The most recommended trans man book

Who picked these books? Meet our 15 experts.

15 authors created a book list connected to trans man, and here are their favorite trans man books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of trans man book?

Loading...
Loading...

Book cover of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters

Lisa Shultz Author Of The Trans Train: A Parent's Perspective on Transgender Medicalization and Ideology

From my list on shed light on the gender-critical perspective.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a mom who has struggled to understand the changes I have witnessed in my child after she told me she was “trans.” Nothing about her declaration or how she came to that point made sense to me. As a loving mother and curious person who loves to learn, I studied the topic of gender from multiple angles. As I recorded my research findings and experience, the content developed into a book. I provide a voice for parents who challenge transgender medicalization of cross-sex hormones and surgeries and instead desire natural options to treat the root cause of their child’s distress. 

Lisa's book list on shed light on the gender-critical perspective

Lisa Shultz Why did Lisa love this book?

This is the first book I discovered that helped me understand what was happening to my daughter after she told me she identified as “trans.” I learned about the vulnerability of girls to social contagions by peers and social media influencers.

Although I was baffled by reading that gender-affirming care doesn’t address the root cause of a girl’s distress and instead helps her rush into a medicalized model with long-term, adverse health effects, it confirmed my family’s experience.

This book boosted my confidence to advocate for young people to address and heal what lies beneath the proclamation that they were born in the wrong body, and it also helped me understand the potential damage caused by gender drugs and surgeries.

By Abigail Shrier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Irreversible Damage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NAMED A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2021 BY THE TIMES AND THE SUNDAY TIMES

"Irreversible Damage . . . has caused a storm. Abigail Shrier, a Wall Street Journal writer, does something simple yet devastating: she rigorously lays out the facts." —Janice Turner, The Times of London

Until just a few years ago, gender dysphoria—severe discomfort in one’s biological sex—was vanishingly rare. It was typically found in less than .01 percent of the population, emerged in early childhood, and afflicted males almost exclusively.

But today whole groups of female friends…


Book cover of All the White Spaces

Amy Goldsmith Author Of Those We Drown

From my list on spooky ships.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always lived by the coast and have a healthy respect for the sea and a mortal fear of everything within it. It’s truly terrifying to me that around 80% of the ocean is unexplored – what is down there? This fear partly inspired me to write Those We Drown, my YA horror debut set aboard a cruise ship and featuring a splash of oceanic horror.

Amy's book list on spooky ships

Amy Goldsmith Why did Amy love this book?

In All the White Spaces, WWI has just ended and we follow stowaway Jonathan Morgan to Antarctica, where he hopes to fulful his older brother’s dreams of adventure and exploration.

When the ship gets stuck in the frozen Weddell Sea, the crew is forced into the icy wilderness of the South Pole. As they prepare to spend the winter there, they find something terrible waiting for them in the frozen wasteland.

A chilling ghost story exploring themes of identity, If you loved Dan Simmon’s The Terror, you will love this. 

By Ally Wilkes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All the White Spaces as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Bram Stoker Award nominee

“Some of the best survival horror we’ve read in years, with a uniquely menacing adversary at its heart.” —Vulture,The Best Horror Novels of 2022
“Epic.” —Esquire,The 22 Best Horror Books of 2022

Something deadly and mysterious stalks the members of an isolated polar expedition in this haunting and spellbinding historical horror novel, perfect for fans of Dan Simmons’s The Terror and Alma Katsu’s The Hunger.

In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary…


Book cover of This One Looks Like a Boy: My Gender Journey to Life as a Man

A.M. Kirsch Author Of Murder of an Uncommon Man

From my list on dysfunctional family, gender identity, and murder.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born into a family with friction between parents, I never thought relationships could get much worse. When my parents divorced, father became estranged, then died by apparent suicide, memoirs by diverse voices opened my world and made me feel less alone. When I went through a sexual and gender identity crisis of my own, they helped me navigate the turmoil in my own life. I spent more than twenty-five years writing professionally for corporate and academic employers before writing biography and memoir became a coping skill.

A.M.'s book list on dysfunctional family, gender identity, and murder

A.M. Kirsch Why did A.M. love this book?

