Lists of LGBTQ-positive publications for children, teens, and adults
Children’s Books: Gender
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert
Every night, Bailey dreams about magical dresses: dresses made of crystals and rainbows, dresses made of flowers, dresses made of windows. . . . Unfortunately, when Bailey’s awake, no one wants to hear about these beautiful dreams. Quite the contrary. “You’re a BOY!” Mother and Father tell Bailey. “You shouldn’t be thinking about dresses at all.” Then Bailey meets Laurel, an older girl who is touched and inspired by Bailey’s imagination and courage. In friendship, the two of them begin making dresses together. And Bailey’s dreams come true!
A House for Everyone: A Story to Help Children Learn about Gender Identity and Gender Expression by Jo Hirst
At lunchtime, all of Tom’s friends gather at school to work together building their house. Each one of them has a special job to do, and each one of them has a different way of expressing their gender identity.
Be Who You Are by Jennifer Carr
This charming children’s story, written by a mom, tells of her own experience of raising and supporting her transgender child, and how she helped the school to support her as well.
From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea by Kai Cheng Thom
In this captivating, beautifully imagined picture book about gender, identity, and the acceptance of the differences between us, Miu Lan faces many questions about who they are and who they may be. But one thing’s for sure: no matter what this child becomes, their mother will love them just the same.
Gender Now Coloring Book by Maya Gonzalez
Gender is something relevant to all of us because we all express gender. You may or may not be transgender. You may or may not know a transgender child. The truth is that doesn’t matter. We are all on this planet together. GENDER NOW is meant to provide reflection and support unity by showing multiple genders standing together. It is a specific opportunity to create balance and awareness by including gender expressions that are under-represented in our current culture.
I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel
The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship by Jessica Walton
Introduces the youngest readers to understanding gender identity and transition in an accessible and heart-warming story about being true to yourself and being a good friend.
Meet Polkadot by Talcott Broadhead
Polkadot as well as Polkadot’s big sister Gladiola and best friend Norma Alicia, introduce readers to the challenges and beauty that are experienced by Polkadot as a non-binary, transgender kid.
Neither by Airlie Anderson
In Neither, you are either This or That. Bunny or Chick. But then a beautiful creature who is a mix of This and That, Bunny and Chick is born. They see themself as both. But they are told they are Neither. They are told there are not enough This or enough of That. So Neither leaves and finds happiness and acceptance in the Land of All where there are other beautiful creatures who are not just one thing.
Parts and Hearts: A Kids (and Grown-Ups) Guide to Transgender Transition by Jenson J. Hillenbrand
Helps readers understand transgender transformation, both male to female and female to male. Aimed at children between the ages of nine and twelve, parents can use it as a resource to explain the subject to their children in an age-appropriate manner as well as prepare themselves to answer the many questions children will likely have.
The Gender Wheel: A Story about Bodies and Gender for Every Body by Maya Gonzalez
This body positive book is a powerful opportunity for a supportive adult and child to see a wide range of bodies, understand the origins of the current binary gender system, how we can learn from nature to see the truth that has always existed and revision a new story that includes room for all bodies and genders. The Gender Wheel offers a nature-based, holistic non-western framework of gender in a kid-friendly way.
They She He Me: Free to Be! Paperback by Maya Gonzalez and Matthew SG
This book shows many gender presentations under each pronoun and invites even more. A go-to place to help keep the conversations alive, break down assumptions of who is “she” or “he” and expand beyond the binary to include “they” and more.
Who Are You?: The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee
This brightly illustrated children’s book provides a straightforward introduction to gender for anyone aged 5+. It presents clear and direct language for understanding and talking about how we experience gender: our bodies, our expression and our identity. An interactive three-layered wheel included in the book is a simple, yet powerful, tool to clearly demonstrate the difference between our body, how we express ourselves through our clothes and hobbies, and our gender identity.
Children’s Books: Inclusive Communities
A Church for All by Gayle E. Pitman
This simple, lyrical story celebrates a Sunday morning at an inclusive church that embraces all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. All are welcome at the church for all!
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss
With its message of tolerance and advocacy, this charming bunny book for kids explores issues of same sex marriage and democracy. Sweet, funny, and beautifully illustrated, this better Bundo book is dedicated to every bunny who has ever felt different.
A Is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
A rhythmic book that explains activism from A to Z.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.
