I am so excited to be able to bring to you Artistic Expressions of Transgender Youth volume 2. After hearing from so many parents, educators, medical and mental health providers on how much volume one helped them realize how their presence in a transgender and non-binary child’s life can either help them live a happy, healthy and productive life or lead them down a path of depression, self-harm, or even suicidal ideations, I knew that a second volume with two different questions would help them even more.
There are plenty of books in existence about transgender youth. There are a lot of good people, trying to give good information, and for the most part they are. But you might be asking yourself what makes this book different than the others. This book is different because you will be educated directly by transgender children and teens. Not by a medical professional. Not by a life coach. Not even by me. This book will illustrate how transgender children and teens feel and think about themselves, as told through their art. Each drawing is accompanied by a statement where each child describes what their art means to them.
It takes the heart and soul of an artist to see the pent up creativity in a young mind. Tony's creative, nurturing style offers a unique perspective into the profound ways we can all support NGC youth in their journey. Best of all it nurtures the reader along the way.
I wish every person would read this book. This book lets us take a step inside the mind of transgender and gender nonconforming children so that we can better understand what it feels like to not connect how we feel inside with how our body presents outside. It shows us how important it is to let our children be who they truly are inside and out. My hope is that people will read this book and realize the struggles children have of not feeling comfortable in their own skin. To take a look at those struggles they may not show on the outside, but deeply feel inside and to be open, accepting and supportive so that every child is comfortable enough to say, I am trans and I am awesome!
I keep a copy of this book in my waiting room where someone one is always reading it. But for me, a therapist working with transgender children and adults, the most important part is in Tony's preface. He writes that he gently corrects a youth who expresses they were born in the wrong body saying, ... they were born in their body and if they needed to change their body, we're going to help them through it.... This is a profound correction to the 'wrong body' view held by so many. It IS their body, and accepting, correcting, and as Tony says, creating themselves, is when
they can truly hope to be who they know themselves to be.