Frank, friendly and funny, the Trans Teen Survival Guide will leave transgender and non-binary teens informed, empowered and armed with all the tips, confidence and practical advice they need to navigate life as a trans teen. Wondering how to come out to your family and friends, what it's like to go through cross hormonal therapy or how to put on a packer? Trans youth activists Fox and Owl have stepped in to answer everything that trans teens and their families need to know. With a focus on self-care, expression and being proud of your unique identity, the guide is packed full of invaluable advice from people who understand the realities and complexities of growing up trans. Having been there, done that, Fox and Owl are able to honestly chart the course of life as a trans teen, from potentially life-saving advice on dealing with dysphoria or depression, to hilarious real-life awkward trans stories.
If you've read a lot of articles and/or books on being trans or the trans experience, you won't find Trans Teen Survival Guide to be particularly groundbreaking, but I personally enjoyed it.
Disclosure: I'm not trans, but I do make it a point to educate myself thoroughly on trans issues.
Now, I'm not sure exactly why it's marketed to teens other than the fact that it's a more basic-ish guide to being trans. It's a very welcoming, easy-to-read book, and other than some pandering-ish "teenager" language, I think it would appeal to almost anyone. There are chapters on coming out, clothing, dating, sex, pronouns, and lots of other things that are useful (but again, not anything you can't find easily online).
My favorite part of the book were the personal anecdotes. I wish there were more stories from trans teens as those were the sections that really spoke to me. I think having lots of personal stories and, perhaps, pictures would enhanced the book even more.
Overall, I think this is a good book to have in your arsenal, especially if you are new to being/accepting that you are trans or you want to learn about the trans experience.
As a trans guy who spends a lot of time talking to trans youth and reading trans related books I decided to read this as soon as I saw it on edelweiss+. What I liked most about the book was the format, how it had lots of short chapters containing information on a specific topic followed by sharing several people’s stories relating to that topic. However, while I won’t discourage people from reading the book, I don’t think I’d actively recommend it to anyone. It’s nice to have so much information and perspectives all in the same place but the information provided is quite basic and there are several resources (both free online and other books) that are more trustworthy, recent and in-depth than what’s provided here. Also, some of the information provided was either incorrect or incomplete, most notably - when describing binding there was a section on binding using tape, which is incredibly dangerous, but no mentions of the dangers until way later in the book in one of the quotes on the perspectives sections, which I find to be incredibly irresponsible; yes not everyone can afford a binder but there’s free binder schemes (like the book mentioned) and if the risks aren’t mentioned out right (which, by the way, often are as bad as broken ribs and poor surgical results) a lot of people will ultimately end up going for that option and likely suffering the consequences. If you’re new to transition and looking for support and information then check out GIRES, gendered intelligence and mermaids, which both have plenty of resources. If you’re supporting a young trans person or interested in how to better support young trans people if you happen to encounter them then I recommend you read The Transgender Teen by Stephanie Brill.
I received an ARC of the book through edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review
Many thanks to Jessica Kingsley Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
I don't remember why I request this (I requested this a lonnggggggg time ago) but I'm glad I did. I am not a trans person nor do I plan on switching or changing my gender but I'm still very happy I read this.
I just want to put it out there that this book isn't just for trans people or teenagers. It's for everyone. It's for those who have a loved one who is trans. It's for those who want to gain knowledge and insight.
This book covers a wide array of trans-related topics. It covers anything from hormones and surgeries to how to tell (or not tell) your family about your gender identity. Even though I am not trans, I found this book extremely helpful!
Because of that, I am going to be donating my copy to my school's library so it can find more people who are in need of information and encouragement.
Disclosure: I'm not trans, but i do want to educate my self on what it means to be transgender. This book was well layed out for an informative book with big headlines and subhealines for each topic. I feel that it will appeal to everyone not just teenagers which is its attended. The book covers all topics that you would wander about: coming out, clothing, dating, sex, pronouns and even more. My favourite part of the book is the personal stories that are included in each chapter. It was nice to read them and find out how they felt when they had to come our or other experiences they have had. Its so brave of them to speak out. I gave this book 3 stars as i did find it really interesting however I'm not keen on nonfiction books.
