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LGBTQIA: Transgender Biographies

Updated: June 30, 2018

A selection of transgender biographies from the past and the present. More books will be found under the subject heading Transgender people. Works of fiction can be found under keyword Transgender fiction.

Collins, Mary, 1961-
Call Number: 306.768 C712

In this joint memoir, Mary Collins and Donald Collins, mother and son respectively, recount the pain and resolution over his decision to transition from female to male. 

Docter, Richard F.
Call Number: 306.7681 J82Do

In the 1950s Christine Jorgensen was the first person to become publicly known for having sex reassignment surgery, and it was sensational news.

Nutt, Amy Ellis.
Call Number: 306.768 N976

An ordinary American family adopts identical twin boys, but there were obvious differences during the twins early childhood.  A set of circumstances that might have driven this family apart, instead brought them closer together because of love, understanding and compassion.

Khosla, Dhillon.
Call Number: 306.7681 K45

Never feeling right in his own skin, Dhillon Khosla recounts his twenty-year struggle to find validation. Born with a female body, he always knew he was a man.

Jorgensen, Christine, 1926-1989.
Call Number: 306.7681 J82

Christine Jorgensen's personal story of her transition, and the sensation it caused back in the 1950s.

Morris, Jan, 1926-
Call Number: 306.76810942 M876 2002

Soldier in the British military during World War II, journalist, historian and prolific travel writer, James Morris knew from early childhood that he was a female. This autobiography details her medical transition in 1964.

McCloskey, Deirdre N.
Call Number: 306.7681 M127

Deirdre McCloskey (formerly Donald) candidly discusses the decision to transition in her 50s, including issues with family, medical costs, psychological problems, and notoriety. The former Donald McCloskey was a very well known conservative economist, who wrote numerous books, and all of those books can be found under Deirdre McCloskey.

Wright, iO Tillett,
Call Number: 810.92 W949

iO Tillett Wright's early life was tumultuous and uncertain. Raised by a showgirl mother whose erratic behavior was fueled by drug and alcohol problems, his homelife was fractured and school was a terrifying place. Born a girl, but at age six declared he was Ricky--no longer a daughter but a son.

Lepore, Amanda,
Call Number: 306.768 L598

In every way possible, Amanda Lepore is a self-made woman. She was born Armand Lepore, and for as long as she can remember never, ever identified as anything but female. This is her story, told in her own unique way--direct and honest, sometimes raucous, retelling the pain she endured early on and later the triumphs. She is not the first transsexual woman, but in modern times she has become one of the internationally best known.

Martino, Mario.
Call Number: 616.8583 M386

An autobiography from the 1970s, about a midwestern girl from a traditional Italian family, who never identified as a female.  His story provides historical perspective.

Call Number: 306.768 F4945

Comforting, supportive, real-life stories from people who have lived and thrived, despite struggles, with gender and sexual identity.

Maloney, Kellie, 1953-
Call Number: 306.7681 M257

Born to a tough working class family, Frank Maloney was a prominent boxing promoter, and years later made the decision to become Kellie Maloney. A forthright autobiography about inner confusion and suffering which was finally resolved.

Barkin, Janna,
Call Number: 306.768092 B256Ba

Janna Barkin discusses what it is like to be the mother of a transgender child and the importance of having a family circle of support, as her daughter transitioned from female to male.  The books includes lists of resource groups.

Kailey, Matt.
Call Number: 306.7681 K13

Having lived for 42 years as a straight woman, Matt Kiley knew that he was not living his authentic life. This is part memoir, but also an advisory book for those who are considering transitioning.

Call Number: 306.7681 T917

Caroline "Tula" Cossey is a successful English model and an internationally known trans woman. In the 1980s she petitioned the European Court of Human Rights to be recognized as a woman in order to be legally be married in Britain.

Richards, Renee.
Call Number: 306.7681 R517-1

40-year-old, Dr. Richard Raskin, well-known eye-surgeon, and expert amateur tennis player, was very public about his sex reassignment in 1975. As Renée Richards she endured criticism and was hounded by the press and paparrazi.  All of the notoriety took its toll and Richards is candid about it.

McKay, Reg.
Call Number: 306.7681 M153 2001

What happens to a 64-year-old man, who had led a rather average life as a schoolboy, soldier, husband and father, and decides to ask himself, "Who am I?". He makes the transition from male to female while living in a small Scottish village with his second wife and her children. What are the repercussions, what does his new wife do, and what are the reactions from the villagers?

Ball, Edward, 1959-
Call Number: 810.92 S592Ba

Englishman Gordon Langley Hall was a famous biographer, who was adopted in his early twenties by English actress Margaret Rutherford and her husband, actor Stringer Davis. "After sex reassignment surgery in 1968, Simmons wed in the first legal interracial marriage in South Carolina."  


Anderson-Minshall, Diane.
Call Number: 306.768 A5525

Diane and Suzy were in a 15-year lesbian relationship, when one of them transitioned to male. A special story about two people who were and are still very much in love.

Mock, Janet, 1983-
Call Number: 301.415 M688

Janet Mock's story was first told in 2011, in Marie Claire magazine, and later in book format was a bestseller.  She is steadfast in her honesty about growing up poor, multiracial and trans.

Jenner, Caitlyn, 1949-
Call Number: 306.768092 J54

One of the most highly publicized sex reassignments in recent times. The former Bruce Jenner, retired Olympic gold medal decathlete, and reality TV star, speaks candidly about his years of struggle with gender identity, and the decision to transition and undergo sex reassignment treatments.

Call Number: 306.7681 S5187

A collection of memoirs by sixteen transgender pioneers which provides perspective on social, medical and psychological issues.

Boylan, Jennifer Finney, 1958-
Call Number: 813 B7915B

Jennifer Finney Boylan brings all of her abilities as a talented novelist and professor to create a perceptive, reflective, funny memoir of how she transitioned from James to Jennifer. Despite extensive research prior to beginning her transition, she is surprised by the emotional and psychological changes which take place. She also credits the support of her best friend and novelist, Richard Russo.

Boylan, Jennifer Finney, 1958-
Call Number: 813 B7915B-2

Jennifer Finney Boylan writes clearly and compassionately about transitioning from male to female, and from being a father to a mother

Ladin, Joy, 1961-
Call Number: 811 L155L

Professor Jay Ladin documents his transition from male to female, and how it affected her life as an Orthodox Jewish woman at the Yeshiva University.

Sarah McBride

Sarah McBride’s autobiography is a candid story of her own transitioning, and advocacy for LGBTQ rights. There have many firsts for McBride: as student body president at American University she came out as a transgender woman; in 2016 at the Democratic National Convention, she was the first transgender woman to address a major political convention. She is very sincere and candid about her thoughts and feelings as she recalls her early years as a child and later as an adult.

Bono, Chaz.
Call Number: 306.7681 B719

Chastity was the only child, little girl, of pop stars, Sonny and Cher. He speaks candidly about gender issues, drug addiction and his transition from female to male--all in the limelight.

Link, Aaron Raz, 1965-
Call Number: 306.7681 L756

Parent and grown child bring a unique perspective to this autobiography. Aaron Raz Link is a scientist who contributes facts about genetics, behavior and visible characteristics to his transition from female to male. His mother Hilda Raz, a poet, provides honesty and emotion to her realization about what her son most needed in life--her understanding and support.

Brevard, Aleshia, 1937-
Call Number: 306.7681 B846

A funny, irreverent, brash and life-affirming autobiography. Before having surgery in 1962, Brevard worked as a drag queen and later as a Playboy bunny. Her story brings historical perspective to transgender concerns.