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Best Transgender books you've read or would recommend reading

Started by BreezyB, October 03, 2014, 10:40:04 PM

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Kind of what the Left Hand of Darkness is about, "the left hand of darkness is the light" ie. you can't have one thing without the other, so the genderless people are neither gender... and both. Or at least, that's how I interpreted it. I expect lots of people can interpret it lots of different ways! As for the characters seeming a bit flat... I sort of felt like the only one we got to spend any time with was Estraven. The king, though, was a pretty colourful character, even if they aren't very nice :P I'd have enjoyed seeing more of them.

Haven't read the Dispossessed, I did read Lathe of Heaven and loved it, but also read A Wizard of Earthsea and found it a bit meh. Not bad, just... not that great.

I'm working on a scifi novel where all the aliens are gender neutral (in a different way to Left Hand, I made it as different as I could so it wouldn't seem like a copycat thing!) and this thread has me itching to get working on it again!


No one is going to mention Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green?

I thought it was fantastic, although I'd really like to hear what the transmen here think about it.


Quote from: Me the Girl on April 12, 2015, 01:56:39 AM
You know, I did read Orlando in college.  I certainly was interested in the transition the character goes through, but otherwise I don't know that I got much out of it.

I disliked Orlando.  She didn't seem to transition at all.  Her gender flips like a lightswitch on the wall, and she never experiences a second of dysphoria in either gender.


Just finished reading Transgender History by Susan Stryker.  She has a PhD in history, but this is not heavy-duty academic stuff.  It's very readable and goes fast.  The early parts deal with the "prehistory" of transgenderism - like the research and work of Magnus Hirschfeld and others.  Then it goes on to the development of the medical approach of Harry Benjamin and others, recognizing their contributions, but also presenting thoughtful criticism of the "gatekeeper" role that medical practitioners adopted.

Along the way, there are great descriptions of trans forerunners like Christine Jorgensen, Virginia Prince, Marsha P. (for "Pay It No Mind") Johnson, and Sandy Stone.  Also, two Stonewall-type riots that you've never heard of that happened BEFORE Stonewall.

I liked the parts dealing with the 40s through the 70s best, and felt like I learned a lot.  Some of the last part of the book was exotic gender theory that made my eyes glaze over.

I'm glad I read this book!  I recommend it.  There's a lot to learn here!

QuoteTransgender History
Stryker, Susan (2008)

"Transgender History covers American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today. Transgender History takes a chronological approach to the subject of transgender history, with each chapter covering major movements, writings, and events. Chapter 1 covers the transsexual and transvestite communities in the years following World War II. Chapter 2 addresses trans radicalism and social change, which spanned from 1966 with the publication of The Transsexual Phenomenon, and lasted through the early 1970s. Chapter 3 focuses on the mid-'70s to 1990--the era of identity politics and the changes witnessed in trans circles through these years. Chapters 4 and 5 are broken into the gender issues witnessed through the '90s and '00s, respectively. Sidebars highlight quotes from major texts and speeches in transgender history, and others will feature brief biographies of key players. First-person narratives from transgender memoirs are excerpted and treatments of transgenderism in popular culture are also discussed."--Publisher's description.

From the Publisher: Transgender History covers American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today. From the transsexual and transvestite communities in the years following "World War II to trans radicalism and social change in the '60s and '70s to the gender issues witnessed throughout the '90s and '00s, this introductory text will give you a foundation for understanding the developments, changes, strides, and setbacks of trans studies and the trans community in the United States.


Rae D. Magdon's Tengoku is a wonderful work of fiction with a trans main character. Apparently see has other similar books but I haven't gotten around to reading them.
To be honest one of the best books I've read in a while. Go read it!


I listened to She's Not There by Jennifer Fenny Boyland on audiobook and read by jenny. I enjoyed her story.

Now I'm listening to Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity  By Julia Serano. It is the 2016 version read by her. It is a technical discussion of transsexualism and sounds a bit dated as she left more of the book untouched from her original book. If you like a critical look at how transsexuals were (and I'm sure still are in places) then you might find this book interesting. I thought it was.
April 13, 2019 switched to estradiol valerate
December 20, 2018    Referral sent to OHSU Dr Dugi  for vaginoplasty consult
December 10, 2018    Second Letter VA Psychiatric Practical nurse
November 15, 2018    First letter from VA therapist
May 11, 2018 I am Laurie Jeanette Wickwire
May   3, 2018 Submitted name change forms
Aug 26, 2017 another increase in estradiol
Jun  26, 2017 Last day in male attire That's full time I guess
May 20, 2017 doubled estradiol
May 18, 2017 started electrolysis
Dec   4, 2016 Started estradiol and spironolactone



Gender Outlaws by Kate Bernstein
Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green

You'll have to figure out how gender fits into the novel, but

Gentlemen of the Road, by Michael Chabon