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The Gender Quest Workbook

The Gender Quest Workbook
A Guide for Teens and Young Adults Exploring Gender Identity





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ISBN: 9781626252974
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About the Book

This one-of-a-kind, comprehensive workbook will help you navigate your gender identity and expression at home, in school, and with peers.

If you are a transgender and gender-nonconforming (TGNC) teen, you may experience unique challenges with identity and interpersonal relationships. In addition to experiencing common teen challenges such as body changes and peer pressure, you may be wondering how to express your unique identity to others. The Gender Quest Workbook incorporates skills, exercises, and activities from evidence-based therapies—such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—to help you address the broad range of struggles you may encounter related to gender identity, such as anxiety, isolation, fear, and even depression.

Despite outdated beliefs, gender no longer implies being simply male or female, but rather a whole spectrum of possibilities. This fun, engaging workbook is designed specifically for teens like you who want to explore the concept of gender and gender identity and expression—whether you already identify as TGNC or are simply questioning your gender identity.

The activities in this book will help you explore your identity internally, interpersonally, and culturally. And along the way, you’ll learn how to effectively express yourself and make informed decisions on how to navigate your gender with family, friends, classmates, and coworkers. The book also includes chapters on sex and dating, balancing multiple identities, and how to deal with stressful challenges when they arise.

The Gender Quest Workbook also features a brief downloadable guide for clinicians that explains ways professionals can better serve gender-expansive youth. The guide will address ways to help youth working with gender identity build resilience against gender minority stress, among other topics.

This book has been selected as an Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Book Recommendation—an honor bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.


Rylan Jay Testa (Author)
Rylan Jay Testa, PhD, is assistant professor in the psychology department at Rhodes College, and research affiliate of the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-based Applied Research (CLEAR). As a clinical psychologist, his research focuses on understanding... Read more

Books by Rylan Jay Testa

Deborah Coolhart (Author)
Deborah Coolhart, PhD, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and assistant professor at the Syracuse University Marriage and Family Therapy program. Her clinical and scholarly work focuses on the strengths and challenges of transgender... Read more

Books by Deborah Coolhart

Jayme Peta (Author)
Jayme Peta, MA, MS, has been working with and for transgender and gender-nonconforming youth for over fifteen years. Peta holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Naropa University, and is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at... Read more

Books by Jayme Peta

Ryan K Sallans (Foreword by)
Ryan K. Sallans, MA, is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, publisher, and author of the book Second Son. Sallans specializes in health care, workplace, and college campus issues surrounding the LGBTQIA community, with a specialized... Read more

Books by Ryan K Sallans

Arlene Istar Lev (Afterword by)
Arlene Istar Lev, LCSW-R, CASAC, is founder and clinical director of Choices Counseling and Consulting and TIGRIS: The Training Institute for Gender, Relationships, Identity, and Sexuality in Albany, NY. She is a lecturer at the University at Albany... Read more

Books by Arlene Istar Lev


“What makes this book so powerful is the balance the authors strike between asking open-ended questions and offering readers tools from which to build answers... An invaluable resource for all young people on a gender quest.”
Kirkus starred review

"From inconspicuous activities such as people watching to more task-oriented ideas for encouraging young people to broach their concerns to family members, this volume serves as a valuable resource."
Library Journal

The Gender Quest Workbook is an excellent resource for any young person who would like to explore gender. The authors really cover all the bases and bring to life the process by which a person can feel supported in bringing self-determination and creativity to expressing their gender. The language used is clear and user-friendly. I would absolutely recommend this to my clients. Testa, Coolhart, and Peta make excellent tour guides through this journey!”
Sand Chang, PhD, clinical psychologist and gender specialist in the Kaiser Permanente Multi-Specialty Transitions Department, chair of the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (CSOGD), and coauthor of the APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People

“We invite youth today to embark on their own unique gender journey. But imagine hiking into the wilderness without a map. Now, with the publication of The Gender Quest Workbook, Rylan Jay Testa, Deborah Coolhart, and Jayme Peta have provided just such a detailed topographical map for gender exploration. The Gender Quest Workbook is an invaluable resource for any youth wanting to explore their gender, and for the professionals and family members accompanying the youth on their venture. Just a generation ago, youth gender quests remained a topic of which we did not speak. The Gender Quest Workbook has broken that sound barrier by giving youth a place for their voice, inviting them to put words to their own journey as they engage in the exercises so brilliantly laid out by Testa, Coolhart, and Peta.”
Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, director of mental health at the Child and Adolescent Gender Center, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of Gender Born, Gender Made and The Gender Creative Child

“This workbook is an important resource for the transgender community. I wish I’d had something like it when I was coming out to myself.”
Greta Gustava Martela, cofounder and executive director of Trans Lifeline, the first national crisis line for transgender people

“Informative, supportive, and fun. These playful and engaging exercises are powerful tools for self-discovery. I wish I’d had this guide as a teenager. Any young adult exploring gender will find freedom in these pages.”
Nick Krieger, author of Nina Here Nor There

“The only book of its kind, The Gender Quest Workbook is an invaluable resource for transgender and gender-questioning youth, their families, the professionals in their lives, and anyone who is interested in ‘undoing gender brainwashing.’”
Zander Keig, LCSW, coeditor of Letters for My Brothers and Manning Up,and featured in the documentary Zanderology

The Gender Quest Workbook is a wonderful new resource for exploring the evolving landscape of gender. Providing a road map for young people of any gender to examine their own experiences and understanding of this core aspect of self, this important tool also affirms the authenticity of individuals who find themselves in the less crowded terrain somewhere along the gender spectrum. Whether cisgender or gender expansive, more and more young people are personalizing their gender stories. The Gender Quest Workbook will play a critical role in shaping the narratives they create.”
Joel Baum, MS, senior director of professional development and family services at Gender Spectrum, and founding member and director of education and advocacy at the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at the University of California, San Francisco

The Gender Quest Workbook is the perfect answer for anyone who is tired of textbooks and looking for a little fun! What better way to explore this topic than to get a chance to think about all the aspects of your gender in a step-by-step book.”
Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, MA, psychiatrist and editor of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

The Gender Quest Workbook took me, a well-balanced adult transsexual, on a journey of gender discovery, showing me parts of myself I did not know existed. The overwhelming benefit of this kind of self-examination for our transgender youth is an utmost necessity for early identification. A positive future for our transgender children is greatly enhanced by teachers, clinicians, and parents utilizing this outstanding resource.”
Rachael Rose Luckey, filmmaker and transgender rights advocate

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