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Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199325351
ISBN-10: 0199325359
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  • Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community
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Editorial Reviews


"[A] groundbreaking title" --Publisher's Weekly

"As transgender people strive to gain more acceptance and legal protections, they will soon have a hefty new resource to assist them - a 672-page book, written by scores of transgender contributors, that encompasses social history, gender politics and wide-ranging advice on health, law, relationships and many other matters. Encyclopedic in scope, conversational in tone, and candid about complex sexual issues, the Oxford University Press book being released in mid-May is titled Trans Bodies, Trans Selves - a deliberate echo of a pioneering feminist health-resource book, Our Bodies, Ourselves that appeared more than 40 years ago" --Associated Press

"I have been waiting for some time to see a book come out that is written for the purposes of providing timely information to transgender individuals to support them through their identity process. The comprehensiveness of this book is a major strength that can be applied to transgender individuals, their loved ones, and those who are in fields that impact transgender individuals. I have yet to have seen a book that incorporates information for individuals who identify on the gender spectrum-most books focus on one specific identity, whereas Trans Bodies, Trans Selves allows for the breadth of applying to many different individuals. This book appears to carry on the tradition of affirming many different transgender identities and the identification process." -Stephanie L. Budge, PhD, Assistant Professor, Counseling Psychology, University of Louisville

"Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is the answer to the wishes of many trans individuals and their therapists and counselors for a comprehensive resource of critical information that is both accurate and reliable, on the one hand, and written in a respectful way that is addressed to trans and questioning readers rather than at them or about them. I wholeheartedly recommend this book." -Michael L. Hendricks, Ph.D., ABPP, Clinical Psychologist, Washington Psychological Center

"...a community of people who are the best experts on themselves has come together to create a resource of information, mutual support, and political advocacy that will strengthen many. Thanks to Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and all the transgender folks who have been writing and teaching over the past many years, we, a group of cisgender women, now know that we can no longer say 'a woman's body' and mean only one thing." -From the Afterword by Wendy Sanford, author of Our Bodies, Our Selves

"The many voices raised in the pages of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves are the vanguard of a rising tide. If you are new to transgender, transsexual, or trans* experience, prepare to be swept away." -Jamison Green, President of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), co-director of the Transgender Law & Policy Institute, and author of Becoming a Visible Man

"Trans Bodies, Trans Selves comes at a moment in our history when transgender people are in the spotlight, but we are not yet the authority on our own lives. This critical resource will provide a beacon of hope for the transgender person in crisis who is facing a barrage of negative messages, life-threatening discrimination, and a lack of support and validation. We now have a volume that speaks to our lived experiences and provides the message that our lives matter, we are powerful in ourselves and our bodies, and we demand political, social, and legal equality." -M. Dru Levasseur, JD, Director of Lambda Legal's Transgender Rights Project and Co-Founder of the Jim Collins Foundation, providing financial assistance to transgender people for gender-confirming surgeries

"One of the most grassroots, comprehensive transgender and gender noncomforming (TGNC) community-based literary projects I have ever seen. Lots of great people with diverse perspectives brought together to provide a truly holistic look at what is to be a TGNC person in all the various ways one may define that for themselves. A great resource that respects the immense intersectionality of trans and gender nonconforming people's lives. Finally a literary project that sincerely deserves the use of the term 'Groundbreaking'." -Imani Henry, Staff Organizer at the International Action Center (IAC), focusing on national organizing of LGBT people and communities of color

"For years I wondered how to create a one-stop-shop book for the trans community with all the basic info trans people would need. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves has done it!" -Riki Wilchins, founder of GenderPAC and The Transexual Menace, and author of Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer

