Transgender Issues

Becoming a Visible Man:  Written by a leading activist in the transgender movement, Becoming a Visible Man is an artful and compelling inquiry into the politics of gender. Jamison Green combines candid autobiography with informed analysis to offer unique insight into the multiple challenges of the female-to-male transsexual experience, ranging from encounters with prejudice and strained relationships with family to the development of an FTM community and the realities of surgical sex reassignment.

The Riddle of Gender : Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights:  In her assessment of the state of affairs in the transsexual community, Rudacille builds on the commentary that has accumulated since a Berlin physician (Magnus Hirschfeld) pioneered research on transsexuality in the 1920s, and especially since George Jorgensen Jr. became Christine Jorgensen and a worldwide sensation in the early 1950s. Rudacille approaches her subject matter sympathetically and from various angles, including the people who have addressed their sexual identity issues via hormone treatment and surgery, the clinical context of transsexualism, and the scientists who have investigated and theorized about the subject. Rudacille also includes the verbatim testimony of a half-dozen people whom she interviewed in rather intimate detail. Undergirding her report is the recurring question of male and female identity in general: Is it socially constructed or biologically determined? Rudacille’s work is uniquely informative, particularly about the history of transsexuality.

She’s Not There : A Life in Two Genders:  In this autobiography, Jennifer Boylan details her lifelong struggle with her burgeoning femaleness and the path she followed to become a female, both physically and mentally. For 40 years, the author lived as a man, seemingly happy and even marrying a woman and fathering two children. At a certain point, though, she realized that she couldn’t suppress her desire to live as a female and so eventually went through all the steps to become female, including sexual reassignment surgery.

TransActions:  Erica Zander is a Swedish lesbian-identified male-to-female transsexual. After thirty years as a “so she thought” transvestite, and fifteen as a former trans’, she transitioned at the age of forty-eight. Erica still lives with her wife of thirty years; together they have two adult sons.  In this candid autobiography, trans activist statement and post-op diary, Ms. Zander discusses a wide range of topics related to gender and the individual’s quest for wholeness. Her text has an immediacy that is only possible because it was written throughout her transition, not years later.

Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgendered Loved Ones, 2nd Edition

Transgender Emergence: Therapeutic Guidelines for Working With Gender-Variant People and Their Families (Haworth Marriage and the Family):  Provides a clinical and theoretical overview of the issues facing transfendered and transsexual people and their families. Addresses the needs of gender-variant populations, such as intersexed, transgendered and bigendered people.

True Selves : Understanding Transsexualism–For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals:  Brown and Rounsley’s solidly based introduction to many aspects of living as a transsexual provides general information about the dilemma of feeling trapped in the wrong physical gender, about such a person’s development, and about locating a gender therapist. Brown and Rounsley also detail the process of transition between genders, starting with legal and identity changes and proceeding to changing outward modes of self-presentation (they include sample “coming-out” letters to employers, coworkers, friends, and family members) and dealing with bathroom issues, hormone treatments, surgical options, and guidelines for finding social support. First-person accounts from transsexuals augment general readability and put human faces on the issues discussed.