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29 Inspiring Transgender Books (by Trans Authors)

It’s difficult to know where to start with talking about trans rights, gender dysphoria, and the politics behind transgender stories, other than to simply say that trans people need all the help and support that they can get. That’s where transgender books and trans authors come in. Understanding your own dysphoria and deciding on the next step can be confusing, frightening, and lonely.

books by trans authors

And something that can help is reading transgender stories by trans authors, or the biographies of people and their real-life experiences with coming out as trans and then going through their own transition. We all like to know that we’re not alone, and that our experiences have been shared by others (if in their own way).

Vital Transgender Books by Trans Authors

And so, to that end, here are a few of the best trans books by trans authors. Some are transgender fiction (Also known as tg fiction); others are transgender stories of real-life experiences. One is a wonderful comic book by an even more wonderful trans writer. We hope that these trans books by trans authors will help you, if you’re looking for a little support, knowledge, or comfort.

If you want to support vulnerable trans people in the UK, consider donating to Mermaids.

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

detransition baby torrey peters

Detransition, Baby made history when it became the first book written by a trans woman to appear on the longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Beyond this, Detransition, Baby also happens to be a bold and human novel that explores the dark and the light sides of being a trans woman in the twenty-first century, written by one of the foremost trans authors of our time.

The novel’s story, set in Brooklyn, centres around Reese and Ames (formerly Amy). Reese is a trans woman in her mid-thirties who desperately longs to be a mother. Ames is now living as a man but lived for six years as a trans woman named Amy, and much of that time was spent in a lesbian relationship with Reese.

Now, however, Ames has knocked up his boss, Katrina, having believed himself infertile after so many years on estrogen. Ames and Katrina do not feel equipped to be parents, and so Ames takes the leap of reaching out to Reese and asking her if she wants to be a third parent to this soon-to-be-baby.

Detransition, Baby shifts from the past to the present, exploring the complicated lives and journeys taken by trans women. It doesn’t shy away from difficult topics like suicide, assault, and detransitioning. But it is also, at times, a laugh-out-loud funny novel, told with biting wit and genuine wisdom.

Incredibly well plotted, Detransition, Baby is like a perfectly carved statue. Every minute detail has been so meticulously considered as to make for an engaging, educational, raw, funny, and fine-tuned novel about trans lives by one of the great trans authors.

Buy a copy of Detransition, Baby here!

The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice by Shon Faye

the transgender issue shon faye

Shon Faye is a renowned British writer and journalist, and The Transgender Issue is her debut book. As its subheading makes clear, this is a transgender nonfiction that makes clear how improving the lives of trans people in the UK and beyond — legally, socially, politically — would improve the world as a whole.

Each chapter of The Transgender Issue focusses on a specific social issue that negatively impacts, and often endangers, the lives of transgender people in the UK. She explores domestic violence and homelessness, legal and social rights, police violence and incarceration. Every point supported by impeccable research.

As a socialist who seeks to improve the rights and lives of all people, Faye uses her platform and position to make a case for human justice through a transgender lens. Each point she makes about the lives of trans men and women can be extrapolated to a broader issue concerning healthcare, media influence, state violence, and more.

That said, The Transgender Issue is still a book that primarily argues for improving the lives of trans people in the UK. Interviews, statistics and research is all used to both reinforce her points and clear the fog of media bias, anti-trans propaganda, and general distrust.

The Transgender Issue is written for the average Brit: the white cisgender taxpayer who gets their news from the BBC and knows little about the struggles that trans people face. This is a book that counters misinformation and seeks to calmly, kindly, and clearly educated the masses on the social, legal, and medical difficulties that British trans people face on a daily basis.

Buy a copy of The Transgender Issue here!

Transitional by Munroe Bergdorf

transitional munroe bergdorf

Munroe Bergdorf’s Transitonal is one of those wonderfully savvy non-fiction books that uses the framework of personal memoir to tell a broader story about a specific concept.

In this case, that concept is “transition”, something that is widely and obviously relatable, no matter who you are or what your story is. In her introduction, Bergdorf remarks that we all transition, all of the time, all the way through our lives. Transitioning is a part of the human experience.

