ARC Review: Trans+

Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being YouI received a copy of Trans+ from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You by Kathryn Gonzales and Karen Rayne is a young adult nonfiction book aimed at trans and nonbinary teens that covers a wide range of topics. The book is divided up into six main sections – introduction, body, transitioning, relationships, sexy times, and life – which are then further broken down; for instance, the “life” section includes chapters on family, school, work, and spirituality.

The text is broken up nicely with relevant illustrations, and a recurring feature throughout is sidebars by several trans and nonbinary teens relating their own experiences, or elaborating on some point brought up in the main text. Each chapter also includes a list of and links to additional resources, ranging from fact sheets to websites to YouTube videos.

Trans+ is written in an informative but engaging tone, and doesn’t talk down to its teenage audience. It takes a survey-style approach, aiming for breadth rather than depth in its coverage. There are pros and cons to that approach; it gives a little information about a lot of things, which allows readers to get a good idea of the “big picture”, but it doesn’t give a lot of detail about most topics. I lost count of the number of times I saw the phrase “for more information, see the additional resources at the end of this chapter”. On the one hand, it’s great that those resources are there, but on the other hand, sometimes you just want all the information in one place.

It’s definitely meeting a need, though, and even without the additional resources it contains a wealth of important information. The sidebars by trans and nonbinary teens are an especially nice touch, both to show the readers that they aren’t alone and to bring the information in the book to life. For instance, in the section about employment the book discusses the pros and cons of applying for jobs under one’s legal name versus one’s preferred name, we get the real experiences of two teens, one who used their legal name and one who used their preferred name.

Overall, this is definitely a good resource for trans, nonbinary, and questioning teens and their parents as well.

Book Details

Trans+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You by Kathryn Gonzales and Karen Rayne

304 pages

Expected publication: August 27, 2019

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