Gender Magic: Live Shamelessly, Reclaim Your Joy, and Step into Your Most Authentic Self

Balance. May 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781538724897. $29. SELF-HELP
The central concept of this title from nonbinary therapist and coach McDaniel is that people exploring gender identity can do so in a way that is filled with joy. The three pillars of McDaniel’s Gender Freedom Model are play, pleasure, and possibility; the book is split into three parts to expand upon those concepts. The chapters are reflective of how a therapy session might proceed: workbook-type exercises for readers to complete, ways to reframe negative thinking, and coping strategies. The content is often repetitive, with some sentences almost verbatim from one chapter to the next, but the repetition does drive home the ideas that McDaniel presents. Almost all of the scientific sources cited are recent, and this lends credibility. There are additional resources for trans and queer readers and their allies at McDaniel’s website,
VERDICT As the owner of a private practice focusing on sex and gender therapy, McDaniel brings qualification to the writing of this book. Transgender and nonbinary readers may find the content helpful and affirming.
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