I was writing my book when I saw the cover of this memoir on the library’s “new books” display. I wasn’t looking for another transition story but discovered that it crossed into “murder investigation” and was hooked. Lorimer’s life took him from the prairies to Vancouver, where he worked for the police department, and included a mid-life transition, with echoes to my arc. His connection to the horrific Pickton serial murder case between 2002 and 2007, involving missing, vulnerable women, makes his own story all the more poignant.

By Lorimer Shenher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This One Looks Like a Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inspiring and honest, this unique memoir of gender transition and coming-of-age proves it's never too late to find your true identity.

Since he was a small child, Lorimer Shenher knew something for certain: he was a boy. The problem was, he was growing up in a girl's body.

In this candid and thoughtful memoir, Shenher shares the story of his gender journey, from childhood gender dysphoria to teenage sexual experimentation to early-adult denial of his identity-and finally the acceptance that he is trans, culminating in gender reassignment surgery in his fifties. Along the way, he details his childhood in booming…


Book cover of Female Husbands

Simon Joyce Author Of LGBT Victorians: Sexuality and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century Archives

From my list on showing that trans people have always existed.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an academic researcher interested in this topic but also one of the people who gets demonized in conservative media: the parent of a transgender child. I want my daughter to know that similar people have existed in history and that lawmakers are wrong to claim that we’re in a scary new world when we advocate for respect and the rights of trans people. While doing that advocacy work, I’m alarmed by positions within the LGBTQI+ movement echoing right-wing ones, including what’s known as “gender critical feminism.” My book argues a positive case for coalition in the face of pressures to fracture along distinct lines of sexuality and gender identity. 

Simon's book list on showing that trans people have always existed

Simon Joyce Why did Simon love this book?

If you’re wondering in practical ways how to do trans history, Manion’s book is a great place to start. It takes one of the categories that preceded a transgender identity (the name typically given to people affirmed female at birth who identified as men and married women) and reimagines how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century lives might look with the benefit of the tools of our modern politics. The book is boldly inclusive, resisting deciding ahead of time how the category should be defined and who should be ruled in or out. Manion is also a role model in respecting the ambiguities of the past, mostly using neutral pronouns and offering non-judgmental speculations about what these subjects and their partners might have thought at key moments in their courageous and inspiring lives. 

By Jen Manion,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Female Husbands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Long before people identified as transgender or lesbian, there were female husbands and the women who loved them. Female husbands - people assigned female who transed gender, lived as men, and married women - were true queer pioneers. Moving deftly from the colonial era to just before the First World War, Jen Manion uncovers the riveting and very personal stories of ordinary people who lived as men despite tremendous risk, danger, violence, and threat of punishment. Female Husbands weaves the story of their lives in relation to broader social, economic, and political developments in the United States and the United…


Book cover of True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Julie Hardwick Author Of Sex in an Old Regime City: Young Workers and Intimacy in France, 1660-1789

From my list on the history of sex.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like most people, I find the history of sex and everything associated with it fascinating! It’s often been difficult to document and interpret the complexities about heterosexuality, gender identity, and same-sex desire as well as women’s reproductive health which is intimately (although not exclusively of course) linked to sex. We are in a golden age of fantastic work on so many aspects of the history of sex. Apart from the intrinsic interest of these books, I think they provide such an important context for our very lively and often very intense contemporary legal, political, and cultural debates over sex in all its forms.

Julie's book list on the history of sex

Julie Hardwick Why did Julie love this book?

True Sex is one of the most timely history books I have ever read. Driving across rural America today, I wonder about the lives of trans men (and women) that Emily Skidmore so brilliantly recovered. In her emphasis on how unexceptional they were, she provides such a vital context for understanding the emerging visibility and claims of trans men and women today.