I am not so far removed from being a trans teen that I have forgotten what it is like. So I thought I would check out a book aimed at teens (except for a weird chapter at the end aimed at parents of trans kids, not teens). I was hoping that I would find something that would have helped me when I was a trans teen, but I was let down.
I have heard of these authors before, they were interviewed in another book I have read recently. Their interview was one of the few that stuck out to me when I was reading that book, so I was pretty excited to see that they had a book out. I thought they would have a great deal to say that would really get to me. Instead I read a lot of fluff and some really awful sections.
Lets start with the awful: the book was inconsistent, focused greatly on one aspect at the detriment of others, and offered dangerous advice. The dangerous advice was the part that got me though. I expected two trans people to be able to realize what they were telling young trans teens to do with their transition was dangerous. At one point in the book they talk about binding with TAPE. They go on about how a trans man has made tape that is better to bind with than normal tape. They do not discuss the dangers of binding with tape at all. Later in the book, one of the write-ins mentioned in more detail about how dangerous binding with tape is. The write-in in ANOTHER section of the book contradicts the authors with accurate information. I was floored. Binding safety should have been basic trans 101. A quick google search will tell you that ace bandages and tape are dangerous, especially in long term bind situations, using during a show for drag is slightly different though there are still risks. The book would randomly have write-in testimonials, but in weird chapters. They never added anything and for all I know they were all faked, I don’t believe they were, but it was just so random and plopped in that it felt off.
My biggest issue with the book boils down to the focus of the book. The chapter on binding, packing, and padding (no mention of tucking at all, which is also odd) was shorter than the chapter on what to do if someone wants to interview you on TV. I was literally the poster boy for trans youth when I was younger. I had my face on posters, I was in newspapers, I traveled to give speeches. The other trans youth around me, didn’t. So why is there such a focus on interviews and media rules (one must always have a pre-approved positive message that all trans people can agree with so be sure to check with this ONE group before you say anything) when that isn’t the norm that trans teens will face. Including it was great, but having it be one of the longest chapter when the basic social transition stuff was glossed over was awful.
More dangerous advice being: It is ALWAYS better to come out than hide. That is not the case. Some people staying stealth or not coming out makes them safer, which the authors admit, but then repeatedly through the rest of the book romanticize the idea of coming out being this magical event and how everyone should come out and how bad stuff can be easily remedied. There is a small section, one or two sentences, about how people have been attacked or kicked out, but the bad again is glossed over. Has Brandon Teena been forgotten? Has Gwen Araujo been relegated to a lifetime movie? What about me (raped, attacked, beaten, and abused by family and classmates alike for coming out as trans and transitioning at 15)? What about all of the homeless trans kids? What about the whole culture of trans women who have turned to sex work to survive? So many bad things can happen, but this book made it seem like they were in the past. I’m not saying someone shouldn’t come out because of these bad things, but don’t pretend it doesn’t happen. Don’t gloss over it. Kids can and will get hurt after coming out, but without that coming out no one stands a chance of a happy life. Coming out is a bold, brave, and powerful move of self-acceptance and a push forward for trans rights. I love seeing all the trans kids that are coming out now. I love seeing that my transition is being pushed away from the norm. I am fiercely protective of those kids. So this idea that coming out is all sunshine and rainbows and you should always come out, is dangerous. I don’t want these kids hurt or homeless because they followed the glib advice of two adults.
A quick google search, a blog on Tumblr, or checking Facebook for trans groups would give all the information of this book and then some. This book may help some people, but it wouldn’t have helped me. I was the only trans kid in my school and in my immediate area. I could only see other trans people once a year at a conference or at a support group that was an hour away. This book still wouldn’t have helped me. I was given all of the information this book provided from someone who didn’t identify as trans (at the time, he does now) in a five minute conversation. It reaffirms that community is wonderful and necessary, it repeatedly says there is no right or wrong way to be trans (while focusing on a very transsexual binary experience of transitioning and no mention of how clothing can work). So this isn’t the worst trans book I have read, but it should not be your only source of information. Seek out another trans person. There are a lot of online big brother/big sister/big sibling programs. I have multiple “younger” brothers that I have mentored over the years. They are all older than me, but I am older in trans years. We share, we have a community. They pass on the stuff we have learned as a group and as individuals to others. All of that works better than this book which is so basic that if you have watched modern TV or read a YA you would already know half of it.
