Trans people in Britain today have become a culture war 'issue'. Despite making up less than one per cent of the country's population, they are the subjects of a toxic and increasingly polarised 'debate' which generates reliable controversy for newspapers and talk shows. This media frenzy conceals a simple fact: that we are having the wrong conversation, a conversation in which trans people themselves are reduced to a talking point and denied a meaningful voice.
In this powerful new book, Shon Faye reclaims the idea of the 'transgender issue' to uncover the reality of what it means to be trans in a transphobic society. In doing so, she provides a compelling, wide-ranging analysis of trans lives from youth to old age, exploring work, family, housing, healthcare, the prison system and trans participation in the LGBTQ+ and feminist communities, in contemporary Britain and beyond.
The Transgender Issue is a landmark work that signals the beginning of a new, healthier conversation about trans life. It is a manifesto for change, and a call for justice and solidarity between all marginalised people and minorities. Trans liberation, as Faye sees it, goes to the root of what our society is and what it could be; it offers the possibility of a more just, free and joyful world for all of us.
Trans Britain: Our Journey From The Shadows
By Christine Burns
Over the last five years, transgender people have seemed to burst into the public eye: Time declared 2014 a ‘trans tipping point’, while American Vogue named 2015 ‘the year of trans visibility’. From our television screens to the ballot box, transgender people have suddenly become part of the zeitgeist.
This apparently overnight emergence, though, is just the latest stage in a long and varied history. The renown of Paris Lees and Hari Nef has its roots in the efforts of those who struggled for equality before them, but were met with indifference – and often outright hostility – from mainstream society.
Trans Britain chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today: activists, film-makers, broadcasters, parents, an actress, a rock musician and a priest, among many others. Here is everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community, but never knew how to ask.
Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships
By Juno Roche
In this frank, funny and poignant book, transgender activist Juno Roche discusses sex, desire and dating with leading figures from the trans and non-binary community. Calling out prejudices and inspiring readers to explore their own concepts of intimacy and sexuality, the first-hand accounts celebrate the wonder and potential of trans bodies and push at the boundaries of how society views gender, sexuality and relationships. Empowering and necessary, this collection shows all trans people deserve to feel brave, beautiful and sexy.
Gender Explorers: Our Stories of Growing Up Trans and Changing the World
By Juno Roche
In this life-affirming, heartening and refreshing collection of interviews, young trans people offer valuable insight and advice into what has helped them to flourish and feel happy in their experience of growing up trans.
"I believe that children who are questioning and exploring their gender are the gender bosses that we all so desperately need. I believe that they are our future."
Speaking openly and candidly about their gender, their experiences of coming out, their aspirations, and their fears - accompanied by interviews and support from their parents and carers - this book is beautiful proof of the potential for trans children to live rich and fulfilling lives when given the support and love they need.
By Travis Alabanza
After someone threw a burger at them and shouted a transphobic slur, performance artist Travis Alabanza became obsessed with burgers. How they are made, how they feel, and smell. How they travel through the air. How the mayonnaise feels on your skin.
Burgerz is the climax of their obsession – exploring how trans and gender non-conforming bodies exist and how, by them reclaiming an act of violence, we can address our own complicity.
Beyond the Gender Binary
By Alok Vaid-Menon
In Beyond the Gender Binary, spoken word poet Alok Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full colour. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. The only limit is your imagination.
The Gender Games: The Problem with Men and Women, from Someone Who Has Been Both
By Juno Dawson
'It's a boy!' or 'It's a girl!' are the first words almost all of us hear when we enter the world. Before our names, before we have likes and dislikes - before we, or anyone else, has any idea who we are. And two years ago, as Juno Dawson went to tell her mother she was (and actually, always had been) a woman, she started to realise just how wrong we've been getting it.
Gender isn't just screwing over trans people, it's messing with everyone. From little girls who think they can't be doctors to teenagers who come to expect street harassment. From exclusionist feminists to 'alt-right' young men. From men who can't cry to the women who think they shouldn't. As her body gets in line with her mind, Juno tells not only her own story, but the story of everyone who is shaped by society's expectations of gender - and what we can do about it.
Featuring insights from well-known gender, feminist and trans activists including Rebecca Root, Laura Bates, Gemma Cairney, Anthony Anaxagorou, Hannah Witton, Alaska Thunderfuck and many more, The Gender Games is a frank, witty and powerful manifesto for a world in which everyone can truly be themselves.
By Munroe Bergdorf
Transitioning is an alignment of the invisible and the physical. It is truth rising to the surface. It is one of the most fundamental aspects of the human condition a part of our experience as a conscious being, no matter who we are. As time goes on, we all develop as people. None of us ever becomes someone else entirely – regardless of how we identify – but nor do we stay the same forever. We all transition. It's what binds us, not what separates us.
In Transitional, activist and writer Munroe Bergdorf draws on her own experience and theory from key experts, change-makers and activists to reveal just how deeply ingrained transitioning is in human experience. This is a book to help bring us closer to a shared consciousness: a powerful guide to how our differences can be harnessed as a tool to heal, build community, and construct a better society.
Beyond Magenta - Transgender Teens Speak Out
By Susan Kuklin
A groundbreaking work of LGBT literature takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens.
Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.
Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard
By Alex Bertie
A brave firsthand account of online personality Alex Bertie's life, struggles, and victories as a transgender teen, as well as a groundbreaking guide for transitioning teens.
Long before he became known for his YouTube videos, Alex Bertie was an isolated, often-afraid transgender teenager looking for answers. In this revolutionary memoir and valuable resource, Alex recounts his life, struggles, and victories as a young trans man. Along the way, he provides readers with accessible, highly researched explanations of gender, sexuality, and transitions. He explores without judgment how complicated all these things can be, and how many equally authentic ways there are to live as yourself and find happiness.
It can be hard for questioning teens to believe in a brighter future, let alone find any sense of community. Here, with clarity and compassion, Alex writes as a supportive older brother for transitioning teens, their allies, their parents, and anyone looking to better understand others - and themselves.