General Reading List for Trans* people and Trans* Allies: Print Books by Author

So, at Philly Pride on Sunday, I was with my straight-ally/adopted-big-sister C and another genderqueer classicist (tumblr: nonnobissolum) whom I’ll call Q.  So, inspired by some drag queens, C said, “You know, we should try to get RuPaul for your commencement speaker.”  I knew that likely RuPaul would likely manage to say something offensive to at least half the Bryn Mawr queer community, and besides, I’d had someone else in mind for months.  “I was thinking more like Kate Bornstein,” I replied.  Q’s face lit up.  Cliche, I know, but seriously, I didn’t know that that big a smile could fit on someone so skinny.  (Picture someone naturally about half the size of David Tennant, you’ll get what I mean.)

C, meanwhile, was just staring at me.  “Who?”  “Kate Bornstein,” I repeated, thinking she hadn’t heard.  No recognition.  “You know, genderqueer transwoman, author of A Queer and Pleasant Danger and Gender Outlaw.”  C:  “No….”

How had one of my two closest allies hung out with me all year and never heard of Kate Bornstein?  After Pride, I dragged C to the Rainbow Alliance shelf in Canaday Library, and presented her with A Queer and Pleasant Danger and My Gender Workbook.  There were more books up on the third floor, but I figured two was enough to start with.  But only to start with, so I’ve compiled a list of books I’ve found useful when figuring out my identities.

Unless otherwise noted, all of these books can be found in Bryn Mawr College’s Canaday Library. I have read all these books (well, I’m not sure if I actually finished all of Vested Interests, but I read at least 3 chapters), and this list will be updated as I read more books.  I may eventually turn this list and future ones like it into a permanent blog page called “resources” or something.  Anyway….

  • Barton, Bernadette
    • Pray the Gay Away: the extraordinary lives of Bible Belt gays
      • New York : New York University Press, 2012
  • Bianco, David
    • Gay Essentials: facts for your queer brain
      • Los Angeles, CA : Alyson Books, 1999
  • Bornstein, Kate
    • A Queer and Pleasant Danger
      • Boston : Beacon Press, 2012
    • Hello, Cruel World: 101 suicide alternatives for teens, freaks, and other outlaws
      • New York : Seven Stories Press, 2006
    • Gender Outlaw: men, women, and the rest of us
      • N.Y., N.Y. : Routledge, 1994
    • Gender Outlaws: the next generation (with S. Bear Bergman)
      • Berkley, CA: Seal Press (Perseus Books Group), 2010
    • My Gender Workbook: a guide to becoming a real man, a real woman, the real you, or something else entirely
      • New York ; London : Routledge, 1998
  • Bullough, Bonnie and Vern L.
    • Crossdressing, Sex, and Gender
      • University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993
  • Califia, Patrick
    • Sex Changes: transgender politics
      • San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press, 1997, 2003
    • Speaking Sex to Power: the politics of queer sex
      •  San Francisco : Cleis Press, 2002
  • Feinberg, Leslie
    • Stone Butch Blues
      • Ithaca, N.Y. : Firebrand Books, 1993
        • At Magill Library, Haverford College
  • Fone, Byrne R.S.
    • Homophobia: a history
      • New York : Metropolitan Books, 2000 New York : Metropolitan Books, 2000
        • Yeah, I know it says “homophobia,” not transphobia, but it amounts to pretty much the same thing. I’ve never seen a homophobe who wasn’t transphobic, after all—have you?
  • Garber, Marjorie
    • Vested Interests: cross-dressing and cultural anxiety
  • Halberstam, J.
    • Female Masculinity
      • Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 1998
  • Kantor, Martin
    • Homophobia: the state of sexual bigotry today
      • Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2009
  • Nestle, Howell, and Wilchins (ed)
    • GenderQueer : voices from beyond the sexual binary
      • Los Angeles : Alyson Books, 2002
  • Smith-Dixon, Krista (ed)
    • Trans/forming Feminisms: trans/feminist voices speak out.
      • Toronto: Sumach Press, 2006
  • Stryker, Susan
    • Transgender History
      • Berkley, CA: Seal Press (Perseus Books Group), 2008
  • Valerio, Max
    • The Testosterone Files: my hormonal and social transformation from female to male
      • Emeryville, CA : Seal Press, an imprint of Avalon Pub. Group, Inc., 2006
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Posted in Blog News, Nerd Stuff, Queer Life, Queer Stuff
4 comments on “General Reading List for Trans* people and Trans* Allies: Print Books by Author
  1. Jamie Ray says:

    Good list, I am going to have to read Pray the Gay Away and Homophobia. I’d add Deborah Rudacille’s “The Riddle of Gender” to any list. Even though she is straight and cis, she gives a good history of transgender rights and the medical/psych history and background of transsexuality.

    • ChrisCQC says:

      “The Riddle of Gender.” I’ll have to look that up. (It might take a little while; I have a few more posts coming up that aren’t directly about trans* issues but more like activism strategies.)

  2. doubleinvert says:

    I’ve read Stryker’s “Transgender History” (it was a brithday present from my ex as I was starting to explore transition) and I have Garber’s “Vested Interests.” My ex had also given me Garber’s “Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life.” It took me quite a while to get through it, due to the fact that I’m not accustomed to such an academic tone. But I’m looking forward to “Vested.”


    • ChrisCQC says:

      Okay, I’ll look that up too. Yeah, Garber is pretty academic. I first encountered her work as a handout for an English class a few months ago (the course was cross-listed with G&S). I used her commentary on the “borrowed clothes” imagery in Macbeth to hypothesize that Macbeth is crossing gender by trying to be more masculine than he is meant to be.

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