With Caitlyn Jenner's recent publicized transition, everyone is talking about the topic and I think it is so important that we take this opportunity to understand and speak up for the Trans* community (including transgender, transvestite, gender variant, pangender, agender, third gender, two-spirit, genderqueer and other places on the transgender continuum.)
Whilst I personally consider myself cis-gendered (the gender I was assigned at birth), I think it is so important for everybody to understand and accept the LGBTQ* community and in particular for the purpose of this article, Trans* individuals. So I've been researching the best YA books that feature Trans* characters or themes and I encourage you to read them.
1) Luna by Julie Ann Peters
Regan is an average sixteen-year-old girl who is keeping her brother Liam's secret that really he is a transgender female called Luna.
2) I Am J by Cris Beam
J always felt different. He was sure everyone else would understand that really he was a girl mistaken for a boy, but as he grew up his body betrayed him and he hid who he was out of fear of not being understood.
3) Being Emily by Rachel Gold
When Emily, born as Christopher, tells her parents of her desire to live as a woman, they send her to therapy. With her girlfriend by her side and the help of a therapist, Emily learns to understand she can really be herself.
4) Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
Logan instantly fancies Sage the first time they meet. But how will he behave when he finds out Sage was born male?
5) Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Elle starts talking to her neighbour, Frank and despite him having a girlfriend, she falls for him, hard. Elle's world is about to be turned upside down when Frank reveals he was actually born a woman.
6) Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Gabe hosts a popular radio show called Beautiful Music for Ugly Children but he isn't out at school. He was born Elizabeth and is still living as female but when somebody discovers his secret, his whole world gets a lot more complicated.
If you would like to talk to somebody about anything discussed within this article, there are some resources available to you:
Beaumont Society: 01582 412220 (UK)
A National 24hr helpline and other support for transvestites, transsexuals, their partners and families.
Beaumont Trust: 07000 287878 (UK)
Helpline for transsexuals, transvestites and their partners. Referral to specialist agencies, counsellors and self help groups.
Gender Trust: 01527 894838 (UK)
www.gendertrust.org.uk - Helpline and other services for people who are transsexual, gender dysphoric or transgenderist Befriending with a confidential contact system for members. Information on specialist help including counselling, psychotherapy, psychiatrists.
Gires: The Gender Identity Research & Education Society: 01372 801554 (UK)
www.gires.org.uk - Information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them.
LGBT Helpline Scotland: 0300 123 2523 (Scotland)
Open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12-9pm. Information and emotional support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, friends and supporters across Scotland.
Mermaids: 020 8123 4819 (UK)
www.mermaidsuk.org.uk - Telephone information and listening service for children and teenagers with gender identity issues and their families.
Trans Lifeline: (877) 565 8860 (US)
(877) 330 6366 (Canada)
http://www.translifeline.org/ - An emergency hotline staffed by Transgender people for Transgender people to prevent self-harm.
If you're aware of any more helplines, please contact us so we can add them to our list.