Cover Image: Beyond Pronouns

Beyond Pronouns

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Member Reviews

This book is a non-exhaustive helpful workbook for parents/guardians of transgender people aiming to aid them in processing the experience healthily. At the end of each chapter the author sets aside questions for the reader to critically think about what they have learnt in that chapter. The author focuses heavily on centering the transgender person’s mental health. 

The author discusses intersectionality and how the danger of being a visibly trans person will be higher for black trans people, indigenous trans people, and trans people of colour. The author also discusses transphobia within the LGBTQIA2S+ community. This guide is an excellent start and an excellent resource for parents/guardians of transgender people. I myself am a transgender person and I would have found this incredibly helpful to give to my guardians so they could have supported me better. I think that if I had given them this guide, we would have ended up with a better relationship and I would have had a better quality of life. 

This was a bit triggering to read, especially when discussing the grieving process that parents/guardians go through so I don’t recommend this to be read by transgender people, however, I hugely appreciate that the author massively emphasised that this grieving process should occur away from the transgender person. Although the book is centred around the guardian/parent, the author takes special care of pointing out what the transgender person should be shielded from e.g. un accepting family members, the grieving process, medical discrimination. I love that the author encourages the reader to advocate for the transgender person to avoid as much harm as possible. 

I would recommend this book to all individuals that have a transgender person in their life, not just parents as this includes critical information that they need to be aware of and I believe that using this resource will spare the transgender person of unintentional harm through micro-aggressions. 

TWs/CWs - Medical detail; Divorce; Anxiety; Depression; Transphobia; Stereotyping; Canadian language wars; Self harm; ED; Conversion Therapy; Suicide attempt; Dysphoria; Cancer; Surgery; Medical Content; Dementia; Celiac Disease; Death Of Parent; Parkinson’s; Transphobia; Needles
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Genuine and full of heart, this book is a necessary book that every parent needs to read. Plunkett is eloquent and perceptive, and has written a book that is going to be essential in the lives of innumerable families.
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As a trans adult, I felt kinda mixed about this one. I think that the author's approach is admirable -- she is trying to make the topic approachable for cis(het) parents who may be unhappy about their child's trans-ness, or have absolutely no idea what being trans means. And I do think she succeeds in many of those regards! However, I wish that this book had been co-written with a trans adult. The author already got input from her trans child, but the perspective of a trans adult who has been a part of the trans community and its dynamics would have been so, so welcome here.

Overall, a fairly good book, but I would recommend it to be used in conjunction with several other sources or perspectives.
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Beyond Pronouns was such a profound read for as someone that's a parent of a trans child; however, it would be just as beneficial to someone who's not a parent, to anyone who wants to up their ally-ship, and ability to be an overall good human.
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A quick note first here: I come to this book, intended for parents of trans kids that just came out to them, as a 9yr old transmasc. I don’t have kids, but I am trans and non-binary, and I have had no shortage of folk asking me for advice about trans-related stuff; including what to do now their kid has come out. So I believe I approach this book, while not quite as the intended audience, with experience and some expertise in the matter.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about the book.

Plunkett is the parent of a trans boy, and has written this book herself, with his input. He writes his own intro to the book, telling the reader that he has worked with Plunkett to create this.

The book itself is intended as a beginner’s guide to navigating the first 100 days or so after your kid comes out. And Plunkett bares all, in here; the latent transphobia, the fears, the things she messed up, she doesn’t hide any of it, because it all matters, and she’s learned from it. The honesty is refreshing. There’s no “you should do this”, no “you should feel like this”, without an accounting of how she got over each barrier herself.

Plunkett, like many who are faced with a loved one, especially their kid, coming out as trans, discovered transphobia she didn’t even know was there. She found herself bargaining with her kid–maybe he could just be a butch lesbian? Was he really sure he was trans?–because to her mind, being trans was a bad thing. It was painful and confusing and she just wanted her kid to be happy, but how could he be if he was trans?

That’s common. Especially when you go down an internet rabbit hole and wind up with stats about attempted and successful suicides, murder, and transphobes offering not just ways to forcibly stop your kid being trans, but excuses for why as well.

Keep away from the harum scarum. Keep away from mumsnet. Keep away from anyone talking about ‘sex-based rights’ and ‘rogd’ (rapid onset gender dysphoria–it’s not a thing). In short, keep away from anyone, anywhere, that is advocating stopping your kid from being who they’re telling you they are.

Throughout the book, Plunkett uses the female pronoun to discuss things prior to him coming out. She chooses this as being less confusing, and though it must have been approved by her kid, I disagree. You should never, ever misgender someone just because you’re talking about something that happened before you knew they were trans. Don’t do it. Stick to the name and pronouns they have now.

That said, I do understand why that choice was made. Just don’t take it as permission to do this to any trans folk in your life.

Throughout the book, Plunkett offers definitions, advice, and stories of her own journey with her son. It makes the lessons she’s teaching feel less like a lecture, and more of a conversation you’re having with someone who has been where you are. It’s very well done.

Also, Plunkett does a great job of telling you what your kid being trans means and doesn’t mean. No surgery, no hormones, just social transition–name, pronouns, presentation–when they’re ready, and perhaps puberty blockers if that hasn’t started in earnest yet, which gives them time to decide.

All in all, this is a great, accessible, helpful book. If you’ve just had the trans bombshell dropped by your kid and you’re reeling a bit, then this is a book you need to read asap.
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I really loved this book.

It focuses specifically on the parent experience of raising a transgender child, especially a young child, pulling heavily from her own experience.

Plunkett takes a gentle, firm approach and ends each chapter with questions for the reader to stop & reflect and take time to process, which I Just Love in gender books.

I am quite glad I was able to read an early copy thanks to NetGalley and the publisher and highly recommend it!
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Beyond Pronouns: The Essential Guide for Parents of Trans Children by Tammy Plunkett will be the book I recommend to all parents with a child who comes out of transgender or non-binary. It answers all of the questions parents will have along this new journey, with advice both for the child and the parent. It is comprehensive and well-written, and includes a forward by the author’s transgender son, Mitchell Plunkett. Beyond Pronouns is written by a parent who has been through the process and understands the questions, emotions, and difficulties of a transitioning child, and her experience is vital to the construction of this type of book. Unlike memoirs by parents with transgender children, this one is a guide to the struggles parents will face, with positivity and care given to each topic. As a fellow parent of a transgender child, I highly recommend it.
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Beyond Pronouns is the practical guide to help parents support their trans kids.  It contains information from how to make immediate changes in the form of pronouns, to changing wardrobes and names legally, and even explains prosthetics, hormones, and surgery.  While written by a parent (and for parents), Plunkett's trans son Mitchell is very much included and even wrote the foreword.  The tone of the book is a love song to trans kids everywhere and to teach their parents how to best help them become their authentic selves.
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As a trans educator, I found this read enjoyable and educational. I have a student who, currently, still IDs with the gender he was assigned at birth but has always dressed in a very gender nonconforming way. With the potential of him transitioning, I think this book is great to have on hand for his family!
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I wanted to read this book to see if it could be a good reference guide for when I decide to come out to my family. It's a hard pass. I have felt so enraged trying to read this book, because so many things are wrong. Incorrect terminology is used, incorrect definitions are given. I won't even list them out here because I will get mad all over again. But these are all issues beyond gender and pronouns too. It's like the author wanted to include intersectionality but didn't get sensitivity readers from each marginalized group. And about the gender stuff, the author and her kid agreed that she could misgender her kid in pre-transition stories to make it easier for cis parents to understand. I'll repeat: she made it more palatable to cis parents my purposely misgendering her kid. This is going to send the wrong message to all the parents who read this. This is NEVER okay to assume for anyone, and even if her kid is okay with it here, there's not enough discourse around how you cannot just do this for your own kid. It's harmful and I'm not here for it or to try and force myself to finish reading. Yes, there have been some good parts for parents of trans kids, but I cannot in good faith even start to promote this. DNF @ 19%.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for an ARC of this book. 

