Free to Be: Understanding Kids & Gender Identity (Hardcover)

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Free to Be: Understanding Kids & Gender Identity By Jack Turban, MD Cover Image

Free to Be: Understanding Kids & Gender Identity (Hardcover)


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An authoritative guide to understanding and navigating gender identity from an acclaimed expert on the mental health of transgender and gender diverse youth.

Kids today are more gender fluent and expansive than ever before. In America, around two percent of teenagers (over 700,000) openly identify as transgender. As it becomes increasingly common for us to encounter and know transgender kids, as well as kids with more expansive notions of gender than past generations, it is vital that we have the tools we need in order to truly see and support them.

Free to Be is an authoritative deep dive by internationally renowned child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Jack Turban into the science, medicine, and politics of gender identity. You will be immersed in the lives of three trans and gender diverse youth—Meredith, Kyle, and Sam—as they navigate their gender identities, make decisions around gender-affirming medical and psychological care, and confront an overwhelming political and social terrain.

By combining the latest scientific research, stories of transgender children, and the intricacies of today’s political gender wars, Free to Be gives you the tools to help the kids in your life navigate the complexity of gender identity, while also coming to better understand what the nuances of gender mean to yourself and society at large.
Jack Turban, MD, MHS is a Harvard, Yale, and Stanford-trained child and adolescent psychiatrist and founding director of the Gender Psychiatry Program at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is an internationally recognized researcher and clinician whose expertise and research on the mental health of transgender youth have been cited in legislative debates and major federal court cases regarding the civil rights of transgender people in the United States. He is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, CNN, The Washington PostScientific American, and more. He has appeared on numerous programs, including The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and PBS NewsHour.


Product Details ISBN: 9781668017043
ISBN-10: 1668017040
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English
“This is a book I wish had existed when I was a kid! It provides a thorough review of the current state of trans-affirming care, as well as an invaluable look back at how we got here. Dr. Turban has provided a resource that will empower trans and nonbinary people everywhere, as well as those who love and want to support them.”
Jazz Jennings, author of Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen and I Am Jazz, and star of the award-winning docuseries I Am Jazz

Free to Be deftly balances explaining the rigorous science behind gender identity with sharing powerful stories that bring that science to life. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking to better understand how we can truly help all our children thrive.”
Chelsea Clinton, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted

“In a climate riddled with active attempts to spread lies and propaganda about transgender people, particularly trans kids, Free to Be is essential reading. Grounded in science, medical expertise, and the testimony of the many trans kids Dr. Turban has learned from, Free to Be delivers unwavering evidence that supporting trans kids is life-giving.”
Schuyler Bailar, the first openly transgender NCAA Division I men’s athlete and author of He/She/They

“Caring for transgender kids requires using both our heads and our hearts. Free to Be is an accessible and enlightening book that gives us the knowledge, empathy, and understanding we need to do what is best for these young people. Anyone who wants to better understand gender could benefit from reading this book.” 
Dr. Mark Mercurio, professor of pediatrics and director of the program for biomedical ethics at Yale School of Medicine

“This comprehensive book is unique, being broadly authoritative and accessible for everyone from parents to teachers, researchers to mental health trainees, and practitioners to physicians. I will be recommending this book far and wide.”
Dr. Norman Spack, pediatric endocrinologist, co-founder emeritus of the first pediatric gender clinic in the U.S. at Boston Children’s Hospital, and associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School

Free to Be is an essential read on gender-affirming medical treatment and the fight to ensure all children receive the care and attention they need. Dr. Jack Turban has written an excellent guide on why this necessary health care has been a miracle for millions of trans youth and their families. He makes this complicated and fraught topic an accessible and humane conversation for all readers.” 
Charlotte Clymer, LGBTQ+ activist, writer, and two time GLAAD Media Award finalist