"Trans Bodies Trans Selves is a remarkably timely and much needed book that brings together collaborators across the spectrum of transgender health, culture, and history. At no other time has the transgender community been so poised to break out of its collective closet than now. It is vitally important to our communities of transgender people, advocates, and health care providers to have this volume of expertise at our fingertips. Dr. Erickson-Schroth has done us a great service by bringing together thoughtful thinkers and writers in the social and biological sciences to share complex knowledge that will empower each reader of this volume in new ways. Whether you are transgender, genderqueer, cis, scholar, health-care provider, social service provider, policy-maker, loved one, or other interested ally, you will find mind-opening and practical information and perspectives in this groundbreaking collection." -Jack Pula, MD, co-chair of the APA NY District Branch Committee on LGBT issues

"It's impossible to make informed decisions about one's life in the absence of information. Happily, trans people now have a wealth of information in the form of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves." -Dallas Denny, Founding Director of the American Educational Gender Information Service (AEGIS), past editor of Chrysalis Quarterly and Transgender Tapestry, and former director of the Fantasia Fair

"There has never been a book just like Trans Bodies, Trans Selves. More than a medical textbook, much more than any individual's autobiography, this anthology of transgender health and history is personalized with interviews covering every point on the spectrum of transgender experience. Transgender and gender nonconforming persons will read this book and see stories directly relevant to their own lives. Others who read with a desire to learn about the experience of transgender life - for that is the correct term, 'life' not 'lifestyle' - will not be disappointed. People who said 'I have never met a transgender person' may feel they have met many of us in the pages of this book. [R]ecommended for everyone who wants to understand this wonderful, brave, diverse group called 'transgender.'" -Rebecca Allison, MD, past President of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality

"TBTS is brimming with straightforward information about living a life as a gender-nonconforming person in the United States...illuminating even for people who are already well-informed... " --The New Republic

"[T]his book clearly comes at the perfect time...Bridging the gap between being understandable to the newest of readers and being helpful to those more versed in transgender issues, the vastness of topics covered includes everything from sex work to sexual safety, from romantic relationships to personal feelings about one's changing body. The mix of personal stories and professional guidance from doctors and therapists allows the reader to have a well-rounded learning experience about each of the topics." --socialworker.com

"Trans Bodies, Trans Selves offers practical suggestions on navigating life as a transgender person. From tips on how to transition socially to questions one should ask mental health professionals, the volume offers concrete transition-related ideas on a range of topics. It is strongly recommended to professionals who serve the TGNC community. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves has created a solid foundation upon which future research will emerge regardless of discipline. This resource will be cited for a long time." --Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity

"Like its inspiration, OBOS, TBTS is not an academic treatise, nor is it meant to be, though
much of the writing is quite academic. It is written for a broad audience inclusive of trans
people and those who live, love, and work with them. There is thread of activism and a desire to be seen that runs through the book. Throughout the pages of information, stories and narratives are
placed about the lives people are living, the struggles they face, and the joy they feel. Much
of this is accomplished by the way the editor has chosen to format the book. There are
many contributors who are featured in boxed narratives. This book can be used as a helpful resource to both the lay and the professional audience, as well as the transgender and cisgender person." --Shara Sand, PsycCRITIQUES

"TBTS is an invaluable resource. A surprising wealth of material on trans people already
exists, written by both trans and cisgender people, and in a broad range of genres and
formats, including memoirs, histories, medical journals, academic collections,
and even graphic novels. This volume does an excellent job of consolidating much of that material into a 'one-stop' resource, while also providing extensive bibliographies at the end of each chapter for further exploration. TBTS is an ideal book for introductory reading,
both for personal and classroom use." --Feminist Collections

"This collaboratively written resource guide discusses virtually every aspect of transgender life, ranging from intersectionality and legal issues to health and art. Each chapter, written by transgender or genderqueer authors, incorporates anonymous quotations from respondents to surveys conducted by the editorial staff that demonstrate the diversity in transgender people's experiences and perspectives. A substantial work for public and academic libraries."
--Library Journal

