Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) are Creating a Gender Revolution
A groundbreaking look at the lives of transgender children and their families Some “boys” will only wear dresses; some “girls” refuse to wear dresses; in both cases, as Ann Travers shows in this fascinating account of the lives of transgender children, these are often more than just wardrobe choices. Travers shows that from very early ages, some two and three years old, these kids find themselves to be different from the sex category that was assigned to them at birth. How they make their voices heard—to their parents and friends, in the schools, in public spaces and through the courts—is the focus of this remarkable and groundbreaking book. Based on interviews with transgender children, ranging in age from 4 to 20, and their parents, and over five years of research in the US and Canada, The Trans Generation offers a rare look into what it is like to grow up as a trans child. From daycare to birthday parties and from the playground to the school bathroom, Travers takes the reader inside the day-to-day realities of trans kids who regularly experience crisis as a result of the restrictive ways in which sex categories regulate their lives and put pressure on them to deny their internal sense of who they are in gendered terms. As a transgender person and as a parent of a transgender child, Travers is able to document from first-hand experience the difficulties of growing up trans and the challenges that parents can face. The book shows the incredible time, energy and love that these parents give to their children, even in the face of, at times, unsupportive communities, schools, courts, health systems, and government laws. Keeping in mind that trans kids are among the most vulnerable to bullying, violent attacks, self-harm and suicide, Travers offers ways to support trans kids through policy recommendations and activist interventions. Ultimately, the book is meant to open up options for kids’ own gender self-determination, to question the need for the sex binary, and to highlight ways that cultural and material resources can be redistributed more equitably. The Trans Generation offers an essential and important new understanding of childhood.