We suggest: Transgender Awareness Week

By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor the lives and legacies of trans people, the pioneers and the everyday neighbors, who have passed away, most often through violence.

A notable and sudden passing this year was Monica Roberts, a Black trans woman who was better known as the TransGriot. Vocal on social media, she was an award-winning writer and trans human rights advocate. For over a decade, Roberts ran the blog TransGriot and dedicated it to sharing the news and stories that impact the Black trans community.

This week’s list is an invitation to learn about trans identities and experience the lives of trans people and their families in their own words. Oak Park Public Library also has a dedicated Transgender Resource Collection where you can find these books and more! Also, find titles and resources to help start conversations about gender identity with kids »

Transgender identity & personal narratives

A Quick & Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G. & J.R. Zuckerberg

Why you should try it: The Quick & Easy Guide series is great for exploring new concepts with fun art, simple phrasing, and no judgement. 

Description: Complemented by educational worksheets and helpful examples, a comics-illustrated guide to queer and transgender life covers essential topics ranging from sexuality and gender identity to coming out and navigating gender-diverse relationships.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

She, He, They, Me by Robyn Ryle

Why you should try it: A well-researched and accessible choose-your-own-adventure book for exploring gender. 

Description: If you’ve ever questioned the logic of basing an entire identity around what you have between your legs, it’s time to embark on a daring escape outside of the binary box… Open your eyes to what it means to be a boy or a girl—and above and beyond!

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Trans Power by Juno Roche

Why you should try it: Conversation leads to understanding. Using them as a frame, this book explores the strength and resilience of being trans. 

Description: In this radical and emotionally raw book, Juno Roche pushes the boundaries of trans representation by redefining ‘trans’ as an identity with its own power and strength, that goes beyond the gender binary. This book highlights the diversity of trans identities and experiences with regard to love, bodies, sex, race, and class, and urges trans people—and the world at large—to embrace a ‘trans’ identity as something that offers empowerment and autonomy.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand/Libby (ebook)

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

Why you should try it: Janet Mock is a trailblazer and a media powerhouse. If you’ve already read this one, you should try Surpassing Certainty.

Description: A journalist and activist who was profiled in a 2011 Marie Claire feature outlines bold perspectives on the realities of being young, multi-racial, economically challenged and transgender in today’s America, recounting her disadvantaged youth and decision to undergo gender reassignment surgery at the age of 18 before pursuing a career and falling in love.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook), Media on Demand/Libby (ebook)

Disintegrate/Dissociate by Arielle Twist

Why you should try it: This collection is haunting and beautiful, tender and resilient. 

Description: In these spare yet powerful poems, Twist explores, with both rage and tenderness, the parameters of grief, trauma, displacement, and identity. Weaving together a past made murky by uncertainty and a present that exists in multitudes, she poetically navigates through what it means to be an Indigenous trans woman, discovering the possibilities of a hopeful future and a transcendent, beautiful path to regaining softness.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

My Sister by Selenis Leyva & Marizol Leyva

Why you should try it: This memoir of sisters is all about love and acceptance. 

Description: This memoir, written by two sisters who alternate chapters, describes how the younger sibling struggled with her identity and transitioned to a trans woman and activist with the help of her sister’s unwavering support.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand/Libby (ebook)

I Hope We Choose Love by Kai Cheng Thom

Why you should try it: Kai Cheng Thom is a force who will make you believe in the power of radical softness.

Description: In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

About Dontaná

Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.

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