Long Island Act-Up, Donnelly/Colt Buttons, Joseph A. Labadie Collection, University of Michigan

Books are expensive, especially academic books. Requesting them in person at a library might out or embarass you. But, if you pick out a book on our website, we’ll lend it to you for free. We’ll even pay postage!

The Library is for everyone: you don’t need to be trans or queer to request a book. However, it was created by and for trans and queer people, and we hope that allies will consider a donation to keep us running.

The ‘gender community’, as it was sometimes referred to in the late 20th century, has a rich tradition of pooling knowledge and resources. We educate one another about gatekeeping, selfmedding, who not to date, which venues to avoid – and our history, art, movements and heritage. But, this communal knowledge is incredibly fragile, and can be easily lost.

It took a surprisingly long time—several years—for the researchers to realize that the reason the candidates’ behavioral profiles matched Benjamin’s so well was that the candidates, too, had read Benjamin’s book, which was passed from hand to hand within the transsexual community, and they were only too happy to provide the behavior that led to acceptance for surgery.

Sandy Stone, The “Empire” Strikes Back

In creating the Library, we have focused on transmitting one particular form of knowledge. We believe that it is integral that trans people have access to trans research: to the concepts other people use when they talk about us, and the concepts we have used in the past to talk about ourselves. When academics discuss us, we need access to those conversations. In the words of the disability rights movement, ‘Nothing about us without us!’. Moreover, we have to maintain a connection to one another; to understand the philosophies and mindsets of the people who came before us instead of dismissing them out of hand.

This is the mission of the Gender Community Lending Library. We hope you join us!

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