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'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': For transgender people, a massive new resource

BY DAVID CRARY
AP NATIONAL WRITER

NEW YORK -- As transgender people strive to gain more acceptance and legal protections, they will soon have a hefty new resource to assist them — a 672-page book, written by scores of transgender contributors, that encompasses social history, gender politics and wide-ranging advice on health, law, relationships and many other matters.

Encyclopedic in scope, conversational in tone, and candid about complex sexual issues, the Oxford University Press book being released in mid-May is titled "Trans Bodies, Trans Selves" — a deliberate echo of a pioneering feminist health-resource book, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" that appeared more than 40 years ago

The new book's editor, New York University psychiatrist Laura Erickson-Schroth, writes in the preface about reading her mother's copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" as a 12-year-old.

"At a time when over 90 percent of physicians were men ... it was an extremely daring and exciting thing to publish a book in which women taught other women about their bodies, their sexuality, and their rights," she wrote.

The goal for "Trans Bodies, Trans Selves," she writes, was "to make it as radical as its predecessor" — an act of empowerment through which transgender people exert more control over the available information about their lives.

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