An authentic and accessible guide to understanding—and engaging in—today’s gender conversation.
The days of two genders—male, female; boy, girl; blue, pink—are over, if they ever existed at all. Gender is now a global conversation, and one that is constantly evolving. More people than ever before are openly living their lives as transgender men or women, and many transgender people are coming out as neither men or women, instead living outside of the binary. Gender is changing, and this change is gaining momentum.
We all want to do and say the right things in relation to gender diversity—whether at a job interview, at parent/teacher night, and around the table at family dinners. But where do we begin?
From the differences among gender identity, gender expression, and sex, to the use of gender-neutral pronouns like singular they/them, to thinking about your own participation in gender, Gender: Your Guide serves as a complete primer to all things gender. Guided by professor and gender diversity advocate Lee Airton, PhD, you will learn how gender works in everyday life, how to use accurate terminology to refer to transgender, non-binary, and/or gender non-conforming individuals, and how to ask when you aren’t sure what to do or say. It provides you with the information you need to talk confidently and compassionately about gender diversity, whether simply having a conversation or going to bat as an advocate.
Just like gender itself, being gender-friendly is a process for all of us. As revolutionary a resource as Our Bodies, Ourselves, Gender: Your Guide invites everyone on board to make gender more flexible and less constricting: a source of more joy, and less harm, for everyone. Let’s get started.
Lee Airton, PhD, is assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies in education at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. They are a frequent keynote speaker and media commentator and are regularly asked to consult on gender-neutral language and gender diversity issues in relation to media, policy, and education. They founded TheyIsMyPronoun.com, a blog on gender-neutral pronoun usage and user support in 2012 and the No Big Deal Campaign (NBDCampaign.ca) in 2016. Learn more at LeeAirton.com.
"Now, with increased visibility and acceptance of transgender and gender-non-conforming people, workplaces are facing a new learning curve. Airton offers a warm, inviting guide to a complicated area."
– The Globe and Mail
"Airton brings clarity and simplicity to supporting the trans community. With great sensitivity and transparency, the author explains all there is to know about being trans in modern society and how allies can best support their trans friends. This is an invaluable resource for both new and veteran allies, especially with Airton’s empathetic approach, which regularly acknowledges and validates challenges. The author packs an incredible amount of information and advice into clear and succinct prose. General readers and scholars alike will benefit from the ‘gender-friendly toolkit’ and Airton’s straightforward explanations and advice. This guide is unlike anything else available today, and an obvious and necessary item for collections of all kinds."
– Library Journal, Starred Review
"Greatly needed. Following the Trump memo, which pivoted on the idea that sex and gender are different, Gender: Your Guide instead approaches gender as a process rather than a fact. Gender: Your Guide is an impactful tool for creating a world more supportive of people of all genders. Introducing many new concepts into understanding gender, the guide isn’t quite like anything else available. Each chapter is rich in details, debates, and resources. If you’re new to gender issues and want to get informed, Gender: Your Guide is the right book for you."
– INTO! Magazine
"Extremely approachable and informative."
"Airton tackles each topic addressed in this timely book with precision, wit, and compassion."