Thanks, NetGalley, for giving me the opportunity to read this book. Trans Teen Survival Guide would be a great addition to any library’s collection. I feel that the information that is inside could be helpful to a lot of people, especially teens who are questioning their identity. I feel that I’ve learned a lot of information that I wasn’t even fully aware of and it has made me very conscious of my actions and how they could be perceived by others.
I received an advanced review copy of Trans Teen Survival Guide from Jessica Kingsley Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review
Trans Teen Survival Guide is a nice, easy to read guide for young trans people which brings together all of the ‘need to know’ information in one place. The guide neatly sets out the information in relevant chapters, making it easy to find for anyone who wants information on specific topics, and gives a fantastic overview of everything from working through feelings of gendered difference, coming out (or not), clothing, and self-acceptance, to dysphoria, puberty, hormones, and surgeries, and even includes guidance on dealing with the media, documenting your journey, self-care, and further resources.
There were many elements of Trans Teen Survival Guide that loved. One thing was that Trans Teen Survival Guide brings together useful information for young trans people in one place. Having so much information in one book makes finding out the right information much quicker and is more reliable/safer than some of the information out there! I also liked the addition of the illustrations and personal stories in the guide, I felt that they gave the guide a nice personal touch and allowed for a greater representation of all different kinds of trans people. Lastly, terminology and advice in the book are broken down, making it much easier for those who are new to the trans community to understand. The information is well laid out under relevant chapters and subheadings, and the illustrations break up the text.
However, there were a number of elements of the book which I found quite concerning, some of which have already been highlighted by other reviewers here. Rather than repeat the concerns surrounding the unsafe information given around binding with tape and unintentional judgemental language around those who live stealth, I want to focus on my main criticisms of the book - the overemphasis on media and the lack of information on bullying and homelessness.
In this guide, there are 13 pages devoted to ‘dealing with the media’ but no information or advice is given around transphobic bullying or homelessness. Whilst I recognize that the authors have a background in the creative industry, they also have extensive experience as trans rights campaigners so I think that this was a rather large oversight on their part. The authors go on to argue that at some point in their life, *every* trans person will be approached by the media. As far as I'm aware (and have experienced) many more trans people suffer transphobic bullying and face homelessness after coming out to their parents. The fact that no information, advice or signposting was given for young people experiencing bullying and/or homelessness was shocking. I speak about this in much more depth in my full review of the book which you can find here.
I think that are definitely fantastic elements to Trans Teen Survival Guide, as outlined above, and it offers a useful overview for young trans people who are finding their feet, but there needed to be more space devoted to real survival issues and less time spent talking about the media for me to be able to rate it higher.
It touched all the important subjects that raise questions, it gave tips on clothing and stuff that helps with passing. It explained the terminology. The personal stories added a nice realness, variety and comfort to it all.
What I loved most about the book was that it constantly teaches you that any way to be is okay. No one cant tell you you're not trans enough or don't apply to some standards. I would recommend it to anyone with body-image issues. I felt better in my skin after that cause it didn't exclude anyone so any reader can somewhat relate. Its also important to mention that not only is it okay to be yourself but this book taught me that its also feel like some parts don't feel yours. For example I've always had a problem with my voice. It doesn't sound feminine enough to me. And I've thought that I just have to learn to love it and accept it as a part of me. But no. This book helped me realize that I don't have to. I can be mad at it. I have the right to feel like it isn't part of me. And I have the right to change it to make it sound more like me.
But is it for the good parts in the book. It was kind of too general and has new information only to very young trans or to people who are very new to this world. Also the information in this book might age quickly due to it having a lot of web links and organisations in it.
As the first part of the book was aimed for trans in young ages just finding the courage to read/speak about it it felt out of place to me that almost 50% of the books end was about being a media spoke person for trans. How to be, how to act and what to say. This was unnecessary in this particular book with that kind of target readers. It is an important subject though and could've just been a totally separate book.
"TV shows and films focus solely on the fact that people are trans. Their entire storyline centers around the fact of people being trans and there isn't any other depth to them." This quote is so important cause its a common problem in many books and movies when it comes to minorities. I hope to live in a day where we are all just people.
