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Feature: The importance of trans literature for children and young adults

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  1. It would also be interesting to learn B J Epstein’s view of what is being shown on children’s TV – e.g. Kit from Sadie J

    1. B.J. Epstein 18 Dec 2013, 10:46am

      I’d be interested in knowing more about the trans portrayals on TV, too. I don’t own a TV myself, so I’m not au courant with it, I must admit.

  2. “the trans has been mostly absent, or trans parent.”

    That’s unforgivable. :P

    I honestly think all children can benefit from this. Hardly any kids manage to fit into all of our society’s gender stereotypes, and almost everyone seems to have stories from their childhood about being made to feel uncomfortable because some aspect of the behaviour or interests was too “girly” or “tomboyish”.

  3. There are quite a few very good gender-identity young children’s books like Goblinheart, When Kathy is Keith, and A Girl Named Dan. They are just not well supported by bookstores, libraries and media. Check out this list:

  4. It’s vital that we teach children to support everybody for WHOT HEY ARE.

    If that requires years of surgery and hormone injections, then it’s not remotely even close to being the same thing as supporting somebody who is gay, bi, or transgender (without modification). It’s not the same. It’s not even remotely the same. It’s confusing enough to get our societies to support people AS THEY ARE, let alone trying to explain to children that people can have their sex changed.


    1. While I agree that it’s important to support people for who they are, for many trans* people, they need hormones and/or surgery in order to be who they are.

      Just a side note, it’s not necessarily “years” of surgery and hormones. For example, many trans men only get top surgery. This is usually an outpatient procedure (at least in the US), so a few hours of surgery plus a week or less mostly in bed then up to a month to recover 100%. And as far as hormones go, although it is something one usually take for the rest of your life, it’s no different than taking a something for any other medical reason.

      So, would you suggest not supporting someone who needs surgery to implant a pacemaker for a heart condition or needs insulin injections for diabetes? It seems to me that both of these examples could require *more* medical intervention than trans related care.

    2. you have never taken any university level biology classes I see. You know of intersex, being born both genders? how about XY women who look and think and act and marry as women, only when found infertile discover up with the uterus are undescended testes? caused by SRY crossing over traits from Y to X, that can cause gender variations nobody discusses. what makes you assume then that taking androgel if one was labeled female at birth is wrong, but ok if labeled male? right, i do not have injections, so is that ok for you? it is not a sex change, my gender is male, and my T levels were at same level as a 45 year old cis gender man i know! we both use same dosage to get to correct healthy levels. also, do you know that we all carry testosterone and estrogen? yeah, i didn’t think so. our bodies all make many hormones for many functions, and like to be in homeostasis. that means balance. some cis gender teens and adults do not make enough and must have supplements all their lives too.

  5. tonykeywest 18 Dec 2013, 12:35am


  6. I’ll likely never see the day, but I can’t wait until all literature is colorful and there isn’t cisnormativity and heteronormativty everywhere. Reading books can be painful, because ‘almost always a cis heterosexual love story. There is never anything else that casually exists.

    As a trans, queer, and gay, aspiring author, everything I write is colourful. Don’t assume my characters are cis or trans, don’t assume they are straight, either. I try to make characters as unique and different as they actually are, without the story being centric on those things. Hopefully one day I’ll publish something, but I wish more people wrote like that.

  7. I write trans literature, or as it call it, literature, and have ever since I was a kid (now a published author). My reasoning is as follows: I don’t ‘trans park’, or go for ‘trans lunch’, thus I do not write ‘translit’. Many of my characters happen to be trans/trans* and/or genderqueer, and some are treated well, some are not, some BECAUSE they are trans and prejudice is real, some because s***t happens. So do my cis/het and LGB characters. I have invented a whole (dark scifi/fantasy space opera) universe where all sorts of different societal rules apply, and are seen just as ‘normal’ (good or bad) as the ones ‘we’ know now…

  8. Jay Hayes-Light 24 Dec 2013, 11:26pm

    Children can be helped to understand that we are all different from each other in some way, to prepare them for life in the real world. It is important for them to understand that the child sitting next to them is receiving regular medication for a chronic condition (whatever that may be) and why it is important. Teenagers especially need to understand why someone who looks like a girl identifies as a boy (or vice versa) and that part of this may involve changing their body in some way later. I work with gay, trans and intersex youngsters and have spoken to assembled groups of children of all ages about the marvellous varity of our species, rather than leave them to pick up playground gossip and then build up a whole armoury of prejudices.

  9. Jay Hayes-Light 24 Dec 2013, 11:28pm

    The elephant in the room of course is that 1:200 of our species differ physically from the stereotypical binary of male & female and 1:2000 may not have recognisable male or female anatomy. A boy who does not go through a typical puberty may need to take testosterone (if he identifies as male), for without this, he will grow breasts, his voice will not break, he will not grow a beard, but he will grow to be very tall. These children (most ID as male) are mercilessly bullied because their condition is a dark secret and misunderstood). Trans people are only just now being discussed sensibly in schools, but intersex conditions are rarely mentioned, even when the ‘talk’ they are exposed to us labelled ‘LBGTI’. The person giving the talk may know less about trans issues and nothing at all about intersex conditions, bur the school may assume they have covered all bases.

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