Every November we celebrate Transgender Awareness Week! This week exists to raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and to address the issues the community faces.
Our staffer Lu has put together this list of 11 books that they feel represents this week. All authors are trans and the last three titles are for the allies!
Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, Susan Stryker
Susan Stryker is my hero. She’s given us an extremely well written and researched history of transgender people in the United States. Stryker offers concise and accessible coverage of trans people in society from the 1850s on to modern day. History is needed for trans liberation to occur!
Little Fish, Casey Plett
Casey Plett rocks and is an amazing novelist. She won a Lamba Literary Award for her first work of short stories [A Safe Girl to Love] and here she gives us a whole novel! All I’ll say is: Complex trans women characters, identity and family issues, and trans futures.
Transcendent 3: The Year’s Best Transgender Themed Speculative Fiction, edited by Bogi Takács
Another collection of trans/genderqueer speculative fiction stories!! I’m literally thrilled about this new book considering how much I enjoyed the first two! We got a whole anthology of non-cis experiences: “from an intergalactic art heist to the everyday life of a trans woman through the lens of horror movies; non-binary parenting in the far future, to a unique method of traveling back to the past.” Fun genre tropes including and/or subverted by transness? Yes please!
To my Trans Sisters, edited by Charlie Craggs
Here’s the most loving compilation of advice from dozens of angelic, thriving trans women, written for trans women! Laura Jane Grace, Isis King, Marci Bowers, Bionka Simone, and soo many others share their words and experiences in solidarity and hope. Jennifer Finney Boylan describes this book best: “A love letter to our community from the women who understand.”
Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotica, edited by Tobi Hill-Meyer
In this exciting new piece of trans media there are 30 stories that offer revolutionary erotic fantasies by trans people, about trans people, and for trans people at the crossroads of history, biology, anxiety, and love. This collection serves as a breath of fresh and necessary air, counteracting so much alienation through healing and hot stories.
I’m afraid of Men, Vivek Shraya
The beautiful Shraya, a trans artist, explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a child and illustrates the trauma caused by a life oppressed by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. Through her perspective Shraya gives a beautiful re-imagining of gender for the twenty-first century.
How to Understand Your Gender: A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are, Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker
I’ve found this book to be a great way to explore, learn, and support myself through the tough and vulnerable process of digging into my gender identity. It’s full of resources, easy explanations of terminology, reflecting points, and just comprehensive information! I fully recommend it to get the language and understanding to express your gender identity.
101 alternatives to suicide for teens, freaks, and other outlaws, Kate Bornstein
Who doesn’t want and need positive encouragement? I love it. In the words of Sara Quin, “I take strength from this confident, honest book and from Kate’s success as a compassionate human being who has courageously spoken out for all of us living outside of the box. We are being offered alternatives and insight from an ally who has been there and survived.” My hot take: Kate Bornstein is an amazing trans elder and this book is fun and empowering.
For the allies
Gender Diversity and Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace: The Essential Guide for Employers, Sarah Gibson and J. Fernandez
Support trans people by informing yourself on how to create an inclusive work environment! It’s based on new research on non-binary inclusion within businesses so it gives new info and a business case for inclusion. So… slip it under the door of your boss! Really though – if you have any say in employing others, you need this book!
“You’re in the Wrong Bathroom!”: And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions about Transgender and Gender-nonconforming People, Laura Erickson-Schroth, Laura A. Jacobs
A wonderful and straightforward dispelling of harmful myths! This book offers you a chance at a greater understanding of the trans experience in accessible language and easy format. Through this read, you’ll push back against the ill-informed prejudice society has taught you!
A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson
For you or anyone you know who may be struggling to get a grasp on this concept! Through a disarming comic-book style, get a grasp on they/them pronouns and find alternatives to gendered language. It’s a guide in the format of a dialogue between best friends and it’s honestly so cute, fun, and easy!