Transgender 101 (A Book Review)

I bought “Transgender 101” by Nicholas Teich in June during Pride month. Some conversations I’d been having lately have opened my eyes to my lack of education on the topic, though I am 100% affirming. I needed to learn more in order to become a better ally.

So I started googling for resources to learn. This was the book that kept popping up.

I’m kind of blown away by how much information was packed into such a short piece of work.
The book discusses topics: various forms of what it means to be transgender, gender identity v. gender expression, transgender children and their development, pronoun etiquette, explanation of what transition may look like for a transgender individual, potential impact of a person coming out as transgender/transition on that person’s relationships (including spouse/partner & children), impact to the transgender individual in coming out in a society that has not done much work to make space for them, etc…

Transgender 101 also explores a brief medical history of transgender individuals and the changing conversation in both the medical & psychological worlds in how to treat transgender individuals.

The author of this book, a transgender man, stated in the beginning of this book that most resources accessible to the general population focused on appeals to empathy that argue for the inherent worth of transgender people rather than factual studies and information (that content often being limited to academia). Transgender 101 was created to fill that need. It wasn’t written to change anyone’s mind about the humanity of transgender people – it’s a given that transgender people are worthy of the same love and respect that cisgender people are – but to give a reasoned explanation of what it means when a person says that they are transgender.

I think this book would be a helpful and enlightening guide for anyone wanting to understanding an extremely complex topic.

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