-I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review-
Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
** I'm not trans, but as a future educator/ librarian I do make it a point to educate myself thoroughly on trans issues. I loved this book. I think its very educational, and could do a lot of help for someone struggling to understand or someone struggling with themselves. I loved the format and all the resources that were provided through out the book. I think this book is going to be very important and could help a few kids along the way.
obtained through netgallery in exchange for a review. this doesnt affect my opinion.
dnfed around 100 pages in. this is boring quite frankly and stuff i already know. while some of this could be helpful for trans youth i feel some stuff of the tips and stuff in here and dangerous and stuff you can easily find online on websites like tumblr.
I was given and ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Important note: I am not a trans person. I suggest you also read reviews by trans people to get their own feelings about the book.
As a future teen/YA librarian, I am constantly trying to find books I could add to a library that are inclusive and informative, and aren't necessarily the best-sellers "must-have". I am also wary of LGBT+ rep guides, because a lot of them are great at representing the sexual or gender orientation they are written for, but can be incredibly hurtful to other orientations in the process (mainly through erasure). This is not the case with Trans Teen Survival Guide. It touches LGBT+ as a whole, while still maintaining all subtleties about each and every orientation.
They go deep into the explanation of what sex, gender, gender orientation and gender expression are, the differences between them, and how there isn't a good or bad way to be a certain gender. It is not only an explanation of what gender is, but also how ti's viewed in (contemporary western) society and how hurtful some of the stereotypes are. It rightfully warn trans teens about people who might be obsessed with their genitals vs their gender, and about the dangers of stereotyping.
They constantly remind the reader that, no matter how they identify and express themselves, they are queer/trans enough, which is a really important thing. There has been a lot of "discussion" (using the term loosely here) on social media in the past few years about how some people are supposedly not queer enough for this or that reason. This kind of gatekeeping it extremely hurtful to the LGBT+ community, and I am glad that they address the issue in this book.
In fact, they address pretty much every issue in the book. Sexual orientation (with the exception of asexuality, which seems absent), fatness, degrees of gender expression (tomboy, feminine, butch, etc.) and just every different way a person who is trans could present as. All those points are used to remind readers that - no matter who you are - you are valid.
They talk about surgery in details, the pros and the cons and what each procedure is about.They also remind the reader that having surgery or not is a personal choice and doesn't affect the fact that they ARE trans. They are very open about everything, even when they don't encourage some of them. For example, they discourage resorting to the internet to gain access to hormones and hormones blocker, but they explain why some people could want/need to do that. While mentioning the dangers, they also make sure readers are not left in the dark.
They finish with a few advices for parents or people close to trans people. They remind those people to let kids be kids and not try to put them in boxes depending on the gender they were assigned at birth. They also tell parents to take their children seriously if they express a serious want or need to change gender, and educate themselves on the matter. It is really important not to dismiss this, as it can lead children to mental illnesses based on self-hate and guilt.
The whole book is extremely important and was presented brilliantly. There is plenty of resources listed and trans readers are constantly reminded that it gets better, they will be alright, they matter, they are valid and they are enough. I think it's important that we have more books like this exploring each and every aspect of the LGBT+ community.
I consider this book an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn the basics of what a trans teen experiences with lots of generous content. As a parent with almost 4 years of accepting and loving my trans teen as well as a strong medical and psychological support system, I found the book to be informative and an easy read for anyone interested in learning more.
