Advocate Bookshelf: Best Non-Fiction Transgender Books
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
November 19 2011 6:30 PM ET
As the world memorializes tomorrow's Transgender Day of Remembrance our community will primarily focus on the discrimination and violence faced by trans people. But it's a good time to educate yourself on why transgender people are varied, nuanced,and as complex as any others. While there are dozens of wonderful novels with trans characters (like Leslie Feinberg's Stone Butch Blues or T Cooper's Some of the Parts), non-fiction books offer up the best way to understand and explore the T in the LGBT. There are far too many to mention here, so we've skipped a couple of award winning takes on gender variance including two must-reads, Butch is a Noun by S. Bear Bergman and Nobody Passes by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore) and three more that should be required reading for college students (Deborah Rudacille's amazing The Riddle of Gender, Transgender Rights by Paisley Currah, Richard M. Juang, and Shannon Price Minter, and The Transgender Studies Reader by Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle). The rest of these make up our Trans 101 bookshelf.
The Testosterone Files ($11, Seal)
One of the more riveting memoirs by transgender individuals, Max Valerio Wolf's Testosterone Files is raw and aggressive account of the Native American Latino Sephardic poet and performer's journey from lesbian-feminist to transgender man (a viewing of Raging Bull, at 23, plays a role in his coming out).What Valerio does, that raises more than eyebrows, is talk honestly about his new politically incorrect sexual desires, his growing distance from women, and the overall construction of maleness in our culture.