Resources for Families and Friends

From coming out to learning how to talk inclusively or simply finding books that represent you or your child -- here is our ever-growing resource page.

 

Finding resources and information to help support transgender and gender creative children can be harder than it looks - but it doesn't have to be.

 

We gather. We share.

And hopefully awareness and inclusion grows.

From what I'm hearing from many parents of Gender Diverse Children (GDC), both locally and across North America, when their children first identify or realize how they're feeling, like myself, knowing where to go is a challenge.

It's isolating.

 

Many children and parents also face challenges in finding ways to make their families accept who they are and what they are experiencing is real. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

Here is an ongoing, ever-changing list of credible resources, research and support links.

I would also encourage parents to seek out local LGBTQ2 organizations.

Children's hospitals (the urban ones tend to be the most up to date) will also provide guidance. You are not alone.

Never miss an update!

Gender Diversity

Support Docs

Leave it to the Professionals | Find it hear.

Support Groups

Mainly Nova Scotia based but we're always updating 

Great Reads

Literary support for kids, teens, families and educators

Resource Blog

Sharing the Good Stuff is what we're all about.

Find it here.

Quick Search Click:
 

 

Glaad.org tips for transgender allies:

Tips for being an Ally

Using Chosen Names Reduces Odds of Depression and Suicide in Transgender Youths

For Youth:

For more resources for Parents and Family and LGBTQ2+ Health, check out:

The Youth Projects Resource: https://youthproject.ns.ca/resources/

PFLAG.org: https://www.pflag.org

Sex and U: Trusted resource for sex and reproductive health: https://www.sexandu.ca/

Griffith Centre:  http://www.griffin-centre.org/index.php

Additional Supports for Parents and Families:

Book: "From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life":  https://www.amazon.com/Wedded-Wife-Lesbian-Life-Transformation/dp/0895947668

Book: Uncommon Girls Paperback – by Carla Grant (Author)

For all Parents: https://www.pflag.org/blog/parents-quick-tips-supporting-your-lgbtq-kids-and-yourself-during-coming-out-process 

Guidelines for Supporting Transgender and Gender Diverse People in the Work Place / Nova Scotia: 

https://novascotia.ca/psc/employeeCentre/diverseWorkforce/docs/Guidelines-to-Support-Trans-and-Gender-Variant-Employees.pdf

 

Support Groups: Local and Beyond

Please note: I am based in Nova Scotia so we are heavy on the NS resource links. But email me and I'm happy to help find resources in your own province.

 

 

Meet a couple of amazing educators and advocates at The Transmission Tour

Education in the Workplace

Simply Good Form and Pflag Halifax provide customized presentations and workshops for every space

Books for Schools! Ask about our Lendable Library! Available currently in HRM. 

FREE access to Books with class lessons on Gender Identity and Gender Diversity for K-6+

Legal

Dalhousie Legal Aid: 2209 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS B3K 3B5 https://www.dal.ca/faculty/law/dlas.html

 
 
 

Q&A - an excerpt from Stonewall Org in the UK

How do you know you’re trans?

Many people know they’re trans from a young age. Some trans people might not have the language or understanding of what it means to be trans until later in life. But it is always something innate and absolutely core to your sense of self. It’s not something that’s a fad, a 'lifestyle choice' or something that comes and goes. 

It is an essential part of who you are that can’t be changed. If you aren’t recognized as being the gender you know you are, it’s extremely damaging.

What process do you have to go through to be recognized as trans in daily life?

For most things, nothing formal or legal. If you’re a trans man or woman, your gender is protected under Bill C-!6. You can use the bathroom that fits your gender, expect your employers and schools to recognize your gender, and access any public service that’s appropriate for your gender (with a few exceptions).

That’s what’s so frustrating about some of the current media debate – most of the things people are discussing now are already established and protected by law. Non-binary people though, aren’t currently recognized by the law at all, which is deeply wrong and needs to be changed.

One thing that causes a lot of difficulty and pain for some trans people is getting the gender on their birth certificate changed. 

Do you need to have gender reassignment surgery (a 'sex change operation') to be trans?

A lot of media coverage is obsessed with details of body parts and surgical procedures. For some trans people, having gender reassignment surgery is an important part of their transition. Getting access to that surgery is extremely difficult at the moment, and more investment is desperately needed so that trans people can get the procedures they need.

But for other trans people surgery isn’t something they want. Being trans isn’t about having (or not having) particular body parts. It’s something that’s absolutely core to a trans person’s identity and doesn’t alter - whatever outward appearances might be.