I received an advanced reader copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. First and foremost, I am a cisgender person and therefore cannot speak on the book's accuracy, impact or resourcefulness as a whole based from any sort of experience whatsoever. I will do my best to comment on my thoughts on this book as a person who recognizes I am not the book's title demographic and may not perceive it the same way as others might. That being said, I loved this book! I found this very informative, while at the same time being very entertaining. The voice of the novel provides a lighthearted narration while at the same time provides a serious and informative voice when the need arises. I especially appreciated the diversity present in the book, it is an informative book for trans individuals, but does not cater to one division of trans folk and is inclusive to many an identity within the trans umbrella identity, such as non-binary individuals. It was wonderful to see those identifying that way being recognized. I also very much loved the illustrations littered throughout the book. Some illustrations are imaginative and fun to look at, while others serve as comics putting different social situations into perspective in regards to aiding the narrator's point of elaboration. Such illustrations in place throughout the book add to the book's lighthearted atmosphere. I liked the various segments spread throughout from other people sharing their experiences and advice, I think it adds a strong contribution to the experience reading the book, with so many different people having contributed, it adds a sense of community and I think will benefit many trans individuals, that there are more than authors sharing their experiences within the book. Along with this, I really loved the advice given in regards to social media platforms and the media at large, I felt that to be beneficial and was an important addition to this informative book that one might not usually think to include, but can prove to be extremely helpful. I really appreciated all of the resources included throughout the book (and there were many). I think this goes without saying, but this book can and will certainly be a great resource for trans individuals, and individuals like myself seeking to educate themselves. This book had so many phrases and information I didn't know! The fact that I learned so much reading added to my overall enjoyment and satisfaction for this book, and my faith that this book can do great things and be extremely informative in regards to blooming trans, questioning and allied individuals.
This was a fast read but not a good read. This book does give advice but not all of it is good and things in regards to the nitty-gritty of passing and living as the opposite sex, you know like how many trans teen desire is washed away with brief commentaries, like how you can buy prosthetics but that they are expensive. And that's that. Which isn't really the truth because while there are expensive prosthetics on both sides of the binary, there are cheaper options that would be as realistic to a degree but still give you that realistic feel. And I will say DO NOT use tape to bind. Please get a binder like gc2b (which is how it is spelled like instead of how the book puts it) Bind properly to ensure that you reduce harm risk. Please for all that is sanity.
Another thing I disliked with the book that the book encourages coming out at what seems to be a must to assess and wait for approach. I for one dislike that because those that must be stealth (no one knows that they are living their true gender but passes in day-to-day life) or in the closet are there for a reason. It is unsafe to be out in the open.
Overall none of this info is really nothing more than a couple of clicks on the keybard to te world wide web. Drawing were interesting sure but nothing is really redemiable in this book.
So total honesty from the start, I’ve been in a relationship with a transwomen for quite some time so I thought this might be an interesting read. Now when reading Trans Teen Survival Guide there where some chapters that were excellent and others that I didn’t sit well with me but overall I think the book is a great starting point for trans or questioning teens.
The format of the book allows you to read it chapter by chapter or to dip in and out depending on what you want to gain. Throughout the book cute comics have been included, they are funny and relatable but it would have been great to have the book in a slightly different format, possibility separating the tips from the general text making sure important parts aren’t lost in the bulk of everything else.
Three chapters of the book really stood out for me first was the chapter discussing the medical side of being trans, personally, as adults we’ve found this side of things the most challenging to navigate. To read frank and honest information was refreshing, but the only slight negative was some of the slur terms included. The dysphoria chapter is also so important, giving some understanding to the feeling that trans/questioning teenagers may be having.
Next up the clothing section was great for trans men with so many areas covered including binding but while the book cover packing it really missed out tucking which is disappointing as it is just as important to transwomen as packing is to transmen!
The book contains the real voice of trans people, showing their experiences in different areas from how they revealed they are trans to their family to how they handle different situations. The voice of the other trans people might make you feel less alone as there are other people out there who have been what you may be going through.
Now to the parts I really didn’t like, first the media chapter. The authors have quite clearly been stung by the media or know someone who has, but the chapter is so unnecessary in a book that might be the first a trans person has picked up. It seems to be trying to scare people, yes there are some rubbish journalist but in reality unless your aim is to be a well know trans person (Vlogging or being very vocal on twitter about trans rights (while there is nothing wrong with that it’s not what happens right at the start of your journey!!)) the media doesn’t care!
Another chapter that felt lacking was the self-care section, it was just standard. The same self-care you would see anywhere or that is obvious so seems pointless. One self-care that should have been prioritized it personal self-care, we understand that trans people may not like their body but it is still important to take care of your hygiene and your body, if trans people do decide to have hormones or surgery they need to keep their strength up and healthy.
Every school and college library should contain a copy of this book to allow their transgender or questioning teens to gain a greater understanding, plus teachers and parents would certainly benefit from the information!
