community."
How to understand your gender: A practical guide for exploring who you are
By Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker. Sept 2017. (UK)
”Have you ever questioned your own gender identity? Do you know somebody who is transgender or who identifies as non-binary? Do you ever feel confused when people talk about gender diversity?
This down-to-earth guide is for anybody who wants to know more about gender, from its biology, history and sociology, to how it plays a role in our relationships and interactions with family, friends, partners and strangers. It looks at practical ways people can express their own gender, and will help you to understand people whose gender might be different from your own. With activities and points for reflection throughout, this book will help people of all genders engage with gender diversity and explore the ideas in the book in relation to their own lived experiences.”
* For anyone who's ever wished they had a smart, kind, friend with whom they could calmly and safely discuss gender issues: this most excellent book is that kind of friend'. / - Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw
* As a trans masculine person [...] I identified with so much, over and over again. Not only did this validate my own journey but it offered me access to the joys and difficulties of others and I felt less alone. This book will travel with me, it's not a one off read, but a guide I can dip in and out of whenever I feel the need. / -- Wenn Lawson, author of Transitioning Together
* How to Understand Your Gender is a practical entry level guidebook for people who wish to challenge gender binarism, and should contribute to binarism's ongoing evolution. / -- Jane Haile ― New York Journal of Books
LGBTQ: The survival guide for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning teens
By Kelly Huegel Madrone. Sep 2018. Ages 13+.
“Fully revised and updated guide with frank, sensitive information for LGBTQ teens, their families, and their allies. LGBTQ is the indispensable resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning teens--and their allies. This fully revised and updated third edition includes current information on LGBTQ terminology, evolving understandings of gender identity and sexual identity, LGBTQ rights, and much more. Other advice covers topics such as coming out, confronting prejudice, getting support, making healthy choices, and thriving in school and beyond. Resources point the way to books and websites with more information, and quotes from LGBTQ teens (and allies) share stories of personal experiences. Created with input from PFLAG, GLSEN, GLAAD, and others, this book is for young people who are beginning to question their sexual orientation or gender identity, those who are ready to work for LGBTQ rights, and those who may need advice, guidance, or reassurance that they are not alone."
2018 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Honorable Mention
Life Isn't binary: On being both, beyond, and in-between
By Alex Iantaffi and Meg-john Barker. 2019.
"Much of society's thinking operates in a highly rigid and binary manner; something is good or bad, right or wrong, a success or a failure, and so on. Challenging this limited way of thinking, this ground-breaking book looks at how non-binary methods of thought can be applied to all aspects of life, and offer new and greater ways of understanding ourselves and how we relate to others.
Using bisexual and non-binary gender experiences as a starting point, this book addresses the key issues with binary thinking regarding our relationships, bodies, emotions, wellbeing and our sense of identity and sets out a range of practices which may help us to think in more non-binary, both/and, or uncertain ways.
A truly original and insightful piece, this guide encourages reflection on how we view and understand the world we live in and how we all bend, blur or break society's binary codes."
About the authors:
"Meg-John Barker is an internationally recognised and hugely influential writer, therapist and thinker on gender, sex, relationships and mental health.
Alex Iantaffi is an internationally recognized independent scholar, speaker and writer on issues of gender, disability, sexuality and mental health. They are also a licensed marriage and family therapist, sex therapist, somatic experiencing practitioner and supervisor."
By Schuyler Bailar. Sept 2021. (US)
"A coming-of-age story about transgender tween Obie, who didn't think being himself would cause such a splash. For fans of Alex Gino's George and Lisa Bunker's Felix Yz.
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."
Schuyler Bailar is an internationally renowned inspirational speaker, inclusion advocate, and diversity advisor. He holds a degree in cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology from Harvard University, where he was also the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division I men's team. He was one of the USA's top 15-year-old breast-strokers. By 17, he set a USA national age-group record. In college, he finished in the top 15% of all collegiate athletes in his event. Schuyler's difficult choice--to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being a champion swimmer as a female--was historic and timely. His story appeared everywhere from 60 Minutes to The Ellen Show. Schuyler's tireless advocacy of inclusion through public speaking and social media (@pinkmantaray) has earned him numerous notable honors. His corporate clients include Microsoft, Qualcomm, Capital One, American Eagle, Monte Nido & Affiliates, and many more.
A quick & easy guide to queer & trans identities
By Mady G. 2019. For all ages.
“In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and Jules Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!”
"Highly recommended for young readers! I picked this book up primarily because I've been following one of its artists, Mady G, online. I was delighted to read through it and find how thorough and well-made it is!
The book gently takes its readers through the concepts of gender identity, dysphoria, orientations, and more in language appropriate for younger readers. I would've really liked to have had this book when I was tween.
At the end there are even some interactive activities for the reader, so the whole experience of reading and even owning this guide is engaging. If you're a young LGBT+ kid or are looking for supplies to help LGBT+ students, this book will be perfect for you!"
The trans self-care workbook: A coloring book and journal for trans and non-binary people
By Theo Lorenz. 2020. Appropriate for all ages.
Theo is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns.. “If you’re transgender, non-binary, or any other gender under the wide and wonderful trans umbrella, this book is for you. A creative journal and workbook with a difference, this book combines coloring pages celebrating trans identity, beauty and relationships, with practical advice, journaling prompts and space for reflection to promote self-affirmation and wellbeing.
Drawing on CBT and mindfulness techniques, the book covers topics including body positivity and neutrality, coming out, euphoria and dysphoria, building new friendships and navigating relationships with your friends and family, and is the go-to resource for anybody who has ever felt the pressure to conform to a singular definition or narrative.
