Transcend: A Guide for Newly Identified Transgender Individuals and Their Families

Posted On: June 8, 2024

Books can be an excellent resource for newly identified transgender individuals and their families to gain a deeper understanding of gender identity, find guidance, and gain insights into the experiences of transgender people.

Transgender individuals are those whose gender identity does not align with the sex they were assigned at birth. This can include individuals who identify as male, female, both, neither, or somewhere along the gender spectrum. Transgender people may choose to undergo medical interventions such as hormone therapy or surgery to align their physical appearance with their gender identity. It is important to respect and affirm the gender identity of transgender individuals and to use their chosen name and pronouns. Transgender individuals face unique challenges, including discrimination, stigma, and lack of access to healthcare. It is crucial to support and advocate for the rights and well-being of transgender people in order to create a more inclusive and equitable society.

Here is a list of books that cover various aspects of transgender issues, from personal stories to educational resources:

1. Gender: A Graphic Guide by Barker, M. & Scheele, J. (2019)

Is masculinity ‘toxic’? Why are public toilets such a political issue? How has feminism changed the available gender roles – and for whom? Why might we all benefit from challenging binary thinking about sex/gender?
In this unique illustrated guide, Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele travel through our shifting understandings of gender across time and space – from ideas about masculinity and femininity, to non-binary and trans genders, to intersecting experiences of gender, race, sexuality, class, disability and more.

Gender A Graphic Guide
2. Life Isn’t Binary: On Being Both, Beyond, and In-Between by Barker, M. J. & Iantaffi, A.  (2019)

Much of society’s thinking operates in a highly rigid and binary manner; something is good or bad, right or wrong, a success or a failure, and so on. Challenging this limited way of thinking, this ground-breaking book looks at how non-binary methods of thought can be applied to all aspects of life, and offer new and greater ways of understanding ourselves and how we relate to others.

Using bisexual and non-binary gender experiences as a starting point, this book addresses the key issues with binary thinking regarding our relationships, bodies, emotions, wellbeing and our sense of identity and sets out a range of practices which may help us to think in more non-binary, both/and, or uncertain ways.

Life Isn't Binary
3. The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze by Holleb, M.L.E. (2019).

There can be confusion around the appropriate terminology for trans and queer identities, even within the trans community itself. As language is constantly evolving, it can be especially difficult to know what to say. As a thorough A-Z glossary of trans and queer words from ‘ace’ to ‘xe’, this dictionary guide will help to dispel the anxiety around using the “wrong” words, while explaining the weight of using certain labels and providing individuals with a vocabulary for personal identification.

The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality
4. How to Understand Your Sexuality: A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are by Iantaffi, A., & Barker, M. J. (2018)

Gay, straight, queer, pansexual, demisexual, ace…? Sexuality is complex and diverse, but it doesn’t have to be confusing.

This down-to-earth guide is the ultimate companion for understanding, accepting and celebrating your sexuality. Written by two internationally renowned authors and therapists, the book explains how sexuality works in terms of our identities, attractions, desires and practices, and explores how it intersects with our personal experiences and the world around us.

How to Understand Your Sexuality
5. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Trans (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Tannehill, B. (2018)

Leading activist and essayist Brynn Tannehill tells you everything you ever wanted to know about transgender issues but were afraid to ask. The book aims to break down deeply held misconceptions about trans people across all aspects of life, from politics, law and culture, through to science, religion and mental health, to provide readers with a deeper understanding of what it means to be trans.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Trans
6. The Beginner’s Guide to Being A Trans Ally by Whittlesey, C. (2021)

This easy-to-read guide offers information and advice to anyone wanting to understand more about trans experiences. It explains what gender identity is and arms you with the correct terminology to use. Filled with real-life examples and FAQs, it offers helpful strategies to navigate respectful conversations, speak up against transphobia and create inclusive relationships and spaces. It’s the ideal tool for anyone wanting to become a better ally to transgender and/or nonbinary people.