By Emily Skidmore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked True Sex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner, 2018 U.S. History PROSE Award
The incredible stories of how trans men assimilated into mainstream communities in the late 1800s
In 1883, Frank Dubois gained national attention for his life in Waupun, Wisconsin. There he was known as a hard-working man, married to a young woman named Gertrude Fuller. What drew national attention to his seemingly unremarkable life was that he was revealed to be anatomically female. Dubois fit so well within the small community that the townspeople only discovered his "true sex" when his former husband and their two children arrived in the town searching in desperation for…


Book cover of Imji Getsul: An English Buddhist in a Tibetan Monastery

Laurence Cox Author Of The Irish Buddhist: The Forgotten Monk Who Faced Down the British Empire

From my list on Buddhism and the West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a street musician, set up kindergartens, worked in special needs education, and run wood-fired showers in a field for meditation retreats. I’m also associate professor of sociology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth. I became a Buddhist partly out of interest in a very different culture and started wondering how Buddhism got from Asia to the West. I think about this through my own experience of teaching meditation, being an activist for 35 years, living in five countries, and learning ten languages: what do you have to do to make an idea come alive in a different culture? 

Laurence's book list on Buddhism and the West

Laurence Cox Why did Laurence love this book?

I find the story in Imji Getsul (“English Novice”) incredibly moving. Lobzang Jivaka (Michael Dillon) was an extraordinary human being: the first trans man to have successful genital surgery and a pioneering (anonymous) writer on the subject. Outed by the British tabloid press, this deeply private man fled to India and became a Buddhist novice. In Ladakh he insisted on overcoming his own privilege as a white gentleman, starting at the bottom of the monastic hierarchy in gruelling physical conditions (which ultimately killed him). This book is an honest, funny, and powerful account of personal change and the meeting between cultures.

By Lobzang Jivaka,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Imji Getsul as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the publisher: "Here is the daily life and routine of a very remote monastery on the Tibetan border. The author was a novice there, speaking the language, experiencing the discomfort and the blows and the beauty of that life. Lobzang Jivaka rejected most of the common values of Western life, to search for truth; and found it in an obscure corner of the world. This is fascinating as a work of travel, and as a religious book of some authority. It is an Englishman's account of life at Rizong Gompa in Ladakh, which he came to love as much…


Book cover of Before I Had the Words: On Being a Transgender Young Adult

James Sie Author Of All Kinds of Other

From my list on the world of trans masculine teens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a gay author, father, and voice actor living in Los Angeles. When I started writing All Kinds of Other, there was very little literature centering trans characters in YA fiction, and virtually none about trans masculine characters. Trans teens have to face a lot of challenges—in school, at home, even from the government that is supposed to protect them. It’s hard enough to just be a teenager, let alone face such discrimination. I wanted to write something that would reflect them and affirm their right to live and love, to be. Happily, since that time, there have been a number of books for teens that center trans characters, and I’m happy to include some of them here.

James' book list on the world of trans masculine teens

James Sie Why did James love this book?

A rollicking and touching memoir from trans vlogging pioneer, artist, and musician Skylar Kergil. Skylar writes with honesty and wit, taking us through his whole childhood, coming out, and transitioning. If you’ve ever seen any of his transition vlogs on YouTube, you know how engaging Skylar is, and his voice shines through in this book. It feels very much like he’s talking to you over a cup of coffee. 

By Skylar Kergil,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Before I Had the Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A must-read for anyone who is trans or has trans family or friends." -Chase Ross, trans activist and speaker.

Revealing entries from the author's personal journals as well as interviews with his mother, brother, and friends lend remarkable depth to a groundbreaking memoir of change, loss, discovery, pain, and relief.

At the beginning of his physical transition from female to male, then-seventeen-year-old Skylar Kergil posted his first video on YouTube. In the months and years that followed, he recorded weekly update videos about the physical and emotional changes he experienced. Skylar's openness and positivity attracted thousands of viewers, who followed…


Book cover of Magical Boy

Emmarie Bee Author Of A Twist of Fate

From my list on LGBTQ+ manga/graphic novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved cartoons and anime. I’m also bisexual and non-binary. Growing up, gay representation was hard to come by, so when we did get it, we were always super excited, whether it was good or not so good. Luckily, I’ve gotten to watch the world change and grow more accepting, but sometimes it’s still difficult to find good rep when you don’t know where to look. I try to fill my books with good representation so that my readers can feel seen in a way I didn’t, and I want to spread the word about some great LGBT manga that I love and made an impact on me.

