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Trans Lit: The 2018 ‘Gender Diversity’ Book List

15 Aug Posted by in Guest Writers | Comments Off on Trans Lit: The 2018 ‘Gender Diversity’ Book List
Trans Lit: The 2018 ‘Gender Diversity’ Book List

The mission-driven press, Jessica Kingsley Publishers is known widely for its books on autism, children’s issues, and parenting will publish books for adults, children, parents, and professionals to address the unique needs and circumstances of transgender and gender diverse people of all ages and identities.

At the beginning of 2017, National Geographic launched their historic special issue titled “Gender Revolution,” which explored the shifting landscape of gender not only in the US, but around the world. Between its premiere in 2014 and now, TV Series Transparent has been nominated for and won numerous Emmy, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice Awards. In 2014, the Obama administration formally recognized trans and gender diverse youth as a protected group under Title IX discrimination law (backed by a 2016 statement from the Justice Department). The Trump administration has since rescinded this executive guidance. Everywhere issues around gender are a having clear and long-lasting political and social impact on how we think and feel about the world around us. Some see gender identity as the next civil rights movement.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, a press dedicated to publishing books that make a difference, recognized that gender diversity was an important issue lacking positive resources to meet the increased demand to further public knowledge and to help those dealing with gender identity on a day-to-day basis. They set out to change the situation.

JKP’s decision to publish books on the topic of gender diversity, including books on transgenderism, stems from the same mission that drives the rest of the company’s publishing program. “We recognized a special need and we sought to address that need. In fact, our earliest recognition of this need came from our deep understanding of autism. Issues of gender and sexuality effect people on the autism spectrum at a much higher rate than the general population,” says David Corey, JKP’s vice president of sales and marketing. This intersectionality with autism includes homosexuality, transgenderism, and in some, a lack of gender affiliation at all. (The publisher’s 2017 release Transitioning Together [9781785921032, $19.95] tells the story of JKP’s longtime autism author Wenn Lawson’s transition from female to male, and his lifelong lesbian partner’s support throughout this transition.)

Whether it is the transgender or gender queer child who finds strength, voice and understanding within the pages of a favorite picture book; a loved one seeking to better understand the emotional and social stresses of a parent, child, friend, or partner in transition; or a counselor looking to deepen clinical interactions with gender-diverse clients, it is JKP’s hope that their books on gender diversity find their way onto every bookshelf where they are needed.

Transgender youth and adults face unique difficulties and are at a far higher risk of suicide than the population as a whole, with some studies showing that roughly half of all transgender people attempt suicide at least once by the age of twenty. Transgender people are also at higher risk than the general population for sexual assault, homelessness, drug abuse, depression, anxiety, unemployment, and violence.

Gender is defined separately from sex (male or female sex organs assigned at birth) or sexuality (the sex one is attracted to). Instead, gender is the personal behaviors, feelings, and affiliations that align one to a place on a spectrum of gender, with masculinity at one end, femininity at the other, and androgyny in between.  It is a social and cultural identity rather than a biological one. Woven into this spectrum are matters relating to gender dysphoria, which is the distress a person experiences as a result of the sex and gender they were assigned at birth. However, gender dysphoria is not applicable to all trans or gender diverse individuals.

By the end of 2017, JKP published fifteen titles that dealt with issues relating to gender diversity. Like the publisher’s book list overall, the gender diversity list includes trade books for both youths and adults, as well as professional books that look at the clinical aspects of gender, including gender dysphoria and explorations of the gender spectrum.

By the end of 2018, the following titles are scheduled for release at Jessica Kingsley Publishers:

Who Are You? The Kid’s Guide to Gender Diversity (Available Now)
Can I Tell You About Gender Diversity? (Available Now)
Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl (Available Now)
All You Need is Love? (Available Now)
How to Understand Your Gender (Available Now)
Our Sand Shop: A Story to Help Children Learn about Gender Identity and Gender Expression (Coming Soon)
Cardboard Box Village: A Storybook about Diversity (August 2018)
Trans Teen Survival Guide (September 2018)

He’s Always Been My Son (Available Now)

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