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Publisher's Summary

What’s it like to parent a child in transition? 

Inspired by the acclaimed podcast How to Be a Girl, this is a highly personal and beautifully narrated memoir by Marlo Mack recounting the journey she’s been on since her three-year-old declared he should have been born a girl. And Mack agrees to the child’s request to be a girl.  

But getting the world to go along is another story. Putting the listener in her shoes, Mack takes us through how she explained it to her parents, found common ground with her ex, convinced educators, and developed radar for judgy parents who just didn’t understand. She builds out her network of LGBTQIA+ support for herself and M. But the biggest motivation for this "mama bear" is her wonderous child who sings "Frozen", giggles through conversations about her favorite fairy toys, and offers us bits of wisdom and insight well beyond her years. 

This is an unforgettable narrative of a remarkable child, a truly devoted parent, and what it means to practice motherhood in transition. 

Note from the author: The story I am sharing is about real people - me and my daughter and those who have lived through this very interesting time with us. To preserve the privacy of my child and others, I’ve changed nearly all of the names, including my own and that of my child. 

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator and Performer

Marlo Mack is a writer and producer as well as a single mom raising a young transgender daughter in Washington state. With her daughter's help, she produced the podcast, How to Be a Girl, about their life together and the challenges they often face. In 2017, How to Be a Girl was a Peabody Finalist. It has been honored with a Webby Award and was also selected as the 'Best International Podcast' by the British Podcast Awards. Her blog, gendermom, covers her daily life of raising a trans daughter. Her work has been a beacon of insight and wisdom for the trans parenting community.

Featured Article: The Best Trans and Nonbinary Listens


As our society becomes more inclusive, some of our most underrepresented communities are getting a much-needed opportunity to tell their stories. For this list, we’ve come up with some of the best trans and nonbinary listens, across all genres and age categories. And because we know that authenticity is important to listeners, our selections are almost exclusively written by queer, trans, and nonbinary authors.

What listeners say about How to Be a Girl

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Sensitive and Heartfelt

I have been listening g to Marlo Mack’s podcast for a while, and the way she deals with this difficult (but only because our society makes it so) subject touches a parent’s heart. I have a Queer child, but even if I didn’t, I believe any parent, or any adult who has ever loved a child, would be able to sympathize with the emotion of just wanting to make everything “right” for your child... of trying to change your child to fit into the world they live in and then, after finding that to be impossible, to try to change the world to make it a safe place for them. Beautifully written and read.

9 people found this helpful

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Loving, engaging mother daughter story.

I have listened to Marlo’s podcasts for years, always happy to find a new one. She was as surprised as anyone when her three year old son proclaimed himself to be a girl. Her journey to support her transgender child is filled with acceptance, sadnesses and joys and is interesting through and through, whether you know a trans person or just want to understand. Marlo is an excellent storyteller and hearing from her young daughter throughout the audiobook adds such a personal touch.

4 people found this helpful

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Life-saving story well worth a listen

It is tender and beautiful and important. It will save lives. How To Be A Girl has changed my life and has made me a better and more loving counselor and person.

3 people found this helpful

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Wow! Touched My Heart.

Such an amazing story. I couldn't stop listening. I really like the recordings. As I heard her talk there were times I couldn't hold the tears back. Would love a part two as she grows up!

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Wonderful.

As a mama to a Transgender 5YO girl, this book was salve for my heart. A great read for anyone with a transgender person in their life… and probably even more important for those that don’t.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartbreaking and Heartwarming

I was deeply moved by this book. As I have been by every single episode of the podcast. It intimately portrays a mom’s journey with her courageous young transgender daughter. The love and support this mom embodies while also sharing her own inner process and conflicts is an inspiration for how to be a mom, how to be a human.
Thank you Marlo, for being you, for sharing your story, your wisdom, your heartbreak and your hope with the world
🌸

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<3

thank you for sharing your story. your daughter is so lucky to have you as her advocate.

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Beautiful Grace

What a beautiful and vulnerable truth telling about the nature of the human heart to allow and to love and to let go. The ability to truly see spirit emerge as it emerges and to express how it expresses. To love without control and judgment and to courageously hold emergence of true self with tenderness and willingness. Such a moving and well written memoir about the challenge of truly loving seeing the pure essence of human spirit. Although a memoir about parenting a transgender child, it is also a memoir about the pure essence of love and the potential at the core of human nature that can emerge when pure love is at play. This is a mother that walks with her child on the truest path of becoming. There is no greater gift than this.

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I’m in tears

This should be required listening or reading for every human on the planet. Nothing has moved me more about transgender rights. I am an ally and hope the best for us all in the future.

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Deeply moved

A beautifully told story of a remarkable little girl. This is an essential book for those who seek to understand the transgender experience. It is even more essential for those, like myself, who thought they understood but clearly did not. I am inspired and humbled.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Grey Method (UK)
  • 08-16-21

A must listen, as comforting as it is heartbreaking

It’s honestly one of the best listens on audible I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.

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  • Annika
  • 06-11-21

Highly recommended

Must read! A step to take the world a better place!
Highly recommended to young and old!

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  • sparkyannc
  • 11-29-20

This book will change the world

This is an absolutely essential listen for anyone trying to understand trans issues.

The writing and mixing is superb. Marlo is such a gifted storyteller.

I both laughed - and cried - out loud.

I can also recommend the podcast series of the same name.

Listen to this immediately. It’s one of the best things I have ever heard on Audible.

Well done, Marlo and Em. Your generosity in sharing your story is changing lives. Much love to you.

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  • Catherine
  • 10-24-21

How to be a parent

A beautiful listen. It both starts from the beginning and expands on the podcast, so great for both newbies and old hands.