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Transgender, non-binary teens share their stories in new book series

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“Everything was as dark as ever,” said Ms. Goldstein, inclusion and diversity consultant. “These children are thriving and no one is telling their stories.”

The announcement of the books comes against a backdrop of anti-trans sentiment and legislation in states such as South Dakota, Arkansas, Arizona and Mississippi. In some states, the issue has led to conflict between Republican lawmakers pushing bills and Republican governors calling for change.

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In Arkansas this month, after Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill that would have made it illegal for transgender minors to receive sex-affirming medication or surgery, the legislature of State-led Republicans overturned its decision. Weeks later, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed legislation that would have restricted education about sexual orientation and gender identity.

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An expert in gender studies said the arrival of the books is timely.

“As lawmakers work to pass laws that attempt to control and punish trans children, such as the recent wave of scrutiny over trans children’s participation in sport, it is critical that trans children themselves have platform, ”said Jason Ruiz, associate professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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“These books provide one,” he says. “Social media and various PR campaigns also play a role, but longer books will allow them to go deeper and hopefully beyond mere tolerance.

He added that “there is a lot of potential in listening to trans children tell their clean stories. “

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In her book, Ms. Parr described her exit as transgender before starting eighth grade. She and her parents first told teachers and professors then sent a letter to the rest of the school.

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“I received so many text messages from my friends telling me ‘I love you for who you are’. It meant everything to me, ”recalls Ms. Parr. “I could finally be myself for what felt like the first time.”

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