The past few years haven’t been easy for trans people in the U.S. or the U.K. In 2022, the U.K.’s National Health Service put protocols into place to control the wave of people who, tired of waiting for years to be seen by NHS doctors, found hormones and puberty blockers from other sources. For young people, the new “safeguarding protocols” involve police, medical, and social service provider interventions. Meanwhile, in the U.S., gender-affirming care has become more and more difficult to find, with 22 states now having some form of harsh restrictions on these life-saving procedures.

Trans people are under siege on both sides of the Atlantic. As a book publisher with firm markets in the U.S. and the U.K., Jessica Kingsley Publishers is uniquely positioned to create important, possibly even lifesaving books for the English-speaking LGBTQ population.

Our gender diversity team is made up of a variety of people with a plethora of connections to the community. Importantly, this team has members of the community working together from both sides of the ocean. While we may disagree on things like whether or not U.S. kids will understand the difference between “football” and “soccer” in a kids’ book on transgender acceptance in sports, we don’t disagree on the big picture: the LGBTQ community, now more than ever, needs resources. We provide these resources in the form of books for children and adults on topics like safe and healthy chest binding, gender confirmation surgery, and trans vocal therapy.

While books will never be a replacement for medical care, the trans community has long been known for spreading information among ourselves when institutions fail us. At Jessica Kingsley Publishers, we help trans and nonbinary voices reach as many people as possible.

At times we know a book will have a bigger market in the U.S. than the U.K., or vice versa, but no matter what our primary market, we have people working to make sure that we get these resources into as many hands as possible. Our U.S. and U.K. teams work together from editorial to sales to coordinate books and their sales in such a way that they can be read and understood by anyone in the English-speaking world. At times this means cutting back on specifics of discussions of laws in a certain territory so that the messages can be applied more broadly; at others it means carefully, as a team, crafting titles that travel well. We are in constant communication about how to best make our books available to everyone.

When I first came out as transgender, instead of going to a therapist or my friends or family, I immediately went to the library. I wanted to read and know as much as I could about the topic before saying anything to anyone. I know I’m not the only trans person who turns to books for self-understanding.

In a book, LGBTQ people can be safe and find themselves

Being a global publisher on such an important topic may seem like a daunting task, but everyone who works on the gender list at Jessica Kingsley Publishers approaches their job with enthusiasm and a deep knowledge of how life-saving what they do can be. Whether we’re publishing books for children or for adults, we all work with a sense of urgency. As trans and queer rights come under attack around the world, we can make sure that there will always be a place, even if it’s just in a book, where LGBTQ people can be safe and find themselves.

Alex DiFrancesco edits LGBTQ nonfiction for Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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