Transgender Lives

Complex Stories, Complex Voices

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

“I didn’t hear the word transgender until I was eighteen, when a person I was dating came out as trans. My boyfriend came out as my girlfriend, and I thought, ‘What . . . is that?’ She said, ‘I just don’t think I’m a man.’ And I said, ‘Guess what? Neither do I.’ And then the skies parted, and I understood who I was.”—Katie Burgess, nonprofit director and community activist/organizer

Meet Katie, Hayden, Dean, Brooke, David, Julia, and Natasha. Each is transgender, and in this book, they share their personal stories. Through their narratives, you’ll get to know and love each person for their humor, intelligence, perseverance, and passion. You’ll learn how they each came to better understand, accept, and express their gender identities, and you’ll follow them through the sorrows and successes of their personal journeys.

Transgender Lives helps you understand what it means to be transgender in America while learning more about transgender history, the broad spectrum of transgender identities, and the transition process. You’ll explore the challenges transgender Americans face, including discrimination, prejudice, bullying and violence, unequal access to medical care, and limited legal protections. For transgender readers, these stories offer support and encouragement. Transgender Lives is a space for trans* voices to be heard and to express the complexities of gender while focusing on what it means to be human.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Feminism, Diverse Books: LGBTQIA+, Diverse Books: #MeToo, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity
Copyright 2015
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 88
Publication Date 2014-08-01
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS YAN050030, YAN052060, YAN051040
Dewey 306.76'8
Dimensions 7 x 9
Lexile 1160
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Foreword, Index, Primary source quotations/images, Reviewed, Source notes, Starred Reviews, Table of contents, Teaching Guides, Timeline, and eSource

Author: Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Kirstin Cronn-Mills, PhD, teaches writing, literature, and critical thinking at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota. She writes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction books and articles. Her young adult fiction and nonfiction have been honored several times, including a Minnesota Book Award nomination for LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field in 2017. LGBTQ+ Athletes was also a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection, a 2017 American Library Association Rainbow List selection, and a 2017 Best Children's Books of the Year selection from Bank Street College.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Transgender Lives

“I didn’t hear the word transgender until I was eighteen, when a person I was dating came out as trans. My boyfriend came out as my girlfriend, and I thought, ‘What . . . is that?’ She said, ‘I just don’t think I’m a man.’ And I said,… View available downloads →

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  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2015
  • NYC Reads 365 Recommended Reading List, Winner, 2015


Library Media Connection

“Cronn-Mills has written an admirably informative and respectful book….This book should be on the shelf in all middle, high school, and public libraries where patrons could be seeking understanding and/or affirmation of the complexities of gender….Highly Recommended.”―starred, Library Media Connection

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“YAs familiar with Cronn-Mills from her Stonewall Award–winning Beautiful Music for Ugly Children will be particularly pleased to encounter her nonfiction work.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Literature


“In this collection of narrative and photographic portraits, Cronn-Mills introduces her readers to individuals who defy generalization in their lives spanning the transgender spectrum….Even readers familiar with transgender narratives will grow with deeper understanding and compassion.” —Booklist