And frankly, it’s no one else’s business: you wouldn’t dream of asking someone else what they’ve got going on under their clothes, so why would anyone think it’s appropriate to ask a trans person?!

What does ‘cis’ mean?

Cis is short for ‘cisgender’ which means somebody whose gender identity matches the sex they were given at birth. When we are talking about gender identity, it's important to disempower the class which is not marginalized. It is important to acknowledge it is not alright to make a classification comparison between between 'transgender and normal'.  An appropriate reference is necessary, therefore 'cisgender' refers to those whose gender identity coincides with the gender they were assigned at birth.  Transgender is an umbrella term to reference a person whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

What does non-binary mean, and what’s the right way to talk about it?

Non-binary is a term for people who don’t solely identify as either male or female, or may identify as both. Because the binary terms don’t fit, using pronouns such as ‘he’ or ‘she’ might not be right, so when you talk to someone who’s non-binary simply find a good moment and ask them how they would prefer to be addressed. It might be ‘they’, it might be something different.

It may take a bit of getting used to, but it causes you no harm and it will make that person feel acknowledged and valid. It’s not that long ago that some people struggled with accepting that some women wanted to be called Ms instead of Miss, but people got used to the common courtesy of simply asking people how they wanted to be addressed. This is no different.

The above Q&A info is Quoted from a UK site with Canadian relevance. For more information please visit Stonewall Org UK.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

READING RESOURCES: Great reads for families, the classroom and beyond

(We've a lendable travelling inclusion library for schools, get togethers, workshops and events)

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Diverse books supporting 2SLGBTQ 

 

The Gender Quest Workbook: As recommended at the IWK Trans Health Symposium in 2019:

'If you are a transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) teen, you may experience unique challenges with identity and interpersonal relationships. In addition to experiencing common teen challenges such as body changes and peer pressure, you may be wondering how to express your unique identity to others. The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises, and activities from evidence-based therapies-such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-to help you address the broad range of struggles'

Transgender Children and Youth:  As recommended at the IWK Trans Health Symposium in 2019:

'These days, it is practically impossible not to hear about some aspect of transgender life. Whether it is the bathroom issue in North Carolina, trans people in the military, or on television, trans life has become front and center after years of marginalization.

And kids are coming out as trans at younger and younger ages, which is a good thing for them.

But what written resources are available to parents, teachers, and mental health professionals who need to support these children?

Elijah C. Nealy, a therapist and former deputy executive director of New York City’s LGBT Community Center, and himself a trans man, has written the first-ever comprehensive guide to understanding, supporting, and welcoming trans kids.

Covering everything from family life to school and mental health issues, as well as the physical, social, and emotional aspects of transition, this book is full of best practices to support trans kids.'

Halifax Public Libraries: Great reads supporting gender creative and transgender youth

 

Canada-based Glad Day Bookstore

Welcoming Schools via Human Rights Campaign

 

Grade 4 to 6 curriculum books: George and Grade 6 to 8: The Other Boy are great

introductions for students if supported by gender related class lessons.

Or a younger read: A Normal Turtle

Great Diverse Children's Books with Transgender, Non-Binary and Gender Expansive Children:  http://www.welcomingschools.org/pages/looking-at-gender-identity-with-childrens-books/

Comic and Book Writer, Sophie Labelle: My Dad Thinks I'm a Girl, Translucid,

A Girl Like Any Other and many more!

More Children's Book here via The Youth Project.

 

Another informative Book:

The Gender Identity Workbook for Kids: A Guide to Exploring Who You Are 

The Great Big Body Book:

A new children’s picture book about human bodies includes transgender and gender nonconforming people as well as same-sex parents. That’s a rare and wonderful thing, making this a welcome book, despite a few caveats.

Books for Teens:

 

What If Someone I Know Is Gay?: Answers to Questions About What It Means to Be Gay and Lesbian
Eric Marcus
Simon Pulse, 2007

Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies
Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufman
Harper Perennial, 1996

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens
Kelly Huegel
Free Spirit Publishing, 2003

The Gender Quest Workbook: 'If you are a transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) teen, you may experience unique challenges with identity and interpersonal relationships. In addition to experiencing common teen challenges such as body changes and peer pressure, you may be wondering how to express your unique identity to others. The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises, and activities from evidence-based therapies-such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-to help you address the broad range of struggles'

Fiction for Teens

Glaad Day Book Store: Novels for 12-18 year olds

The Vast Fields of Ordinary
Nick Burd
Dial, 2009

Boy Meets Boy
David Levithan
Knopf Books, 2005

 

Annie on My Mind
Nancy Garden
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007

Deliver Us from Evie
M.E. Kerr
HarperTeen, 1995

If I was your girl - 'A new kind of big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are. Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she's determined not to get too close to anyone. ...'

