Published resources for transgender people

Top recommendations

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

Trans Bodies Trans Selves

I'm very proud to have advised on this important book.

Letters for My Sisters

letters for my sisters

I co-edited this anthology of collected wisdom for trans women.

Primary net resources

The American Library Association published a transgender bibliography in 2005. [PDF]

An excellent online bibliography exists at

Dallas Denny and JoAnn Roberts compiled an annotated bibliography in 2000.

Another good online source for scholarly research is the International Journal of Transgenderism by Haworth Press.

Renate also has a categorized list of books concerning TS/TG/CD.

See also the 1997-2002 issues of International Journal of Transgenderism published by Symposion.

  • The IJT site contains an on-line version of Harry Benjamin's seminal 1966 book, The Transsexual Phenomenon, which is more interesting as a historical document than as an up-to-date guide to transsexual issues. However, it's interesting to see this first attempt at explanation and treatment.

My personal recommendations

While these items do not focus on practical aspects of transition, I found the following books and film especially interesting, informative and inspirational. I have only listed books I've read myself. One notable absence is True Selves, by Mildred Brown. Many women cite this as their own favorite, but I have not read it yet.

History and politics


Transgender Warriors : Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodmantransgender warriors, by Leslie Feinberg. (Beacon Press, 1997)

Leslie was a genderqueer icon who compiled an excellent overview of transgender people in world history.


Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism , by Pat Califia (Cleis Press, 1997)

Pat has written an outstanding outline of transsexual history in the U.S. since the mid-fifties, focusing on contemporary issues. Scholarly, but not too dry.


Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us , by Kate Bornstein (Vintage, 1994)

Kate's style is fun and accessible, and she raises some interesting questions about gender. However, it's a bit scattered, and she addresses her more compelling issues much more thoroughly and thoughtfully in her follow-up, My Gender Workbook>.



Branded T , by Rosalyne Blumenstein. (First Books, 2003)

See my page on Rosalyne Blumenstein for details on this great book and its amazing author.


Conundrum (New York Review Books Classics) , by Jan Morris (Henry Holt & Co.).

Jan is a world-renowned travel writer. She has written a fascinating autobiography recalling her days accompanying the first expedition to scale Mt. Everest, up through her transition and life after. It's easily the best-written account, although some might find her style a bit inaccessible.


My Story , by Caroline Cossey (Faber and Faber, 1991).

Caroline's autobiography tells of her sex change and subsequent career as an international model under the name "Tula." Her appearance in a James Bond movie and growing fame led to her outing by the British tabloids. Maybe you saw her photo in an obnoxious Sauza Tequila ad a couple of years ago that said "she's a he" across her chest.


Letters For My Brothers, Megan Rohrer (Editor), Zander Keig (Editor) Jamison Green (Author), Cristopher Bautista (Author), Malcolm Himschoot (Author), Reid Vanderburgh (Author), Elliott Anthony Brooker (Author), Lou Sullivan (Author), Raven Kaldera (Author) Also available from the publisher.

In today's fast paced world, the internet can provide quick answers to personal questions. But when an individual raised by society to live, breathe and look at the world with female eyes transitions to male, some of the most enlightening, helpful and profound advice can only come in retrospect. Letter to my Brothers, features essays from respected transmen mentors who share the wisdom they wish they would have known at the beginning of their journey into manhood. 20% of the proceeds are donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality.


Wrapped In Blue: A Journey of Discovery , by Donna Rose (Living Legacy Press, 2003).

A thoughtful and frank memoir from a soman who was married with children when she decided to transition. She has had one of the more remarkable physical transformations as well. You can find more information about Donna and her book at


Hidden in Plain Sight by Leslie Townsend

Leslie's book is currently being revised for the second edition. I'll update this when the new version is abailable.

Leslie began transition at 19 and lived stealth for 18 years before deciding it was holding her back. Read my review here.


She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Jenny has written an engaging and often charming account of the joys and difficulties of her transition as a college professor. Buy it here.


Mom, I Need To Be a Girl. by Just Evelyn

Evelyn helped her MTF child transition at 15 and have SRS at 18. I found this to be a very touching book. Read it for free here.


Mark 947: A Life Shaped by God, Gender and Force of Will by Calpernia Addams

Calpernia began transition after a strict religious upbringing and a stint in the Navy. While working as a showgirl, she was thrust into the media spotlight when her boyfriend was murdered by fellow soldiers. Read my review here.


From Within. by Vicky

Vicky's account of transition in her teens is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Read my review here.


'O Au No Keia: Voices from Hawai'i's Mahu and Transgender Communities . by Andrew Matzner

An interesting collection of 14 first-hand narratives about life in Hawai'i's mahu and transgedered commmunities. Read my review here.




Shelf of shame

The Transsexual Empire, by Janice Raymond

This classic of transphobia compares us to rapists and Nazis, and remains the shrill voice of the transsexual backlash.

The Man Who Would Be Queen, by J. Michael Bailey

It took 24 years for someone to write a book as dehumanizing as Raymond's, but Bailey managed to do it.

Read my review on the Bailey-Blanchard-Lawrence clearinghouse.