From here, each chapter of this short book takes us through a stage in Bergdorf’s own life, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. All the while, we grow to know and understand her experiences. But each chapter also has a theme being explored, and a transiton which occurs: a transition which we can all relate to. Education, puberty, work, relationships; these are all transitions we have experienced.

Transitional is a reminder that transitioning is a part of life, and Bergdorf uses that fact to ask for empathy and understanding when it comes to the transgender experience. Framing all of this as a personal memoir also allows us a window into the life of an ordinary modern woman who has gone through changes in her life, just as we all have.

Buy a copy of Transitonal here!

Pageboy by Elliot Page

pageboy elliot page

Elliot Page’s memoir Pageboy is an elegantly-written, raw, powerful exploration of a life lived and survived via romance, work, and the gradual journey towards personal truth. Page came out as a transgender man in 2020, and has since gone on to flourish in his comfort and authenticity. But this memoir isn’t so much about his transition as it is about the life that led him there.

Written in a non-linear fashion that jumps back and forth between periods in his life (because, as Page himself says in the book, queerness is also non-linear), Pageboy is an assured and brilliantly written memoir. Across 250 pages, we are shown elements of dysphoria and confusion, denial, self-love, self-discovery, self-destruction, and more.

But this is also a memoir that is, in some ways, defined by romantic relationships, sex, co-dependency, career struggles, the toxicity of Hollywood, friendships, family drama, and heartbreak. We get a true and raw sense of who Page has been, as well as who he is now. This is a book that doesn’t shy away from toxic, difficult, traumatic events and experiences.

But what it leads to is truth and admittance to oneself and the joy that comes out of it. To go from staring into a mirror and thinking, “I must be somewhere in there” to understanding where all these struggles would lead to is a beautiful, empathetic, rewarding, and important read.

Written with literary skill and love and honesty, Pageboy is one of the most necessary transgender books by a trans author in recent years.

Buy a copy of Pageboy here!

Bellies by Nicola Dinan

bellies nicola dinan

Bellies, the debut novel from London-based, Kong Kong-born transgender author Nicola Dinan is at once a story of love and an inversion of love, presenting readers with a complex tale of evolving queer relationships in the modern day.

When the novel begins, Ming and Tom are two boys at university together. Tom is newly out, and Ming has dreams of being a playwright. They hook up and soon fall in love, spending the rest of their uni years growing ever closer. But when they start living together after graduation, Ming begins to change in ways that scare and confuse Tom.

These changes build and create a harsh tension, until Ming at last comes out as a trans woman, and from here the love between them will be tested.

Told from both characters’ perspectives, Bellies is an intimate tale of growth, self-discovery, and understanding. Feelings of confusion, betrayal, and hurt must be unpacked and confronted. This is a novel led by emotion, as these characters grow into themselves, face themselves, and find the strength to better understand each other.

Tender and raw, Bellies speaks to the heart of modern queer culture and queer romances. A necessary piece of transgender literature by an amazing, fresh new trans author.

Buy a copy of Bellies here!

I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya

i'm afraid of men vivek shraya

I’m Afraid of Men is an itty-bitty memoir/manifesto by Canadian musician, author, and professor Vivek Shraya. At under 100 pages, this is a quick but impactful read that documents a life spent navigating and jumping the hurdles put in place by patriarchy and misogyny.

Having transitioned in her mid-thirties, Shraya spent her youth attempting to pass as a man. Spit and slurs were hurled at her in school; men gave her advice on how to “take up space”; and she had to unpack her own learned misogyny. Shraya is one of the loudest and proud trans authors writing today, and I’m Afraid of Men is a cutting, honest look at the toxicity created by masculinity and masculine spaces.

This was a book that hit me particularly hard, as a non-binary writer who has also lived in fear of the aggression and intimidation perpetuated by masculine men since childhood. If you are a woman or a queer individual, you will find a lot of relatable moments in this book, not only in Shraya’s own life events but also in the ethos she puts forward.

I’m Afraid of Men aims a spotlight on the poison seeped out into the world by heteronormativity and considers how the world might be improved with a little more gender-queerness.

Buy a copy of I’m Afraid of Men here!

Please Miss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Penis by Grace Lavery

please miss grace lavery

This book is a ride! While mostly a memoir, Please Miss is unconcerned with genre constraints and enjoys the freedom of exploring art criticism, queer theory, autofiction, and more. This book could only have been written by a punk academic ex-addict.