King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland
When a grouchy queen tells her layabout son that it’s time for him to marry, he sighs, “Very well, Mother…. I must say, though, I’ve never cared much for princesses.”
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.
Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.
The Family Book by Todd Parr
All sorts of families are depicted in this book, including ones that can have two moms or two dads.
Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian
Two little worms fall in love and want to get married. Everyone wants to know who is going to wear the dress. This book is a sweet way to talk to the youngest students about gender, love, and what’s considered “normal.”
Children’s Books: Being Yourself
Be Who You Are by Todd Parr
Who better than Todd Parr to remind kids that their unique traits are what make them so special? With his signature silly and accessible style, Parr encourages readers to embrace all their unique qualities.
Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah Hoffman and Ian Hoffman
Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can’t wear “girl” clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress to school. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.
Jamie Is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way by Afsaneh Moradian
Jamie enters preschool and wants to play with all of the things. But classmates are not sure if Jamie is a boy or a girl based on their choices. The book challenges gender stereotypes and reminds adults and kids that toys are part of learning and imagination and gender should not determine what toys or roles are played with.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.
Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino
Morris is a little boy who loves using his imagination. But most of all, Morris loves wearing the tangerine dress in his classroom’s dress-up center. The children in Morris’s class don’t understand. Dresses, they say, are for girls. And Morris certainly isn’t welcome in the spaceship some of his classmates are building. Astronauts, they say, don’t wear dresses.
My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis
A story about a little boy named Dyson, who loves pink, sparkly things, and wears dresses as well as jeans.
Pinky and Rex and the Bully by James Howe
Pinky’s favorite color is pink, and his best friend, Rex, is a girl. Kevin, the third-grade bully, says that makes Pinky a sissy. Deep down, Pinky thinks Kevin is wrong, but he’s still worried. Does Pinky have to give up his favorite things, and worse, does he have to give up his best friend?
Pugdog by Andrea U’Ren
Mike and his pup are great friends. But Mike doesn’t know very much about dogs. Not only is Pugdog not a pug—Pugdog is not even a he, as Mike had thought all along, but a she! Mike feels obliged to give Pugdog a crash course on how to look and act the way a girl dog should. The only problem is Mike doesn’t know much about this subject either.
Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let’s draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can’t be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He’s blue!
The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein
Elmer is not like the other boy ducklings. While they like to build forts, he loves to bake cakes. While they like to play baseball, he wants to put on the halftime show. But when his father is wounded by a hunter’s shot, Elmer proves that the biggest sissy can also be the greatest hero.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Ferdinand is the world’s most peaceful—and beloved—little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. Leaf’s simple storytelling paired with Lawson’s pen-and-ink drawings make The Story of Ferdinand a true classic.
Children’s Books: Same-sex Parents
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Roy and Silo, two male penguins, unsuccessfully try to start a family until they are given an egg by a zoo- keeper and thus hatch their own daughter.
Donovan’s Big Day by Leslea Newman
Donovan’s two moms are getting married, and he can’t wait for the celebration to begin. After all, as ringbearer, he has a very important job to do. Any boy or girl with same-sex parents—or who knows a same-sex couple—will appreciate this picture book about love, family, and marriage.
Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer
A children’s book about a little girl with two daddies who is worried about her class’s upcoming Mother’s Day party, until her friends suggest she bring her whole family to the party.
The Princes and the Treasure by Jeffrey Miles
A children’s picture book that tells the story of two handsome princes who go on a quest to save a princess, but fall in love with each other, get married, and live happily ever after.
Children’s Books: LGBTQ+ History
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders
In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world.
Sewing the Rainbow: A Story about Gilbert Baker by Gayle E. Pitman
Set against the backdrop of San Francisco during the gay rights movement of the 1970s, Gilbert’s story unfolds just like the flag he created: in a riot of color, joy, and pride. Today the flag is everywhere, even in the small town where Gilbert grew up!
The Harvey Milk Story by Kari Krakow
A picture book biography of important gay-rights figure Harvey Milk.
A Guide to Gender: The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook (2nd edition) by Sam Killermann
A book about gender with no mention of the word “hegemony,” but plenty of references to Star Wars, The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek—with less of a focus on overwhelming scholarship and more of a focus on enjoyable learning. A couple hundred pages of gender exploration, social justice how-tos, practical resources, and fun graphics and comics, it offers clear, easily-digested, and practical explanations of one of the most commonly misunderstood things about people.
