Masks are required in the Library and on the Bookmobile following guidance from the Johnson County Public Health Department.

International Transgender Day of Visibility

March 31 is International Transgender Day of Visibility. Starting in 2009, the day celebrates and honors our trans family and friends. According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are more transgender and non-binary people in the United States than there are Starbucks, McDonalds, and Walmart locations combined. Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague proclaimed March 31st as our city’s own Transgender Day of Visibility at the March 16th City Council meeting. The City affirms its commitment to equity and full inclusion of our transgender and gender-expansive community members and guests. 

One way the library can honor this day is by making visible memoirs of transfolk. The following list contains the best biographies written by transgender authors, as well as some resources for those who want to learn more about gender in general.

Fairest : a memoir

Meredith Talusan

306.768 Talusan
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"A heartrending immigrant memoir and a uniquely intersectional coming-of-age story of a life lived in duality and the in-between, and how one navigates through race, gender, and the search for love"--Provided by publisher.

Time is the thing a body moves through

T. Fleischmann

BIOGRAPHY Fleischmann, T.
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"Sebald meets Maggie Nelson in this autobiographical narrative of embodiment, visual art, history, and loss. How do the bodies we inhabit affect our relationship with art? How does art affect our relationship to our bodies? T Fleischmann uses Felix Gonzáles-Torres's artworks--piles of candy, stacks of paper, puzzles--as a path through questions of love and loss, violence and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality. From the back porches of Buffalo, to the galleries of New York and L.A., to farmhouses of rural Tennessee, the artworks act as still points, sites for reflection situated in lived experience. Fleischmann combines serious engagement with warmth and clarity of prose, reveling in the experiences and pleasures of art and the body, identity and community."--

Sissy : A Coming-of-Gender Story

Jacob Tobia

305.3 /Tobia
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

From the moment a doctor in Raleigh, North Carolina, put 'male' on his birth certificate, there were expectations about who Jacob was and who Jacob should be, words like 'masculine' and 'aggressive' and 'sports.' Naturally sensitive, playful, creative, and glitter-obsessed, as a child Jacob was given the label 'sissy' which joined forces with 'gay,' 'trans,' 'nonbinary,' and 'too-queer-to-function.' In calling out the stereotypes that each of us have faced, he invites us to rethink what we know about gender, and offers a bold blueprint for a healed world-- one free from gender-based trauma and bursting with trans-inclusive feminism. -- adapted from jacket

The Argonauts.

Maggie Nelson

BIOGRAPHY Nelson, Maggie
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"A genre-bending memoir, a work of 'autotheory' offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes the author's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making"--Dust jacket flap.

Butch is a noun

S. Bear Bergman

306.768 /Bergman
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

Butch is a Noun, the first book by activist, gender-jammer, and performer S. Bear Bergman, won wide acclaim when published by Suspect Thoughts in 2006: a funny, insightful, and purposely unsettling manifesto on what it means to be butch (and not). In thirty-four deeply personal essays, Bear makes butchness accessible to those who are new to the concept, and makes gender outlaws of all stripes feel as though they have come home. From girls' clothes to men's haircuts, from walking with girls to hanging with young men, Butch is a Noun chronicles the perplexities, dangers, and pleasures of living life outside the gender binary. This new edition includes a new introduction by the author.

Redefining realness : my path to womanhood, identity, love & so much more

Janet Mock

306.768 /Mock
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America, offering readers accessible language while imparting vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of a marginalized and misunderstood population. Though undoubtedly an account of one woman’s quest for self at all costs, Redefining Realness is a powerful vision of possibility and self-realization, pushing us all toward greater acceptance of one another—and of ourselves—showing as never before how to be unapologetic and real.

A year without a name

Cyrus Grace Dunham

306.768 /Dunham
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"For as long as they can remember, Cyrus Grace Dunham felt like a visitor in their own body. Their life was a series of imitations -- lovable little girl, daughter, sister, young gay woman -- until their profound sense of alienation became intolerable. Moving between Grace and Cyrus, Dunham brings us inside the chrysalis of gender transition, asking us to bear witness to an uncertain and exhilarating process that troubles our most basic assumptions about who we are and how we are constituted. Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs, A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved meditation on queerness, family, and desire." -- Back cover.

I hope we choose love : a trans girl's notes from the end of the world

Kai Cheng Thom

306.768 /Thom
Nonfiction, LGBTQ+, Memoir

"What can we hope for at the end of the world? What can we trust in when community has broken our hearts? What would it mean to pursue justice without violence? How can we love in the absence of faith? In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, acclaimed poet and essayist Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author's characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness. Taking its cues from contemporary thought leaders in the transformative justice movement such as adrienne maree brown and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, this provocative book is a call for nuance in a time of political polarization, for healing in a time of justice, and for love in an apocalypse."--

Gender queer

Maia Kobabe

306.768 /Kobabe
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere."--Amazon.

My sister : how one sibling's transition changed us both

Selenis Leyva

306.768 /Leyva
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"A powerful, honest memoir by two sisters - one a star on Orange Is the New Black, one a trans woman and activist - about transitioning, family, allyship, and the path to self-realization. When Selenis Leyva's parents adopted a baby into their warm, loving family, Selenis was immediately smitten. The pair were always close; Selenis showered her younger sibling with affection, who in turn looked up to Selenis and followed her everywhere. The siblings realized, almost at the same moment, that the younger of the two was struggling with their identity. As Marizol transitioned and fought to define her identity, Selenis and her family struggled to support her. In My Sister, they narrate their shared journey, challenges, and triumphs. In alternating chapters, Selenis and Marizol write honestly about the issues of violence, abuse, and discrimination that trans people and women of color - and especially trans women of color - experience daily. And they are open about the messiness and confusion of fully realizing oneself and being properly affirmed by others, even those who love you."--Cover.

