Books for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually on November 20th to honor victims of transphobic violence. The memorial day originated in 1999, after the murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Boston's Allston neighborhood. This year, the Human Rights Campaign has tracked at least 37 violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the United States.

This booklist is a starting place for listening to and advocating for the transgender community. If you would like to suggest additional resources to add to this list, you may do so via our suggestion form.

Introductions to Gender Diversity

Beyond the Gender Binary

Alok Vaid-Menon

New York : Penguin Workshop, 2020.

My New Gender Workbook: a Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity

Kate Bornstein

New York : Routledge, 2013

A book for you to work through your own sense of gender, while learning about the elements that make up gender as told by a feminine-of-center nonbinary icon.

Is Gender Fluid? A Primer for the 21st Century

Sally Hines

London ; New York, New York : Thames & Hudson

An exploration of the common ideas, philosophies, and definitions about gender across a variety of angles and disciplines.

Trans* Ally Workbook: Getting Pronouns Right and What It Teaches Us About Gender

Davey Shlasko

United States : Think Again Training and Consultation, 2014

Personal Narratives

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More

Janet Mock

New York: Atria Books, 2014.

A memoir about a Black trans woman growing up in Hawaii. A powerfully moving introduction to trans experiences.

I'm Afraid of Men

Vivek Shraya

Toronto : Penguin Canada, 2018.

A short memoir of one trans woman's experiences, and the light it sheds on masculinity and misogyny.

Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us

Kate Bornstein

2nd Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books, 2016.

In the revised edition of one of the first non-binary memoirs, Bornstein's updated memoir playfully connects contemporary discourse to her original groundbreaking exploration.

Note: Tisch Library has the 1994 edition and the SMFA librar has the 1995 edition. The 2016 edition has updated information throughout.

Photo Books


Pilar Vergara

North Carolina : Daylight, 2018.

This work of photojournalism understands that no one trans woman's story represents all trans women. A collection of photographs and interviews with women, Female combats the sensationalization too often associated with trans women.

Future Gender : Aperture. 229, winter 2017

ed. Zackary Drucker.

New York, N. Y. : Aperture Foundation.


The winter 2017 edition of Aperture, edited by trans artist Zachary Drucker, is full of articles, interviews, and images exploring gender, gender non-conformance, and visual art.

The Trans List

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

New Paltz, New York : Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art 2018

Gender Diversity Across Time and Culture

Gender Diversity: Crosscultural Variations

Serena Nanda

2nd Waveland Press ed. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press. 2014.

Written by an anthropologist, this book explores how gender and sex are socially constructed, examining genders in nine cultures across the globe: Native American, Brazil, Polynesia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Euro-American. Gender-diversity exists across the globe. Some of the language is a little outdated – the book makes a good pairing with Gender Outlaw, wherein Kate Bornstein explains that "transexual" used to mean binary trans people and "transgenderist" used to mean nonbinary/gender expansive trans people.

Note: Tisch Library has the 2000 edition. The 2014 edition has updated information throughout.

Transgender Warriors: Making History From Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman

Leslie Feinberg

Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.

A personal journey through Euro-American transgender history from a prominent trans activist/journalist. A great way to learn about the important figures and events in trans histories.

Transgender history : the roots of today's revolution

Susan Stryker

New York, NY : Seal Press, 2017.

Note: Tisch Library has the 2008 edition. The 2017 edition has updated information throughout.

Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

C. Riley Snorton

Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 2017


Femme in Public.

Alok Vaid-Menon

New York, NY: 8-Ball Community, 2017

One of the most influential contemporary nonbinary thinkers and performers, Alok's chapbook Femme in Public presents some of their writing on the intersections of being femme, trans, and brown-skinned and the hypervisibility that comes along with it.


torrin a. greathouse

Brooklyn, NY: TAR Chapbook Series, Atlas Review

torrin a. greathouse is a trans feminine and disabled poet.

I’m Alive. It Hurts. I Love It.

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Brunswick, Maine : Boost House, 2014

Lord of the Butterflies

Andrea Gibson

Minneapolis: Button Poetry, 2018.

Andrea Gibson is the poetry equivalent of a rock star - touring sold out shows where they perform their poetry, taking their audience through emotional high and lows, love poems and memorials. Gibson's poetry is also available in recorded audio formats; Hey Galaxy (2018) is their latest audio release.


Stone Butch Blues

Leslie Feinberg

Los Angeles : Alyson Books 2003

A hugely influential novel about a masculine-of-center charcter weaving between identities and experiences as both a lesbian and trans masculine.


Sophie LaBelle

Toronto : Second Story Press, 2020.

Ciel navigates high school in this book for a preteens and teens. Noteably important for a young audience, LaBelle's writing about trans characters doesn't focus on "transition" or hardships - life as a trans teen is full of joy, too. LaBelle also has a number of comic books about the same characters, starting with Nail Polish and The Assignment.


Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive

Julia Serano

Berkeley, Calif. : Seal Press, 2018

Serano is also the author of Whipping Girl: a Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, which is available at both Tisch Library and the Hirsch Health Sciences Library (HQ 77.9 S47 2016).


Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex

edited by Eric A. Stanley & Nat Smith

Edinburgh : AK Press, 2016.


Paris is Burning

Jennie Livingston

Burbank, CA : Miramax Home Entertainment, 2005.

A seminal documentary about 1980s ball culture and Black and Latinx transgender communities in New York city


Sara Jordeno

Alexandria, VA : Alexander Street Press, 2017

A documentary about kiki and ball culture today.

Mala Mala

Dan Sickles

Culver City, California : Strand Releasing 2015

A documentary about three nonbinary Puerto Ricans.

Call Her Ganda

PJ Raval

Philadelphia, PA : Breaking Glass Pictures 2018

A documentary about the events after a Filipina trans woman's murder, and how three women, including a transgender journalist, start a anti-imperialist movement for justice.


Sam Feder

Netflix, 2020.

A documentary about media (mis)representation of trans people featuring prominant trans thinkers in the entertainment industry.

The Trans List

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Home Box Office, 2016.

A documentary telling the stories of eleven trans people in their own words.


J. Mitchel Reed, Lucah Rosenberg-Lee

Amazon Prime, 2016

A 23-minute short documentary following three Black trans men.

Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth

Jeannie Finley

London, UK: Grain Media, 2019

Ma Vie En Rose

Alain Berliner

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 1999

A drama about a transgender Belgian girl who experiences resistance from her community as she tries to express herself.


Sean Baker

Los Angeles, California : Magnolia Home Entertainment 2015

A dark comedy film about trandgender sex workers in Los Angelos.

Gun Hill Road

Rashaad Ernesto Green

Burbank, CA : Virgil Films 2013

A drama about a Latinx father who has just been released from incarceration, coming home to a daughter in the process of transitioning in a bigoted environment.

A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story

Agnieszka Holland

Lifetime Movie Network, 2006.

Based on true events, this drama tells the story of a Latinx trans teenager, Gwen, who is murdered by aquiantences who find out she was assigned male at birth.


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