A Queer and Present Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today by Kate Bornstein
A stunningly original memoir of a nice Jewish boy who joined the Church of Scientology and left twelve years later, ultimately transitioning to a woman. A few years later, she stopped calling herself a woman and became famous as a gender outlaw. Wickedly funny and disarmingly honest, this is Bornstein’s most intimate book yet, encompassing her early childhood and adolescence, college at Brown, a life in the theater, three marriages and fatherhood, the Scientology hierarchy, transsexual life, LGBTQ politics, and life on the road as a sought-after speaker.
Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green
Combines candid autobiography with informed analysis to offer unique insight into the multiple challenges of the female-to-male transsexual experience, ranging from encounters with prejudice and strained relationships with family to the development of an FTM community and the realities of surgical sex reassignment.
Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt
When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But by the time Jonas and Wyatt were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt’s insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, to accept Wyatt’s transition to Nicole, and to undergo a wrenching transformation of their own, the effects of which would reverberate through their entire community.
Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-nonconforming Children by Diane Ehrensaft
Dr. Ehrensaft offers parents, clinicians, and educators guidance on both the philosophical dilemmas and the practical, daily concerns of working with children who don’t fit a “typical” gender mold. She debunks outmoded approaches to gender nonconformity that may actually do children harm. And she offers a new framework for helping each child become his or her own unique, most gender-authentic person.
Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us by Kate Bornstein
“I know I’m not a man . . . and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m probably not a woman, either. . . . . The trouble is, we’re living in a world that insists we be one or the other.” With these words, Kate Bornstein ushers readers on a funny, fearless, and wonderfully scenic journey across the terrains of gender and identity. On one level, Gender Outlaw details Bornstein’s transformation from heterosexual male to lesbian woman, from a one-time IBM salesperson to a playwright and performance artist. But this particular coming-of-age story is also a provocative investigation into our notions of male and female, from a self-described nonbinary transfeminine diesel femme dyke who never stops questioning our cultural assumptions.
Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents (2nd edition) by Irwin Krieger
Going through puberty and adolescence presents unwelcome changes for many transgender youth, and this book provides advice to parents of transgender teens to help them understand what their child is experiencing and feeling during this challenging time.
My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life with a Crossdresser by Helen Boyd
Author Helen Boyd is a happily married woman whose husband enjoys sharing her wardrobe. Boyd gives a thoughtful account of their relationship (as well as the relationships of other crossdressers she knows) in this forthright and revelatory book.
On the Couch with Dr. Angello: A Guide to Raising and Supporting Transgender Youth by Dr. Michele Angello
When a single child comes out, their entire family will transition, along with their community. On The Couch With Dr. Angello is an eye-opening guide to navigating social spaces when most don’t quite understand the process of changing genders. Dr. Angello offers emotional help and unwavering support as parents with trans identified children ride the waves of grief, acceptance and eventual healing.
PFLAG Publication – Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All
Are you ready to be an advocate for safe schools for all kids? Start here, with this publication created to give you the tools and resources you need to make sure that all kids have access to education in a safe and supportive environment. For too many of our children, attending school can be a frightening experience. And for parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, and other trusted and concerned adults, providing a safe environment for young people can seem like a daunting task, especially when dealing with the issue of how to make not only classrooms, but all school facilities, more welcoming for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students.
PFLAG Publication – Straight for Equality: Guide to Being a Straight Ally
This guide will help you understand how straight allies fit in the effort to achieve equality for all. Learn more about what it means to be a straight ally and get some great tips and tools to being more supportive of your LGBT friends, family, and colleagues.
PFLAG Publication – Straight for Equality: Guide to Being a Trans Ally
This publication, from our Straight for Equality program, will help you learn more about what transgender means, develop competency around talking about the issue, become better informed about the challenges that many trans people face, and know specific ways that you can be a strong trans ally.
Queerly Beloved: A Love Story Across Genders by Diane Anderson-Minshall and Jacob Anderson-Minshall
After fifteen years as a lesbian couple, Jacob came out to Diane as a transgender man. Eight years later, the couple not only remains together, they still identify as queer, still work in LGBT media, and remain part of the LGBT community. The authors delve into their relationship to reveal the trials and tribulations they have faced along the way.
Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron
A frank, heartfelt, and brutally funny account of Duron and her family’s adventures of distress and happiness raising a gender-creative son.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community.
