Most people who come to question gender or who have loved ones who are gender-variant must educate themselves about gender. There is no definitive way to come across the knowledge needed to navigate gender respectfully. Started by a group of people in Houston, Texas who wanted to create a sort of basic textbook on gender when finding there was none, the GENDER book was created to illustrate clearly and in a creative way the gender binary, the differences between gender and sex, and different identities along the gender spectrum.
The website for the GENDER book explains the basis for the project and the need it seeks to fill while offering the rough draft version of the book up to educators, families trying to understand their gender-variant children, and therapists and doctors who will encounter gender-variant patients. A basic Gender Booklet offers a short overview of the book and provides an excellent starting point for any discussion on gender, while the full book delves deeper into subject matter often hard to explain. The use of innovative metaphors and beautiful illustrations help to set this book apart from the somewhat drab websites from which I obtained my original information on gender in trying to understand how I was feeling about myself. The book itself is written very conversationally, asking the reader often to reflect upon their own identity such as the toys they may have played with when little and their gender connotations.
Overall, the GENDER book takes a very difficult subject and explains it without oversimplification. The concept of an educational tool in the form of a children’s book is well executed, and the illustrations are both beautiful and fascinating. I’m looking forward to seeing their revision of the rough draft which is currently on display. We need more tools to help educate those around us because that is how we move forward. the GENDER book is a step in that direction, so go check it out, provide some feedback, and support the effort.