books on transsexuality and transgender

This list is a work in progress.

* April Ashley The First Lady 2006 Perhaps enjoyable, not wholly reliable account. High on glamour. Pulped because it plagiarised an earlier biography but there are copies still around
** Jan Morris Conundrum 1974 A well-written biography of the travel writer, covering earlier life up to and shortly after transition and surgery
* Caroline Cossey My Story 1991 Former actress and ‘Bond girl’, fought for recognition of gender at European Court
* Roberta Cowell Roberta Cowell’s Story 1954 Spitfire pilot, racing driver, first English trans woman to undergo SRS. A historical curiosity. Cowell distances herself from transgender people, asserting that she was turning into a woman anyway… the book hasn’t aged well.
* Pagan Kennedy The First Man Made Man 2007 The story of Michael Dillon, the first English FTM transsexual to undergo SRS
* Niels Hoyer Man Into Woman 1933 Einar Wegener / Lili Elbe, Danish artist; probably intersex; underwent early SRS, died of complications. Historically interesting if not hugely well written
** Jonathan Ames Sexual Metamorphosis 2005 Anthology of transsexual memoirs. A useful quick romp through a range of narratives
*** Helen Boyd My Husband Betty 2005 The TG scene from the perspective of the wife of a TG husband. Intelligent and useful.
** Helen Boyd She’s Not The Man I Married 2007 Sequel to MHB, where Betty moves on to transition. Both more personal and a wider discussion of gender and the politics of transgender
** Jennifer Finney Boylan She’s Not There 2004 TS memoir, but well written and dealing both lightly and sensitively with the effect of transition on family
*** Richard Beard Becoming Drusilla 2008 TS transition seen from the perspective of a friend’s learning curve, and with discussion of the deeper issues. Critically well received.
*** Julia Serano Whipping Girl Subtitled “A transsexual woman on the scapegoating of femininity”.  An intelligent and important book.
 CN Lester  Trans Like Me CN Lester, academic and activist, takes us on a journey through some of the most pressing issues concerning the trans debate: from pronouns to Caitlyn Jenner; from feminist and LGBTQ activists, to the rise in referrals for gender variant children – all by way of insightful and moving passages about the author’s own experience.
** David Thomas Girl 1995 Comic novel, lightweight, but with some insights into the trans experience. And funny.
** David Nobbs Sex And Other Changes 2004 A couple undergo transition, in opposite directions. Funny and moving. Good insights into gender and transitioning.
** Orlando Virginia Woolf 1928 Decidedly on the magical end of the spectrum of sex changes. Witty and wonderful. A good look at gender roles.

this list will be added to, but just for now…

Ames, Jonathan, Sexual Metamorphosis, Vintage, New York 2005
Ames, Jonathan, What’s Not to Love? Scribner, London, 2000
Ashley, April, The First Lady, John Blake, London, 2006
Angier, Natalie, Woman: An Intimate Geography, Anchor, New York, 2000
Bloom, Amy, Normal, Bloomsbury, London, 2003
Boyd, Helen, My Husband Betty, Thunder’s Mouth Press, New York 2003
Bornstein, Kate, Gender Outlaw, Routledge, London, 1994
Cossey, Caroline, My Story, Faber and Faber, London, 1991
Califia, Pat, Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism, Cleis Press, San Francisco, 1997
Cowell, Roberta, Roberta Cowell’s Story, William Heinemann, London, 1954
Ettner, Randi, Confessions of a Gender Defender, Chicago Spectrum Press, Chicago, 1996
Finney Boylan, Jennifer, She’s Not There, Broadway Books, New York, 2003
Morris, Jan, Conundrum, Faber and Faber, London, 1974
Morris, Jan, Pleasures of a Tangled Life, Arrow, London, 1990
Thomas, David, Girl, Signet, London 1995

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