Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Trans (But Were Afraid to Ask) walks the reader through transgender issues, starting with “What does transgender mean?” before moving on to more complex topics including growing up trans, dating and sex, medical and mental health, and debates around gender and feminism. Brynn also challenges deliberately deceptive information about transgender people being put out into the public sphere. Transphobic myths are debunked and biased research, bad statistics and bad science are carefully and clearly refuted.
My book enables any reader to become informed the most critical public conversations around transgender people and become a better ally as a result.
I really have to credit my readers and followers on social media for giving me the idea. I never started out to write a book when I began writing; I did it because so much of what you could read about transgender people on the internet was biased, wrong, or just deliberately hateful. You also see very few transgender people given the opportunity to write about transgender issues on a big stage
When I started writing for print and online publications, I had no idea where it would lead. I certainly didn’t imagine I would be good at it or enjoy it enough to do it on a regular basis. Four years and over 250 articles later, people started telling me, “You should write a book!”
The problem was, I had no idea what the book should be about. My articles tackled a multitude of different topics; despite having written hundreds of thousands of words, there wasn’t enough material on any one topic to write a full-sized book. The articles themselves tended to be about issues that were either hot topics in popular culture about transgender people, or issues that I thought needed greater exposure and education. Other articles were dedicated to busting the myths about transgender people that I saw cropping up repeatedly.
In the summer of 2016, it finally dawned on me that there was a unifying thread between most of what I had written: almost all of it represented things people should know about the transgender community. Some of them were things people should know because the public was asking about it. Sometimes the material was stuff people needed to know because of deliberately deceptive information about transgender people being put out there. Sometimes the articles covered things the public really should know, but that no one was talking about.
Thus, when I looked at what I had written over the past five years, there were articles that covered Trans 101 and Trans 201 topics, as well as articles covering the relationship between transgender people and politics, law, medicine, mental health, religion, feminism, gender studies, sex, sexuality, and even the military.
In short, what my articles had in common is that they provided what people need to know about almost all of the most important issues facing the transgender community today, and that I had more than enough material available to accomplish this.
Brynn Tannehill is a leading trans activist and essayist, and has written for The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Bilerico, Slate, Salon, USA Today, The Advocate, LGBTQ Nation, The New Civil Rights Movement, as a blogger and featured columnist.