In 2004, when Jeanette Jennings began searching for information and resources online, there was next to nothing on the subject of being transgender, and little in the way of organized support groups. A decade later, the Internet is loaded with websites, blogs, listservs, and organizations ready to help members of the transgender community, their families, and allies.
While the resource listing (below) is fairly extensive, including many of the most prominent sites and organizations, it is still just as a starting point. Any teen or adult with an Internet connection can readily find help and support. It is there for the asking. All information, including Internet links, was current as of July 2015.
- Support and Advocacy Organizations
- Books for Children
- Books for Teens and Adults
- Books for Parents/Other Adults
- Adolescent and Teen Camps
ACLU LGBT Rights: Working to preserve and protect individual rights in courts, legislatures, and communities.
Best Colleges for LGBT Students: Comprehensive list of colleges that provide an exceptional level of support for students of various gender and sexual identities.
College Guide for Current and Prospective LGBT Students: Guide to colleges that have adopted a culture of respect for students in the LGBT community.
Center for Transyouth Health and Development (@ Children’s Hospital LA).
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA): Educate schools and communities, advocate for just policies that protect LGBTQ youth from harassment and violence, and organize in coalition with other youth groups across identity lines to address broader issues of oppression.
Gender Creative Kids Canada: Providing resources for supporting and affirming gender creative kids within their families, schools and communities. Based in Canada.
Genderfork: Supportive community for the expression of identities across the gender spectrum.
Gender Odyssey: Organization dedicated to the education and support of families raising gender variant, gender non-conforming, gender-fluid, cross-gender, and transgender children and adolescents.
Gender Spectrum: Provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for all children and teens.
GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation): Supports the LGBT community by empowering people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively.
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network): Leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC): Working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equal rights.
It Gets Better: Communicating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth around the world that “It gets better,” and to create and inspire the changes that will make it better for members of the LGBTQ community.
Kids in the House on Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Youth: Provides an informative series of 1 or 2-minute videos presented by adolescent medicine specialist Dr. Johanna Olson.
Lambda Legal: Oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people through litigation, education, and public policy work.
Laura’s Playground: Support site for those who are in transition, and for transgender, cross dresser, intersex, and androgynous individuals, their families and friends.
Los Angeles Gender Center: Provides an environment of support, understanding, and safety, while helping people explore issues of gender and sexuality. Specializes in gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexuality, relationships, and intimacy.
Mermaids (UK): Family support for children and teenagers with gender identity issues.
Parents of Transgender Children: Facebook group provides a safe place to give and receive support and share in discussions with other parents of trans youth.
Parents of Transgender Kids: Similar Facebook group.
PFLAG Transgender Network: Support organization specifically for transgender individuals, families and friends.
Susan’s Place: Trans resources.
Teaching Tolerance: Promotes an appreciation for diversity, equal opportunity, and respect for differences in schools by reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations, and supporting equity for our nation’s children. Provides free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners.
Trans Active Gender Center: An internationally recognized non-profit focused on serving the diverse needs of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, their families, and allies.
Trans Family of Cleveland: Family support site. Newsletter, various discussion boards for couples, spouses, parents, and youth. Hundreds of members from all over the world.
TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation: Committed to enhancing the lives of TransKids by educating schools, peers, places of worship, the medical community, government bodies, and society in general, in an effort to seek fair and equal treatment of all trans youth. Also on Facebook.
Trans-Parenting.com: Provides support and educational resources to parents and their advocates raising a gender-independent child.
Trans Youth Equality Foundation: Provides education, advocacy, and support for transgender youth and their families.
Trans Youth Family Allies: Partners with educators, service providers, and communities to develop supportive environments where gender may be expressed and respected. Resources for parents and for youth.
Transgender Child: Parent support and resources.
Transgender Rainbow Support Group (Santa Ana, CA): An all-inclusive transgender group which provides support to anyone who is transgender or questioning, a friend, or family member, ally, or someone who just wants to understand.
The Trevor Project: The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. If you are a youth who is feeling alone, confused, or in crisis, call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386 for immediate help.
Welcoming Schools (Human Rights Campaign): Offers tools, lessons, and resources for family diversity, avoiding gender stereotyping, and ending bullying and name-calling in elementary schools.
WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health): Devoted to the understanding and treatment of gender identity disorders.
- GenderBlog: darlenetandogenderblog.com
- Gendermom: gendermom.wordpress.com
- Raising My Rainbow: raisingmyrainbow.com
- Transparenthood: transparenthood.net
10,000 Dresses. Marcus Ewert. (1 – 3)
A modern fairy tale about becoming the person you feel you are inside. While Bailey dreams of beautiful dresses, no one wants to hear about it because he is a boy. Then an older girl comes along who is inspired by Bailey, and they make beautiful dresses together.
All I Want To Be Is Me. Phyllis Rothblatt. (Pre-K – 3)
Gives voice to the children who don’t fit typical gender stereotypes, and who just want to be free to be themselves. Includes children who are fluid in their gender identity and those that feel their body doesn’t match who they really are.
Backwards Day. S. Bear Bergman. (2 –3)
An amazing storybook for children, especially good for those whose gender identity differs from their birth-assigned gender. Beautifully illustrated, engaging, and entertaining. Andy’s family is relieved after learning there is nothing wrong with their child. He is happier than ever when he can be himself.