Grace Lavery is a punk, through and through. In the opening chapter of Please Miss, she presents a conversation between herself and a friend about the physical and philosophical role of her penis. Shortly after, she reads us a letter she received from a seemingly mad person about clowns, believing it to be a form of written abuse by a transphobe. These clown letters continue to be relevant as the “narrative” moves forward.

In exploring her own transness, and the broader concept of transness in general, Lavery writes us comedy skits and letters. She transforms her prose on a whim and switches topic as she sees fit.

Please Miss often reads like a series of musings tied together with old string. It can be hard to follow. It’s esoteric, strange, even frustrating at times. But it is also an unshackled, meditative, and laugh-out-loud funny memoir of the gritty, messy topic of transness. With Please Miss, Lavery has established herself as one of the great trans authors of our time.

Buy a copy of Please Miss here!

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

felix ever after

Written by transmaculine non-binary author Kacen Callendar, Felix Ever After is a beautiful page-turner of a YA novel.

The titular Felix is a seventeen-year-old Black trans guy living in Brooklyn. He and his dad live alone after Felix’s mother left to start a new family in Florida when he was only ten. His father struggles to understand his gender identity, but wants to still be supportive; he paid for Felix’s top surgery and hormones, but still struggles to not deadname and misgender him.

At school, Felix has a wealthy best friend named Ezra; the two spend every waking moment together, but they’re not a couple. Felix’s world is turned upside down when someone hacks his Instagram account, uncovered hidden pre-transition photos and his deadname, and displays them in a public gallery before haunting him with anonymous, threatening transphobic messages.

Felix is sure he knows who it is, and hatches a plan for revenge by attempting to catfish his prime suspect, but this catfishing turns into a potential love story. While he stumbles down a strange rabbit hole with the very person he blames for the attack, Felix’s friends and father all insist that he and Ezra would make a great couple.

After all, what would a YA novel be without a good love triangle? And given that the boy Felix revenge-catfishes used to date Ezra, this really is a perfect triangle.

Felix Ever After has been banned across the US for daring to present a realistic depiction of trans teenage life and young queer love and friendship. Reading banned queer books is always important, but so is reading books that are simple excellent. Felix Ever After is simply excellent; a wonderful YA romance from one of the best trans authors around.

Buy a copy of Felix Ever After here!

Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt

tell me im worthless

Alison Rumfitt is a transgender writer based in Brighton, UK. Her debut novel, Tell Me I’m Worthless is an unflinching, punk trans novel about the UK’s treatment of trans people. It’s an unpleasant, twisted, gothic nightmare of a novel, and it’s also a work of literary genius. Tell Me I’m Worthless follows two former friends: Alice and Ila. Alice is a trans woman who is haunted by ghost.

Ila is a vocal TERF who was radicalised after the two spent a night at a haunted house together. Each of them believes the other sexually assaulted her in that house. Rumfitt’s novel is a revolutionary piece of gothic horror that wears its pain on its sleeve. This is a novel that attacks transphobic Britain (or “TERF Island” if you prefer).

It ponders what the UK is doing to trans people, rallying transphobes against us and leaving us to live in fear. Beyond being an important and angry transgender novel by a fierce trans voice, Tell Me I’m Worthless is also, very simply, a wonderful piece of modern gothic fiction.

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

light from uncommon stars

Light From Uncommon Stars is an American novel that represents and celebrates transition in many different ways. It’s a novel that transitions between different genres, centres on a transgender protagonist, and explores the concept of transitioning through time and across communities.

Our protagonists are a famous violinist who made a faustian deal with the devil, a young transgender runaway and violin prodigy, and an alien who fled a galactic empire and makes donuts. Light From Uncommon Stars is a sci-fi and fantasy story all about building a family and a new life.

Lan Tran and her family have found a place on Earth to hide from a galactic catastrophe. Katrina Nguyen has escaped an abusive home and has been taken in by a talented mentor and mother figure. But Shizuka hasn’t taken Katrina in out of the kindness of her own heart; she also wants to eventually sell Katrina’s heart to the devil in order to save her own, as she has already done six times before.

