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- author Jackie French

Monday 15 April 2024

Guest Post: Maria Meakin on Being Me: Transgender and Non-Binary Identities

I am an everyday Mum with a passion for books but I’m also a Mum with a passion for advocating for books to read to children about current issues, acceptance, and inclusion.

So, in saying that, I decided to write a book that I had struggled to find in libraries and on shelves in bookstores.

I wanted to be able to read a book to my daughter that addressed the many questions she had about transgender and non-binary identities amongst her peers and because we often talked about pronouns and how important respecting them is, due to my profession.

Being Me started as an idea when thinking about how I would talk to my daughter, on this topic. 

It then became a communication starter as I tested the words, I wrote with her. More importantly it is now a support network for anyone who reads it to be able to sit together or alone and read a narrative from the perspective of a child. Written with simplicity so that a child can read it quietly or have it read to them. Being Me was a conversation with my daughter that became a book.

With engaging illustrations and rhyming prose, a young reader is engaged. A journey of self-acceptance and discovery for a young, transgender child, told through the eyes of a child. Being Me is a tool that can be used to introduce new concepts, identities, and pronouns which may be unfamiliar to some. It champions the uniqueness of every child and their right to equality and the freedom to chart their own journey, with love and support. Being Me is a way to action an understanding and inclusive world for children of all genders.

Being Me supports the story of a child who is asserting to change things about their outward appearance and identity development. It follows their change in gender identity with simple illustrations and words to positively impact the reader. It validates, reassures, and supports the child advocating to respect their identity, through the support of family.

This book fills a gap in the literary choices for parents and supporters of transgender and non-binary children by providing an open narrative to support the conversation of gender identity. It envelopes the reader with a sense of supporting children to live openly and supported in their affirmed gender, as their authentic selves.

This is a story about a liberal family with an approach that is motivated by support and love for their child. This book applauds and celebrates that parental approval is paramount to transgender children as the family home may be the first place for them to really experiment and become their true selves.

Maria enjoys working as a teacher aide supporting at risk children in Youth Detention and Special Assistance schools in Meanjin, Brisbane. She is currently studying Youth Work. The beach is her favourite place and she enjoys travelling and off-grid camping adventures. She is a mum to 4 in ages varying from 27 down to 9 and wrote Being Me to help her daughter understand and others to positively explore the topic of chosen gender identity.

Connect with Maria via her website or join her on Instagram