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Transgender Children and Youth: Cultivating Pride and Joy with Families in Transition

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These days, it is practically impossible not to hear about some aspect of transgender life. Whether it is the bathroom issue in North Carolina, trans people in the military, or on television, trans life has become front and center after years of marginalization.

And kids are coming out as trans at younger and younger ages, which is a good thing for them.

But what written resources are available to parents, teachers, and mental health professionals who need to support these children?

Elijah C. Nealy, a therapist and former deputy executive director of New York City’s LGBT Community Center, and himself a trans man, 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.

448 pages, Hardcover

First published May 2, 2017

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Elijah C. Nealy

3 books5 followers

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5 stars
54 (63%)
4 stars
25 (29%)
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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for James.
620 reviews23 followers
August 22, 2017
If a library (or individual) could only have one book on the transgender experience/issues, this would probably be the one to have. It is incredibly comprehensive, even if it is focused primarily on youth issues and processes.

This is especially true for people coming at the topic from a faith tradition - the author is incredibly tolerant and even-handed. I left a faith in part because of LGBT rights issues (and in part because...science). He makes the coexistence seem more possible than I would have ever believed.

That said, the text is written primarily for mental health practitioners/therapists, although college-educated parents/adults will benefit as well. It is highly technical and academic in some places. The depth of research and amount of citations are very impressive for those of us who like such things.

The case studies/vignettes are very helpful in providing a human face to the topics being discussed. The author's own experience weren't often presented, but I appreciated those. His objectivity makes a big difference.

I learned a lot reading this, including things I will be able to apply in my own transition and new insights into shared childhood/teen experiences that many trans men have.

Overall, definitely worth reading for most people who want insight into transgender people, but especially recommended for parents, teachers, medical professionals, etc.
Profile Image for AJ.
146 reviews16 followers
May 25, 2022
I found this to be a very comprehensive, yet engaging read on better understanding trans youth. It’s a textbook for mental health practitioners without feeling like a textbook. I typically don’t find vignettes helpful but the ones here felt engaging and realistic, and actually offered critical thinking opportunities for the reader. Mental health worker or not, I think every person that is around youth, every parent, or every family member should read this regardless of your views on trans individuals.
427 reviews
January 5, 2022
I’m grateful for this book. It is helping me handle my family’s situation and gives me hope for the future. My favorite parts were the vignettes as it gave me so many different perspectives of parents and children.
Profile Image for Terynce.
341 reviews19 followers
August 19, 2017
I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read and think it covered a variety of perspectives, at least for a layperson. I would think it would be beneficial for anyone providing support for children and youth, including medical professionals, parents, educators, and other care givers.

The excerpts that were interspersed really gave it a personal feel and made the information more impactful, as well as providing natural breaks to the sections.

It's hard to imagine that treating people like people would prove so difficult. Nevertheless, we see the results of that not happening everyday. I'd recommend it for any of those people listed above, though I'm not certain it would convince those whose heads and hearts are set against. For those curious or gathering more information, I'd count it as a resource -- noting that's just my personal opinion.
Profile Image for Shelby Gabello.
30 reviews
March 6, 2023
Great, informative resource. I appreciate the author's work in exploring intersectionality as it relates to working with trans teens and young adults. The section on working with families and parents was most helpful to me. Many helpful vignettes are provided as well as a full list of resources. I'm taking off a full star because I'm overall irritated with the amount of typos and grammatical errors in this book...I lost count of how many I encountered. Seriously, at one point an entire sentence made no sense. Shame on the editor.
Profile Image for Mark.
487 reviews6 followers
September 15, 2020
A fantastic book into looking into trans youth. It is easy to read and comprehend and interesting with the case studies thrown into to contextualize the text. Makes me wish I could go back in the time of my life and have a chance to come out as a youth- just in this generation though.

Overall an excellent read and a great resource to parents of trans youth and professionals who deal with trans youth.
Profile Image for Angela Snyder rowan.
16 reviews1 follower
July 28, 2022
An excellent and thorough book on clinical work with trans youth. This is a great read for someone new to work with trans kids and adolescents. It would also be useful if teaching a course on psychotherapy with kids, families, and/or LGBTQ people. I particularly value the author’s strong emphasis on working with families, an area too often neglected in discussions and training about clinical work with youth in general and trans youth in particular.
Profile Image for Michelle.
11 reviews
August 21, 2017
Wonderful and important book for anyone, especially those who work with youth. Dr. Nealy's writing is clear, powerful, and helpful. I read this as part of an optional summer bookclub that my school district sponsored. I am so happy to have gained new insights, stories, and applied strategies I can use going forward to be a supportive advocate for all people.
Profile Image for River.
84 reviews8 followers
December 12, 2017
This is a great resource for parents of trans kids or professionals working with trans youth. Would definitely recommend!
73 reviews
October 2, 2018
This is a compassionate, sensitive, extremely informative book.
918 reviews5 followers
February 7, 2018
Primarily a book intended for Social Workers and Mental Health professionals for working with children, youth and families who are transitioning their gender identity. It is a well written and thorough examination of the societal and personal issues that might be encountered and how to handle them from a professional capacity. Everything from correct / respectful terminology, discrimination, legal issues, to physiological medical, emotional, familial, and spiritual aspects of transitioning. The book and appendices are filled with resources.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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