I am not transgender. I am not seventeen. I am not a fourteen-year-old boy. I am not any of my characters from piles of manuscripts, but I wrote a book to make a difference. I chose to tell the story of a friend who struggled with gender identity before there were support groups and celebrities with books about transitioning, online photos of transformations, or global chats with other TG teens. |
So this past weekend when my FTM (female to male) friend asked what books he could recommend to a transitioning 12-year-old FTM, I offered the following:
True Selves by Mildred Brown, a scientific and psychological look at the various stages of gender transformation.
Luna by Julie Anne Peters, the story of a teenage brother who begins to transition as a girl.
My friend suggests The Testosterone Files by Max Wolf Valerio, but warns that the content is more adult than teen.
And of course mad props to Chaz Bono for sharing his story.
I also suggest websites like the ACLU.org, which helps inform TG teens of their rights (click on the LGBT rights link). Additionally, GLAD.org offers a plethora of TG lawsuits, news, and rights. And always, local support groups at community centers and colleges help create conversations and friendships. Lee Wind also offers the latest LGBT books online, this week's feature, a TG teen in a post-apocalyptic setting. Find Lee at "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?"
No one chooses to be born in the wrong skin--wrapped in layers of a gender they don't identify with. And I'm glad to see an expansion of resources for teens in transition. I only wish I could offer my book In Her Skin, the result of decades of watching my friend struggle in the wrong body. But as many of you know, that's the risk we take as writers in line for traditional publication, investing hearts and years, waiting for the call.