This week, the Republican White House made a decision to revoke guidelines Obama put in place to protect transgendered students. The Obama-era guidelines directed schools to allow transgendered students to use the washroom that corresponds with their chosen gender. The Republican administration is leaving the matter of transgender washrooms up to each state/city to decide on. The protection of these students is clearly not a priority to Trump. Trump, who stated in 2016 that he would protect the LBGT community, previously tweeted:
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
Hypocrisy is running deep and perhaps if everyone in the White House knew just what our transgendered youth face day-to-day their empathy could be the change the country depends on. Here are a few books to enlighten the President and his administration. They obviously need it.
1. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
Activist Leslie Feinberg writes about a character who struggles with sexuality. Jess Goldberg, the main character, realizes young that she is different from other girls. She is often questioned about her sexuality and runs away from home at a young age. Jess finds a community with the factories where she works among masculine and feminine lesbians in gay bars. She finds out that hormones can make her into a man, and decides to take on a male persona. Unfortunately, this life changing decision alienates her from her lesbian friends, all the while she feels she is lying to the rest of the world. Eventually, Jess stops taking hormones and decides to just be her, accepted or not. This story outlines the challenges many transgender youth face, from self-discovery to acceptance from others.
2. Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
Janet Mock grew up poor, multiracial, and transgender in America. Through Redefining Realness, Mock writes about the struggle of being part of a marginalized and largely misjudged people. Her book is her search for self and a positive vision of possibility. Janet Mock nudges her audience towards acceptance of each other as well as ourselves. She is the epitome of being true to oneself, all the while being wholeheartedly unapologetic. For readers who seek a better understanding of transgender rights, intersections of race and gender oppressiveness, and healthcare, this book is a must read.
3. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth
Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is one of the most comprehensive transgender resource books on the shelves. The book is a compilation of over 200 contributors and covers transgender health, culture, social topics, gender spectrum, gender theory, and more. Transgender people all across America were interviewed in the making of this fantastic book and those very people are quoted on almost every page. If anyone in the White House really wants a view of trans life within the country, they should start here!
4. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
Susan Kuklin took her prose and camera along her journey of interviewing transgender and gender neutral youth. These six young people opened up about their gender choices and their personal lives, letting Susan document their emotions, family life, and physical transitions. She represented them thoroughly and respectfully using photography to show the world who these six individuals are, and what they have faced. Since the government has made a decision to actively ignore trans youth at the highest level, maybe they should learn a little about the people they so choose to forget.
5. Red by Michael Hall
Sometimes, getting back to basics is the easiest way for a person to understand a complex situation. Red crayon never felt right being red. Despite his red label, everything he draws is blue. Other crayons told him to try harder to be red. No matter what he does, he can’t be red. Red crayon is asked to draw a blue ocean, and he’s overjoyed! He draws many blue things, realizing that he may be wrapped in a red label, but he’s truly blue on the inside.
It’s more important now than ever before to stand up for our transgender youth. We see you. We love you. We WILL protect your right to BE you.
Let us know in the comments what books you would add to this list!
YouTube Channel: Jen Campbell
Featured image via Pixabay