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Gender Diversity: Resources

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The Language of Gender

Rather than trying to define gender, many modern texts are celebrating the indefinable nature of gender and the need for an ever-evolving open-ended lexicon to express gender. The language, terminology, acronyms, coding, and naming conventions associated with gender is a field that has busted right open. With this in mind, libraries have their own language, and, while it is imperfect, here are some subject headings to try that might help when you are searching in the collection for books and other materials:

Gender identity

Gender expression

Gender nonconformity

Transgender people -- Identity

Sex role -- History

Sex differences

Human biology

Select Library Databases

Data & Statistics

Select Memoirs, Biographies & Autobiographies

Select Films & Documentaries

Related HWS books

Imagining Queer Methods

Reimagines the field of queer studies by asking "How do we do queer theory?" Imagining Queer Methods showcases the methodological renaissance unfolding in queer scholarship. (Ebook)

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Gender: What Everyone Needs to Know

Gender: What Everyone Needs to Know guides the reader through basic definitions; the history of gender as a concept; the role of biology, psychology, and culture on gender; and gender norms over time and across the globe. (Print book)

Find here in the library at: HQ18.55 .E75 2021a (Main Collection)

Gender Queer: A Memoir

Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity -- what it means and how to think about it -- for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere. (Print book)

Find here in the library at: CURR LIB 741.5973 .K628 G46 2020a (Curriculum Library)

Queer Carnival: Festivals & Mardi Gras in the South

Festivals like Mardi Gras and Fiesta are events in which entire cities participate, and LGBTQ people are a visible part. Queer Carnival provides a new perspective on queer life in the South and Southwest, showing us ways that LGBTQ communities not only survive, but thrive, in unexpected places. (Print book)

Find here in the library at: HQ76.3.U52 S685 2022 (Main Collection)

Is Gender Fluid?: A Primer for the 21st Century

This intelligent, stimulating volume assesses the connections between gender, psychology, culture and sexuality, and reveals how individual and social attitudes have evolved over the centuries. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HQ1075 .H54 2018a (Main Collection)

Queer Natures, Queer Mythologies

Collects scholarly work that Sam See had completed at his death in 2013. See argues that nature is constantly and aimlessly variable, and that nature itself might be considered queer. See proposes that nature might be the foundational myth for the building of queer communities. (Ebook)

Find online at JSTOR:

Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to RuPaul

Illustrated with historical images and contemporary photographs, Transgender Warriors is an eye-opening excursion through the history of sex and gender expression and a testament to the rebellious spirit. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HQ77.9 .F45 1996 (Main Collection)*
*Currently at reserve desk

Queer Exposures: Sexuality & Photography in Roberto Bolaño's fiction & poetry

Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) stands out among recent Latin American writers because of his critical acclaim, popularity, and literary significance. Queer Exposures analyzes two central but understudied topics in Bolaño's work: sexuality and photography. (Print book)

Find here in the library at: PQ8098.12 .O38 Z66 2021 (Main Collection)

Lana and Lilly Wachowski

Lana and Lilly Wachowski have redefined the technically and topically possible while joyfully defying audience expectations. Visionary films like The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas have placed them among the world's most influential transgender media producers. (Ebook)

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Queer Attachments: The Cultural Politics of Shame

Is shame central to identity? What is its role in stigmatizing subcultures such as the Irish, the queer or the underclass? Can it be productive? This work explores shame across a range of texts. (Print book & Ebook)

Find here in the library at: HQ75.15 .M86 2007a (Main Collection)

Find online at Ebook Central:

As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl

As Nature Made Him tells the extraordinary story of David Reimer, who, when finally informed of his medical history, made the decision to live as a male. Writing with compassion, John Colapinto sets the historical and medical context for the case, exposing a thirty-year-long scientific feud. (Print book)

Find here in the library at RC560.G45 C65 2000 (Main Collection)

Identity: A Very Short Introduction

A survey of the many faces of the concept of identity, this work discusses its varied meanings in the fields of philosophy, sociology, and psychology, as well as politics and law. (Print book and ebook)