This is an extremely exciting and dynamic novel by one of the great modern American trans authors. A gripping and beautiful transgender novel that celebrates music, genre, and found family.

Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

hell followed with us

Andrew Joseph White is an American trans author of YA horror; his novels are angry things, exploring and projecting themes of patriarchal abuse and systemic violence. Hell Followed With Us, in particular, is about the damage done by organised religion, cult-like thinking, mob mentality, othering, and vilifying. All of this is presented in a post-apocalyptic world. And that apocalypse was caused by an evangelical cult.

Our protagonist, Benji, is a sixteen-year-old trans boy, raised in this cult, and genetically altered to be their grand bioweapon — the “Seraph”. To create this world, the cult of Angels unleashed a diseased called the Flood, which killed many and mutated others into walking monstrosities known as Graces. Despite growing up in this cult, Benji’s self-awareness about his trans identity gave him the strength to flee.

His supportive father died in the process of helping him get out, and soon Benji joins a team of queer youths who are fighting back against the Angels. But secrets about within this group, and they are a dysfunctional bunch. In true YA fashion, this is a novel that doesn’t shy away from the drama of queer teenagehood, even in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

A terrifying piece of gruesome, gruelling, and unapologetically angry YA horror from a fantastic trans author, Hell Followed With Us is a must-read.

Buy a copy of Hell Followed With Us here!

A Short History of Trans Misogyny by Jules Gill-Peterson

A Short History of Trans Misogyny by Jules Gill-Peterson

Separated into three detailed chapters, and bookended by a compelling introduction and an assertive conclusion, A Short History of Trans Misogyny blends history, philosophy, politics, and anthropology to paint a vivid picture of trans misogyny, beginning in the early decades of the 19th century. In its introduction, Gill-Peterson defines trans misogyny, tethers it to broader issues of misogyny, racism, classism, and sets out a few modern examples.

From here, the chapters in this short nonfiction cover the effects of colonialism by white Christian Europeans, the entangled history of drag queens, the underground gay scene, the activism of gay and trans people in the 20th century, and a lot more besides. We see how trans misogyny began with laws and social rules being set down by white colonialists, and how that has brought us to where we are today.

This is an eye-opening short-but-dense text that perfectly lays out the origins and the escalation of trans misogyny, as well as how it ties into both conservative values and the misguided attitudes of so-called feminist activists. A Short History of Trans Misogyny is a valuable work, brilliantly researched and expertly expressed to the reader.

Buy a copy here!

Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin

manhunt felker martin

Manhunt is a post-apocalyptic novel that’s not for the faint of heart, written by one of the most punk and daring trans authors working today. This is a novel reminiscent of The Road and Y: The Last Man, but here in Manhunt the disease that has ravaged humanity and reduced the US to a wasteland is one that affects testosterone.

This means that most women, cis and trans alike, as well as some trans men, are safe from the virus. Most cis men have been reduced to cannibalistic zombie-like creatures that sexually assault and kill on sight. They are toxic masculinity taken to its most frightening degree.

These hungry zombies are how many of us see toxic men already; they are allegorical of the frightening and dangerous men of this world. But the other threat in Manhunt is a cult of humans (similar to the groups found in The Walking Dead). These are proud and powerful TERFs who are rounding up the trans women of this apocalyptic world.

Once again, this feels like the endgame for the bigotry that is transphobia, and our protagonists are two trans women trying to stay alive as they are hunted from two different sides.

Buy a copy of Manhunt here!

Yes, You Are Trans Enough by Mia Violet


Mia Violet is a wonderful writer and blogger, and a vital voice in the transgender community. Her book, Yes, You Are Trans Enough, is a vindication of the rights of trans people, cementing her as one of the great trans authors of the decade. It has been cherished and praised by members of the trans community as one of the most valuable and empathetic tg stories in print right now.

In her book, Mia recounts, with honest and in detail, her own personal experiences with coming out as trans and growing to understand and love herself. It also widens its scope to tackle misinformation, as well as the narratives that trans people are often left to suffer at the hands of biased and lazy media bodies.

Uplifting and scathing in equal measure, Yes, You Are Trans Enough is ultimately a validating celebration of trans people and transgender stories, peppered with grounding and sobering warnings about the dangers of toxic narratives in the media.