She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life with a Transgender Husband by Helen Boyd
As Boyd struggles to understand the nature of marriage, passion, and love, she shares her confusion and anger, providing a fascinating observation of the ways in which relationships are gendered, and how we cope, or don’t, with the emotional and sexual pressures that gender roles can bring to our marriages and relationships.
She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
She’s Not There was one of the first works to present trans experience from the perspective of a literary novelist, opening a door to new understanding of love, sex, gender, and identity. Boylan inspired readers to ask the same questions she asked herself: What is it that makes us—ourselves? What does it mean to be a man, or a woman? How much could my husband, or wife, change—and still be recognizable as the one I love?
Stone Butch Blues: A Novel by Leslie Feinberg
Published in 1993, this brave, original novel is considered to be the finest account ever written of the complexities of a transgender existence.
Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
A father for six years, a mother for ten, and for a time in between, neither, or both, Boylan has seen parenthood from both sides of the gender divide. When her two children were young, Boylan came out as transgender, and as she transitioned from a man to a woman and from a father to a mother, her family faced unique challenges and questions. In this thoughtful, tear-jerking, hilarious memoir, Boylan asks what it means to be a father, or a mother, and to what extent gender shades our experiences as parents.
The Gender Book by Hunter Rook and Jay Mays
An online book that explains gender in an inclusive and comprehensive way; accessible for any age.
The Last Time I Wore a Dress by Daphne Scholinski
This memoir recounts the author’s three years spent in mental institutions for, among other things, Gender Identity Disorder. Because she was a tomboy who wore jeans and T-shirts and didn’t act enough like a girl, her treatment, in addition to talk therapy, isolation, and drugs, required her to wear makeup, walk with a swing in her hips, and pretend to be obsessed with boys.
The Right to Be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools (2nd edition) by Stuart Biegel
With ongoing battles over transgender rights, bullying cases in the news almost daily, and marriage equality only recently the law of the land, the information in The Right to Be Out could not be more timely or welcome. In an updated second edition that explores the altered legal terrain of LGBT rights for students and educators, Stuart Biegel offers expert guidance on the most challenging concerns in this fraught context. The Right to Be Out, informed by the latest research-based findings, advances the proposition that a safe and supportive educational environment, built upon shared values and geared toward a greater appreciation of our pluralistic society, can lead to a better world for everyone.
The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals by Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper
A comprehensive guidebook that, through research and interviews, provides insight on how to raise transgender and gender nonconforming children with love and compassion.
The Transgender Teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-binary Teens by Stephanie A. Brill and Lisa Kenney
This comprehensive guidebook helps to bridge that divide by exploring the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising a teenager who may be transgender, non-binary, gender-fluid or otherwise gender-expansive. Combining years of experience working in the field with extensive research and personal interviews, the authors cover pressing concerns relating to physical and emotional development, social and school pressures, medical considerations, and family communications.
This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life by Dannielle Owens-Reid
Written in an accessible Q&A format, here, finally, is the go-to resource for parents hoping to understand and communicate with their gay child.
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community by Laura Erickson-Schroth (editor)
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a revolutionary resource-a comprehensive, reader-friendly guide for transgender people, with each chapter written by transgender or genderqueer authors. Inspired by Our Bodies, Ourselves, the classic and powerful compendium written for and by women, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is widely accessible to the transgender population, providing authoritative information in an inclusive and respectful way and representing the collective knowledge base of dozens of influential experts. Each chapter takes the reader through an important transgender issue, such as race, religion, employment, medical and surgical transition, mental health topics, relationships, sexuality, parenthood, arts and culture, and many more.
Trans-Kin: A Guide for Family and Friends of Transgender People (Volume 1) edited by Eleanor A. Hubbard and Cameron T. Whitley
An anthology of stories by friends, family, and allies of transgender people about their experiences.
Trans Kids and Teens: Pride, Joy, and Families in Transition by Elijah C. Nealy
A therapist and former deputy executive director of New York City’s LGBT Community Center, and himself a trans man, Elijah Nealy has written the first-ever comprehensive guide to understanding, supporting, and welcoming trans kids. Covering everything from family life to school and mental health issues, as well as the physical, social, and emotional aspects of transition, this book is full of best practices to support trans kids.
Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue by Nicholas Teich
Introduces many topics surrounding transgender people, including the psychological, physical, and social processes transgender people undergo; the unique experiences of transgender people; and the complexities of gender.