Be Who You Are, Jennifer Carr. (1 – 4)
Nick starts school as a boy but draws a self-portrait as a girl because that’s how he feels inside. Nick’s family shows love and understanding. He works with a gender counselor meeting other children who have similar feelings. Deciding to be called Hope, Hope’s parents then work with the school to help with the adjustment.
I am Jazz. Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings. (K – 3)
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boy’s clothing. Based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings.
Jacob’s New Dress. Sarah and Ian Hoffman. (Pre-K – 2)
Jacob loves playing dress-up, when he can be anything he wants to be. Some kids at school say he can’t wear “girl” clothes, but Jacob wants to wear a dress. Can he convince his parents to let him wear what he wants? Speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don’t identify with traditional gender roles.
My Princess Boy. Cheryl Kilodavis. (Pre-K – 1)
Dyson loves pink, sparkly things. Sometimes he wears dresses. Sometimes he wears jeans. He likes to wear his princess tiara, even when climbing trees. He’s a Princess Boy. Based on a true story.
Oliver Button is a Sissy. Tomie de Paola. (Pre-K – 3)
A little boy must come to terms with being teased and ostracized because he’d rather read books, paint pictures, and tap-dance, instead of participating in sports.
Play Free, McNall Mason and Max Suarez. (Pre-K – 1)
Journey into the life and mind of a young gender-variant boy who wants to be treated fairly and accepted for who he is. Colorful illustrations of assorted beings.
Roland Humphrey is Wearing a WHAT? Eileen Kiernan-Johnson. (K – 3)
The story of a little boy’s quest to be his authentic self, dressed in pink and festooned with sparkles, in a world that frowns upon boys who like “girly” things. Based on the author’s son’s true story.
When Kathy is Keith. Dr. Wallace Wong. (Pre-K – 2)
This story broaches the sensitive and often misunderstood issues that transgender children face. It follows the story of Kathy, a young girl who says she is a boy, but no one takes her seriously.
When Kayla was Kyle. Amy Fabrikant. (Pre-K – 2)
Kyle doesn’t understand why the other kids at school call him names. He looks like other boys, but doesn’t feel like them. Can Kyle find the words to share his feelings about his gender – and can his parents help him to transition into the girl he was born to be? Based on real-life stories.
William’s Doll. Charlotte Zolowtow. (Pre-K – 2)
More than anything, William wants a doll. “Don’t be a creep,” says his brother. “Sissy, sissy,” chants the boy next door. Then one day someone really understands William’s wish, and makes it easy for others to understand, too.
Beyond Magenta – Transgender Teens Speak Out. Susan Kuklin. (Grade 9 +)
A groundbreaking work of LGBT non-fiction takes an honest look at the life, love, and struggles of transgender teens.
The Boy in the Dress. David Williams. (Grade 5 – 7)
Dennis’s Dad is depressed since his Mom left and his brother is a bully. But at least he has soccer. Then he discovers he enjoys wearing a dress. Told with humor and respect.
Gracefully Grayson. Ami Polonsky. (Grade 5 – 7)
Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever. He is a girl on the inside. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson?
Luna. Julie Anne Peters. (Grade 9 +)
Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. His female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. Now, everything is about to change. Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance.
Parrotfish. Ellen Wittlinger. (Grade 9+)
Angela has never felt quite right as a girl, but it’s a shock to everyone when she cuts her hair short, buys some men’s clothes, and announces she’d like to be called by a new name, Grady. Although Grady is happy about his decision, everybody else is having trouble processing the news. In a voice tinged with humor and sadness, Ellen Wittlinger explores Grady’s struggles – struggles any teen will be able to relate to.
None of the Above. I.W. Gregorio. (Grade 9+)
A groundbreaking fiction story about a teenage girl who discovers she’s intersex and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling, sensitively told, a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.
Rethinking Normal – A Memoir in Transition. Katie Rain Hill. (Grade 9+)
In this first-person narrative, nineteen-year-old Katie Hill shares her personal journey of undergoing gender confirmation surgery. The author reflects on her pain-filled childhood and the events leading up to her life-changing transition.
Riding Freedom. Pam Muñoz Ryan. (Grade 4 – 6)
A fictionalized account of the true story of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst, who ran away from an orphanage, lived as a boy, moved to California, and became a stagecoach driver.
Some Assembly Required. Arin Andrews. (Grade 9+)
In his first-person memoir, seventeen-year-old Arin Andrews shares all the hilarious, painful, and poignant details of undergoing gender confirmation surgery. The author details the journey that led him to make this life-transforming decision while still a high school junior.
- Becoming Nicole: Transformation of an American Family. Amy Nutt.
- The Complicated Geography of Alice. Jules Vilmur.
- Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children. Diane Ehrensaft.
- Helping Your Transgender Teen. Irwin Krieger.
- Middlesex. Jeffrey Eugenides.
- Mom, I Need to be a Girl. Just Evelyn. Pdf link: http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/Evelyn/Evelyn.html
- Raising My Rainbow, Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son. Lori Duron.
- She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders. Jennifer Finney Boylan. 2013.
- Straight Talk about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Rachel Stuckey.
- Trans Forming Families. May Boenke, editor.
- Transgender 101. Nicholas Teich.
- The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals. Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper.
- Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not. Joanne Herman.
- Transition – The Story of How I Became a Man. Chaz Bono.
- Transitions of the Heart-Stories of Love, Struggle, and Acceptance by the Mothers of Transgender and Gender-Variant Children. Edited by Rachel Pepper.