The Beginner's Guide to Being A Trans Ally
7. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource by and for Transgender Communities by Laura Erickson-Schroth (2022)

There is no one way to be transgender. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a revolutionary resource–a comprehensive, reader-friendly guide for transgender people, with each chapter written by transgender and gender expansive authors. Inspired by Our Bodies, Ourselves, the classic and powerful compendium written by and for cisgender women, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is widely accessible to the transgender population, providing authoritative information in an inclusive and respectful way and representing the collective knowledge base of dozens of influential experts.

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves
8. Trans Like Me: Conversations for All of Us by C.N. Lester

A personal and culture-driven exploration of the most pressing questions facing the transgender community today, from a leading activist, musician, and academic

In Trans Like Me, CN Lester takes readers on a measured, thoughtful, intelligent yet approachable tour through the most important and high-profile narratives around the trans community, turning them inside out and examining where we really are in terms of progress. From the impact of the media’s wording in covering trans people and issues, to the way parenting gender variant children is portrayed, Lester brings their charged personal narrative to every topic and expertly lays out the work left to be done.

Trans Like Me
9. The ABC’s of LGBT+: (Gender Identity Book for Teens, Teen & Young Adult LGBT Issues) by Ashley Mardell

Understanding gender identity and gender dysphoria. The 21st Century has seen very positive movement for LGBT+ rights. The overturning of DOMA, the SCOTUS ruling in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, American transgender politicians elected to office, and landmark moments such as Apple becoming the most valuable company in the world under the leadership of an openly gay CEO have advanced LGBT awareness and understanding.

The ABC's of LGBT+
10. Transgender Teen: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Teens by Stephanie A. Brill and Lisa Kenney

Is it just a phase, a fad, or a real issue with your teen? This comprehensive guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising a teenager who may be transgender, gender-variant or gender-fluid. Covering extensive research and with many personal interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the author covers pressing concerns relating to physical and emotional development, social and school pressures, medical options, and family communications. Learn how parents can advocate for their children, find acceptable colleges and career paths, and raise their gender variant or transgender adolescent with love and compassion.

Transgender Teen


Additional Resources:

  1. Online groups for young people, family members and caregivers:
  2. LGBTQ+ resources on religion and faith:
  3. LGBTQ Catholics:;
  4. LGBTQ & Muslim resources:;
  5. List of resources (and source of webinars and education):
  6. Family Acceptance Project:
  7. Latiné LGBTQ people:
  8. A short animated movie about family acceptance in Spanish:
  9. A gender-inclusive and affirming sex education resource for teens

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Dr. Martha Tara Lee has been a passionate advocate for positive sexuality since 2007. With a Doctorate in Human Sexuality and a Masters in Counseling, she launched Eros Coaching in 2009 to help individuals and couples lead self-actualised and pleasurable lives. Her expertise includes working with couples who have unconsummated marriage, individuals with sexual inhibitions and discrepancies in sexual desire, men with erection and ejaculation concerns, and members of the LGBTQIA+ and kink communities. Dr. Lee welcomes all sexual orientations and is available for online and face-to-face consultations. Martha speaks English and Mandarin.

She is the only certified sexuality educator by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in the region (as of 2011) and is also an AASECT certified sexuality educator supervisor (as of 2018). She strives to provide fun, educational, and sex-positive events and is often cited in the media including Huffington PostNewsweek, South China Morning Post, and more. She is the appointed Resident Sexologist for Singapore Cancer Society, Of, and Virtus Fertility Centre. She is the host of radio show Eros Evolution for OMTimes Radio. In recognition of her work, she was named one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women under 40’ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She is the author of Love, Sex and Everything In-Between (2013),  Orgasmic Yoga: Masturbation, Meditation and Everything In-Between (2015), From Princess to Queen: Heartbreaks, Heartgasms and Everything In-Between (2017), and {Un}Inhihibited (2019).

You can read the testimonials she’s received over years here. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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