Transgender Family Law: A Guide to Effective Advocacy by Jennifer L. Levi (editor)
This is a must-have, practical guide for attorneys interested in becoming effective advocates for their clients. It is also a valuable resource to consult for any transgender person who is forming, expanding, or dissolving a family relationship.
Transgender Employment Experiences: Gendered Perceptions and the Law by Kyla Bender-Baird
Brings together the workplace experiences of transgender people with an assessment of current policy protections, using personal interviews, legal case histories, and transgender theory.
Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (2nd edition) by Susan Stryker
Covering American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today, Transgender History takes a chronological approach to the subject of transgender history, with each chapter covering major movements, writings, and events. Chapters cover the transsexual and transvestite communities in the years following World War II; trans radicalism and social change, which spanned from 1966 with the publication of The Transsexual Phenomenon, and lasted through the early 1970s; the mid-’70s to 1990-the era of identity politics and the changes witnessed in trans circles through these years; and the gender issues witnessed through the ’90s and ’00s.
Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman by Leslie Feinberg
Feinberg (author of Stone Butch Blues) examines historical notions of gender, how they have shifted over time, and how societies that celebrated gender creativity and variance were structured.
Transgender Workplace Diversity: Policy Tools, Training Issues, and Communication Strategies for HR and Legal Professionals by Jillian T. Weiss
Explanation and how-to for HR and legal professionals on transgender policy development, training and communication strategies for the workplace.
Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children by Rachel Pepper
A collection of stories by mothers of trans* children about their experiences with their child’s gender transition.
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (2nd edition) by Julia Serano
In the updated second edition of Whipping Girl, Julia Serano, a transsexual woman whose supremely intelligent writing reflects her diverse background as a lesbian transgender activist and professional biologist, shares her powerful experiences and observations—both pre- and post-transition—to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole.
Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child by Michael LaSala
Through a qualitative, multicultural study of 65 gay and lesbian children and their parents, Michael LaSala, a leading expert on coming out, outlines effective, practice-tested interventions for families in transition. His research reveals surprising outcomes, such as learning that a child is gay can improve familial relationships, including father-child relationships, even if a parent reacts strongly or negatively to the revelation.
For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home by Keith Boykin (editor)
This book addresses longstanding issues of sexual abuse, suicide, HIV/AIDS, racism, and homophobia in the African American and Latino communities, and more specifically among young gay men of color. The book tells stories of real people coming of age, coming out, dealing with religion and spirituality, seeking love and relationships, finding their own identity in or out of the LGBT community, and creating their own sense of political empowerment. For Colored Boys is designed to educate and inspire those seeking to overcome their own obstacles in their own lives.
The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes by Diane Ehrensaft
Dr. Ehrensaft explains the interconnected effects of biology, nurture, and culture to explore why gender can be fluid, rather than binary. As an advocate for the gender affirmative model and with the expertise she has gained over three decades of pioneering work with children and families, she encourages caregivers to listen to each child, learn their particular needs, and support their quest for a true gender self.
Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey by Betty Degeneres
“Mom, I’m gay.” With three little words, gay children can change their parents’ lives forever. Yet at the same times it’s a chance for those parents to realize nothing, really, has changed at all; same kid, same life, same bond of enduring love.
My Daughter He: Transitioning With Our Transgender Children by Candace Waldron
Both a story and a resource, this book was written by a mother reflecting on her own difficult journey to accept that her beloved daughter longed to be a boy. Waldron explores the labyrinthine path many parents travel: supporting their child’s authentic self-expression while experiencing deep-seated emotions of their own.
Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism by Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz (editors)
This book documents the efforts of LGBT Latina/o activists. Comprising essays and oral history interviews that present the experiences of fourteen activists across the United States and in Puerto Rico, the book offers a new perspective on the history of LGBT mobilization and activism. The activists discuss subjects that shed light not only on the organizations they helped to create and operate, but also on their broad-ranging experiences of being racialized and discriminated against, fighting for access to health care during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and struggling for awareness.