They both die in the end - 'Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.'

Gender Failure by Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon provides

some real insight into life as a non-binary person 

My Son Wears Heels: One Mom's Journey from Clueless to Kickass, by Julie Tarney:

"In 1992, Julie Tarney’s only child, Harry, told her, “Inside my head I’m a girl.”

He was two years old.  Julie had no idea what that meant. She felt disoriented.

Wasn’t it her role to encourage and support her child? Surely she had to

set some limits to his self-expression—or did she? Would he be bullied?

Could she do the right thing? What was the right thing?"

Parents & Families

 

This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life
Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo
Chronicle Books, 2014

Is It a Choice?: Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gay and Lesbian People
Eric Marcus
HarperOne, 2005

Transgender Children and Youth:  As recommended at the IWK Trans Health Symposium in 2019:

'These days, it is practically impossible not to hear about some aspect of transgender life. Whether it is the bathroom issue in North Carolina, trans people in the military, or on television, trans life has become front and center after years of marginalization.

And kids are coming out as trans at younger and younger ages, which is a good thing for them.

But what written resources are available to parents, teachers, and mental health professionals who need to support these children?

Elijah C. Nealy, a therapist and former deputy executive director of New York City’s LGBT Community Center, and himself a trans man, has written the first-ever comprehensive guide to understanding, supporting, and welcoming trans kids.

Covering everything from family life to school and mental health issues, as well as the physical, social, and emotional aspects of transition, this book is full of best practices to support trans kids.'

 

Always My Child: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Questioning Son or Daughter
Kevin Jennings
Fireside, 2002

Out of the Closet, Into Our Hearts
Laura Siegel and Nancy Lamkin Olson, ed.
Leyland Publications, 2001

 

Beyond Acceptance: Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk About Their Experiences
Carolyn Welch Griffen, et al
St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997

Now That You Know: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children
Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward
Harvest Books, 1998

 

Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Lesbian or Gay Child
Michael C. LaSala, Ph.D.
Columbia University Press, 2010

Side by Side: On Having a Gay or Lesbian Sibling
Andrew R. Gottlieb
Routledge, 2004

Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey
Betty Degeneres
Harper Paperbacks, 2000

 

My Child Is Gay: How Parents React When They Hear the News
Bryce McDougall, Ed.
Allen & Unwin, 2007

Something to Tell You
Gilbert Herdt and Bruce Koff
Columbia University Press, 2000

Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together
Robert A. Bernstein, Robert MacNeil and Betty DeGeneres
Da Capo Press, 2003

 

Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents
Irwin Krieger
Genderwise Press, 2011

Different Daughters: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians
Louise Rafkin
Cleis Press, 2001

My Son Eric: A Mother Struggles to Accept Her Gay Son and Discovers Herself
Mary V. Borhek and Christine M. Smith
Pilgrim Press, 2001

Finding Out: The ABC’s of Same Sex Relationships
Homer and Sue Spencer
Fithian Press, 2002

 

The Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out
Robb Forman Dew
Fawcett Books, 1995

Prayers for Bobby: A Mother’s Coming to Terms With the Suicide of Her Gay Son
Leroy Aarons
Harper San Francisco, 1996

Parenting & Raising Children

How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School and in the Community
Jean M. Baker, Ph.D.
Routledge, 2002

Sleepovers and Navigating Sleepovers and LGBTQ+ Youth

Sleepovers and questions around the do's and don'ts for protecting our LGBTQ+ children is something I hear often.

This article from the New York Times was helpful for a few people and I found it comprehensive and a great read.

Mom, I’m Gay. Can My Friends Sleep Over?

For parents of L.G.B.T.Q. teenagers, slumber parties can be complicated.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/07/well/family/mom-im-gay-can-my-friends-sleep-over.html

 

Coming Out

Outing Yourself: How to Come Out to Your Family, Friends and Co-Workers
Michelangelo Signorile
Fireside, 1996

The Way Out: The Gay Man’s Guide to Freedom 
Chris Nutter
HCI, 2006

 

Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America
Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker
Greenleaf Book Group, LLC, 2008

The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World
Alan Downs
Da Capo Press, 2006

Transgender Topics

 

Transgender Children and Youth:  As recommended at the IWK Trans Health Symposium in 2019:

'These days, it is practically impossible not to hear about some aspect of transgender life. Whether it is the bathroom issue in North Carolina, trans people in the military, or on television, trans life has become front and center after years of marginalization.

