The best books about gender identity 📚

Browse the best books on gender identity as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of My Sister, Daisy

My Sister, Daisy

By Adria Karlsson, Linus Curci

Why this book?

This is a heartwarming and sensitive story of a change in a family when a younger brother announces a new gender identity. She is a girl. There's an author's note, telling us this is based on a true story. And the bright darling illustrations add to this needed picture book for all children.

From the list:

The best picture books about diverse families

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel

Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel

By Bernardine Evaristo

Why this book?

This book was surprising in both its humor and expansive narrative. Despite being somewhat experimental in its form, I loved this book as it told the stories of 12 British women of color who ranged in ages between 19 and 93 in London. Each life told separately, builds on the others. Spanning issues of class, gender identity, and family, the novel focuses on intersections of experience as generations of women are woven together. 

From the list:

The best fiction to explore the humor and angst of family relationships

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Self-Made Man: One Womans Journey into Manhood & Back Again

Self-Made Man: One Womans Journey into Manhood & Back Again

By Norah Vincent

Why this book?

Reading much like a novel, Vincent's book is a first-person account of a woman going undercover as a man (cross-dressing drag rather than trans, per se) to discover what men are like: "I found masculinity distilled, unmitigated by feminine influences, and therefore observable in a concentrated state" (p181).  An intriguing contrast to Schilt's book, Vincent says "It was hard being a guy" (p275); "Someone is always evaluating your manhood" (p276); "I saw how degraded and awful a relentless, humiliating sex drive could make you" (p277).

From the list:

The best books to make you think about gender (and sex)

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Boy & the Bindi

The Boy & the Bindi

By Vivek Shraya, Rajni Perera

Why this book?

This book helps fill a huge need for picture books that celebrate children of different cultures who aren’t limited by gender. This story is about the loving relationship between mother and child. Each time I read it, I am awestruck by the artistry and touched by the message. The child is captivated by the dot that Ammi wears above her nose. Ammi explains “my bindi keeps me safe and true,” and places a bindi on the child’s forehead. Each page of prose with vivid hand-painted illustrations, tells us a little bit more about how wearing the bindi brings comfort, strength…

From the list:

The best picture books that celebrate diversity and joy in children

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Black Tides of Heaven

The Black Tides of Heaven

By Neon Yang

Why this book?

As a fellow genderqueer/non-binary Asian writer, I’m happy to champion the first in Neon Yang’s Tensorate series. A YA novella set in a non-Western fantasy landscape, this book tackles issues of gender identity and choice head-on, introducing us to a society where children are referred to individually using they/them pronouns, and can select one of the binary genders when they come of age or chose to remain non-binary. We see the world through the eyes of twins Mokoya and Akeha as they come into their gender expressions and their powers in a feudal, monastic society largely reminiscent of those found…

From the list:

The best speculative fiction books for dismantling the patriarchy

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship

Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender and Friendship

By Jessica Walton, Dougal MacPherson

Why this book?

Errol and Thomas (his teddy bear), are best friends. But Errol starts noticing that Thomas doesn’t seem to enjoy all the things they do together and seems to be sad. Eventually, Thomas admits to Errol that they had always felt like a girl bear and would like to be called Tilly. Errol doesn’t care about the bear’s gender—just that they are best friends. It’s a lovely story about unconditional love and acceptance.
From the list:

The best picture books on diversity and feelings

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 18 books about gender identity

New book lists about gender identity

All book lists about gender identity

Bookshelves related to gender identity

Browse books by…