PFLAG Publication – Our Children: Questions and Answers for Families of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender-expansive, and Queer Youth and Adults
An update to the perennial favorite PFLAG publication, Our Daughters and Sons, Our Children offers a fresh eye for families and others about what to do when a loved ones comes out. Full of useful knowledge, helpful tips, expert opinions and first-person stories, Our Children – which has a focus on sexual orientation and gender expression – is a must read for anyone looking to learn more about how to support LGBTQ loved ones…or looking for support for themselves. (Spanish translated publication of Our Daughters and Sons)
PFLAG Publication – Our Trans Loved Ones: Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People Who are Transgender and Gender Expansive
Our Trans Loved Ones is a brand-new, updated resource. Written by PFLAG staff members, and created with the help of content experts, reviewers, and PFLAGers with experience to share, it is full of information, first-person stories, and expert input geared to those who have a loved one who has come out as trans or gender expansive. (Spanish translated publication)
Straight Parents, Gay Children by Robert A. Bernstein
Written in 1996 and updated in 2003, this is Bernstein’s account of coming to terms with his daughter’s homosexuality and how the experience has enriched his life. The book acts as a guide for parents as they help their LGBT children prepare for others’ reactions to their sexuality. It has earned plaudits from the likes of Betty DeGeneres, Charles Harmon, and the Washington Blade, as well as a generation of parents and families.
The Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out by Robb Forman Dew
Dew, an American Book Award winner, recalls the moment when her son Stephen told her he was gay and chronicles the journey she and her family made from confusion to commitment.
Two Spirits, One Heart: A Mother, Her Transgender Son, and Their Journey to Love and Acceptance by Marsha Aizumi
In this first of its kind, illuminating new book, PFLAG mother, educator and LGBT activist Marsha Aizumi shares her compelling story of parenting a young woman who came out as a lesbian, then transitioned to male. The book chronicles Marsha’s personal journey from fear, uncertainty, and sadness to eventual unconditional love, acceptance, and support of her child who struggled to reconcile his gender identity.
When I Knew by Robert Trachtenberg
A collection of smart, hilarious, and often poignant stories about that revelation for all gay men and women: when they first knew. In this gorgeously illustrated, cleverly designed, and colorful book, acclaimed fashion and celebrity photographer Robert Trachtenberg brings humor and style to the EUREKA! moments of more than eighty contributors.
George by Alex Gino
A beautiful story about George, a transgender girl who teams up with her classmate to show her entire class—and the world—who she really is for the first time.
If You Believe in Mermaids…Don’t Tell by A. A. Philips
Todd Winslow has just finished seventh grade. He has always struggled with his own identity and what it means to be a boy, being perpetually measured against what his father views as the ‘perfect son.’ Philips presents a difficult gender issue to readers in a delicate manner. The target audience is those who are just coming into their own and trying to define their own personal identity.
Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
From the same folks that created What Makes a Baby, this is a groundbreaking book that tackles sex education for young children in an accessible way that is also inclusive of trans, queer, and intersex identities, as well as different races, abilities, and so much more.
The Other Boy by M. G. Hennessey
For the past three years, Shane, now in sixth grade, has been living with his mom in L.A., where he has good friends and a crush, is a star on the baseball team, and spends his free time working on his sci-fi graphic novel. However, Shane is dealing with issues in his private life that his schoolmates know nothing about: Shane was assigned female at birth, and his dad still acts like Shane is just going through a phase, and refuses to accept Shane’s gender identity. When a classmate outs Shane to the entire school, he has a lot more to worry about than baseball regionals.
The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag
In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifter. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted…and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family…and be truly himself.
What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth
A revolutionary book to answer the question, “Where do babies come from?” that is modern and inclusive of all kinds of families and all kinds of kids.
Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen.
Freak Show by James St. James
Meet Billy Bloom, new student at the ultra-white, ultra-rich, ultra-conservative Dwight D. Eisenhower Academy and drag queen extraordinaire. Actually, drag queen does not begin to describe Billy and his fabulousness. Any way you slice it, Billy is not a typical seventeen-year-old, and the Bible Belles, Aberzombies, and Football Heroes at the academy have never seen anyone quite like him before. But thanks to the help and support of one good friend, Billy’s able to take a stand for outcasts and underdogs everywhere in his own outrageous, over-the-top, sad, funny, brilliant, and unique way.
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance.
GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel
Frank information and advice for teens who are questioning their sexuality or have already come out. Topics include coming out, getting support, and the current LGBTQ rights movement.
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?
