Out Magazine recently put together a really asinine list of transgender books for their transgender issue. I haven’t seen the issue, but the list doesn’t really inspire me to go buy it, either, since Myra Breckinridge is on it.
For the past years I’ve always mixed my gender / feminism / trans books, but since that Top 10 of Out‘s is so lame, and the Lammies recently neglected Whipping Girl, which they shouldn’t have, I thought instead I should post my own Top Ten Recommended Trans Reads for LGBTQ readers. There are a few everyone might not need to read – like Virginia Erhardt’s Head Over Heels, which is about the partners of MTFs – or they might want to substitute Minnie Bruce Pratt’s S/he instead – but mostly this list gives a good “big picture” view of the trans community, including a variety of identities.
I might suggest different books for family & friends who are trying to understand transition but who aren’t big readers, & I’ll have to think about that list, too.
& Maybe The Drag Queens of New York as well.
- Butch is a Noun – S. Bear Bergman
- Gender Outlaw – Kate Bornstein
- Crossdressing, Sex & Gender – Bullough & Bullough
- Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism – Patrick Califia
- Head Over Heels: Wives Who Stay with Crossdressers and Transsexuals – Virginia Erhardt
- Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman – Leslie Feinberg
- Becoming a Visible Man – Jamison Green
- Mom, I Need to be a Girl – Just Evelyn
- Whipping Girl – Julia Serano
- Transition & Beyond – Reid Vanderbergh
You’ll notice none of them is a YETA (Yet Another Transsexual Autobiography), since after you read Jenny Boylan’s She’s Not There (which I assume everyone has) you don’t need to read any others, and hers is the best-written, in my opinion. You can see the list in context on my Transgender Books page, which has reviews or links to reviews and discussions of them all.