Gender Identity

In celebration of Pride Month, Caledon Public Library is showcasing transgender authors who inspire individuals by sharing their personal life experiences.

Vivek Shraya, a trans artist explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl. Her story shows that queer and non-conforming people don’t want pity, and should not have to share experiences of trauma to earn respect and understanding. Throughout her life she’s endured acts of cruelty and aggression trying to make daily compromises to steel herself against verbal attacks and heartbreak.

Winning many awards, I’m Afraid of Men is an autobiography written with delicacy, sensitivity and beauty. Shraya incorporates the reader into her incredible journey of self-realization, doubt, fear and the agony of trying to “fit in”. With determination and love, analyzing every section, creating her own version of manhood, she offers a rare and multifaceted perspective on gender.

I’m Afraid of Men is a journey of a fearless life encompassing everything that a trans life can contain in the 21 century and conveying how we might cherish all that makes us different and conquer all that makes us afraid. Reading this book gives one the opportunity to evaluate one’s own reactions and behavior towards the complex realities of what gender can mean.

You may also like the following recommended books/Ebooks that are available at your library:

Cover image for Woman enough : how a boy became a woman & changed the world of sport / Kristen Worley & Johanna Schneller. Kristen Worley, Canadian world-class cyclist, began her life as Chris.  As Chris grew up, he discovered that there was a profound disconnect between his anatomical sexual identity and his gender identity, so in his twenties, Chris became Kristen  Woman Enough is the account of her human rights battle with the International Olympic Committee which had global repercussions for the world of sport.  It is a challenge to rethink fixed ideas about gender, and this is the extraordinary story of a boy who was rejected for who he wasn’t, and who fought back until she found out who she is.

Woman Enough is a powerful and inspiring story of self-realization and legal victory that upends our basic assumptions about sexual identity.



Cover image for The unfinished dollhouse : a memoir of gender and identity / by Michelle Alfano.mother is often  unprepared for the moment when a child comes out to her as a person whose physical gender is out-of-keeping with his emotional and psychological gender-identity. In Michelle Alfano’s intimate memoir, she recounts her experience as the mother of a transgender child.

Beginning from the time that Frankie is four, and shows no desire to build and furnish a new dollhouse, Frankie’s parents experience an education in parenting a child transitioning from female to male; which pronouns to use, how to disclose the information to friends, family, school and how to deal with the reactions of all – some heartening, some surprising, some disappointing.


Cover image for My body is yours : a memoir / Michael V. Smith.

In this, his first work of nonfiction, Michael Smith traces his early years as an inadequate male–a kid growing up in a small town amid a blue-collar family; an insecure teenager desperate to disappear; and an obsessive writer-performer, drawn to compulsions of alcohol, sex, reading, spending, work, and art as many means to cope and heal.  In his book, Smith questions the very notion of what it means to be human, and asks “How can we know what a man is?”

Michael V. Smith also won the inaugural Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBT Writers from the Writers Trust of Canada for his first novel, Cumberland .