About the Author

Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, MA, is a psychiatry resident at New York University Medical Center. She is a board member of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, as well as the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists. She is a founding member of the Gender and Family Network of New York City, a group for service providers interested in the health of gender non-conforming children and adolescents.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199325359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199325351
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just received my pre-order copy today and so far has exceeded my expectation tremendously! Jennifer Boylan's preface is both articulate and moving. This book is a bible of the transgender experience. It covers health, biology, psychology, history and politics and includes hundreds of voices of both professional and laypersons and many cultures that encompass the transgender experience. I am a physician who cares for transgender patients and Mom of a beautiful transgender daughter. I would recommend this book as a reference for any person is trans or who has an interest in trans issues for any reason. It should be in all health, psychology and sociology libraries. Frankly, I so wish this book had been published many years ago when my own daughter came out to me. It is a book whose time has come and is a powerful voice for this amazing community. Thank you Laura Erickson-Schroth for this resource!
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Format: Paperback
This excellent resource could easily have been multiple books. It is the most comprehensive, in depth look at transgender people’s experience I have seen in my 10+ years as a Trans* ally and activist.

The 100+ page first section could stand by itself as a valuable insight into Trans* experience. It showed me how my cultural background, research, and advocacy within a small segment of the Trans* community was woefully inadequate to understand the full spectrum of their experiences. Every person’s experience is unique to them; similarly, there is no one “standard” way to live or be Trans*. This first section – Who we Are” – introduces us to the racial, ethnic, religious, and societal influences that interact with each person’s Trans* life and identity.

Section 2 – Living as Ourselves - forms a logical transition into the remainder of the book. The remaining major sections - Health and Wellness, Relationships and Families, Life Stages, and Claiming our power – flesh out virtually everything a transgender person may experience. The entire book is narrated in the first person by the editor. Direct quotes from survey respondents are interspersed with personal stories by various leaders in the struggle for recognition and acceptance. Segments on medical, health, legal, and social issues provide a general summary of these concerns; readers are referred to experts in their fields for additional situation-specific help.

Sidebar notes list a multitude of references and resources dealing with the subject of adjacent paragraphs, some of which were new to me. Annotated references to books and other resources are appended to each chapter, while a lengthy list of contributors is appended following the last section.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While this is an invaluable resource for those who are transgender or gender non-conforming, it is also wonderful for trans allies to get complete view of what it means to be transgender, and to learn how to offer support and advocate.

The preface ends with "After 40 years, this is still the most important message I can send. Please share this book with others." I agree wholeheartedly.
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Invaluable Compendium of information. Finally the transgender tipping point has been reached! Items like this were not to be found 35 years ago. Now, both trans and non trans people have an excellent resource for information on transition, its implications and how best to achieve the desired goal of "being at one" with yourself. True it can be a bit choppy but I think in order to "catch all" since it seems to try to include everyone. Over all its a MOUNTAIN of information. May I suggest, Letters For My Sisters with a delightful forward by Lynn Conway. Have you ever felt yourself to be other than what your body is? Can can be a living hell. This book will help free you from that prison!
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Format: Paperback
I am a cisgender clinical psychologist who has had only limited opportunities to work with transgender clients. But after reading "She's Not There," the autobiography of Jennifer Finney Boylan, I took a greater interest in learning more about the transgender expeirence. I looked her up online and noticed that she wrote the forward to Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and decided to purchase this book.

The first thing you will notice about this book is its size. It is a physically large book that is about 600 pages long. It is set up like a textbook and probably could be used to teach an entire college course on transgender studies. It contains an amazing amount of information about all aspects of being transgender (e.g., self-definition, pronouns, bathrooms, transitioning, sexuality, laws, political activism, health care, issues across the lfiespan, cultural issues, artistic expression, acceptance--or lack of--in the LGB community). Within chapters about these various topics, the book contains many quotes and smaller "articles" highlighting the personal experiences of various transgender individuals, which is a nice touch. The book is also amazing in terms of the many resources that are provided. So if the reader cannot get their question answered in this extremely thorough book, chances are, one of the references in this book will point you in the right direction.

It has taken me a couple of months, but at this point, I have finished reading it cover to cover. It was very educational and helpful, and I highly recommend it to others.
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