The month of June is Pride Month and while the first Pride was a riot (quite literally), the event has become a celebration of all things lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender and so to celebrate we’ve put together a list of books by trans, non-binary, and non-gender conforming authors for your TBR!
The month of June was chosen to mark the Stonewall riots, a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the LGBT community against a police raid that took place in the early hours of June 28th, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement.
While things are getting better for the LGBT community, there’s still a long way to go. Thankfully through literature we learn compassion, empathy and understanding.
All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
All the Birds in the Sky is a speculative fiction novel about an ancient society of witches and a hipster technological start up that go to war to prevent the world from tearing itself apart. The novel is described as unique, humorous and touching and is the winner of the Nebula, Locus, and Crawford awards. Charlie Jane Anders is a transgender author who brought attention to a discriminatory policy of San Francisco bisexual women’s organisation, The Chasing Amy Social Club, that specifically barred preoperative transgender women from membership.
If I Was Your Girl – Meredith Russo
Transgender books cross all genres, and here we have YA fiction about a girl called Amanda, who upon joining a new school does her best to fit in. She gets very close to a boy called Grant, but she’s terrified that when he learns the truth, he won’t be able to see past it, because at her old school, Amanda was Andrew. Meredith Russo is a transgender author of young adult and middle grade fiction.
Lord of the Butterflies – Andrea Gibson
Lord of the Butterflies is the newest poetry collection from Andrea Gibson, a masterful showcase with artful and nuances looks at gender, romance, loss and family. Andrea Gibson is a poet and LGBT activist from Maine who lives with their girlfriend in Colorado. Gibson uses gender-neutral pronouns.
She’s Not There – Jennifer Finney Boylan
She’s Not There isn’t strictly a novel, it’s the memoir of Jennifer Finney Boylan but it deserves its inclusion in the list as it was one of the first works to present the trans experience from the perspective of a literary novelist. Author Jennifer Finney Boylan is transgender, a cast member on I Am Cait; an advisor to the television series Transparent, and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.
Little Fish – Casey Plett
Described as a extraordinary debut novel, Little Fish is the story of a 30-year-old transgender woman who through research discovers that her late grandfather may also have been trans and becomes determined to uncover the truth. Casey Plett is a trans author from Canada and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction.
Confessions of a Fox – Jordy Rosenberg
Confessions of the Fox is an historical fiction novel that reimagines the story of famed thief Jack Sheppard as trans. The book makes some interesting points about how history often erases the story of trans people, and is written by trans author and academic Jordy Rosenberg who teaches eighteenth-century literature and gender and sexual studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Small Beauty – Jai Qing Wilson-Yang
Small Beauty is a stunning novel about love, grief and home as a mixed race trans woman tries to contort and navigate racism, transphobia before discovering her own queer family history. Jai Qing Wilson-Yang is a Canadian transgender author, and winner of several awards including the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender fiction.
I’m Afraid of Men – Vivek Shraya
I’m Afraid of Men is an honest reflection on toxic masculinity and the effect of misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, and ideas about how we might start to reimagine gender for the 21st century in a way that works for everyone. Vivek Shraya is transgender musician, author, and visual artist. She is currently a director on the board of The Tegan and Sara Foundation, which fights for health, economic justice and representation for LGBTQ women and to date has published six books.