Gender Spectrum helps to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens.
SEL Home » Resources in the category: Gender identity
Many people refrain from talking about sexual orientation and gender identity because they are unsure of what to say or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. After all, language around gender, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression can shift rapidly. This glossary was written to give adults the words and meanings to help make conversations easier and more comfortable.
When everyone looks at George, they see a boy, but George knows she is a girl. When her grade is going to perform Charlotte’s Web for the school play, George really wants the part of Charlotte. Her teacher won’t let her try out for it, though, because she says George is a boy and needs to choose a male role. George is afraid to tell her secret, but with the help of her best friend, she lets the school see her true self. George won the Children’s Stonewall Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the E.B. White Honor.
Shane Wood is just a baseball playing, video game loving, and comic book drawing 12-year-old boy. But he is also living a stealth life as a transgender boy. No one at the school knows Shane was assigned female at birth and lived a life as a female for years—not even his best friend. But a classmate uncovers his truth and outs him. Shane is supported by his mother, but he needs to know if he will be supported by his best friend and his teammates too.
Errol and his teddy bear, Thomas, are best friends. They do everything together. But then Errol notices that Thomas is sad. Thomas explains that she has always been a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and Thomas wants her name to be Tilly. Errol loves his friend unconditionally and doesn’t care if his teddy is a boy or a girl. This book is a great way to talk about transgender people and the importance of loving and accepting them when they tell us their truth.
An exploration of gender identities and expressions, with a fun colored gender wheel at the back that kids love to manipulate.
This charming book challenges young readers to see beyond the binary by framing the main character’s struggle – born into the Land of This and That, but not quite fitting into either “this” or “that”- in a way that encourages empathy and discovery. Neither allows all of us to explore gender and what it means to be someone in the margins or outside of the binary world of boy and girl. It gives kids the chance to understand that gender is not always this or that. Great read-aloud.
Written with help from public figure and transgender teenager, Jazz Jennings, this gentle and easy to follow storybook explains what it means to be transgender. Jazz explains that she has a “girl brain, but a boy body.” She knew from a young age that she was a girl, even though the world saw her as a boy. It follows her social transition from assigned male to living as a happy female. This book was specifically written for young children with easy to understand language that all kids and adults can use to feel comfortable with a topic that may seem complicated.
A simple and realistic portrayal of a gender non-conforming character’s struggle at school.
Beautiful book about a young boy with mermaid aspirations. Love’s gorgeous illustrations provide endless opportunities for discussion and discovery. Wonderful “point of entry” text to examine gender roles and expectations with young children.
The author of the well-known Heather Has Two Mommies, Leslea Newman has several books about LGBTQ families. This one takes a somewhat heavy-handed approach about a gender non-conforming character, but the book’s clear, unwavering messages of support and acceptance are heartening.
Tips from PP on how to think about, prepare for, and facilitate conversations around gender with small children. Also provides thought-provoking opportunities for self-reflection on gendered attitudes.
Should you or a gender-expansive child need more support, check out the GFP (through the well known and highly reputed Ackerman Institute for the Family in Manhattan). They have wonderful offerings, including Family and individual therapy, support and play groups, etc.
This book is excellent. Not only is it rich with the author’s years of experience and perspective, it also helps parents distinguish among different types of gender expression issues. Not every boy who likes dresses and Barbies is transgender, for example. But how can we know for sure? This book answers that question and many, many more.
The riveting story of a young transgender girl, her family, and their accidental activism in the trans-rights movement. Written for adults.