Thanks to Netgalley, the authors and Jessica Kingsley Publishers
This book is an invaluable and very necessary resource for trans teenagers- and those questioning their gender- that should be readily available in every school and library. The authors set out to write the book they wished they had access to as teenagers. As trans non-binary people themselves, as well as campaigners for trans rights, they know their subject very well. They also feature quotes and advice from other trans young people. In the book they talk a lot about the importance of support from the trans community and they provide exactly this in the book. The friendly, encouraging tone makes it very accessible and although they deal with some difficult issues, the book remains upbeat and optimistic.
The authors make it clear that there is no one way to be trans and that the most important thing is to be free to be who you are. They encourage their readers to seek out accepting and validating friends, the support of the trans community and to practise self care. There is practical advice about things such as how to change your legal name, as well as advice on emotional wellbeing such as hobbies, taking care of your mental health and eating well. The book features some great cartoon strips and illustrations, including some from Sophie Labelle, who creates Assigned Male comics.
I would also recommend this book to older readers who have recently started questioning their gender or realised they are trans; most of the book would be relevant with the exception of a few sections such as those on puberty blockers. It is also a great resource for friends, family and teachers of trans teenagers or trans people of any age. The authors answer a lot of questions expertly and without judgement, so cis friends, family and allies can educate themselves without demanding that their trans friend takes on the task of explaining everything to them. The chapter on dysphoria stood out to me particularly; it was a concept I was familiar with from things I've read and conversations I'd had with friends, but I never realised how awful and debilitating it can be. Finally, there is also an appendix for parents and carers of pre-teen trans kids with advice on how best to support and affirm children who come out as trans at a young age.
I would rate this book 4/5 stars. As much as it's great to have tips and a better understanding of what's going on with your own gender identity, expression, how to come out and even support. Most things were pretty basic. Along with being pretty repetitive at certain parts of the book. But also there were some chapters which have helped a lot. The entries from trans people around the world talking about their experience helped me feel more seen. Not only that but the useful links added in have helped me so much personally. Sometimes struggling with your gender identity you can feel lost and they for sure help you feel more found, letting you know you are not alone. Hearing that whatever you're going through is healthy and isn't weird or outrageous is comforting. "Dysphoria makes me feel like dirt. Like I haven't showered in days. It feels like depression physically manifested."(Fisher, 78) This was a quote from Silas which is someone who's non-binary. I couldn't have described dysphoria. Dysphoria is by far one of the worst feelings you can ever feel. Suddenly feeling like no one sees you as the wrong gender, name and over all identity can crumble someone's world. This book is mainly about some possible identities and helping trans teens feel acceptance. Although this may not seem like a big deal to cis people hearing someone say "You're accepted and loved" then help you on how to express your true self can easily save someones life. If someone is new to the idea of questioning themselves then this book is a great comfort along with gives great information. There are also useful links at the end of most chapters if you want to look more into a topic. Another fabulous thing about this book is that you can look for what you might need help with personally and read that chapter in specific, along with the glossary in the back filled with LGBTQIA+ terms used ,explained accurately. Some things you can learn from this book is how no one is alone in their struggle, there's someone or something that you're going to find at some point in life that makes you truly happy. Along with there's always things to find out about the world around you and even you yourself. Overall, an amazing, educational, helpful book.
A nice easy informative read on Trans, Non Binary, and GNC questions. Questions like; medical procedures, social and peer relationships, how to talk with parents, physical health, and even topics about sex and reproduction. Chapters are short and cover basic information on commonly asked questions. Though the questions can be answered online, I do think it's important to have a resource of basic answers that youths can refer to, the internet is wide and vast and there's equal chance of stumbling upon something incorrect or harmful as finding something helpful and informative.
Although the themes do cover sex and reproduction, I don't think they are inappropriate and are similar to other coming-of-age puberty books that are often sold and marketed to the same age groups (which often do not cover topics of non traditional bodies and genitals). Overall, I think this book is very appropriate and informative for ages 8 and up, but should probably be paired with additional more dense resources for them to refer to later on.
I would recommend this book to any student who has questions about Trans, non binary, or GNC that they a) do not feel comfortable or safe asking their parents or peers, b) don't know where to look, or c) questioning their gender identity and what to be fully informed before making decisions. I'd recommend to both cis and non-cis students on the basis that all informative texts are good to consume for their knowledge of the world and other people.
