New Book by Elijah C. Nealy!

Book Cover2

 Elijah C. Nealy, a therapist and former deputy executive director of New York City’s LGBT Community Center, and himself a trans man, has written the first-ever comprehensive guide to understanding, supporting, and welcoming trans kids.

A comprehensive guide to the medical, emotional, and social issues of trans kids.

Covering everything from family life to school and mental health issues, as well as the physical, social, and emotional aspects of transition, this book is full of best practices to support trans kids.

For more information about the book, please see the link below from Norton the Publisher:

Also available for purchase at Amazon!


EXTRA! Q & A with Dr. Elijah Nealy!  

 Book Cover2Endorsements and Book Reviews

“Here’s the book that caregivers and family members of transgender children have been waiting for. With equal measures sound scientific reasoning and genuine human compassion, Elijah Nealy provides a thoughtful roadmap for anyone trying to support our precious– and endangered– trans youth. An invaluable resource.” — Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders and Long Black Veil

“Elijah Nealy’s book is an incredibly complete and empathic guide to supporting gender expansive youth, their families and communities. While remaining accessible, it embraces the complexities of gender diversity, intersectionality and the role of caregivers and professionals in their lives. You will finish this book feeling equipped to be a better ally, and probably a better person.” — Jean Malpas, LMHC, LMFT, Director, Gender and Family Project, Ackerman Institute for the Family

“There could hardly be a better time for this insightful, thoughtful guide to supporting transgender children and youth.… Through vignettes illustrating common counseling situations, Nealy shares experiences with parents and teens going through the coming-out process and provides an enormous amount of guidance for those facing gender questions for themselves or family and friends. In fact, this should be considered a critical volume for anyone involved with schools or working or volunteering with children and teens.… Nealy powerfully makes the case for what can be done to ease the pain of these children. A must-read for anyone who wants to help trans youth.
” — Booklist, starred review

“Transgender Children and Youth creates space for families to gain a deeper understanding of gender diversity and provides tools to best support and affirm living authentically with unconditional love. Although every family’s journey is unique, this resource remains relevant at every stage of transition, lending honest, compassionate, and empowering insight into questions, challenges, and celebrations parents of transgender and gender-variant children experience.” — Michelle Honda-Phillips, Parent Advocate, Transgender & Gender-Expansive Youth

“In this age of ever-expanding gender creativity, every mental professional working with children and families will inevitably meet up with a transgender youth. Elijah Nealy has given us the gift of an extraordinary comprehensive, insightful, and empathic book to guide us in their care and ensure gender health for the children, families, and surrounding social world. A must read for anyone who will have a transgender child in their life.” — Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D., author of Gender Born, Gender Made and The Gender Creative Child, Director of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Gender Center, UC San Francisco

“Elijah Nealy, a therapist and clergyperson with substantial experience working with transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) youth, has written a very valuable book for therapists, medical clinicians, and families. This book will serve as an essential reference to assist in better care of TGNC youth, and for families to learn more and come to accept and support their TGNC children. Dr. Nealy writes about this often confusing and controversial area in a clear, lucid style, discussing the meanings of gender variations and the uses and misuses of gender identity diagnoses, providing a helpful review of the diagnostic process and caveats involved. The very helpful vignettes he presents bring to life the various topics with insightful suggestions and practical examples – even a top 10 list! I will be recommending Dr. Nealy’s contribution to my trainees, families, and colleagues.” — Richard R. Pleak, MD, Founding Member, Center for Transgender Health, Northwell Health

“Nealy’s writing is both profound and personal, offering readers an enormous amount of solid information along with deep insights and suggestions that everyone in our society needs to challenge our traditional oversimplified, bifurcated understanding of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Nealy draws you in with clear and honest personal exploration of the clinical dilemmas in working with children, their families and the systems in which they are embedded.” — Monica McGoldrick, MSW, PhD (h.c.), Director, Multicultural Family Institute

“[Transgender Children and Youth]’s main strength is the way that Nealy uses statistics as well as real-life examples to provide an informative and considered perspective. . . I found the book extremely helpful and would recommend it to any practitioner.” — British Association for Counseling & Psychotherapy

Despite transgender children receiving more attention, acceptance and understanding than previous decades, along with many of the rights of transgender children and youth being put into laws and practice, confusion, discrimination, misinformation and a lack of understanding in order to help, aid and guide transgender youth is still widespread in the United States and other parts of the world.  In Transgender Children and Youth: Cultivating Pride and Joy with Families in Transition, Elijah C. Nealy, himself a transgender man, provides the reader with an extensive guide to not only understanding transgender youth, but also a foundation for discussing issues for such youth, along with training for mental health educators, psychiatrists, teachers, parents, other adults working with transgender youth and our communities overall. Nealy starts out by discussing the importance of understanding and adopting the various terms used in the transgender community (even though such terms are always changing; with some being added or replaced). The four foundational terms that we need to be able to distinguish are biological sex — a person’s genitalia, gender expression — how we express ourselves, gender identity — an internal sense of who we are, and sexual orientation — who we are attracted to. Being able to understand and distinguish between these terms provides the reader with the foundation of understanding how many transgender youth view themselves. Nealy then moves into the DSM mental health guide, using the clinical understanding of gender dysphoria to discuss both the negative notion of youth having to be diagnosed in order to receive certain treatments (especially surgical) to the more positive changes that have been made in DSM over the years.
Nealy also shifts his attention to when transgender youth is in therapy, how we should respond to them, what questions we should ask, and the assumptions we often hold. Nealy stresses the importance of using the child’s own vocabulary and their preferred name (since this is important for most transgender youth), while working with families overall to strengthen relationships and cultivate understanding and acceptance.
Nealy also brings up important legal aspects of transitioning, such as updating legal documents and how to go about the process of doing so. For many transgender youth, after “coming out” to family, friends, or the whole community, medical transitioning may be the next step. Nealy goes into detail describing the various forms of hormonal treatments and surgeries available to youth in transitioning, with puberty often being a critical point in which transgender youth experience stress, depression and unhappiness, as their bodies are changing in ways that may not like or want. This can be a very stressful time in adolescents lives as they are struggling with the internal sense of who they are in addition to their bodies changing. As Nealy notes, rates of addiction, homelessness and suicide along with other risk factors are much higher than for cisgender teens, as transgender youth often lack support and resources from their families and communities. Transgender youth also face many struggles, bullying and discrimination in school, at worksites and when going to college, contributing to the higher number of transgender youth who struggle to fit in and to become accepted members of society.   Nealy therefore spends much time discussing the impact of family acceptance which can negate many of the negative feelings that transgender youth go through daily, such as confusion, shame, feeling isolated, hopelessness, and depression. Throughout the book Nealy reinforces how strong and resilient transgender youth are despite many living in environments where they are rejected, misunderstood or viewed as different and strange.  Transgender Children and Youth is as much an educational book as it is a book that advocates for the rights of transgender youth to grow up to be the person that they have dreamed about, want to be, or always viewed themselves as . Adding vignettes from his work with transgender youth and their families solidifies the importance of acceptance and understanding. The book is a valuable resource not only for mental health professionals, but also for families with transgender children. With Nealy taking his time to explain the issues facing transgender youth, the book is truly accessible to any reader, no matter their level of interaction with, or understanding of transgender youth. – Metapsychology Online Reviews    © 2017 Hennie Weiss