News: Growing Up Trans explores trans youth experience in their own essays, poems and art

What does it mean to be young and transgender today?

As we celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility today, Orca Book Publishers is announcing an upcoming book featuring trans youth voices, Growing Up Trans: In Our Words (August 17, 2021). 

Aimed at readers aged 10 and older, Growing Up Trans includes essays, art and poetry created by trans youth aged 11 to 18 as part of the Trans Tipping Point project. This was a series of workshops held in Victoria, B.C. in 2017, which brought trans youth together from across the country to connect with mentors in the community. Growing Up Trans was edited by the founders of the project, Dr. Lindsay Herriot and Kate Fry. 

The collection illustrates the trans experience in the youth’s own words, exploring childhood, family and daily life, school, their bodies and mental health. It tells the stories of the challenges, big and small, of being a young trans person. 

Growing Up Trans can also be used as a toolkit for all young people, transgender or not, about what understanding, acceptance and support for the trans community looks like. In addition to the contributed works, there are questions and tips from experts in the field of transgender studies to challenge the reader on how to be a trans ally. 

Herriot and Fry are also the editors of an upcoming academic collection based on the same workshops, Trans Youth Stories: An Intergenerational Dialogue after the “Trans Tipping Point”which will be published by Canadian Scholars’ Press in August 2021.  Trans Youth Stories includes works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and art created by the trans youth workshop participants, organized thematically. Each section concludes with a response written by a Canadian scholar in transgender studies in conversation with the youth. These responses contextualize the youth pieces with recent scholarship from the field and equip readers with concrete actions for research, activism and professional practice.

Growing Up Trans is currently available to pre-order from retailers at or through Orca’s website (Canada or US/International).

Quotes from Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words:

“The world probably won’t stay dumb forever, but transphobia is ticking down quite slowly. So why watch it burn away slowly when you can torch it straight from the bottom with your own hands?”—Yakusinn Deboer

“They’re right about one thing: I am not simple. At best, I am a question that begs asking; at worst, I am the brick that toppled their masterpiece.”—Christopher

“When I came across nonbinary, it felt like something clicked inside me and I finally understood why I had felt so out of place for so long. All of a sudden, I was a part of something so unique and wonderful while also finding a piece of my identity jigsaw.”—Luna

“When there are really bad days when it seems impossible to do anything, just know that there is someone who exists who has been changed, in even the tiniest way, by knowing you. You, just as you are, are so important.”—A.J.

About Orca Book Publishers (orcabook.com)

Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher of award-winning, best-selling books in a number of genres. With 1200 active titles in print and digital formats and 95 new titles each year, Orca prides itself on publishing Canadian authors and bringing them to a wider market.

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