Hi, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for childrens books about exploring gender / being trans?

These are the books we used in order to teach my daughter, both for when I came out and to help her better understand her own gender (she’s cisgender, but we wanted to make sure she was informed). What Makes a Baby is not actually a book about gender, but rather a genderless take on how children are conceived and born. The book was extremely valuable for decentering the idea that a sperm provider is always a man and that a womb holder is always a woman.

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Introducing Teddy

Jessica Walton
A gentle story about gender and friendship

Introducing Teddy is a coming out story about how relationships don’t change just because a person isn’t the gender you’ve thought they are. It’s a positive depiction of a friend’s love for is transgender teddy bear.

Red: A Crayon’s Story

Michael Hall

Red tells the story about a Blue crayon in a red wrapper who everyone insists on treating like a red crayon, and then being frustrated because everything he draws is blue. The book deliberately avoids associating Red’s struggle as being about gender (and uses he/him for Red through the entire book), but it’s very obvious what the point of the story is.

Who Are You?

Brook Pessin-Whedbee
The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity

This book isn’t perfect, it focuses a bit too much on activities and presentation for my taste, but it’s still a really good book for helping children to understand their own gender within the concepts that a child can grasp.

What Makes A Baby

Cory Silverberg
A book for every kind of family and every kind of kid.

What Makes a Baby is not actually a book about gender, but rather a genderless take on how children are conceived and born. The book was extremely valuable for decentering the idea that a sperm provider is always a man and that a womb holder is always a woman.

Sex is a Funny Word

Cory Silverberg
A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU

By the same authors as What Makes a Baby, this book provides a gender nuanced explanation of biological sex, sexuality, and sexual intercourse. This book is probably better targeted at ages 8-12, as many of the words and concepts may be too complicated for younger kids.

Julián Is a Mermaid

This book is not so much about gender as gender presentation, and how children should be encouraged to behave and dress as they wish, without restricting them to gender norms. There are also parallels in this book to the experience of seeing a trans person for the first time and realizing that they are like you. It is not a coincidence that one of the main organizations that defends trans youth is named Mermaids. Mermaids have always held a strong place in the hearts of trans women (thanks for that, Disney!).

Other books I’ve heard very good things about: