7 Novels from Transgender Authors to Add to Your TBR List
Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 13-19) is an awkward phenomenon: a week-long “celebration” leading up to Trans Day of Remembrance’s grim commemoration of lives lost to transphobic violence. Yet this juxtaposition of life and death all too often shapes the reality of trans life.
Complicating the matter is that “awareness” is never exactly as liberating an experience as we want it to be; for many trans people, after all, to be made visible is to be made vulnerable. If “awareness” is to offer any balm at all, it has to shun the impulse to reduce us to flat symbols ready for mainstream assimilation. While such symbols might be easy to celebrate, they make us an easy target for exploitation and violence. Meaningful awareness of trans people foregrounds our multiplicity: It understands that we are everywhere, living radically distinct lives, and the loss of any of us is the loss of a whole world.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a reading list of contemporary and upcoming fiction from transgender authors that I hope emphasizes the vastly different voices with which we speak: