Books

Here are some books recommended by local PFLAG members. Please let us know if you’ve read a book you think should be on this list.


The Transgender Child

The Transgender Child

by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper

This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college. What do you do when your toddler daughter’s first sentence is that she’s a boy? What will happen when your preschool son insists on wearing a dress to school? Is this ever just a phase? How can parents advocate for their children in elementary schools? What about hormone blockers and surgery? How can I best raise my gender variant or transgender child with love and compassion, even when I barely understand the issues ahead of us? These questions and more are answered in this book offering a deeper understanding of gender variant and transgender children and teens.

Available to purchase on Amazon.

 Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation

Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation

By Simon LeVay

What causes a child to grow up gay or straight? Neuroscientist Simon LeVay summarizes a wealth of scientific evidence that points to one inescapable conclusion: Sexual orientation results primarily from an interaction between genes, sex hormones, and the cells of the developing body and brain. In this second edition, LeVay adds a chapter on bisexuality, reviews some uncommon forms of sexuality, and considers whether there could be a biological basis for subtypes of gay people such as “butch” and “femme” lesbians.
Available to purchase on Amazon.

Coming Out To Parents

By Mary V. Borhek

Listed by American Bookseller as “among the most important gay and lesbian books that should be represented in any general bookstore,” Borhek’s original edition of this book (1983) has also been praised as “sound, sympathetic, and helpful” (St. Luke’s Journal of Theology). In this thorough revision, Borhek brings an additional decade of personal knowledge and experience to bear on the subject of coming out.Available to purchase on Amazon.

The Transgender Child

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

By Alison Bechdel

A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books. This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel’s sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, it’s a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Available to purchase on Amazon.

 Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation

Empress of the World

By David Levithan

Nicola Lancaster is spending her summer at the Siegel Institute, a hothouse of smart, intense teenagers. She soon falls in with Katrina (Manic Computer Chick), Isaac (Nice-Guy-Despite-Himself), Kevin (Inarticulate Composer) . . . and Battle, a beautiful blond dancer. The two become friends–and then, startlingly, more than friends. What do you do when you think you’re attracted to guys, and then you meet a girl who steals your heart? A trailblazing debut, reissued with an introduction by acclaimed author David Levithan.
Available to purchase on Amazon.

Queer America: A people’s GLBT History of the United States

By David Levithan

Placing GLBT people at the center of the history of the twentieth century,
Vicki L. Eaklor’s Queer America: A People’s GLBT History of the United States is a major new effort to popularize a long-overlooked chapter in the American experience. Written in the tradition of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Queer America, provides a decade-by-decade overview of major issues and events in GLBT history. Eaklor brings the steady hand and perspective of an historian to the task of writing a sweeping work of narrative nonfiction that is both meaningful and relevant to all Americans.
Available to purchase on Amazon.

The Transgender Child

A Biblical Defense Guide for Gays, Lesbians and those who love them

By Craig Bettendorf

Throughout the past three decades, members of the Gay and Lesbian community have sought freedom from hate as well as religious and societal tolerance gaining some small degree of success. A Biblical Defense Guide was researched and ultimately authored to be used as a tool for mutual understanding. A Biblical Defense Guide will offer interesting insights to all those who seek to understand the historical, cultural, and societal prohibitions that are at work in the world today.

Available to purchase on Amazon.

 Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

By Benjamin Alire Saenz

This Printz Honor Book is a “tender, honest exploration of identity” (Publishers Weekly) that distills lyrical truths about family and friendship. Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be
Available to purchase on Amazon.

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality

By Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D.

Does God’s word in the Bible really condemn homosexuality?…… Top scholars–like the late John Boswell of Yale, Daniel Boyarin of Berkeley, Bernadette Brooten of Brandeis, L.William Countryman of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Victor P. Furnish of SMU, Saul M. Olyan of Brown and Robin Scruggs of Union Theological Seminary–show that those who perceive Bible passages as condemning homosexuality are being misled by faulty translation and poor interpretation…… Danial A. Helminiak, Ph.D. respected theologian and Roman Catholic priest, explains in a clear fashion the fascinating new insights of these scholars.
Available to purchase on Amazon.

The Transgender Child

Beyond Magenta

By Susan Kuklin

Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.

Available to purchase on Amazon.

 Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation

Out of the Closet Into our Hearts

By Laura Siegel

Editors Laura Siegel and Nancy Lamkin Olson have given a gift of wisdom and hope to gays, lesbians, transgenders, their families and friends. Out of the Closet – Into Our Hearts presents the reader with prose balanced with poetry and drawings illuminating lives in multiple modes to reach and connect with every type of person who reads and is willing to listen. Brief narratives with depth of passion, love and being proud fill this book almost to the bursting point. The reader finds a wonderful slice of the real world — as varied and unique as each person is whether gay, straight, lesbian or transgender.
Available to purchase on Amazon.