Gender Magic: Live Shamelessly,
Reclaim Your Joy, & Step into Your
Most Authentic Self

written by Rae McDaniel, LCPC, CST. 
Published by Balance, 2023.

Who Needs This Book?

If you dream of a path where your assigned sex and birth is just a jumping-off point and not a box you’re trapped in for the rest of your life; if you crave the freedom to express your gender intentionally and live as the person you know you are; if you want to feel more ease, pleasure, and connection than you ever thought possible – welcome.  You’ve come to the right place.

This book is a practical guide to achieving gender freedom with joy, curiosity, and pleasure for transgender and non-binary folks, gender explorers, and those who want to learn and be supportive.  McDaniel imparts the wisdom that all gender is play and encourages readers to figure out what brings them the greatest joy in their own gender expression.  McDaniel grants permission for trans folk to love the complexity of their own personal  identity rather than feeling pressure to pass or “blend” into societal expectations to be considered legitimate.  McDaniel stresses that the idea is to focus primarily on gender EUPHORIA, rather than gender dysphoria. 

Taking everything they know from more than a decade of working with the queer and transgender community, their personal journey of gender exploration, and clinical best practices, licensed therapist, coach, and speaker Rae McDaniel created the Gender Freedom Model.  A uniquely supportive narrative for gender exploration and transition grounded in queer joy, their nine-pillar model has helped transgender and nonbinary folks explore gender through play, pleasure, and freedom. 

 Whether you’re transgender, nonbinary, still exploring, or a cisgender ally, this compassionate and practical guide will help you understand and experience your own gender in new ways by teaching:

  • How to move from anxiety, self-doubt, and fear to confidence and a proactive state of mind.
  • How to navigate through discomfort, celebrate inherent worth, and develop genuine self-love.
  • How to design relationships, community, and a life that is fulfilling.
  • Practical tools to align your gender identity and expression with your most authentic self through play, pleasure, and possibility.

Brimming with warmth, celebration, and practical advice this guide is essential reading for anyone who yearns to step into their fullest self and imagine a life beyond gender binaries.  There are activities in each chapter to prompt self-reflection, and there are wonderful resources at the back of the book to extend the learning.

Rae McDaniel (they/them) is a nonbinary Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist, Coach, and Transgender Diversity and Inclusion educator.  They are founder and CEO of Practical Audacity, a Gender & Sex Therapy practice in Chicago and an international speaker on gender freedom.  Rae holds degrees from DePaul University, University of Michigan, and is certified by AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists).  You can find them at  Listen to Rae McDaniel review this book at

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

Mailing Address

23332 Farmington Rd #84
Farmington, MI 48336