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Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue [Kindle Edition]

Nicholas M Teich
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Written by a social worker, popular educator, and transgender man, this well-rounded resource combines an accessible portrait of transgenderism with a rich history of transgender life and unique experiences of discrimination. The first guide to treat transgenderism as a distinct topic of study, this text moves beyond mere anecdote and recommendations for clinical practice to legitimatize transgenderism in society and culture.

Chapters introduce transgenderism and its psychological, physical, and social processes. They describe the coming out process and its affect on family and friends; the relationship between sexual orientation and gender and the differences between transsexualism and lesser-known types of transgenderism; the characteristics of Gender Identity Disorder; and the development of the transgender movement. Each chapter explains how transgender individuals handle their gender identity, how others view it within the context of "normal" society, and how the transitioning of genders is made possible. The book features men who become women, women who become men, and those who live in between and beyond traditional classifications. Written for friends, family members, students, and professionals, this resource works as a stand alone text for social work and gender studies courses as well as a supportive text for sociologists, psychologists, and clinical practitioners. A special focus on issues affecting transgender youth, along with a glossary of key terms and helpful resources, makes this an ideal guide for younger audiences as well as those invested in their care.

Product Description


Transgender 101 is a highly readable and thorough primer on the history, terminology, types, politics, and medical and social realities of the transgender population. Teich uses insights from his personal and clinical experience and from the growing body of literature in transgender studies to educate the professional and lay communities on the many layered meanings and manifestations of transgenderism. This comprehensive introduction informs without being self-absorbed or polemical. -- Betty Morningstar, president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers In an eminently readable fashion, Teich covers topics ranging from the underlying sociological concepts of sex, gender, and sexual identification to the experiences of 'coming out' and 'transitioning." He then situates the 'trans' person in an historical context--examining the mental health and medical ramifications of the way society has viewed and (mis)treated the change from imputed to 'authentic' sex. I am glad I read this book. -- Kevin J. Mahoney, professor and director of the Center for Participant-Directed Services at Boston College ...a fascinating read... effectively raising questions and prompting discussions about assumptions we've always taken for granted... Bibrary Book Lust 3/16/12 ...highly recommended reading as a user-friendly introduction. Youth Today 12/1/2013

About the Author

Nicholas M. Teich is a licensed social worker pursuing a Ph.D. in social policy at Brandeis University. A member of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, he trains and educates groups about gender issues and is the founder and president of Camp Aranu'tiq, the first-ever summer camp for transgender children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 878 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; 1 edition (27 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007MFEF6G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #212,930 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From someone who is transgendered... 24 April 2012
By Alexandra TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently made the admission to myself and all those who love and care about me, that i was transgender, to be more specific, a pre op male to female transsexual, because in the very near future i will be having the full gender reassignment surgery, and taking hormones and all the steps necessary to live the life i should have led a long time ago but didnt have the courage or strength to do anything about it.

I bought this book for several reasons, it was a new publication released just 2 weeks ago, the tag line "a simple guide to a complex issue" intrigued me, and also because i thought this book would be able to help my mum come to terms with who i am, which she is understandable struggling with, as any caring parent would.

The book begins by explaining that the title of the book is a bit misleading, and that transgender is an umbrella term, and that the book will focus primarily on transsexuals. Thats fine by me, i was expecting this anyway, but the book does detail the other sub genres under the transgender umbrella.

Transgender 101 arrived yesterday afternoon, i began reading it there and then and carried on reading it until the small hours of this morning, and again when i awoke today. There is so much info in this book, though bare in mind that its an American publication, there is no mention of British medical procedures or anything like that, nothing about the NHS, however this book does itself many favours by not being too territory specific, and many chapters in this book will relate to many transgender people regardless of country of origin or habitat. There is a whole chapter on coming out, which expanded, could be a book in itself one day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A clear, concise and understandable summary 4 Jan. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A clear and understandable guide to Transgender which I needed for a presentation. It has certainly answered my questions and opened up my understanding.
The book arrived the next day and was packaged well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
55 of 63 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not fully representative of the diversity of transgender identity: Transsexual does not equal transgender 11 May 2012
By Alex Kapitan - Published on
I was dismayed and deeply disappointed to discover that a book named "Transgender 101" should in fact be called "Transsexual 101." This book had the potential to be the new go-to education source on transgender identity, but instead it joins a time-honored tradition of treating transsexual identity as the only truly valid transgender form.

If you read this book, I strongly urge you to do additional reading on the experiences and needs of non-transsexual transgender people, such as genderqueer folks.

As someone who does transgender education work myself, I firmly believe this field has progressed to a point where we can finally have nuanced conversations about the varying ways that people identify, experience, and express their gender. There is no excuse for a text that covers such wonderfully broad ground and important topics to not integrate the incredible diversity of gendered experience into its entirety, rather than relegating "cross-dressers, genderqueer people, drag queens, and other lesser-known types of transgenderism" to its final chapter.

