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Reads for Transgender Day of Visibility

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Reads for Transgender Day of Visibility

trans visibility

This Sunday, March 31st, marks “International Transgender Day of Visibility.” Since 2009, this day has been an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments, struggles, and experiences of trans people throughout the world. Here are some new & notable books by and about trans people that you can check out using your Livingston Library card. (Descriptions provided by the publishers.)

i heard her call my name

I Heard Her Call My Name: A Memoir of Transition by Lucy Sante

For a long time, Lucy Sante felt unsure of her place. Born in Belgium, the only child of conservative working-class Catholic parents who transplanted their little family to the United States, she felt at home only when she moved to New York City in the early 1970s and found her people among a band of fellow bohemians. Some would die young, to drugs and AIDS, and some would become jarringly famous. Sante flirted with both fates, on her way to building an estimable career as a writer. But she still felt like her life a performance. She was presenting a façade, even to herself. Sante’s memoir braids together two threads of personal narrative: the arc of her life, and her recent step-by-step transition to a place of inner and outer alignment. Sante brings a loving irony to her account of her unsteady first steps; there was much she found she still needed to learn about being a woman after some sixty years cloaked in a man’s identity, in a man’s world. A marvel of grace and empathy, I Heard Her Call My Name parses with great sensitivity many issues that touch our lives deeply, of gender identity and far beyond.

In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life by Amy Schneider

An inspirational and bold memoir from the most successful woman ever to compete on Jeopardy!–and an exploration of what it means to ask questions of the world and of yourself. ANSWER: Who Is Amy Schneider? In eighth grade, Amy was voted “Most likely to appear on Jeopardy!” by her classmates. Decades later, this trailblazer finally got her chance. Not only did she walk away with $1.3 million while captivating the world with her impressive forty-game winning streak, but she made history and won an even greater prize–the joy of being herself on national television and blazing a trail for openly queer and transgender people around the world. Now, she shares her singular journey that led to becoming an unlikely icon and hero to millions. Her super power: Boundless curiosity and fearless questioning. In the Form of a Question explores some of the innumerable topics that have fascinated Amy throughout her life-books and music, Tarot and astrology, popular culture and computers, sex and relationships-but they all share the same purpose: to illustrate, and celebrate, the results of a lifetime spent asking, why?

Pageboy: A Memoir by Elliot Page

A groundbreaking coming-of-age memoir from the Academy Award-nominated actor Elliot Page. A generation-defining actor and one of the most famous trans advocates of our time, Elliot will now be known as an uncommon literary talent, as he shares never-before-heard details and intimate interrogations on gender, love, mental health, relationships, and Hollywood.

He / She / They: How We Talk About Gender and Why It Matters by Schuyler Bailar

Just a few years ago, Schuyler Bailar rose to national and international prominence when he became the first openly transgender athlete to compete on an NCAA Division 1 team in any sport. A top high school prospect, Schuyler had been recruited by Harvard for the women’s team, but after taking a gap year to address mental health and ultimately to transition, Schuyler swam instead for Harvard’s men’s team. Since then, Schuyler has become a go to expert on gender identity for the media and has given hundreds of talks on gender literacy and inclusion. In He/She/They, Bailar addresses these issues head on, such as why being transgender is not a choice, why pronouns are important, and what is biological sex. But this book is more than a book on allyship; many of Schuyler’s vast followers come to him for support; one of his most popular reels is speaking to a young trans person who asks, “does it get better?” Schuyler speaks to everyone, no matter where they are. 

Falling Back in Love With Being Human: Letters to Lost Souls by Kai Cheng Thom

Kai Cheng Thom grew up a Chinese Canadian transgender girl in a hostile world. As an activist, psychotherapist, conflict mediator, spiritual healer, and celebrated writer, she’s always pursued the same deeply personal mission: to embrace the revolutionary belief that every human being, no matter how hateful or horrible, is intrinsically sacred. But then Kai Cheng found herself in a crisis of faith, overwhelmed by the viciousness with which people treated each other, and barely clinging on to the values and ideals she’d built her life around: justice, hope, love, and healing. Rather than succumb to despair and cynicism, she gathered all her rage and grief and took one last leap of faith. Kai Cheng began writing letters to everyone she has trouble holding in her heart-those seemingly beyond saving. She wrote to dead people, exes, prositutes, johns, monsters, transphobes, and racists; to the fantasy man she still longs for, to the ones who hurt her, and to the ones who watched. In writing these love letters, Kai Cheng found herself not only rediscovering and deepening her faith in humanity, but falling back in love with being human.

risk it takes to bloom

The Risk it Takes to Bloom: On Life & Liberation by Raquel Willis

A passionate, powerful memoir by a trailblazing Black transgender activist, tracing her life of transformation and her work towards collective liberation. Born in Augusta, Georgia, to Black Catholic parents, Raquel spent years feeling isolated, even within a loving, close-knit family. There was little access to understanding what it meant to be queer and transgender. It wasn’t until she went to the University of Georgia that she found the LGBTQ+ community, fell in love, and explored her gender for the first time. Upon graduation, Raquel entered a career in journalism against the backdrop of the burgeoning Movement for Black Lives, intersectional feminism going mainstream, and unprecedented visibility of the trans community. After hiding her identity as a newspaper reporter, her increasing awareness of the epidemic of violence plaguing trans women of color and the heightened suicide of trans teens inspired her to come out publicly. In The Risk It Takes to Bloom, Raquel Willis recounts with passion and candor her experiences straddling the Obama and Trump eras, the possibility of transformation after tragedy, and how complex moments can push us all to take necessary risks and bloom toward collective liberation.

Transitions: A Mother’s Journey by Elodie Durand

When university biologist Anne Marbot learns that the 19-year-old she raised as “Lucie” is a transgender man named Alex, she’s overwhelmed by questions. How can this be? Who put these ideas in your head? What if you regret it? Am I overreacting? How will your grandparents react? Why didn’t I see it coming? Why is this so easy for others? Am I a bigot? What does gender really mean, anyway? How can I be the parent my child needs? It soon becomes clear that Alex is not the only one embarking on a journey of self-discovery. The road is not easy, and sometimes their relationship is bitterly strained. But Alex is sure of himself, and Anne is determined to be strong for his sake. With time, she too will be transformed, rediscovering her identity as a mother in profound new ways.

Raising Kids Beyond the Binary: Celebrating God’s Transgender and Gender Diverse Children by Jamie Bruesehoff

Drawing on the author’s experience as the mother of a transgender child and her years of advocacy work, this book helps Christian parents navigate the emotional, spiritual, and logistical landscape of raising a gender-diverse child. It paints a picture of who transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse young people are and what they need to thrive.

The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics edited by The Kao, Min Christensen, and David Daneman

Includes 29 creators’ tales of self-love and affirmation that detail their experiences with gender and identity. Originally published as a successful kickstrter campaign, this expanded edition includes comics by Dana Simpson (bestselling author of Phoebe and Her Unicorn), Aidyn Huynh (Snailords), Sage Coffey, Kyla Aiko, Coco Ouwerkerk, and many others. As editor The Kao writes in the book’s introduction, ‘My hope is that this collection will inspire anyone who may be struggling with their own identity and educate those who seek greater understanding.’

Joe, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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