A fine, conversational, accessible guide for Trans Teens
Author Fox Fisher is an artist, filmmaker, prominent trans rights campaigner and created the children’s book ARE YOU A BOY OR ARE YOU A GIRL. Co-author Owl Fisher is a speaker and writer and together these two highly successful trans authors co-founded the popular film project MY GENDERATION, are advisors for ALL ABOUT TTRANS and have appeared as advocates for trans rights on national television and radio and other venues.
The real pleasure of reading this book is the casual manner in which Fox and Owl address the various issues facing trans people – from the moment of birth when gender classification is hurried, through the various stages of introspection, doubt, and ultimately the coming out phase of being the physical persona the inner self knows before the external world accepts.
The object of this book is to offer tried and true steps in tackling the confrontations with self-acceptance, dress, hormone therapy, surgery – difficult steps to take but made more so unless the trans person knows there is friendship and backup such as Owl and Fox provide in this generous book.
Not only is this book an important adjunct for trans people to use as a survival guide and boost, but it is also a fine book for non-trans people to better understand all aspects of trans identification. Recommended.
3.5 stars, rounded down (this is my POV as a transmasc btw) a good book with a lot of starter info for trans people; i learned quite a few things about surgery and hormones i hadn't known, and it gave good advice on selfcare and dysphoria management. however, i do have some complaints; while this is the "trans teen" survival guide, at times it felt more geared to transmascs, and specifically trans MEN; i.e it mentioned packing as a thing trans men did (not transmascs in general), and talked about binding, but and didnt mention tucking or how breast padding worked. as a transmasc, i KNOW how much we're ignored, so it was nice to learn new things geared to me, but i hate that it felt at transfems' expense. also, IT DID NOT MENTION THE DANGERS OF BINDING THOROUGHLY ENOUGH. Binding is extremely important to many people, but it is DANGEROUS done incorrectly and this book barely mentioned that. there are a few other nitpicks i have, but overall, i definitely reccomend picking up this book; but whether youre trans and reading for advice or cis and reading to understand, you MUST remember this is a 200ish page book, INCLUDING the comic and picture pages. not all the info will be there, and it should not be your only source of learning. still, its a good, easy-to-understand introduction to transition, trans identities, and trans experiences, and i definitely reccomend it!
Thank you to Netgalley, the authors, and publisher for an advance copy of this book. **any quotes are subject to change prior to publication**
"We only have one life, and we have to live it for ourselves."
Sometimes I just title-grab books on Netgalley. When I saw this one, I grabbed it and honestly did not realize it was a non-fiction "self-help" book. I actually thought it was a quirky YA contemporary, so when I started reading the prologue I was like oh wow this is actually nothing that I thought I was getting myself into. BUT, I did really enjoy it.
Middle-class CIS white female over here, so life's been pretty easy for me with the exception of unwarranted cat-calls or groping, and misogyny in the workplace...and pretty much everywhere in life. I enjoy diverse books, particularly those that revolve around discovering your gender identity, but this was my first time reading a non-fiction about gender identity. It was an emotional experience. It was really an all-encompassing book that would be helpful to not only those trying to find their identity and voice in a world that suffocates, but also for those who are loved ones, friends, family, co-workers of a trans individual. There was a wealth of resources and multiple voices to make sure the reader knows they or their loved ones are not alone in this transition.
The only real criticism that I can give (and I don't even think that I would count it as criticism) is that it kind of reads like a Middle Grade textbook. So just be aware going into it, if you ARE well-versed in what it means to be trans that this may read a little below your liking.
Ended up DNFing this. I understand it’s aimed at teens but it seems like it’s aimed at teens who already know a lot? I wanted a bit more info on the experience of being trans etc but it’s not included in this book. That part is totally my own fault but the main reason I dnf’d was because like a lot of other reviewers have said there is quite a lot of problematic content re: stealthing (they made it seem like you must always come out when that is just not the case for everyone and they didn’t even provide any helpful information on that side of things), binding (I’m not trans myself but even I know it’s very easy to hurt yourself and the info they gave isn’t the best. I think reading other reviews will explain a lot better) and just the general vibe was off.
