The Transgender Day of Visibility takes place each year on March 31st. The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice. We’re pleased to be able to recommend some appropriately themed books and resources for those who are interested in learning more about the trans experience.
For kids in grades 1-3, take a look at I Am Jazz by Jazz Jennings with illustrations by Shelagh McNicholas. This autobiographical picture book tells the story of a transgender child who knew from the time she was two that, despite her physical body, she wasn’t really a boy. This book highlights trans children in an uplifting and empowering way.
For ages 8-12 you can check out George by Stonewall Award Winner Alex Gino, or Gino’s latest title, Rick. Rick appeared in the local news recently when a Waterloo Region District School Board teacher questioned its age-appropriateness. You can read more about this in Joel Rubinoff’s February 13, 2022 article in the Waterloo Region Record.
For teens, check out Felix Ever After from Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender. In this story, a Black, queer, transgender teen grapples with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time. Felix Ever After is a layered story that explores falling in love and recognizing that you are deserving of love. It appears on the Publisher’s Weekly “Anti-Racist Children’s and YA Reading List.”
Adults should check out Love Lives Here, a memoir by Amanda Jetté Knox, whose son came out as transgender at the age of eleven, and whose partner came out as transgender about a year later. This Canadian story is an honest and heartfelt work about love and understanding in a typical family. The author has become a strong advocate for transgender rights. You can follow them on Twitter @MavenofMayhem. This title was a selection in a previous SPECTRUM and WPL 2SLGBTQ+ Book Club.
Speaking of the Book Club, it meets once per month on the last Monday at 7pm for discussion and fellowship. April’s book club selection is Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead. You can register to join us through the WPL Events Calendar, and can read a WPL staff member’s review of Jonny Appleseed here.
We’d also like to recommend some of the resources we have developed. SPECTRUM’s LGBTQ2+ 101 Terminology Guide will give you all the basics on terminology around gender and sexuality while also addressing some key concepts in allyship and discrimination and transphobia.
Our Trans and Gender Diverse Mental Health, Wellness, and Suicide Prevention Toolkit is an in-depth guide to the issues facing trans and gender diverse people in our community. It can help you to better understand how to be an ally, point you to important local resources, and highlight the challenges that still need to be addressed.
You can also take a look at these fact sheets:
Finally, you may be interested in these short videos that feature local 2SLGBTQ+ people discussing:
- Transitioning at Work
- Transgender Experiences
- Transgender Discrimination
- Internalized Homo/Bi/Transphobia
For more recommendations, check out this list from the OK2BME program at KW Counselling Services. You can sort it by a variety of categories, and by grade level.
This blog post was written by SPECTRUM staff. To learn more about SPECTRUM and its Transgender Services, visit www.ourspectrum.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.