Find here in the library at BD236 .C69 2019a (Main Collection)

Find online at Oxford University Press:

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

Jazz Jennings shares her very public transgender journey. At five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her story in her first Barbara Walters interview, at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HQ77.8 .J47 A3 2016 (Main Collection)

Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity

In this groundbreaking book, thirty authors highlight how our experiences are shaped by a deeply entrenched gender binary. Nuanced storytellers break away from mainstream portrayals of gender diversity, cutting across lines of age, race, ethnicity, ability, class, religion, family, and relationships. (Ebook)

Find online at JSTOR:

Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction

Revealing how our assumptions about what is 'normal' in sexuality have varied widely across time and place, this book tackles the major topics and controversies that still confront us when issues of sex and sexuality are discussed: from sex education, HIVAIDS, and eugenics, to religious doctrine, gay rights, and feminism. (Ebook)

Find online at Ebook Central:

Trans*: A Quick And Quirky Account of Gender Variability

In Trans*, Jack Halberstam explores recent shifts in the meaning of the gendered body and representation, and explores the possibilities of a non-gendered or gender-queer future. (Print book and ebook)

Find here in library at HQ77.9 .H35 2018a (Main Collection)

Find online at JSTOR:

Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers

Twenty-five science fiction and fantasy short stories by transgender writers from the US, Canada and beyond. This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience required. Rejoice at obstacles unquestionably bested and conflicts efficiently resolved. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS508 .T73 M43 2017a

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

This book is a revolutionary resource -- a comprehensive guide for transgender people, written by transgender and gender-expansive authors. Content of the 2nd edition is thoroughly updated. (Print book)

Find here in the library at QUARTO HQ77.9 .T714 2022a (Main Collection, Quarto Section)

[Earlier edition is available online at EBSCOhost:]

Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man

What does it mean to be a man? Thomas Page McBee attempts to answer by focusing on two men: his father who abused him, and a mugger who nearly killed him. At the brink of transitioning from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these examples of flawed manhood and untangle his past. (Print book)

Find in the library at HQ77.8 .M385 A3 2014 (Main Collection)

Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir

In three critically-acclaimed novels, Akwaeke Emezi has introduced readers to a landscape marked by familial tensions, Igbo belief systems, and a search for what it means to be free. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, Emezi reveals the harrowing truths of their own life. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PR9387.9 .E42 Z46 2021 (Main Collection)

Histories of the Transgender Child

A groundbreaking 20th-century history of transgender children. (Print book and Ebook)

Find here in the library at HQ77.95 .U6 G55 2018a (Main Collection)

Find online at JSTOR:

Waveform: Twenty-first-century essays by women

Waveform celebrates the role of women essayists in contemporary literature. With thirty essays by thirty distinguished and diverse women writers, this anthology incorporates works ranging from the traditional to the experimental. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS683 .W65 W38 2016 (Main Collection)


Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When the world she thought she'd carefully built for herself begins to unravel, Maria sets out on a journey that will change her forever. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3602 .I5476 N48 2013a (Main Collection)

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Feminity

Julia Serano shares her experiences and insights to reveal the ways in which fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness toward femininity shape our societal attitudes toward trans women, as well as gender and sexuality as a whole. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HQ77.9 .S47 2016a (Main Collection)

Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us

Kate Bornstein ushers readers on a funny, fearless, and wonderfully scenic journey across the terrains of gender and identity. Gender Outlaw was decades ahead of its time when it was first published in 1994. It stands as a classic and still-revolutionary work. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HQ77.9 .B67 1995 (Main Collection)

The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary's mission to an unknown alien world whose inhabitants can choose--and change--their gender. Exploring questions of psychology, society, and human emotion, this book stands as a landmark in the annals of science fiction. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3562 .E42 L39 2016 (Main Collection)

Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics

Troubling the Line gathers together a diverse range of 55 poets with varying aesthetics and backgrounds. In addition to generous samples of poetry by each trans writer, the book also includes reflections by each poet that provide context for their work. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HQ77.7 .T8 2013 (Main Collection)