There is so much I don’t know about being trans, so whenever the opportunity presents itself to learn more - I take it regardless of if I am the target audience. 

I believe that this book is going to be valuable to so many parents. The author gives you room to have your emotions and to acknowledge that you won’t be perfect, but the most important thing is love. Each chapter ends with self reflection and journaling prompts so you can dig deeper into yourself. I also like that the author acknowledges her own bumps in her journey so that people understand they aren’t alone. 

If you or someone you know is a parent to a trans youth I highly recommend this book both for the personal anecdotes from the author as well as all of the factual information that is shared. 🏳️‍⚧️
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This book provides a comprehensive and accessible look into how cisgender parents can support their transgender youth through every step of their transition. As a nonbinary adult and educator, I often cringe when looking for advice articles to send parents of my transgender students, as so often the available literature misses the mark in small but crucial ways. This was not the case here. The language used to describe trans identities and experiences in Beyond Pronouns is accurate, up-to-date, and affirming, and the advice given to parents about processing their own emotions is invaluable. I will be purchasing this book for my classroom and recommending it to my entire teaching staff as a key resource to recommend to parents as they reach out with questions on how to support their transgender children. I am grateful for the care, research, and vulnerability that went into creating this important book.
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Beyond Pronouns is a guide for parents whose child has just come out to them as trans. It is written in a way that feels more like talking to a friend who's been there than a factual handbook. Tammy is the parent of a trans child and uses her own family's story as a framework for the book. Although the book focused on the author and transitioning son, it also talks about how to be an ally to your trans or gender diverse child. A message that often gets lost in in the media and on social media. 
 
By using her own family's story as a framework, it is clear Tammy isn’t pretending to be a leading medical expert and this book isn’t some ground-breaking medical document, but this book instead is a stunning example of what respect, supporting others and honesty & integrity mean and can make possible. There are journaling prompts at the end of each chapter, so it functions as a guide and self-help book for parents who are still learning their way around.

I am not a parent, but I think this book manages to do a good job of validating and recognising the range of emotions and experiences that a parent goes through in a way that doesn’t come across as patronising but still comforting. I think this book was very well executed, and it highlights a lot of struggles and can help others not just parents on how to better assist as an ally.
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Great guide for parents of trans teens. I wish I could gift this to parents of many of my students! Plunkett offers solid advice to parents navigating this new world.
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Beyond Pronouns is basically a guide for parents whose child has just come out to them as trans. It is very much aimed at parents, and it assumes that said parents are cis, although trans parents may still be able to find some good advice in the book. The book is very much aimed at people who are clueless about trans stuff, and it is written in a gentle, hand holding way. Plunkett is the parent of a trans kid, and uses her family's story as a framework for the book. There are also journaling prompts at the end of each chapter, so it functions as a guide and self help book for parents who are still learning their way around.

The book is nonbinary inclusive, would also be useful for parents of gender noncomforming children who may or may not later come out as trans, and has a strong focus on social transition, although the medical side is touched upon.

There were a few uses of language that bothered me. The use of 'differently abled' is frustrating, because disabled is not a dirty word. I also personally didn't like the use of she/her for the son's pre transition stories, but that is a personal preference for each individual trans person and Plunkett did note that her son gave her permission for that use. Overall, though, the book is very good and comes from a well meaning place. 

