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The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals
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The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  406 ratings  ·  51 reviews
This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college. What do you do when your toddler daughter's first ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published June 28th 2008 by Cleis Press (first published June 3rd 2008)
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Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: my fifteen-year-old nephew is a trans-boy, so this was a way for me to understand his new life choice and what it means to those who are undergoing this transition. He is a great kid, a churchgoing straight A student, and an athlete...basically a boy like any other except that anatomically he was born a girl.

This book is a terrific introduction to a phenomenon that is sweeping the news media today. The authors' skill lies in explaining difficult concepts in an easy to understand
Kim Pallister
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book for anyone with a trans kid in their life, who's looking for a crash course on many facets of their transition (personal, physical, legal, medical...).
Laura Rueckert
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Transgender Child is an excellent introductory book for parents and professionals! The version I bought is 52 pages longer than GoodReads says. Maybe a newer version with more added?
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this four stars though I personally lean towards 3-3.5. It seemed to me like the entire first half of the book aimed to teach parents not to bully and abuse their children. This section didn't really resonate with me and was very hard for me to read, but I recognize that it is sadly necessary in a book of this nature. I do appreciate that the authors come from a place of no judgment and meeting all parents wherever they may be. I hope many parents take their advice.

For me personally,
Joshua Lawson
This book was my first formal reading in the field of transgender studies, and I honestly can't say whether it increased my understanding or just added to the confusion. Actually, that is not true. I did gain a better grasp of the various terms and core concepts related to gender identity as it is understood today. But as for understanding the nature of the struggle itself, I'm still not sure. I realize this is a sensitive issue for many people, though, so I won't venture to opine about things o ...more
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is packed with useful information, which is a little problematic because I didn't think it touched on some topics in enough depth. It's an excellent guide for such things as dealing with problems at school, how to help a transgender child choose a college, etc., but there's not much information on how parents and other adults should appropriately respond to a child's assertions of their gender. The book notes some of what children will say that indicates they may be transgender or gend ...more
Suzy Waters
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be very informative and interesting. It was not full of jargon and is appropriate for anyone who wants to develop a greater understanding of transgender issues.
Concerning gender identity and gender presentation, there are few all-encompassing publications whose primary currency is their accessibility. No matter how presumably new or modern the social consciousness of articulating the legal rights, medical privacies, or public spaces afforded to individuals who are gender-variant, the fact remains that educating the greater public while at the same time educating interconnected family members and professional clinicians is a daunting task. Fortunately, ...more
Amy Layton
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism, nonfiction
This book is about ten years old, but that doesn’t make it any less useful. This book is jam packed with resources, anecdotes, and supportive words. This book is for trans knowledgeable families as well as those who have no idea what they’re doing, and it shows with how the chapters are broken down. The first chapter is filled with vocabulary that will be used throughout the book and are useful to know in terms of your child. Then, from there, Brill and Pepper tackle the hard subjects of what to ...more
A very well researched and gender positive resource! I have been looking at how to support a young person who is genderqueer and am very happy this book covered that area very well.

Thank you for writing this!

Some big take aways are to get everyone around on board and educated. If they can't, it is ok to distance ourselves from them. An example was a grandparent that was cut out of a child's life.
To have someone important in our lives reject or make harmful comments toward or about our loved one
Mark Syron
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt-nonfiction
This is a book that is not heavily jargon based and what is jargon is explained in an easy to understand speech. I listened to this through audiobook and found the narrator gave a well-done performance. The pros of this book are that it is easy to understand. A Con is that it has goals that seem at this day in age impossible to achieve based on society today, like have kids being taught gender at a young age. Another pro of the book is that the focus is both on the parent and child. The parents ...more
Chante Bagley
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is not incredibly informational for the a queer person, but for a cisgender/heterosexual parent this book would be fantastic. The terms used are easy to understand and the book does delve deeper than "gender and sex or not the same thing." I would recommend this as a tool for questioning parents and plan to do so as a teacher.
Becky Jo
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
A large portion of what the author purports as truth and science are nothing more than anecdotal deductions based and the limited research there really is about this. I wish it had been more evidence based.
Ellie Mumma
I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who works with kids, especially transgender kids. Parents, educators, counselors, and medical professionals can learn a lot about how to non-judgmentally care for and support transgender children and adolescents.
Nicole VanderLinden
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
great for anyone raising/working with children to read, regardless of identity
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting, self-help
Very helpful at this stage of my parenting journey. Lots of relevant information. The version I read was a bit outdated and some medical advice/limitations didn’t apply in Canada.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent primer for families who want to learn how to best support their gender diverse children. Does not discuss causes so if you're looking for that, this is not the book.
Angela Mayhew-groves
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book. My youngest, 16, came out January 2017, as a trans boy. This is a wonderful book. It helped me tremendously to understand. Thank you!
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on the science and social components of growing up gender fluid, gender variant, or trans.
Elevate Difference
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
A much-needed addition to the contemporary parenting book selection, The Transgender Child is a comprehensive, informative resource. By combining research and personal stories, the authors present a text that will prove itself indispensable not only for parents and families of transgender children, but also for anyone who works with young people.

Many families today are facing the challenges and joys that come with raising a transgender child. This experience can be confusing, frustrating, and de
jessi lee
Aug 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: families of trans or gender-questioning children
well, this book meets a need. the target audience is well-intentioned, kinda vaguely feminist & vaguely familiar with the concept of transgender families with kids under 18 who are trans or gender questioning. as you get further from this experience, the book becomes less helpful.

some things about it i really enjoyed. the stories from different families about their experiences with having a trans kid. the overwhelming number of positive stories where families are really trying to hard to respec
Sep 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Read or skimmed about 3/4 of this book over the last couple weeks. Overall a very good introduction/handbook for anyone working with transgender kids with lists of other resources at the end of almost every chapter. It was published in 2008 and I found that some of the information already feels outdated, given the rise of transgender stories in mainstream media. It could also be my perspective as someone living in a liberal area and who went to college with many trans classmates (relatively spea ...more
Shannon Wyss
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book for anyone looking to understand how to support gender non-conforming and trans children and youth. Especially written for parents but relevant for anyone. Repeatedly mentions but glosses over specific issues of race/ethnicity, religion, and other issues that compound the lives of these young people, which isn't terribly surprising in a book that's supposed to be an overview for a general readership. Pick this book up and learn how to make the lives of our fabulous, wonderful, gen ...more
Jun 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
2nd good book I read on trans... This is from a different perspective than the 1st I read. The focus on trans children is especially important to me, as that is the original purpose of my reading into this subject. However, the added information about steps in the development of a trans person was helpful. It is filled with hope for the future, of further understanding and compassion from the American culture towards trans people... I recommend this book to everyone, as it will help you become m ...more
D Rob
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very well organized and covers a lot of ground. It'll take you from just getting ready to grab the bull by the horns to actually riding it pretty well. Be prepared for some emotional moments as they discuss some of the awful truths you can run into raising a trans kid.

The information includes real world experiences as well as how to make it all work for your kid. Definitely check this one out.
Aug 13, 2008 added it
Shelves: stolen
This is an interesting book. I only read it because I am dealing with this in the classroom. Really cutting edge information. I borrowed it from the library and only had one chapter to go when my bag was stolen out of my car toady. But I got the idea. Really great info for any family or school whom are dealing with gender issues. Lots of first hand stories that added a lot to the book.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really good resource for parents of trans and gender variant kids. Read this out of general interest, but also cause a friend and I are putting together a training for Pediatric faculty/MDs. I for one thought the stories of parents accepting and loving their kids was real damn tender and inspiring.
Gretchen Holtz
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Transgender Child is, to me, the #1 book for any person (mainly parents) who know a gender non-conforming person. I consider it a great medical or psychological journal in layman's terms.

If you or someone you know has a gender variant or transgender child, go pick up this book.

Also, it's a book I haven't FINISHED reading. I use it at least once a week as a mother.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this as part of curriculum writing I was completing as a school counselor. This is a very prevalent counseling concern and I found this book to be a good overview of current understanding of this topic. It is written more with the perspective of the parent in mind but there is a lot to be learned from it.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Most of the early chapters are fairly repetitive. Last 3 chapters are probably the most useful for parents and professionals. The info did help me understand why some families might choose to allow a child to transition at a young age. Definitely not something I ever thought about while working as an elementary school counselor, but now I will be more aware.
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