It has been a while, but what better post to pop back on than a collaborative post of trans books by trans authors? My post will be recommending 11 books about trans and nonbinary characters written by trans and nonbinary writers, luckily I have read most of these listed and can direct you to more in-depth reviews I have already written or recorded for more info! I hope you enjoy the post of recommended books and stick around until the end where there is important information about Trans Lives in the UK.
Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp: “From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart. FIVE friends go to a cabin. FOUR of them are hiding secrets. THREE years of history bind them. TWO are doomed from the start. ONE person wants to end this. NO ONE IS SAFE. Are you ready to play?”
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: “Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle…. But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.”
The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver: “When Liam Cooper’s older brother Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, Liam has to not only learn to face the world without one of the people he loved the most, but also face the fading relationship with his two best friends. Feeling more alone and isolated than ever, Liam finds themself sharing time with Marcus, Ethan’s best friend, and through Marcus, Liam finds the one person that seems to know exactly what they’re going through, for the better, and the worse. This book is about grief. But it’s also about why we live. Why we have to keep moving on, and why we should.“
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas: “Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.“
Trans Britain: Out Journey From The Shadows by Christine Burns (editor): “Over the last five years, transgender people have seemed to burst into the public eye: Time declared 2014 a ‘trans tipping point’, while American Vogue named 2015 ‘the year of trans visibility’. From our television screens to the ballot box, transgender people have suddenly become part of the zeitgeist. This apparently overnight emergence, though, is just the latest stage in a long and varied history. The renown of Paris Lees and Hari Nef has its roots in the efforts of those who struggled for equality before them, but were met with indifference – and often outright hostility – from mainstream society. Trans Britain chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today: activists, film-makers, broadcasters, parents, an actress, a rock musician and a priest, among many others. Here is everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community, but never knew how to ask.”
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Boys Run the Riot by Keito Gaku: “A transgender teen named Ryuu finds an escape from the expectations and anxieties of his daily life in the world of street fashion. This personal, heartfelt, fictional story from a Japanese transgender manga creator made waves in Japan and will inspire readers all over the world! High schooler Ryuu knows he’s transgender. But he doesn’t have anyone to confide in about the confusion he feels. He can’t tell his best friend, who he’s secretly got a crush on, and he can’t tell his mom, who’s constantly asking why Ryuu is always dressing like a boy. He certainly can’t tell Jin, the new transfer student who looks like just another bully. The only time Ryuu feels at ease is when he’s wearing his favorite clothes. Then, and only then, the world melts away, and he can be his true self. One day, while out shopping, Ryuu sees an unexpected sight: Jin. The kid who looked so tough in class is shopping for the same clothes that Ryuu loves. And Jin offers Ryuu a proposal: to start their own brand and create apparel to help everyone feel comfortable in their skin. At last, Ryuu has someone he can open up to–and the journey ahead might finally give him a way to express himself to everyone else.”
Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars by Kai Cheng Thom: “Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir by Kai Cheng Thom is the highly sensational, ultra-exciting, sort-of true coming-of-age story of a young Asian trans girl, pathological liar, and kung-fu expert who runs away from her parents’ abusive home in a rainy city called Gloom. Striking off on her own, she finds her true family in a group of larger-than-life trans femmes who live in a mysterious pleasure district known only as the Street of Miracles. Under the wings of this fierce and fabulous flock, Dearly blossoms into the woman she has always dreamed of being, with a little help from the unscrupulous Doctor Crocodile. When one of their number is brutally murdered, the protagonist joins her sisters in forming a vigilante gang to fight back against the transphobes, violent johns, and cops that stalk the Street of Miracles. But when things go terribly wrong, she must find the truth within herself in order to stop the violence and discover what it really means to grow up and find your family.”
Homie by Danez Smith: “Homie is Danez Smith’s magnificent anthem about the saving grace of friendship. Rooted in the loss of one of Smith’s close friends, this book comes out of the search for joy and intimacy within a nation where both can seem scarce and getting scarcer. In poems of rare power and generosity, Smith acknowledges that in a country overrun by violence, xenophobia, and disparity, and in a body defined by race, queerness, and diagnosis, it can be hard to survive, even harder to remember reasons for living. But then the phone lights up, or a shout comes up to the window, and family—blood and chosen—arrives with just the right food and some redemption. Part friendship diary, part bright elegy, part war cry, Homie is the exuberant new book written for Danez and for Danez’s friends and for you and for yours.”
Act Cool by Tolby McSmith: “A trans teen walks the fine line between doing whatever it takes for his acting dream and staying true to himself in this moving, thought-provoking YA novel from the acclaimed author of Stay Gold. Aspiring actor August Greene just landed a coveted spot at the prestigious School of Performing Arts in New York. There’s only one problem: His conservative parents won’t accept that he’s transgender. And to stay with his aunt in the city, August must promise them he won’t transition. August is convinced he can play the part his parents want while acting cool and confident in the company of his talented new friends. But who is August when the lights go down? And where will he turn when the roles start hitting a little too close to home?”
Obie Is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar: “A coming-of-age story about transgender tween Obie, who didn’t think being himself would cause such a splash. For fans of Alex Gino’s George and Lisa Bunker’s Felix Yz. Obie knew his transition would have ripple effects. He has to leave his swim coach, his pool, and his best friends. But it’s time for Obie to find where he truly belongs. As Obie dives into a new team, though, things are strange. Obie always felt at home in the water, but now he can’t get his old coach out of his head. Even worse are the bullies that wait in the locker room and on the pool deck. Luckily, Obie has family behind him. And maybe some new friends too, including Charlie, his first crush. Obie is ready to prove he can be one of the fastest boys in the water–to his coach, his critics, and his biggest competition: himself.”
Top To Bottom: A Memoir and Personal Guide Through Phalloplasty by Finlay Games: Finlay Games is a transgender gay man, with a passion for creating honest content and inspiring others to be their authentic selves. In 2011 Finlay began sharing his gender transition story via his YouTube channel and accompanying blog under the name, ‘FinnTheInFinncible’.. Finlay has since written for various publications, and spoken at several events, about his transgender experiences and his recovery from addiction and mental ill-health. He also works as a coach and mentor, supporting transgender people through their personal transition journeys. ‘Top to Bottom – A Memoir and Personal Guide Through Phalloplasty’ published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, is his first book. You can grab yourself a signed copy of his book through Ko-fi! And virtual signings/meet and greets will be back on again soon.
I hope you enjoyed this post of 11 Trans books by Trans authors. Go and check out the other blogs involved in this collaboration here: Anniek’s Library, Luminosity Library, Read’s Rainbow, Oceans Of Novels, Mols By Moonlight, Mouse Reads, The Rush Of A Book, & Vee Bookish.
The UK is in a pretty rough spot with its Trans Rights and I would like to take this space to urge you to consider making some moves either as an ally or an able trans person. If you are UK based, please contact your MP and local councils, attend local protests, and sign petitions on the official GOV website. Check out this thread about the current threat to public bathroom usage, which also affects cis disabled people, and this thread about the GOV dropping their LGBT Action plan. I recommend following What The Trans on Twitter as they are great at breaking down what is currently happening and other things we can do to fight against it. I would also appreciate you taking the time to check out my Kofi and consider donating as I am a multiply disabled nonbinary person unable to work and the support really helps me continue to make fun content like this but also more informative pieces like my We Need To Talk About White Privilege and Takayasu’s Arteritis 101. It is also an important step of being an ally to help directly financially support trans people at this time until we achieve true working equality. Thank you for reading.
~ Artie (they/them)
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