LGBTQ+ Book Review: Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

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Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, a Resource by and for Transgender Communities
edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth, forward by Kai Cheng Thom. Oxford University Press, 2022.
NEW 2nd edition

This is a revolutionary resource – a comprehensive, reader-friendly guide by and for transgender people and their allies, which includes twenty-three chapter written and illustrated exclusively by transgender and gender expansive authors and artists. Inspired by Our Bodies, Ourselves, the classic compilation written by and for cisgender women published in 1970, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves represents the collective knowledge base of dozens of influential transgender experts, providing authoritative information in an inclusive and respectful way. Each chapter takes the reader through an important issue, including race, religion, employment, medical and surgical transition, mental health, relationships, sexuality, parenthood, arts and culture, activism, and many more. Quotes, testimonials, art, and poetry by transgender people are woven throughout, adding compelling, personal voices to every page. In this unique way, hundreds of viewpoints from throughout the queer community are united to create this extensive wide-ranging book.

From the Forward – How To Read This Book:

We don’t expect you to read this book in one sitting or from beginning to end. Instead, we invite you to start with your favorite chapter or flip through to a page that piques your interest. If you are looking for a basic primer, we suggest that you start with Chapter 1. “Our Selves,” which provides an overview of important terminology and concepts.


The main text of this book is made up of 23 chapters, each written by different authors. They all have their own styles, but we have tried to keep the text accessible by avoiding the use of technical terms or jargon, as well as defining terms and phrases that may not be as familiar to everyone. Many of these terms appear in the book’s Glossary.


Short pieces by over 150 contributors add personal experiences and opinions to each chapter, and artwork demonstrates the creative side of our community…

This handbook is a welcoming place for transgender and gender-questioning folks, their partners, families and allies, students, professors, guidance counselors, and others to look for up-to-date information on transgender life. The content of this revised and expanded second edition (700 pages) is thoroughly updated throughout and includes new stories, artwork, and illustrations as well as dozens of new contributing authors and collaborators. This is an essential one-stop reference work on all things trans. If you were to choose just one authoritative resource for your home library, this is the book to purchase.

Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, MA, (She/They) is a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center and Hetrick-Martin Institute for LGBTQ+ Youth. She is the editor of the first edition of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, as well as co-author of two other books, Gender: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2021) and “You’re in the Wrong Bathroom,” and 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions about Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People (Beacon Press, 2017).


This book review was submitted by Stand with Trans board member Barb Shumer, who is a retired public librarian.

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