Raising Kids beyond the Binary

Celebrating God’s Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children

Raising Kids beyond the Binary

Celebrating God’s Transgender and Gender-Diverse Children

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Dare to dream of a church and a world transformed by the bold celebration of transgender and gender-diverse children.

The debate around transgender children rages, with some Christians being the loudest voices against loving and supporting these young people. So, now more than ever, people of faith need to be grounded in God's call to love and affirm young people in who God created them to be. Raising Kids beyond the Binary bypasses the sound bites to give readers a vivid picture of who transgender, non-binary, and gender-expansive young people are and what they need to thrive.

Drawing on the author's experience as a mother walking with and learning from her own transgender child, as well as working with hundreds of families across the country doing the same, this book helps parents navigate the emotional, spiritual, and logistical landscape of raising a gender-diverse child.

Grounded in the unequivocal truth of God's deep love and limitless creativity, this book compels readers to move past "all are welcome" to loving and celebrating transgender and gender-diverse youth in the brilliance of their uniqueness, the wisdom of their self-awareness, and the joy of their authenticity. Faith leaders and adults who work with youth will also find the book a helpful tool for gaining insight and building safer and more welcoming congregations for these children.

Rich with personal stories, research, and practical steps, this book dares to dream of a church and a world transformed by the bold and joyful acceptance and celebration of transgender and gender-diverse children and youth. These children need us, and the world needs them.


"Jamie and Rebekah Bruesehoff are real-life heroes. Not only do they demonstrate immense bravery in all of their actions; they are changing the world one giant step at a time. They teach us that, whatever your religion, love is universal, and everyone deserves the freedom to express who they are authentically. Rebekah has grown to become a wise, mature, and beautiful young woman, and I'm so incredibly proud of her. Thank you for always being you."

Jazz Jennings, LGBTQ rights activist, author of Being Jazz, and star of the TLC series I Am Jazz

"For any person who loves someone who is transgender or gender diverse, this is a book for you! Each page is an opportunity to find reflections of your own story, be encouraged through powerful and vulnerable sharing, learn something new, and, most importantly, know you are not alone. Don't miss the chance to deepen and expand the wholeness of your family and loved ones. This is a profound and timely read."

Aubrey Thonvold, executive director, Reconciling Works

"As a gay dad, my number-one priority is raising kids who love themselves wholly and show kindness and empathy for others. Which is why I'm so grateful for Jamie Bruesehoff's honest, wise, and personal new book, Raising Kids Beyond the Binary. This book is for every parent who wants to help their kids navigate healthy conversations and curiosities about gender. Bruesehoff's personal insight has not only given me language and guidance for engaging the topic of gender but has equipped and empowered me to know better how to help my kids love and support their transgender and nonbinary friends well."

Matthew Paul Turner, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling books What Is God Like? and When God Made You

"When I think someone wants or needs to be enlightened about the trans reality, I will recommend this book. Part memoir, part storytelling, and part instruction, this book both enlightens and inspires. I also believe it will change hearts and minds and help us all envision and create a more intelligent, inclusive, and compassionate world. Plus, we meet Jamie's trans daughter, the Mighty Rebekah, and read her own words about her experience and her vision for humanity. I'm so happy this book exists. What a resource!"

David Hayward, artist @NakedPastor and author of Flip It Like This!

"Reading Jamie Brueshoff's Raising Kids Beyond the Binary is like sitting down with Jamie in her living room, having her take your hand, inviting you to learn with her, lean on her, and feeling like you have known her for years and trust her like a dear friend. For any parent or caregiver eager to better understand their child's gender journey, Jamie is a skilled, engaging teacher who makes an often-complex topic accessible and clear; there are dozens of aha moments along the path. Jamie's clarion call is to live with love and grace, and literally every page is rooted in this value. Having read many books and articles on this topic and talked with hundreds of parents of trans and nonbinary youth, I can confidently say this book is essential reading. It is the premier primer for any parent or other adult looking for guidance on raising their gender-expansive child and should be required reading for all who want to create space and freedom for their child of any gender to be their full, authentic self, free of enforced expectations."