Theo Nicole Lorenz’s heart-warming and empowering illustrations of trans people will provide reassurance that you are never alone, and are a reminder to always treat yourself kindly.”
About the author: Theo Nicole Lorenz was born in 1985, weighing only six pounds and yelling a lot. Now many pounds larger and with more than ten delightful all-ages colouring books published, Theo still yells a lot, though mostly at the internet. They make coloring books and sometimes comics in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The trans teen survival guide
By Owl & Fox Fisher. 2018.
"'Frank, friendly and funny, the Trans Teen Survival Guide will leave transgender and non-binary teens informed, empowered and armed with all the tips, confidence and practical advice they need to navigate life as a trans teen.
Wondering how to come out to your family and friends, what it's like to go through cross hormonal therapy or how to put on a packer? Trans youth activists Fox and Owl have stepped in to answer everything that trans teens and their families need to know.
With a focus on self-care, expression and being proud of your unique identity, the guide is packed full of invaluable advice from people who understand the realities and complexities of growing up trans. Having been there, done that, Fox and Owl are able to honestly chart the course of life as a trans teen, from potentially life-saving advice on dealing with dysphoria or depression, to hilarious real-life awkward trans stories."
I wish I had a book like this when I was growing up' --- PARIS LEES
'Wonderful and ground-breaking' --- MERMAIDS
By Owl & Fox Fisher. Jun 2021.
"Explore what it means to be you with your own personal Trans Survival Workbook!
Combining essential tips and practical advice with quizzes, activities and reflective exercises, this interactive journal allows you to document your transition, engage with your feelings and improve your mental health. With coming-out letters, colouring pages, fun games and inspiring stories, it is the perfect toolkit for discovering who you are and what your gender identity, gender expression and pronouns mean to you.
Written by two of the world's leading trans activists, and a follow-up to the bestselling Trans Teen Survival Guide, this empowering and unique book will be with you every step of the way."
'An engaging and powerful book' SUSIE GREEN
'Empowering' GENDERED INTELLIGENCE
TransForm: Answers to the trans questions you have no idea how to ask (questions from Trans Everything book 1)
by Jamie Winters. Book. 2019.
"Do you need a lifeline when it comes to transgender topics?Navigating through conversations about trans subjects when you’re still a newbie is terrifying. Do you sound like an offensive simpleton? Which pronouns should you be using when? What do all these new words even mean?
Consider this book your trans friend willing to answer any question you have, no matter how offensive. There’s even a glossary in the back to help you navigate through conversations! In clear, simple language, you’ll learn things such as:
• What it’s like to transition and live as a trans person
• How to understand your own identity
• The difference between sexual orientation and gender identity
• What’s considered rude and polite in the trans community
• How to come out or respond to a loved one coming out
Written by a trans man who spoke at a TEDx event on gender identity and how it relates to finding yourself, TransForm is meant to be a reference for all. Whether you’re trans yourself and not sure where to start, someone who just learned someone they love is trans, or even if you’re just wanting to be a better ally, you’ll want to keep this book nearby for all your questions."
Where’s my book? A guide for transgender and gender non-conforming youth, their parents, & everyone else
By Linda Gromko, MD. 2015
“Linda Gromko, MD is a Board Certified Family Physician who has worked with the transgender community for nearly eighteen years. She explains the basics of gender identity, sexual orientation, puberty, puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and gender affirming surgeries. She shares years of her patients’ wisdom and practical information on getting through every day in the best way possible—from coming out to parents, to school issues, to coping with depression, to love and sex. Why is this book important? We know that transgender kids and their families need specialized information. Alarmingly, the suicide attempt rate among trans youth is close to half! This book is intended to give gender non-conforming kids some of the information they need to grow to be happy, productive, loving and loved. It’s intended to provide the information we need as parents, educators, and health care providers to do better with and for our kids.“
You and your gender identity: A guide to discovery
By Dara Hoffman-Fox. Foreword by Zinnia Jones, Sam Dylan Finch. 2017. (US)\
"Are you wrestling with questions surrounding your gender that just don’t seem to go away? Do you want answers to questions about your gender identity, but aren’t sure how to get started?
In this groundbreaking guide, Dara Hoffman-Fox, LPC—accomplished gender therapist and thought leader whose articles, blogs, and videos have empowered thousands worldwide—helps you navigate your journey of self-discovery in three approachable stages: preparation, reflection, and exploration.
In You and Your Gender Identity, you will learn:
* Why understanding your gender identity is core to embracing your full being
* How to sustain the highs and lows of your journey with resources, connection, and self-care
* How to uncover and move through your feelings of fear, loneliness, and doubt
* Why it’s important to examine your past through the lens of gender exploration
* How to discover and begin living as your authentic self
* What options you have after making your discoveries about your gender identity
This unique, interactive guide can help you answer the questions you’ve been asking yourself."
Dara's website: www.darahoffmanfox.com
Dara's video series: Conversations with a gender therapist
With Dr Dara Hoffman-Fox, LPC. Videos. 2014-present. "This is where I answer questions from those who are transgender, nonbinary, and gender questioning, as well as those who love them.
Dara Hoffman-Fox is a queer-identified gender therapist, writer, educator, and transgender rights advocate. Frequently serving as a subject-matter expert on transgender issues for the media, Dara is a prolific thought leader on the topic of gender identity whose articles and videos have empowered thousands worldwide. Dara provides educational resources through a blog, YouTube channel, social media networks, trainings and presentations, and her first publication, You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery.