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Topic: Best book about transgender reality

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Subject: Best book about transgender reality
Date Posted: 12/16/2010 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,581
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I am looking for one or two books that are best for explaining how the transgender person thinks and feels about their life.  I have a new friend who is becoming a woman physically and I would like to know more about her life.  I feel like I am typically ignorant and blundering my way into this friendship.

Any suggestions?

Date Posted: 12/28/2010 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2006
Posts: 90
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I would recommend "She's Not There : A Life in Two Genders"  Jennifer Finney Boylan





Date Posted: 6/25/2011 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 22
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Probably the best one is "Gender Loving Care" by Randi Ettner. Also "She's Not There" by Jennifer Boylan.  If you have any other questions regarding this subject let me know. My partner is an expert and counselor to LGBTQ


You could also check out the film "Normal"

Last Edited on: 6/25/11 9:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/20/2011 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/24/2010
Posts: 1
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There is a book called 'just add hormones'. It is a FTM but he is also a psychologist as well and focuses more on the internal aspect than the external. I don't know of many mtf books since i'm on the other spectrum but if i come across any i will let you know. I would like to say thank you for being supportive of your new friend and making that effort to understand. The world needs more people like you!

Date Posted: 1/18/2013 6:11 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2013
Posts: 17
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Some other books to round out your reading list:

Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion & the End of Gender

Stone Butch Blues

Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue

My Gender Workbook


Date Posted: 2/6/2013 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 768
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I'm currently reading: "Transition" by Chaz Bono. It's light reading. It might be an easy intro for someone trying to understand what trans folks go through. It's one man's story.

Date Posted: 3/2/2013 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 419
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Although Ryan transistioned from FTM, he has a powerful story to share.  I have met him and heard his story personally and am amazed by the obsticles he has over come to be the man he is today. You can check him out at www.ryansallens.com or his autobiography

Second Son Transitioning Toward My Destiny Love and Life
Author: Ryan Sallans

Date Posted: 11/24/2013 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2007
Posts: 426
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I know this is an old thread, but for the future people who read this post, why don't you just ask a trans person, there are several of us on here and some of us actually do talks at schools, do interviews, etc all to educate people on transgendered people.

I've read a lot of trans autobiographies, most simply aren't that good.  I would strongly advise NO ONE to read Stone Butch Blues.  I actually told a queer literature course that it is one of the only books I ever wanted to physically burn.  "She's not there" was ok.  Nothing to write home about though.  "My gender workbook" as I recall wasn't too bad.  I would avoid Chaz Bono or Thomas Beattie as well including all the news articles etc. 

People want me to write my own down since I'm articulate, have known since I was 5, was kicked out of the church due to it, got married, had children, was disowned by biological family, transitioned and am still married to my spouse.

Date Posted: 12/18/2013 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 768
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Mel, I agree that "Stone Butch Blues" was a REALLY hard book to read, but I wouldn't burn my copy. Leslie Feinberg has his/her own unique story to tell. I prefer to not dismiss out of hand the books that others find helpful. Let's try being inclusive instead of off-putting. I personally could live without "Just Add Hormones" but I know others who were helped by it. I read Chaz Bono's book. FACT. Don't care if you might deem it a poor choice.

It's easy enough to say: "Here is a list of books to try AND you can ask trans folks on here for advice directly." Life is all about choices. Some in the "binary-world" want to see us divided. Lets not let them have their way. I don't enjoy pissing contests, standing up or sitting down. They are in poor taste. Our job is to educate, not confuse the hell out of people who ask simple questions by throwing around our "refined", exclusive, self defined opinions.

Date Posted: 2/3/2015 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2007
Posts: 426
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Stone Butch Blues was about a lesbian who hated being a lesbian not a transgender person.  Not one single thing about the book was anything like transgender reality, if someone thinks it is, they have no business suggesting books.  It was very much about lesbian reality such as Lynn Baker a lesbian who loves going after the transgender community under a pseudonym (dirtywhiteboi) and is also the story of my niece.  "Stone Butch" as everyone knows is a lesbian who refuses to have anyone play with them sexually.  Transsexuals, pre-op and otherwise, are the polar opposite.  Most ftms, with me being the notable exception, are trying to have sex with everything.

I think Chaz personally is a dick from my personal experience with him, but that is why most of the transgender community is not keen on him, but they hate, hate Beattie and for incredibly good reason.  In case you are curious, most transgender people know each other or are within two degrees of everyone else.  I am well known in the ftm community more than most having held several appointments and having performed as a liason and as a trans educator and a book reviewer for transgender related books.  Several of the ftm books that were mentioned, I know the authors quite well including before they wrote the books.  At least one of them (I refuse to mention who), when I heard there was a book deal I actually asked what the world was coming to since he is not articulate.  Then I found out it was ghost written and it made a lot more sense.  There have been more than a few ghost written books.

There is not a single book that can compare to speaking to a transgender person, but if you want to waste your money and your credits, that is your business not mine. 

People who are not transgender really have no business suggesting books about transgender reality because they know absolutely 0% about the situation.  I would offer my first draft of the book I recently wrote, but it has a lot of grammatical issues that need to be fixed so I am too embarrassed to send it out right now.  I wrote it under a time constraint and it has two main stories in it as it is not every day one runs into a gay transsexual and who converted to another religion so that all needs to be woven nicely.


Date Posted: 5/11/2018 2:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2018
Posts: 1
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I want to thank everyone for thier suggestions and opnions. As to actually talking with someone, yes that is great but not all LGBTQ people want to talk about thier jurney. Books are a good starting point. 

The book that my boyfriend connected with the most is The Testoterone Files by Max W. Valerio.