The overall message is listen to, support and trust your child, which is a message that often gets lost in all the drama in the media around trans people.
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I found myself nodding along and wholesale agreeing with much of what Tammy Plunkett says in this heartfelt and genuine description of her and her family's acceptance and processing of their new reality when her son comes out as a trans man. And I also learned a few things. As someone based in Ireland, our perception is that trans kids in the UK are well served and able to get the healthcare they need by the existence of the NHS and access to Gender Identity services such Tavistock. But this is not always the case. And while Trans healthcare is better for Trans kids in the UK that are younger than 16 (compared to the Republic of Ireland where it is non-existant!!) it's not the "grass is greener over there" that I had assumed. 
Thanks to Tammy and her son Mitchell for this book and thanks to the publishers for the ARC.
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I'm a cisgender bi lady with no kids yet, so I'm not the exact target audience for this book, so interpret my review accordingly. That said, I found this a really helpful guide that's both basic enough for parents who are likely unfamiliar with LGBTQ terminology and trans health care, and covers enough ground to help them through supporting their kid. I appreciates Plunkett's ability to both honor and name the complicated feelings parents may go through as their child transitions while also keeping the focus on supporting the child, and talking about self-care and finding support in ways that won't invalidate or harm your child's journey. With all the media frenzy about trans kids, it's nice to have a sober, research-based and personal guide to what raising and supporting a trans kid actually looks like.
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I am grateful this book exists--i think it will be specifically helpful for straight cis parents of trans kids, and i look forward to recommending it to them. It's concrete and useful, but really assumes a lack of background that a lot of my queer/non-binary/trans friends who parent trans kids would be underserved by. That's okay though! There are plenty of cishet parents out there!

This star rating is based on my gladness for it to be in the world more than my specific experience of it--which isn't usually how i rate, so i wanted to note that.

This was a NetGalley ARC.
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As the parent of a transgender/nonbinary child who recently came out, I've been seeking books to help me process the various emotions I've had and learning as much as I can. I'm not much of a nonfiction reader, so I have to admit that sometimes it feels like a chore. But this book was different - I really enjoyed reading it. It is written in a way that feels more like talking to a friend who's been there than a factual handbook. It's the best book for parents of transgender children that I've read so far, and I think it's exactly what I needed right now.

The author of this book has a transgender son, so she shares their story throughout the book. I think it really gives the book a personal touch, The book felt very validating, recognizing the range of emotions and experiences that a parent goes through as normal, and gently guiding you in a direction that is best for you and your child. Multiple times the book talks about how we need to take care of ourselves if we want to properly support our children, and this was something I really needed to hear. Each chapter ends with some reflective questions meant for journaling and processing what you have read.

I love the wonderful analogies that the author gives throughout the book, especially the one about how it's like being on a bus. It puts this experience into terms that are easy to understand and really give a great perspective. I've talked about it with both my husband and therapist when explaining things. It's helped me understand in a way that I then can help others understand. 

I loved this book so much that I've already preordered a paperback copy for when it releases. This is a book that I think any parent of a transgender child should read.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a free copy of this book before its release!
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This is a book directed at parents of transgender children. And honestly, it’s a resource I wish my parents had when I came out to them. 

Very thoroughly researched, it explains the very basis of what a parent might need to know when their kid comes out - I’m sure it’s an additional source of comfort that the author of the book is a parent of a trans child, too! The trans kid’s wellbeing and happiness is always at the forefront of the book, which I really appreciate. It touches on topics ranging from coming out to family and school to things like non-binary identities, binders, tucking, and medical transition to coming to terms with your kid’s identity and celebrating it. A small thing I really appreciated was the mention of links between transness and neurodiversity in an open and easy-to-understand way, without invalidating the child’s trans identity just because they’re neurodivergent. I thought that was excellent and something that should be discussed yet rarely is without significant fearmongering and infantilisation. 

I really love the “you time” sections at the end of each chapter with workbook-style questions allowing the parents to reflect on the contents of the chapter. This, without a doubt, will be a valuable resource to so many, providing clear answers so difficult to find among misinformation so often present in the media and online.
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