Buy a copy of Yes, You Are Trans Enough here!

Variations by Juliet Jacques

variations juliet jacques

Iconic British trans woman, and author of the celebrated Trans: A Memoir, Juliet Jacques has been around and done a lot. With Variations, she has written a monumental collection of short stories, closely inspired by real-life accounts by British transgender men and women from the past two hundred years.

Juliet Jacques is one of the UK’s most beloved trans authors, and here she’s turned her skill to documenting transness across two centuries. Intensely researched, every story here is an adaptation of a letter, article, script, interview, or account of some sort, written by or about a real trans person from the UK.

Taking various different forms, these stories are all unique, set in different decades, facing different issues, featuring different trans people living wildly different lives. Variations shows the breadth and scope of trans life, celebrating its existence and highlighting its struggles.

Watch our review of Variations here!

Buy a copy of Variations here!

Uncomfortable Labels by Laura Kate Dale


The full title of Laura Kate Dale’s book is Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman. It’s a small book that covers a broad range of issues and experiences, proving her weight and importance as one of the UK’s vital voices amongst trans authors.

Laura Kate Dale is a UK-based video game critic, enormously successful and beloved within her community. She is also a trans woman who has lived her life with autism and the struggles and discomforts that come with it. In this incredible memoir – one which toes the line between being personal and being factual – Dale calls on her own personal experiences with coming out as trans.

Dale also explores a wealth of facts and data regarding gender dysphoria, mental health issues, autistic spectrum disorder, and more in order to provide readers with an informed, comforting, enlightening, narrative. For readers who are not trans, there is so much to learn here. And for those who are, I hope that you find a connection with this most personal and informative of tg stories and your own personal story.

Read our full review of Uncomfortable Labels here!

Buy a copy of Uncomfortable Labels here!

Gender Euphoria by Laura Kate Dale

gender euphoria laura kate dale

Moving on from telling her own story in Uncomfortable Labels, Laura Kate Dale — now one of the UK’s biggest trans authors — has here edited (and written one third of) an essay collection documenting the beauty and excitement of being transgender, non-binary, intersex, and otherwise non-cisgender.

A diverse collection of voices from across the non-cisgender spectrum have here been brought together to tell their stories of gender euphoria. Every essay is a breath of happy air, pushing back against the often overwhelming narrative of gender dysphoria and the struggles of being transgender.

From the excitement of noticing their body change and become what they want it to be, to getting the gay wedding of their dreams, these are intimate and personal tales of euphoria by proud trans, non-binary, and intersex writers. A stunning collection that celebrates transness in all its forms. A necessary and comforting read.

Buy a copy of Gender Euphoria here!

To Strip the Flesh by Oto Toda

Translated from the Japanese by Emily Balistrieri

to strip the flesh manga

Oto Toda’s To Strip the Flesh is a queer manga that follows the personal journey of a young trans man, as well as that of his relationship to his father. Separated into two parts (both included in the To Strip the Flesh short story collection), this manga begins with Chiaki Ogawa, the son of a hunter, making a living by uploading his work process to YouTube.

His followers leave comments about Chiaki’s breasts and curves, both of which he is eager to be rid of, all while he is receiving pressure from his dying father to get married and be a blushing bride. As we move forward, we watch Chiaki’s body and mind, as well as his relationship to his father, morph into something happier and healthier.

This is a short and sweet transgender manga which, as a bonus, was also translated by a transgender Japanese-to-English translator.

Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton

summer fun thornton

Summer Fun is one of the most dynamic and beautiful novels by one of the most talented trans authors out there. Written in an epistolary style, Summer Fun is set in 2009 and tells the story of a young trans woman living in rural California. She is writing letters to her idol: the member of a Beach Boys stand-in band.

This band, the Get Happies, were the defining sound of Americana in the 1960s, and Gala has always felt an intense bond with B— and the sound he created with his band. In her letters to him, she tells him his own story of childhood, friendship, and artistic success, as well as her own current story of meeting and dating an amateur filmmaker.

This is an intensely sweet and moving tale that dynamically shifts through time and perspective, intimately and smartly, to move our hearts and call out for empathy from the reader.

Buy a copy of Summer Fun here!