Ellen Kahn, senior director, Programs and Partnerships, HRC Foundation

"This book is a lifeline for families with transgender kids. Even more, it is like a manual, filled with stories, theology, resources, and wisdom. This is a must-read for church leaders, people of faith, and all who care about trans and nonbinary kids and their families."

Michael Rinehart, bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"Parenting is simultaneously glorious and messy. Parents want their children to be safe, but also to flourish, and sometimes those desires don't align. Jamie Bruesehoff takes you through the hard decisions, the mistakes, and the moments of unexpected strength and clarity, all in service of providing guidance to the parents and other adults with transgender children in their lives. In this politicized environment, where transgender children and youth are under constant attack, Bruesehoff gives the reader a roadmap for listening, protecting, and clearing a path to be the person God made them to be."

Ross Murray, vice president of Education & Training at the GLAAD Media Institute, founding director of The Naming Project, and author of Made, Known, Loved: Developing LGBTQ-Inclusive Youth Ministry and The Everyday Advocate: Living Out Your Calling to Social Justice

"I have been waiting and waiting for this book to exist, and now it's here! In the face of relentless attacks against the trans community, the time is yesterday for the church to speak up and out for this beautiful group of human beings. Fortunately, you now have a guide to do exactly that, in Jamie's incisive and compassionate voice."

Cindy Wang Brandt, author of Parenting Forward and You Are Revolutionary

"This book fills me with hope for future generations of gender-diverse kids. Jamie Bruesehoff shares her family's story in a way that is accessible and also full of heart. Jamie's advocacy and everyday example of a mother's unconditional love will inspire and move readers in a way that's so needed. I wish I'd had this book when I was growing up--but I'm so glad it exists now."

Grace Baldridge (Semler), chart-topping Christian musician and media host

"Jamie Bruesehoff has written an essential resource for all of us who want to be more LGBTQIA2S+ affirming. Her vulnerable writing provides a grace-filled entry point for all of us on our learning journey, no matter where we find ourselves. It is impossible to hear about her family's story and not be inspired to love all of God's children more fiercely. Give this book to the ally or skeptic in your life, and they will find the challenge and encouragement that they need. In other words, get ready to buy a lot of copies!"

David Scherer (AGAPE), performing artist and cofounder of JUSTmoveculture.com

"Jamie Bruesehoff has written a deeply compassionate and absolutely necessary book for our time. Raising Kids Beyond the Binary will be grounding for Christian parents who know they love their kid but aren't sure how to set that love free to move mountains. Jamie's gentle questions, honesty, and experience will give family members of trans youth the confidence to step into a better future for us all. This is exactly the book I've been wanting to recommend to people."

Austen Hartke, author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians

"Love, faith, hope, growth, and communication are the components Jamie Bruesehoff brings to life in this journey of her transgender child and family. By sharing her experiences, we witness the importance of moving beyond a place of either having a home of faith and spirituality or supporting your transgender child--to the profoundly powerful and healing place of having a home of faith, spirituality, and tremendous love for your transgender child. This book has truly inspired me as a care provider for transgender, gender-nonbinary, and gender-expansive children and youth to keep going and stay strong despite all that is going on in our world right now. At a time when there are hard winds and dark skies, this book offers hope, joy, and strength."

Linda A. Hawkins, director, Gender & Sexuality Development Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

"'Being transgender is who God created me to be.' Rebekah Bruesehoff's simple--yet deeply profound--answer to her doctor's question is the theological and social underpinning of her mom, Jamie's book, Raising Kids Beyond the Binary. It is easy to make broad, sweeping generalizations and judgments until you develop a relationship with someone. In her book, Jamie opens a door and invites you into her family's story and, in doing so, creates a pathway to understanding and compassion. Jamie shares her experiences and the wisdom she's gained through them. This book should be read by anyone who works with young people. It is an important story that needs to be read and understood."

Todd Buegler, senior pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, Owatonna, Minnesota, and executive director of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network


"A poignant view into raising gender-diverse children, Raising Kids Beyond the Binary is a powerful account of a mother's love and advocacy for her daughter."

Foreword Reviews

"This is a wise and necessary resource."

Publishers Weekly 

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506488646
  • eBook ISBN 9781506488653
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 254
  • Publication Date September 19, 2023