Being Emily discussion questions and resources

Thanks to the wonderful people over at RECLAIM for coming up with these questions and providing a training for their book circle facilitators. Please check out RECLAIM’s website and don’t hesitate to contact them with questions or support if you want to host a book circle in your community. RECLAIM works to increase access to mental health support so that queer and trans youth may reclaim their lives from oppression in all its forms.READ MORE

Just Girls wins Goldie Award (and that’s not even the best part!)

I had a wonderful time at this year’s Golden Crown Literary Society conference — even before the awards ceremony. Meeting Dorothy Allison and Rita Mae Brown was fantastic! I first read both of them at 16-19 when I was coming out and starting college. They both impacted my writing and seeing them speak reminded me of all the reasons they’re amazing and I should keep aspiring to follow the paths they blazed.READ MORE

144 trans people we should talk about more than we talk about Caitlyn Jenner

Media stars and public figures coming out can be great for trans visibility, and I suspect it takes boatloads of courage to come out in a hugely public way no matter who you are. But I’m getting tired of seeing a news feed that’s all pics of Caitlyn Jenner, so here are some alternatives:

Parinya Charoenpho on whose life the film “Beautiful Boxer” is based — go watch the film!


This wonderful list of 10 trans icons from around the world, including Parinya Charoenphol (and if you have not seen the film about her life, “Beautiful Boxer,” run to Netflix and watch it):

Deva Ozenen who is running for a parliament seat in Turkey:

Manabi Banerjee, India’s first trans college principal: MORE

Gaming, writing & mental health – I’m teaching at The Loft!

In August, I get to play games and talk about brains while teaching* teens at The Loft.  (* and by “teaching” I mean tossing out really cool ideas and watching the class make them more awesome.)


My shiny ADD/Anxiety brain is so like this … except when it isn’t. How’s your brain?

I’m deeply excited about this for a few reasons:

  • Gaming + writing = super fun writing
  • Gaming with teens = radical creativity at play
  • I haven’t taught teens before, but I have taught lawyers and teens have to be immeasurably more fun (with apologies to my lawyer friends)
  • My next YA novel (out spring of 2016) includes radical ideas about mental health (like the fact that sometimes the person with the disorder is the perfect person for you to date)
  • It took me at least 10 years to figure out how to work with my brain to get novels written and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned and hear what works for other people


Kimchi for the innocent, the timid and the neurotic

Adapted from the Yummy Kimchi recipe suggested to me by Allison Moon and the recipe in “Brain Maker” by Dr. David Perlmutter. Altered to be more digestible to people who can’t tolerate FODMAP foods (like me) by removing all onions, leeks, scallions, garlic and the like. If you’re on a very strict FODMAP-avoidant diet, do not use the jicama either. (If you don’t know what that means, you probably don’t have to worry about it.)READ MORE

Blog Tour Highlights

“Brilliant … this kind of book should be required reading in school. … JUST GIRLS is written in such a way that you are enthralled, sympathetic, empathetic, and wondering why the hell this topic is not covered sooner in your life, especially in this day and age.”

“I want to marry this book … gorgeous … Gold does a FANTASTIC job weaving the debate between the radical feminists and the transgender community into the narrative. Most importantly, perhaps, the book is fun. Yes, bad things happen, but good things too. It’s life, with all its bumps and twists. And as in real life, friendship and love trump fear.” MORE

Follow the blog tour

The Just Girls blog tour has kicked off and will run through Nov. 16 with blog reviews of the books and many changes to enter a raffle to win a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copies of Just Girls.

And here’s a quick peek at what some of the first reviewers are saying:

Melissa Storm’s Blog:

“What does it mean to be a young adult in today’s world? What does it mean to be a feminist? To be a girl? Rachel Gold’s fantastic Just Girls asks all these questions and more, and the answers are bound to surprise you while also resonating deeply with anyone who has ever felt insecurity, fear, or love.”

Pavarti K Tyler’s Blog:

“Ella’s story is sweet, brave and easy to relate to.  Her relationships with Tucker and Shen especially bring to the discussion the difference between sexuality and gender, a distinction not often considered by the mainstream public.  I very much enjoyed the book.”


Just Girls: Art Giveaway, part 2!

Remember how I had this great plan to reward people who bought Just Girls in its first six weeks with free, amazing art of the characters? Then I spent some time with art and realized I just want everyone to have it. So forget what I said about emailing me to tell me you bought the book. If you want the art, it’s yours!

Clicking the link below will start downloading the PDF for you (or open it in a browser window so you can save it to your computer). Give it a minute to download. It’s a 93MB file so that you can print it out in high quality if you want.

Just Girls character art

Here’s a smaller file version of the finished art so you can see the whole illustration:

From left to right: (front row) Claire, Emily, Tucker, Nico, Summer and Tesh; (back row) Ella, Johnny, Shen and Cal.

From left to right: (front row) Claire, Emily, Tucker, Nico, Summer and Tesh; (back row) Ella, Johnny, Shen and Cal.