Emmarie's book list on LGBTQ+ manga/graphic novels

Emmarie Bee Why did Emmarie love this book?

I thought that this book was such a fun way to turn the “magical girl” trope on its head by taking a trans boy, Max, and having him discover he’s the descendant of a long line of magical girls. You can’t set up that premise and not expect some shenanigans.

I’ve always loved the “magical girl” genre, and it all felt very “Sailor Moon” to me. I felt a lot for Max, considering my own personal issues with trying to get my family to understand my gender. It’s a complicated thing, and adding magical girl powers into the mix? I’ll take on gender issues any day! Frankly, I’m amazed no one thought to do something like this sooner!

By The Kao,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magical Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A breathtakingly imaginative fantasy series starring
Max - a trans high school student who has to save the world
as a Magical Girl ... as a boy!
Although he was assigned female at birth, Max is your average
trans man trying to get through high school as himself. But on top
of classes, crushes and coming
out, Max's life is turned upside down when his
mom reveals an eons old family secret: he's descended from a long
line of Magical Girls tasked with defending humanity from a dark,
ancient evil!

With a sassy feline sidekick and loyal
gang of friends…


Book cover of Act Cool

James Sie Author Of All Kinds of Other

From my list on the world of trans masculine teens.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a gay author, father, and voice actor living in Los Angeles. When I started writing All Kinds of Other, there was very little literature centering trans characters in YA fiction, and virtually none about trans masculine characters. Trans teens have to face a lot of challenges—in school, at home, even from the government that is supposed to protect them. It’s hard enough to just be a teenager, let alone face such discrimination. I wanted to write something that would reflect them and affirm their right to live and love, to be. Happily, since that time, there have been a number of books for teens that center trans characters, and I’m happy to include some of them here.

James' book list on the world of trans masculine teens

James Sie Why did James love this book?

Another YA book set in New York, but this time in the world of a performing arts school. August Greene, a trans boy from a conservative Pennsylvania community, not only gets accepted into a prestigious performing arts academy in the big city but gets to live his authentic life while doing so. Trouble is, his parents don’t know he’s trans. McSmith is heavily involved in the NY theatre scene, and he writes with insight and accuracy about both trans issues and trans representation in the performing arts. 

By Tobly McSmith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Act Cool as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

*Named a Rainbow Book List Title*

A trans teen walks the fine line between doing whatever it takes for his acting dream and staying true to himself in this moving, thought-provoking YA novel from the acclaimed author of Stay Gold.

Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at the prestigious School of Performing Arts in New York. There's only one problem: His conservative parents won't accept that he's transgender. And to stay with his aunt in the city, August must promise them he won't transition.

August is convinced he can play the part his parents want while acting…


Book cover of Between Perfect and Real

S.M. Stevens Author Of Bit Players, Has-Been Actors and Other Posers

From my list on for tweens, teens and young adults who love theater.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teenager, I didn’t have the lack of inhibition or abundant self-confidence to excel in high school drama. Like Sadie in Bit Players, I finally wowed the directors at my senior year audition, only to learn the lead was promised in advance to someone else. I recovered and stayed involved in theater: cast, crew, and front-of-house jobs for a summer theater program; the box office for Cornell’s MFA program; and supporting my kids’ drama activities. Performing in a show is different from any other experience. If you’ve been in a show, you know this. If you haven’t, read on to enter the magical world of theatre.

S.M.'s book list on for tweens, teens and young adults who love theater

S.M. Stevens Why did S.M. love this book?

A high school production of Romeo and Juliet isn’t the focus of this plot, but the book still makes my shortlist. The concept of a trans guy acknowledging his gender identity after having been cast as a girl playing the boy Romeo is profound. Dean questions his gender as rehearsals progress. By showtime, he decides to use the production’s program to publicly announce he is trans. Friend and parental issues arise, so there’s plenty of drama on and off the stage in this one.

Theater Quotient: Medium. Gender identity is the focus, but rehearsals and performances figure prominently.

By Ray Stoeve,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Between Perfect and Real as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding his voice--and himself

Dean Foster knows he's a trans guy. He's watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he's a lesbian--including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a "nontraditional" Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now--not just on the stage, but everywhere in…