And kids are coming out as trans at younger and younger ages, which is a good thing for them.

But what written resources are available to parents, teachers, and mental health professionals who need to support these children?

Elijah C. Nealy, a therapist and former deputy executive director of New York City’s LGBT Community Center, and himself a trans man, has written the first-ever comprehensive guide to understanding, supporting, and welcoming trans kids.

Covering everything from family life to school and mental health issues, as well as the physical, social, and emotional aspects of transition, this book is full of best practices to support trans kids.'

Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue
Nicholas M. Teich
Columbia University Press, 2012

Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgendered Loved Ones
Jessica Xavier, Mary Boenke and Arlene Istar Lev
Oak Knoll Press, 2003

Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not
Joanne Herman
AuthorHouse, 2009

 

Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children
Rachel Pepper, ed.
Cleis Press, 2012

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Broadway, 2004

Becoming a Visible Man
Jamison Green
Vanderbilt University Press, 2004

True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism - For Families, Friends, Coworkers and Helping Professionals
Mildred L. Brown and Chole Ann Rounsley
Jossey-Bass, 2003

The Gender Quest Workbook: 'If you are a transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) teen, you may experience unique challenges with identity and interpersonal relationships. In addition to experiencing common teen challenges such as body changes and peer pressure, you may be wondering how to express your unique identity to others. The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises, and activities from evidence-based therapies-such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-to help you address the broad range of struggles'

Gender-Expansive/Gender Non-Conforming Children

 

The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes
Diane Ehrensaft, PhD
The Experiment, 2016

Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children
Diane Ehrensaft, PhD
The Experiment, 2011

 

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals
Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper
Cleis Press, 2008

The Great Big Body Book:

A new children’s picture book about human bodies includes transgender and gender nonconforming people as well as same-sex parents. That’s a rare and wonderful thing, making this a welcome book, despite a few caveats.

LGBT Families & Parenting

Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: Firsthand Advice, Tips and Stories from Lesbian and Gay Couples
Eric Rosswood
New Horizon Press, 2016

 

Families of Value: Intimate Profiles of Pioneering Lesbian and Gay Parents
Robert Bernstein
Da Capo Press, 2009

The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide
Arlene Istar Lev
Berkley Trade, 2004

The Great Big Body Book:

A new children’s picture book about human bodies includes transgender and gender nonconforming people as well as same-sex parents. That’s a rare and wonderful thing, making this a welcome book, despite a few caveats.

 

Diverse Families: Children of LGBT Parents

 

Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
Abigail Garner
Harper Paperbacks, 2005

Love Makes a Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents and Their Families
Gigi Kaeser, Peggy Gillespie, Kath Weston and April Martin
U. of Massachusetts Press, 1999

 

Out of the Ordinary: Essays on Growing Up With Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents
Noelle Howey, Ellen Samuels, Margarethe Cammermeyer and Dan Savage
Stonewall Inn Editions, 2000

How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages
Judith E. Snow
Routledge, 2004

 

Books for Children - Diverse Families

Heather Has Two Mommies: 20th Anniversary Edition
Leslea Newman and Diana Souza
Alyson Books, 2009

How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay?
Meredith Maran
Alyson Books, 2000

And Tango Makes Three
Peter Parnell
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2005

 

Who’s in a Family?
Robert Skutch
Tricycle Press, 1997

History & Society

 

Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights
Eric Marcus
Harper Paperbacks, 2002

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military
Randy Shilts
St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005

Positively Gay: New Approaches to Gay and Lesbian Life
Betty Berzon and Barney Frank
Celestial Arts, 2004

Religion

 

I'm Muslim and May Not Be Straight

God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
Matthew Vines
Convergent Books, 2015

Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View
Rabbi Chaim Rapoport
Mitchell Vallentine & Company, 2004

 

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality
Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D.
Alamo Square Distributors, 2000

Do’s & Don’ts of Dealing with the Religious Right
Marc Adams and Todd Tuttle
Window Books, 2000

Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America
Mel White
Plume, 1995

 
 

HEALTH

 

Videos:

Documentary: Trans

Music Video: 

Grace Petrie's Black Tie Tonight breaks down society's narrow views on gender. Read an article about here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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CONTACT

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA
E: connect@simplygoodform.com
P: 902-292-6331

Simply Good Form Consultancy is based near K’jipuktuk (Halifax) in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia), the traditional and unceded territory of the M’ikmaq people. Settlers and the M’ikmaq have lived in this territory under the provisions of the Peace and Friendship Treaties since 1760 and 1772.

We are all treaty people in Mi’kma’ki.

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