The SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies

SAGE. 2 vols. Apr. 2021. 1,040p. ed. by Abbie E. Goldberg & Genny Beemyn. ISBN 9781544393810. $425. REF
Goldberg (psychology, women’s and gender studies, Clark Univ., MA; Gay Dads) and Beemyn (director, Stonewall Ctr., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst; Trans People in Higher Education) accomplish the ambitious objective of creating a work that serves a wide variety of readers: academics, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, and administrators; policy makers; activists; and transgender people in general. This encyclopedia broadly defines “trans” as a gender identity for people who were assigned a different sex at birth, and its 300-plus signed, alphabetically organized entries (with up-to-date bibliographies) take on a wide range of topics, including Black Lives Matter, citizenship, Chelsea Manning, reparative therapy, and youth. Articles vary in length, from three pages (“Chest Feeding”) to eight pages (“Aging”); a reader’s guide categorizes them into 13 broad topics (arts, popular culture, education, law, politics, medicine, etc.). The editors and contributors offer a nuanced perspective, examining not just gender but also race, sexuality, and locale; they also explore “the vast array of identities and expressions under the trans umbrella” (including nonbinary and Two-Spirit identities). The contributors are a mix of academics (from the U.S., Canada, UK, Hungary, Philippines, Netherlands, and Germany); independent scholars; journalists; and non-academics from organizations working on LGBTQ issues (ACLU, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LBGTQ Task Force), health care (Boston Health Care for the Homeless, Boston Children’s Hospital), or law (Transgender Law Center, Lambda Legal). The appendix contains an exhaustive bibliography of print and non-print resources. Most works in trans studies focus on specific areas or the entire LGBTQ spectrum, but this title brings together trans studies topics in a single overview resource.
VERDICT An excellent, well-written starting point for researchers. Will interest a wide variety of readers, including people considering transition and people studying or working in a variety of fields (social sciences, family studies, law, history, think tanks, counseling, medicine).
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