Trans like me : conversations for all of us

C. N. Lester

306.768 /Lester
Nonfiction, LGBTQ+, Memoir

A personal and culture-driven exploration of the most pressing questions facing the transgender community today, from a leading activist, musician, and academic. In Trans Like Me, CN Lester takes readers on a measured, thoughtful, intelligent yet approachable tour through the most important and high-profile narratives around the trans community, turning them inside out and examining where we really are in terms of progress. From the impact of the media's wording in covering trans people and issues, to the way parenting gender variant children is portrayed, Lester brings their charged personal narrative to every topic and expertly lays out the work left to be done. Trans Like Me explores the ways that we are all defined by ideas of gender--whether we live as he, she, or they--and how we can strive for authenticity in a world that forces limiting labels.

Tomboyland : essays

Melissa Faliveno

814.6 /Faliveno
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"A fiercely personal and startlingly universal essay collection about the mysteries of gender and desire, of identity and class, of the stories we tell and the places we call home."--Publisher's description.

Becoming a man : the story of a transition

1966- author P. Carl

306.768 /Carl
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

"A remarkable, deeply moving memoir of one man's gender transition amid a pivotal political moment in America"--

My new gender workbook : a step-by-step guide to achieving world peace through gender anarchy and sex positivity

Kate Bornstein

305.3 /Bornstein
Nonfiction, LGBTQ+

""My Gender Workbook may take a leap of faith to crack open, but the charm, wit, and quiet intelligence of its author will almost undoubtedly keep you along for the whole trip. And it is a trip, let me tell you." --The Toronto StarCultural theorists have written loads of smart but difficult-to-fathom texts on gender theory, but most fail to provide a hands-on, accessible guide for those trying to sort out their own sexual identities. In My Gender Workbook, transgender activist Kate Bornstein brings theory down to Earth and provides a practical approach to living with or without a gender.Bornstein starts from the premise that there are not just two genders performed in today's world, but countless genders lumped under the two-gender framework. Using a unique, deceptively simple and always entertaining workbook format, complete with quizzes, exercises, and puzzles, Bornstein gently but firmly guides readers toward discovering their own unique gender identity.Since its first publication in 1997, My Gender Workbook has been challenging, encouraging, questionning, and handholding those trying to figure out how to become a "real man," a "real woman," or "something else entirely." In this updated edition of her classic text, Bornstein re-examines gender in light of issues like race and class. With new quizzes, new puzzles, new exercises, and plenty of Kate's over-the-top style, My Gender Workbook, 2e promises to help a new generation create their own unique place on the gender spectrum"--

She, he, they, me : for the sisters, misters, and binary resisters

Robyn Ryle

305.3 /Ryle
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

If you've ever questioned the logic of basing an entire identity around what you have between your legs, it's time to embark on a daring escape outside of the binary box... Open your eyes to what it means to be a boy or a girl -- and above and beyond! Within these pages, you get to choose which path to forge. Explore over one hundred different scenarios that embrace nearly every definition across the world, over history, and in the ever-widening realms of our imagination! What if your journey leads you into a world with several genders, or simply one? Do you live in a matriarchal society, or as a sworn virgin in the Balkans? How does gender (or the lack thereof) change the way we approach sex and love, life or death? Jump headfirst into this refreshingly creative exploration of the ways gender colors every shade and shape of our world. Above all, it's more important than ever for us to celebrate the fact that there are infinite gender paths -- and each of them is beautiful.

Gender identity : beyond pronouns and bathrooms

Maria Cook

305.3 /Cook
Nonfiction, LGBTQ+

"An informative and project-filled book for middle graders to explore the meaning and history behind LGBTQ rights movements, including biographies of key figures in gender and gay/lesbian history, the context behind today's transgender "bathroom wars" and dozens of activities and research ideas for perspectives and further learning."--Amazon.com.

Seeing gender : an illustrated guide to identity and expression

Iris Gottlieb

305.3 /Gottlieb
Nonfiction, LGBTQ+

Seeing Gender is an of-the-moment investigation into how we express and understand the complexities of gender today. Deeply researched and fully illustrated, this book demystifies an intensely personal—yet universal—facet of humanity. Illustrating a different concept on each spread, queer author and artist Iris Gottlieb touches on history, science, sociology, and her own experience. This book is an essential tool for understanding and contributing to a necessary cultural conversation, bringing clarity and reassurance to the sometimes confusing process of navigating ones' identity. Whether LGBTQ+, cisgender, or nonbinary, Seeing Gender is a must-read for intelligent, curious, want-to-be woke people who care about how we see and talk about gender and sexuality in the 21st century.

Becoming an ally to the gender-expansive child : a guide for parents and carers

Anna Bianchi

306.768 /Bianchi
Nonfiction, Memoir, LGBTQ+

When Anna Bianchi's grandchild asked, "Nanny, you do know I'm a girl, don't you?", Anna recognised this as a pivotal, and daunting, moment in their relationship. She knew that to answer her grandchild, who had been assigned male at birth, her own attitudes, assumptions and beliefs about gender would need to be examined. With reassuring honesty and openness, Anna draws deeply on four areas: her own experience, current research, interviews with children and their families, and a discussion of power, both in society and between children and adults. She shows how the inner journey of the adult inevitably impacts on the outer journey of the child and, given the significance of this, offers a step-by-step guide to becoming an ally to the gender-expansive child.