Supporting Transgender Students: Call For Submissions


Jessica Kingsley Publishers (, a publishing house with offices in London and Philadelphia, and Editor Douglas Ray invite submissions of personal essays of no more than 3,500 words in length from teachers and school professionals for a project with working title Supporting Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students: A Guide for Teachers and Schools.  Essays should be personal and practical rather than academic and theoretical. We hope to share personal experiences to develop some strategies and recommendations for making schools not only safe but also environments for students regardless of gender identity to thrive.

Here are some questions to consider in crafting an essay:

·      Describe your experiences working with transgender or gender nonconforming students in schools, with particular focus on your school environment and policies.

·      What classroom practices have you rethought or adjusted in order to make your particular classroom an affirming space for all genders? Please illustrate through a narrative.

·      What classroom or school policies have proven problematic with regard to including and affirming transgender and gender nonconforming students? Please illustrate through a narrative.

·      Have you ever failed as a teacher or school professional to create an affirming, inclusive environment for students who are transgender or gender nonconforming? Please tell us about that.

·      What specific recommendations and strategies can you make to teachers and schools for supporting transgender and gender nonconforming students? Please share any specific narratives about how these policies were implemented.

We hope this volume will catalyze further conversations about how our school communities become inclusive and affirming.

Submit your essay of no more than 3,500 words via Submittable by February 15, 2017. We encourage, especially, nonbinary, trans*, genderqueer, gender fluid, and queer teachers and school professionals from across the globe to share their experiences.  Contributors receive a copy of the published book.

About the Editor

Douglas Ray, author of He Will Laugh and editor of The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South and faculty at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, serves as editor of this collection.

About the Press

Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year, 2016 – British Book Industry Awards

Jessica Kingsley Publishers is a wholly independent company, committed to publishing books that make a difference.

The company was founded in 1987 in London by Jessica Kingsley and has grown since then to now publish over 250 books a year, which are available throughout the world. In 2004 we opened our US office, in Philadelphia. We are renowned for publishing in areas such as autism, mental health, disability, social work, counseling and adoption and we believe there is a real need for books giving clear and positive advice for professionals working with trans people to help them improve their professional skills and daily practice as well as for trans people themselves who might need support. In January 2017, JKP will be launching a Gender Diversity list and more information about this can be found here:

Essay published by PBS Newshour

Last month, an editor of PBS Newshour talked with me about LGBTQ-issues in education in the South. One development from that conversation is an essay I wrote for the show’s “Teacher’s Lounge,” which curates an excellent collection of essays, pertinent to world events and classrooms. Here’s a link to my piece:

Audio Available for Reading at Indian Springs School

Last night, I read from The Queer South as part of the Indian Springs School Visiting Writers Series, along with contributor Eddie Outlaw.  We also screened a short film, “A Mississippi Love Story”–the subjects of the film are Eddie and his husband Justin.  They are business owners in Jackson, Mississippi, and I am pleased to have Eddie as a contributor to the anthology.

Visit to find an audio file of my reading, as well as Eddie’s.

You can watch a trailer for and rent “A Mississippi Love Story” here:

And purchase The Queer South anthology (free shipping with code FALL) here:

The Queer South is OUT!

This week saw the official release of The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South, a project I’ve been working on for the past two years.  The final product has 63 different writers and some incredible nonfiction and poetry in a book with a stunning cover (the handiwork of Hollie Chastain, who also did the cover art for He Will Laugh).

You can order the anthology from Sibling Rivalry Press directly at:

Here are two blurbs about the book:

Think about it: When have you been in the South and not had a queer experience, in any sense of that word? It’s got to be the queerest space on earth. Matter of fact, go ahead and strike Queer from the title of this book. These writers are talking about the The South, period.

– Aaron Alford, editor of Southern Humanities Review

 In The Queer South words emerge, blazing, from the red clay, the kudzu, the steaming rivers and creeks, and the sun-cracked city streets. Poems and essays wrestle the ghosts of history, ghosts that don’t fight fair, hurling religion, race, and gendered expectations, alternating between shouts of bravado and whispers of shame.Yet, these love poems, coming out stories, and, yes, even songs of rejection win by laying bare the skin of any reader’s heart.
 – Sandy Longhorn, author of The Alchemy of My Mortal Form
I am so glad that this work is out in the world!