A Dream of a Woman by Casey Plett

a dream of a woman

A Dream of a Woman is a hard-hitting short story collection by one of Canada’s biggest trans authors, Casey Plett. These stories explore the experiences of modern trans women, both big and small. The tales here tread varied terrain, as themes of belonging and love and obsession are touched upon. These stories poke at our loneliness and isolation; our fears and trepidations.

The very first story, Hazel and Christopher, tells the tale of two childhood friends who reconnect as adults after one of them has transitioned. They fall in love, only for Christopher to finally admit that he wishes to transition as well. And here we see Hazel’s complicated reaction to this news.

It’s a collection that shines a light on all the darker corners of the trans experiences; the moments and interactions and feelings and relationships that often get ignored, or that we simply forget to discuss. It’s illuminating, no matter what kind of reader you are — genderqueer is cisgender — you’ll get something very valuable out of this collection of trans stories.

Buy a copy of A Dream of a Woman here!

Whipping Girl by Julia Serano


This is perhaps one of the most famous and most celebrated transgender stories around. A lot of the trans fiction and non-fiction we mention here has been published within the last year or two.

Whipping Girl, however, has had a little more time to sink into the public discourse. Published more than five years ago, this book has been repeatedly hailed as the definitive book on trans people, their experiences and their shared narrative. Whipping Girl is a transgender manifesto that comes at transgender issues from a personal, social, and biological angle (author Julia Serano being both an activist and a biologist in her ordinary life).

It’s a treatise that stands for intersectional feminism and rights for trans people. It’s a guidebook, a friend, and a teacher for all people, trans or not, which highlights the power of Julia Serano as one of our most vital trans authors.

Buy a copy of Whipping Girl here!

Who’s Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler

Who's Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler

Non-binary feminist philosopher Judith Butler needs no introduction. Their work as a writer and teacher is legendary; their career as a great academic voice spans decades. Who’s Afraid of Gender? is the first attempt at writing something that goes easy on the academese and presents itself as something more palatable to the general public. It’s a book that sets out a clear question in its title before spending ten chapters answering it.

Most of us already know who’s afraid of gender. It’s the conservative leaders and lawmakers; those with authoritarian ideals; the “gender critical” transphobes. And these are the exact people whose ideologies Butler spends the book exploring and arguing against. This is very much a book of and for our time. It is not a manifesto, nor is it a piece of philosophy. It is simply a presentation of facts and arguments from several angles.

While it doesn’t always succeed at conveying anything new or groundbreaking in the discussion of gender and those who fear it, it is an excellent source of information for those who wish to better understand those who hate and fear us, as well as the power they hope to gain by doing so. And it should also be noted that “gender” is a broader umbrella than just trans people, as Butler explores in satisfying detail.

Not Just a Tomboy by Caspar J. Baldwin


This is a narrative that explores coming out as trans across decades, from the 90s to now. Not Just a Tomboy examines how the social discourse, conversation, and media coverage surrounding transgender visibility has evolved over the years, all the while remaining entirely intimate and introspective.

Most tg stories have the effect of being comforting and supportive, whether that’s intentional or not (though it usually is), and Baldwin’s tale is no different. Tracing his life experiences from childhood, through his teen years, and into adulthood, it goes a long way in supporting the vital understanding that gender dysphoria and being trans has no age limit.

Buy a copy of Not Just a Tomboy here!

Read More: 7 Books to Help with Your Mental Health

Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass by Lilah Sturges


So, Lumberjanes was originally the invention of the delightful writer and editor Shannon Watters. It’s a comic book series about a group of campers who go on adventures little and big, dealing all the while with strange and supernatural happenings.

It’s a delight, always. But Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass is something special, carrying the title of being the first full-length graphic novel of the Lumberjanes canon. And this particular book is written by beloved trans writer Lilah Sturges, a woman who positively and jovially supports her fellow members of the trans community constantly and with so much pure love.

While this isn’t, strictly speaking, transgender fiction, it is fiction written by a trans writer. And we need to see more and more of that, especially in the world of comic books.

Buy a copy of Lumberjanes here!