They’re constantly telling you to look up resources and more info on each subject when that was the info I’m looking for? I already know a lot of what’s in this book and anything I want to know more about it won’t tell me and just says to look it up.
It probably would be very helpful to some teens of course but I just think it could have been done a lot better.
I did love the inserts of LGBTQIA+ stories but found them oddly placed.
Owl and Fox Fisher’s Trans Teen Guide to Survival is a wonderful resource for transgender teens. The Fishers, transgenders themselves, have filled the book with everything a trans teen needs to know, from the varied definitions of transgender, coming out as transgender, what you can expect in transitioning, the various surgical procedures and hormones, choosing clothing, how to fill your time so you are not obsessing with your transition, finding and starting support groups, how to deal with media attention, and finally, where to go for support and answers. In its barely two hundred pages, the book is exhaustive while being easily read and understood. There are definitely books out there that are far more technical and go into far more detail, but for teens, this book is an amazing look at the transgender experience. The Fishers are from the UK, so most of the resources listed are UK based, but because they show us a wealth of resources, it is easy to understand that teens from all over the world can likely find resources, physical or online, in their own countries. This is a treasure-trove of information.
I'm a Male-to-Female trans teen myself and downloaded this ebook because I was really in need of some solid information about what it means to be transgender and how to survive as a trans person. Overall, I got more out of it than I expected, but there wasn't anything particularly moving. It cleared up some confusion I had about some topics, but most of the stuff I'd already learned on the Internet. It seems like in order to get the most out of this book, I would need to own a copy myself so I can return to any specific section when I need to. But when treated as an ordinary book and read straight through, it is only minorly helpful. Additionally, this book is written very poorly with many mistakes so it's hard to take it seriously. In summary, this book is certainly helpful, but there was no critical information included in it that I was missing. It seems to have been put together rather quickly and sloppily. I am glad I read it, but this is not a must-read for trans teens at all.
As a transmasc 15 year old myself, yes it wasn't that specific and it didn't provide much new information (I spend alot of time online), but I think that's what makes it especially helpful. It's not an indepth guide, but having an actual book for the basics is so helpful as I can lend it to other people aswell. I think it's most useful for people who want to know more about the trans experience, and as a first step towards further research (I know they didn't talk about the dangers of binding enough, but I feel like if they did it might scare some parents enough to not let their child wear a binder) It was so nice to read though, easy to understand and fairly simple, and it gave me hope for the future hearing all those other people like me. I think that's the most helpful part of the book, not the advice itself per se, but the quotes and opinions from other trans people (adults and teens!) Because it's so nice to just... see that theres a light at the end of the tunnel
I was given an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book in exchange for an honest review.
For anyone who has no previous knowledge of trans people or how to transition, this book does a good job of explaining the basics. However, a lot of the information in this book is available online and can be found quite easily. I think Owl and Fox did a great job of debunking some of the common and harmful myths that are often used by the media for scaremongering, particularly surrounding children transitioning.
Trans Teen Survival Guide didn't exactly teach me anything I didn't already know about transitioning because I've done plenty of my own research over the years, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the advice and tips about how to deal with the media when being approached for interviews or by production companies. I've never seen that kind of advice anywhere else.
I did notice that in a section about binding, tape was mentioned as a binding method but there was no warning of the risks of using tape to bind. Binding with tape can be extremely dangerous and this should have been discussed more. There was also a lack of information about tucking for trans women. Some of the chapters could have been a little more detailed.
I really enjoyed the personal stories from trans teens, they were my favourite parts of the book. I think this book may have benefited from more anecdotes.
Overall, I liked Trans Teen Survival Guide, while I personally didn't really learn anything new I think it would be a good resource for teenagers who are just starting to question or come to terms with their gender identity.
I would probably recommend that trans teens look for other resources to learn from alongside this book and I think that talking to other trans people about their experiences is very useful for anyone who is thinking about transitioning.
*RECEIVED FROM NETGALLEY This book was very informative which I did not mind but a lot of the info for the websites are from the UK. Regardless it is informative and it gives tips for clothes and also shares little stories from people regarding the topic. I just wish they had more information for the people living in the USA and not as much for the UK (or split it down the middle). Other stuff was basic knowledge so I kind of skipped that and read the stuff I did not know, like the surgeries and the differences.