Hello Cruel Word: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein
A one-of-a-kind guide to staying alive outside the box, Hello, Cruel World is a much-needed unconventional approach to life for those who want to stay on the edge, but alive. Hello, Cruel World features a catalog of 101 alternatives to suicide that range from the playful (moisturize!), to the irreverent (shatter some family values), to the highly controversial. Designed to encourage readers to give themselves permission to unleash their hearts’ harmless desires, the book has only one directive: “Don’t be mean.” It is this guiding principle that brings its reader on a self-validating journey, which forges wholly new paths toward a resounding decision to choose life.
How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity by Michael Cart, et al.
Poised between the past and the future are the stories of now. In nontraditional narratives, short stories, and brief graphics, tales of anticipation and regret, eagerness and confusion present distinctively modern views of love, sexuality, and gender identification. Together, they reflect the vibrant possibilities available for young people learning to love others—and themselves—in today’s multifaceted and quickly changing world.
I am J by Cris Beam
J had always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was: a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible — from his parents, from his friends, from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding — it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.
Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because now she has to move out of her apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her. Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door to her new place. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. Then Elle discovers that Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. Elle’s head and her heart explode; her world is turned upside down. But when an accident nearly takes Frank’s life, Elle must search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world.
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
A fictional story about the friendship between Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy struggling with Bipolar Disorder.
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female name, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change: Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives?
Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl, but it’s a shock to everyone when she cuts her hair short, buys some men’s clothes, and announces she’d like to be called by a new name, Grady. Although Grady is happy about his decision to finally be true to himself, everybody else is having trouble processing the news.
PFLAG Publication – Be Yourself: Questions and Answers for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Youth
This publication offers a supportive and understanding approach to today’s most common questions and concerns from youth regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. With youth coming out – and disclosing – at younger and younger ages, Be Yourself has never been more important. The publication also includes an up-to-date list of resources, including hotline numbers, other organizations, and more.
Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke
A comprehensive guide for LGBTQ teens about issues ranging from coming out to relationships to sex, written by two well-known Queer authors.
Rethinking Normal: A Memoir in Transition by Katie Rain Hill
Katie Rain Hill realized very young that a serious mistake had been made; she was a girl who had been born in the body of a boy. Suffocating under her peers’ bullying and the mounting pressure to be “normal,” Katie tried to take her life at the age of eight years old. After several other failed attempts, she finally understood that “Katie”—the girl trapped within her—was determined to live. In this first-person account, Katie reflects on her pain-filled childhood and the events leading up to the life-changing decision to undergo gender reassignment as a teenager.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Now a major motion picture Love, Simon, sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight.
Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen by Arin Andrews
Seventeen-year-old Arin Andrews shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender reassignment as a high school student in this winning memoir.
The Art of Being Normal: A Novel by Lisa Williamson
A young adult novel about two transgender teens who figure out how to navigate life with help from each other.
The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities edited by David Levithan and Billy Merrell
Written by a variety of LGBTQ teens and young adults, this anthology of narratives and stories describes many of the possible experiences of growing up as an LGBTQ person.
Religion & Faith
PFLAG Publication – Be Not Afraid: Help is on the Way! Straight for Equality in Faith Communities
This publication aims to move the way we understand our religious beliefs and our relationships with LGBTQ people – and support for equality – away from the either/or, “love the sinner, hate the sin” framework and to a place where people can try to understand that you can be a person of faith, loyal to your religion’s teachings, and someone who supports their LGBTQ friends and family.
PFLAG Publication – Faith in Our Families: Parents, Families, and Friends Talk about Faith, Sexual Orientation, and Gender Identity
Discovering that a loved one is LGBTQ+ can pose new questions about your faith and may prompt you to re-evaluate beliefs that you previously took for granted. By using personal experiences, this publication provides examples for reconciling your faith with the knowledge that a loved one is LGBTQ+.
Those 7 References: A Study of 7 References to Homosexuality in the Bible by John F. Dwyer
This book is meant to add another voice to the ongoing discussion of the place of homosexuality and homosexual relationships in the experience of the Church. The expectation and dream of this work is to give voice and hope to those who have been abused by the misuse of scripture, allowing God’s voice to be heard in these passages in ways that have been silenced for many generations.
UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question by John Shore
A combination of personal essays by LGBT-identified Christians and essays by Shore about the importance of reconciling homosexuality and Christianity.
What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality by Daniel Helminiak
Biblical scholars analyze the Bible, especially the passages often used to condemn homosexuality, to demonstrate that homosexuality and Christianity are not as at odds as many believe.