UC Press is proud to support scholarship that advocates for the health and well-being of trans and gender-nonconforming young people. The books on this list speak to a shared mission: improving the lives of trans and GNC youth through shared understanding, research, and activism.
Being Gendered in the Twenty-First Century
by Tey Meadow
Trans Kids is a trenchant ethnographic and interview-based study of the first generation of families affirming and facilitating gender nonconformity in children. Earlier generations of parents sent such children for psychiatric treatment aimed at a cure, but today, many parents agree to call their children new names, allow them to wear whatever clothing they choose, and approach the state to alter the gender designation on their passports and birth certificates.
Drawing from sociology, philosophy, psychology, and sexuality studies, sociologist Tey Meadow depicts the intricate social processes that shape gender acquisition. Where once atypical gender expression was considered a failure of gender, now it is a form of gender. Engaging and rigorously argued, Trans Kids underscores the centrality of ever more particular configurations of gender in both our physical and psychological lives, and the increasing embeddedness of personal identities in social institutions.
Coming Out to the Streets
LGBTQ Youth Experiencing Homelessness
by Brandon Andrew Robinson
Based on interviews and ethnographic fieldwork in central Texas, Coming Out to the Streets looks into the LGBTQ youth’s lives before they experience homelessness—within their families, schools, and other institutions—and later when they navigate the streets, deal with police, and access shelters and other services. Through this documentation, Brandon Andrew Robinson shows how poverty and racial inequality shape the ways that the LGBTQ youth negotiate their gender and sexuality before and while they are experiencing homelessness. To address LGBTQ youth homelessness, Robinson contends that solutions must move beyond blaming families for rejecting their child. In highlighting the voices of the LGBTQ youth, Robinson calls for queer and trans liberation through systemic change.
Violence and Identity in Transgender Activism
by Laurel Westbrook
Anti-violence movements rooted in identity politics are commonplace, including those to stop violence against people of color, women, and LGBT people. Unlivable Lives reveals the unintended consequences of this approach within the transgender rights movement in the United States. It illustrates how this form of activism obscures the causes of and lasting solutions to violence and exacerbates fear among members of the identity group, running counter to the goal of making lives more livable. Analyzing over a thousand documents produced by thirteen national organizations, Westbrook charts both a history of the movement and a path forward that relies less on identity-based tactics and more on intersectionality and coalition building. Provocative and galvanizing, this book envisions new strategies for anti-violence and social justice movements and will revolutionize the way we think about this form of activism.
How Public Restrooms Shape the Gender Order
by Alexander K. Davis
Today’s debates about transgender inclusion and public restrooms may seem unmistakably contemporary, but they have a surprisingly long and storied history in the United States—one that concerns more than mere “potty politics.” Alexander K. Davis takes readers behind the scenes of two hundred years’ worth of conflicts over the existence, separation, and equity of gendered public restrooms, documenting at each step how bathrooms have been entangled with bigger cultural matters: the importance of the public good, the reach of institutional inclusion, the nature of gender difference, and, above all, the myriad privileges of social status. Chronicling the debut of nineteenth-century “comfort stations,” twentieth-century mandates requiring equal-but-separate men’s and women’s rooms, and twenty-first-century uproar over laws like North Carolina’s “bathroom bill,” Davis reveals how public restrooms are far from marginal or unimportant social spaces. Instead, they are—and always have been—consequential sites in which ideology, institutions, and inequality collide.