Ann Travers. 2018. The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are
Creating a Gender Revolution. New York: New York University Press.
Ann Travers’s new book, The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their
Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution (hereafter The Trans Generation)
is a highly persuasive investigation that sheds much-needed scholarly light
on a grossly marginalized, precarious community. Travers interviewed 36
transgender children, and many of their parents, to reveal the challenges
they face in everyday use of bathrooms, locker rooms, and other rigidly gendered
spaces, as well as in interactions with friends, parents, and siblings, as
well as schools, and local and state or provincial governments. Apart from
the scope of this study, what is remarkable about The Trans Generation is its
accessibility. Instead of presenting a quantitative analysis, which can be alienating
to readers outside academia, Travers offers an exhaustive qualitative
study parsed in highly thoughtful, eloquent, and open terms—one that
prizes the individuality, indeed the knowableness, of each child interviewed.
And, although The Trans Generation is not explicitly dedicated to discussions
of girlhood, the focus of this journal, it nonetheless offers, I argue, valuable
new paradigms or strategies for thinking about girls’ lives and identities.