As if it wasn't bad enough to basically treat non-transsexual transgender people as a footnote, Teich adds insult to injury by portraying such folks flippantly (for example, using an insulting Kleenex analogy in chapter 1). The message is clear: the real transgender people are transsexuals.

Results of NGLTF's national transgender discrimination survey show that a third of all transgender people identify as gender variant or gender nonconforming, and almost a quarter identify as genderqueer. Genderqueer people were more likely to have experienced physical or sexual assault, to be uncomfortable seeking police assistance, and to have put off medical care due to fear of discrimination. It's time to start respecting this segment of the transgender population and speak to our experiences and needs. Nick Teich, unfortunately, has set the field back.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, easily accessible resource for reading and sharing 16 Mar. 2012
By Bending the Bookshelf - Published on
Nicholas Teich's Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue is one of those rare pieces of non-fiction that works equally well in educating (and entertaining) both within and outside the community it explores.

First of all, it's an absolutely excellent resource to share with friends, family, and coworkers whose only exposure to transgender issues or themes has been through the likes of Jerry Springer or RuPaul's Drag Race. Nicholas begins each chapter by asking broad, sweeping questions about identity, expression, and society that immediately involve the reader in the discussion. Once he has them hooked, he slowly narrows the scope of his answers, easing readers into understanding the relevant definitions in such a way that it feels they arrived there of their own accord. He's not preachy or overbearing, and wisely shies away from absolutes - instead, he presents suggestions and conclusions, but leaves interpretation open to the reader.

Along the way, Nicholas offers a series of small, simple, easy-to-understand graphs and tables that help readers to visualise the concepts he's talking about. I was immediately struck by how effectively they compliment the text, flowing naturally from his words, as opposed to jumping out at you like the high-brow, statistical monstrosities of a more scholarly tome. He's also generous with his cartoons, using them to further engage the reader by making light of the prejudices and stereotypes those of in the community face every day. They're the kind of two-or-three panel cartoons that make you chuckle, stop yourself short, rethink what's actually been said, and then come away with a comfortable smile.

As I said earlier, this is also a fascinating read for those of us within the community, effectively raising questions and prompting discussion about assumptions we've always taken for granted, but have never really thought through. He manages to challenge the most deeply held personal beliefs in such a way that you don't feel confronted, but instead welcome the chance to give the issue some thought. I'm a bit of a hoarder, one who likes her books to sit on the shelf well-read by looking unread. Having said that, my copy is proudly dog-eared and underlined throughout with passages that struck me as either inspirational or challenging.

At just under 150 pages (with the last 25 comprising a glossary, index, and appendices), it's a quick, inviting read that won't raise eyebrows or induce sighs of exasperation when you share it with friends. It's a book that' definitely more gift and less burden, and one that I fully intend to leave on my coffee table, not just to prompt discussion or educate guests, but to keep at-hand for my own personal reflection.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a true Transgender 101 book! 5 Aug. 2012
By Vanessa Denise - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The title of this book says it all. Whether you are transgendered, a student of human sexuality and gender identity, or have a loved one who is transgendered and wish to understand them fully, this book is an extremely easy and informative read on the subject of transgender people and transsexuality. Transgender 101 includes basic definitions regarding the transgender community, the transitioning process, coming out to family friends and the general public, a history of transgender's and transsexuals in past and present societies as well as the history of transgender standards of care, the controversial issue in the mental disorder vs. medical condition, discrimination and hate crimes against the transgender community, and lesser known varieties of transgender individuals; this book has introductions to all the basic topics surrounding transgender people. Transgender 101 is a great first read for anyone interested in gaining knowledge about possibly the most misunderstood community in modern society. Like I said, this book should be used as an introductory read only, for more detail about transgender's additional reading is definitely required, but Nicholas Teich has done an outstandingly terrific job on introducing transgender's to the world in "Transgender 101: A Simple Guide To A Complex Issue".
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and accessible 14 Mar. 2012
By Erika S. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It makes the topic extremely accessible without sacrificing anything. I have been looking for a book that answers a lot of questions that you can't get from autobiographical or clinical texts that are out there, such as the coming out process and transition itself. The tone is very conversational and it makes it very easy to read. Teich gently challenges our notions of what it means to be a specific gender in a way that leaves readers rethinking what "makes" a man, woman, or any other gender. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about transgender people, whether on a personal, professional, or academic level.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource 13 May 2012
By SJ - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I could not disagree more with Alex Kapitan. Teich clearly states that gender is not a binary and goes into detail about many types of transgender people. People who want to get a "101" education on this subject should absolutely read this book. It's also very well-written.
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