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For many trans and nonbinary survivors, our first traumas were the disrespect, opposition, and even violence we met as children in our families when we attempted to tell them who we were. Thank goodness this has changed for many trans and nonbinary kids as more and more families learn to support their trans kids. You can help build this wave of support by sharing any of the following books with your own or others’ trans kids. Or just read them yourself, to revel in the progress they represent.

The media we are exposed to as kids helps to shape our understanding of the world. I remember reading picture books with my parents: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Paper Bag Princess, and Where the Wild Things Are, each one with colorful illustrations that captured my interest. Children’s books can be educational just as much as they can be entertaining, and positive messages about gender-diverse identities and bodies can instill a sense of self-confidence and ownership of one’s own body from a young age.

Caroline Carter, PsyD and author of Every Body is a Rainbow: A Kid’s Guide to Bodies Across the Gender Spectrum writes:

“By the time kids are five they are beginning to show the same biases that adults have. Kids begin viewing certain genders, expressions, skin colors, sizes, and abilities as having more positive value than others. They are also beginning to apply these views to themselves. Children who learn about the diversity of all bodies early on will experience more comfort with differences in themselves and others, and also experience less bias as they grow older.”

For trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming kids in particular, seeing positive representations of kids that look like them and share their experiences can be a powerful tool for instilling self-confidence. In recent years, many authors have released picture books that feature trans and gender-diverse kids

Some of these books specifically focus on body positivity for trans kids, as well as age-appropriate education on gender, sex, sexuality, bodily autonomy, and setting boundaries. Caroline Carter writes:

“Both for personal agency and safety, it is important for kids to know about their bodies, the correct terminology for their body parts, and understandings of basic body care. The foundation for caring for one’s body is valuing it and having esteem around it.”

Multiple research studies suggest that comprehensive sex education, talking about bodily autonomy and consent, and affirming self-esteem and self-efficacy serve as protective factors against childhood sexual abuse. This is especially important for trans and nonbinary youth, who are more likely than non-transgender youth to experience high rates of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which can have lifelong impacts. 

For these reasons, we’re highlighting three trans-affirming children’s books that teach kids about bodily autonomy and boundaries. 


Every Body is a Rainbow: A Kid’s Guide to Bodies Across the Gender Spectrum

by Caroline Carter, PsyD, illustrated by Mathias Ball


Every Body is a Rainbow is full of colorful illustrations of kids with various gender expressions and includes positive messages about identity and body diversity:

“Every body is a rainbow! Each one has its own unique mix of colors, shapes, parts, abilities, identities, and expressions.” 

The book explores how gender identity can be different from sex assigned at birth and shows the use of different pronouns in context. It also provides basic information about different types of bodies, including intersex bodies, while instilling the message:

“Your rainbow body is amazing, and it belongs to you. Other kids’ rainbow bodies belong to them!”

Every Body is a Rainbow affirms trans and gender-nonconforming kids’ experiences of their gender, the power to choose words that feel right to describe yourself, and ownership over your own body.


It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity

by Theresa Thorn, illustrated by Noah Grigni

It Feels Good to Be Yourself introduces young readers to ideas about gender identity. With vibrant watercolor illustrations, this book includes depictions of kids with many different gender identities and expressions. It emphasizes the power of autonomy in choosing what words other people use for you. 

“When you were born, you couldn’t tell people who you were or how you felt. They looked at you and made a guess. Maybe they got it right, maybe they got it wrong.”

“When people guess wrong, it’s okay to let them know. Ruthie was five when she told her parents… ‘I know you think I’m a boy, but really I feel like a girl.’”

While this book is less information-dense than the others, it reflects back images of gender-diverse kids that trans and nonbinary youth might relate to, and includes depictions of families supporting and affirming their childrens’ identities. 



The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families

by Rachel E. Simon, illustrated by Noah Grigni


The Every Body Book is intended for slightly older readers (aged 8-12), and explores bodies, gender, sexuality, relationships, and consent in more depth. 

Importantly, this book makes learning about consent and boundaries accessible to young readers:

“It is important to ask before we touch other people because everyone is the boss of their own body. Usually, we need to ask permission for lots of things—if we can borrow a toy, if we can pet a dog, and if we can give someone a cuddle. This is called asking for consent.”

It also specifically discusses how boundaries are sometimes violated for transgender people and kids, and makes clear distinctions between what is okay and what isn’t. 

“Some people think asking about people’s genitals is okay, especially when it comes to transgender people. It is not appropriate for any adult to ask about your genitals, unless you are getting a check-up at the doctor’s office. You do not need to tell anyone about your private parts if they ask.” 

The book addresses real challenges that trans and nonbinary youth might encounter in their lives, like being asked invasive questions. While acknowledging this reality, it instills self-confidence and autonomy in making choices about one’s own body. 



Despite recent efforts by legislators in some states to ban books with LGBTQ+ characters or themes from schools and libraries, books remain a vital source of education for young minds. This is especially important for trans and nonbinary youth, who may be facing increased barriers to living as their true selves. Parents can help to counter these barriers by introducing their kids to books that affirm and celebrate gender diversity, while also teaching positive self-esteem, bodily autonomy, and boundary-setting.



More trans-affirming books for kids:

Here are some other books for young readers that feature trans or gender-nonconforming kids, carrying a message of acceptance, family support, and self-exploration. 

Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope

When Aidan Became a Brother


My Rainbow 

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea

Julián Is a Mermaid