Don't Call Us Dead: Poems

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. This book opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where violence and grief are forgotten, and replaced with love and safety. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3619 .M5748 A6 2017a (Main Collection)

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty

A National Book Award finalist reimagines the love story in this fresh and seductive novel about a young woman seeking joy while healing from loss. Akwaeke Emezi's vivid and passionate writing takes us deep into a world of possibility and healing, and the constant bravery of choosing love against all odds. (Ebook)

Find online in our HWS Overdrive collection at

The Argonauts

An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3564 .E4687 Z46 2015 (Main Collection)

Drag King Dreams

From award-winning author, Leslie Feinberg, comes Drag King Dreams, the story of Max Rabinowitz, a butch lesbian bartender at an East Village club where drag kings perform. A veteran of the women's and gay movement of the past 30 years, Max's mid-life crisis hits in the midst of the post-9/11 world. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3556 .E427 D73 2006 (Main Collection)

Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation

First published in 1999, Exile and Pride is essential to the history and future of disability politics. Eli Clare's revelatory writing about his experiences as a white disabled genderqueer activist/writer established him as one of the leading writers on the intersections of queerness and disability. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HQ1426 .C56 2015a (Main Collection)

Blackfish City

Blackfish City is a remarkably urgent--and ultimately very hopeful--novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3613 .I55288 B57 2018 (Main Collection)

Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure

In Brilliant Imperfection, Eli Clare uses memoir, history, and critical analysis to explore cure--the deeply held belief that body-minds considered broken need to be fixed. The stories he tells range widely, stretching from disability stereotypes to weight-loss surgery, gender transition to skin-lightening creams. (Print book)

Find here in the library at HV1568 .C528 2017a (Main Collection)

Herculine Barbin

In the torrid style of the romantic novels of her day, Herculine Barbin tells the story of her life as an intersex person. Here, in an erotic diary, is one lost voice from our sexual past. Michel Foucault discovered these memoirs in the archives of the French Department of Public Hygiene. (Print book)

Find here in the library at RC883 .B3713 1980 (Main Collection)

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

From the award-winning author of For Today I Am a Boy, a deeply-felt novel about a group of young girls at a remote camp--and the night that changes everything. Fu gives us a portrait of friendship and of the families we build for ourselves--and the pasts we can't escape. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PR9199.4 .F8 L67 2018 (Main Collection)

No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics

Queer cartooning encompasses some of the best and most interesting comics of the last four decades, with creators tackling complex issues of identity and a changing society with intelligence, humor, and imagination. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PN6720 .N6 2012 (Main Collection)

Ninefox Gambit

When Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for her unconventional tactics, Kel Command gives her a chance to redeem herself, by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles from the heretics. Cheris's career isn't the only thing at stake: if the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3612 .E34884 N56 2016 (Main Collection)

QR code for gender diversity topic guide

QR code for gender diversity topic guide

Use this QR code to visit the HWS Library's Gender Diversity Topic Guide. This site has more resources for accessing related HWS library content -- in print, online and streaming.

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For Today I Am a Boy

At birth, Peter Huang is given the Chinese name Juan Chaun, "powerful king." To his parents, newly-settled in small-town Ontario, he is the son in a sea of daughters. Peter knows otherwise. He knows he is really a girl. With the help of his sisters, Peter inches ever closer to his own life in this darkly funny debut. (Ebook)

Find online in our HWS Overdrive collection at


A singular book that explores themes of identity and justice. A riveting and timely young adult debut novel that asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial. (Ebook)

Find online in our HWS Overdrive collection at

Stone Butch Blues

Powerful, provocative, and deeply moving account of coming to terms with the complexities of a transgendered existence. Published in 1993, this brilliant novel tackles the realities of being a transgendered person in a world demanding simple explanations. (Print book)

Find here in the library at PS3556 .E427 S7 1993a (Main Collection)

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