The Gender Book Everyone Should Read

Clear enough for your mom to understand, real enough to hit home on every page.

1. This is The Gender Book.

When Mel Reiff Hill and Jay Mays’ gender-variant friend needed to give something to his mother that would help explain what was going on with him, they began to create a solution.

2. It has 69 colorful pages.

3. It’s beautiful. And super informative.

4. The creators, Hill and Mays, wanted to make sure it represented a wide range of people:


We acknowledge that we as creators are pretty gender fabulous, but could never speak for other people’s experiences. Our intention wasn’t to be experts on anything but to share the diversity of a big awesome community (geographically, ethnically, generationally, etc). We wanted as many voices to speak for themselves as possible in the project.

5. They used personal examples from people who responded to online surveys.

For example: “Sometimes I have to hide under the pretext of being ‘male’ or ‘female’ for the sake of surviving, and moving through the world with (some) ease. But I’m still me, despite whatever mask I may be forced to hide beneath. And no matter what, I try to be as true to myself as the situation allows.”

6. The book was designed to help both allies and people who are discovering the complexities of gender within themselves.

7. They asked both “What do you wish people knew about gender?” and “What do you wish you knew?”

8. Also, it’s super fun.

Ladyland! Manlandia! Gender Diverse Island!

A gender game where everybody wins!

10. But it’s not done yet.

They’re still collecting answers to their survey here. Although all of the responses obviously can’t be put in the book itself, they hope to create a way for people to see all of the responses on their website. And, although they didn’t realize it was going to go as well as it has, they hope to publish it as a real, physical book — as soon as they can get together the funding and find a publisher (hint: you can donate here.)

11. But the best part? You can download the whole book for free here!

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