Trans Like Me by CN Lester


CN Lester is a genderqueer writer, journalist, and classical music singer/songwriter. In short, they are a powerhouse of artistic talent, activist strength, and a vital voice in the transgender and non-binary communities. Trans Like Me’s subtitle, A Journey for All of Us, is vital in espousing their message that this is a book for everyone: trans people, non-binary and genderqueer people, allies, supporters, family members, and those who simply want to understand.

In Trans Like Me, Lester is opening up the transgender discourse, pulling it apart and looking at it from all angles. They discuss activism and the media, provide personal and detail tg stories, and educate readers with vital facts and unbiased information.

This is the book that can perhaps most help those who want to understand the conversation surrounding trans rights and the very existence of trans and genderqueer people, especially if they are not trans themselves.

Buy a copy of Trans Like Me here!

Tranny by Laura Jane Grace


If I might speak personally for a moment, it was Laura Jane Grace’s story which first brought to light, for me, the modern experiences of transgender people. It was one of the first transgender stories I personally paid attention to. I had been a huge fan of her punk band Against Me! for years before Grace came out as trans. When she did, her band and her fans showered her with love and support, as did her wife.

Grace’s hidden truth about her gender dysphoria had been tucked into lyrics in her songs for years. Once she was out, though, she wrote the band’s magnum opus: Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Fast forward a few years and the publication of Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout.

The word ‘tranny’ is certainly not a favourite one these days, but perhaps you can chalk this up to a minority member of society (a punk rock star, no less) turning a slur back on the world. The book itself is a pacey, raw, energetic, engaging thrill-ride.

Buy a copy of Tranny here!

Trans Mission by Alex Bertie


First things first: we have to pause for a second to admire this fantastic pun of a title. All right. Now to what this book is. Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard is the personal biography of a ftm transgender person who understood what he was at the age of 15 and would then set out on a trans mission to become in the public eye what he always was inside.

Alex’s story is full of sardonic wit and real laugh-out-loud moments. Even its cover lets you know that Alex is coming at his story from a positive angle, which is a colossal breath of fresh air.

Of course, nobody could be confused by why so many transgender stories are serious and often sorrowful — trans people fight simply for their right to exist and be seen right across the globe — but still, having a more happy, positive, jovial tone really encourages Alex’s trans readers to celebrate being trans.

Buy a copy of Trans Mission here!

Read More: The Best Books by Women in Translation 2019

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo


There’s an uplifting amount of transgender fiction being published right now, but so much of it is written by non-trans writers. And while that isn’t always a problem, it does mean that the author isn’t necessarily speaking from a place of personal experience. And so, we have chosen to include a piece of tg fiction specifically written by a transgender writer.

Meredith Russo’s novel, If I Was Your Girl, is a joyous narrative piece of transgender fiction that puts the focus on not being a tragedy. So much trans representation in fiction brings the trans character’s story to a tragic ending, which is not the kind of narrative we want to be engrained in the public discourse. That’s why this particular piece of tg fiction is so important. It’s a TA trans novel written by a trans author that is full of hope.

It’s detailed, full of highs and lows, but it reminds its trans readers that their own ending can and should be a happy one, making this one of the most vital pieces of transgender fiction, and will go down as one of the great transgender stories.

Buy a copy of If I Was Your Girl here!

The Membranes by Chi Ta-wei

Translated from the Chinese by Ari Larissa Heinrich

the membranes chi

This final book is a bit of a wild card, only because its author is not transgender. He is, however, a scholar of LGBTQ literature and a celebrated writer of queer fiction in Taiwan. And, given the status of queer and trans authors as punk and rebellious artists, The Membranes arguably deserves a spot on this list.

The Membranes is a speculative sci-fi novel set at the turn of the 22nd Century, in a world where humans live in cities on the ocean floor, protected from the sun after the evaporation of the o-zone layer. Our protagonist is a transgender woman named Momo, a dermal care technician who was born of a test tube and now estranged from her mother.

Exploring the details of Momo’s transness would be spoiling the novels many incredible twists and turns, but knowing that she is trans going in won’t spoil anything by itself.

This is a queer sci-fi novel that plays with the lines between genders, sexual relationships, and more. Originally published in 1995, it is a Taiwanese novel far ahead of its time, and ahead of the status of the entire world in the 1990s.

Buy a copy of The Membranes here!

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