Today is Trans Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate trans and nonbinary people around the globe and to honour the courage it takes to live authentically. We here at KWL wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our favourite books by Trans and Nonbinary authors, and to say to the Trans/NB members of our community that we see you today, and every day, and we are proud to have you here.
Chaser by Dharma Kelleher
When teenaged murder suspect Holly Schwartz jumps bail, bounty hunter Jinx Ballou is assigned to return the missing teen. But new evidence leads Jinx to wonder if Holly is really a ruthless killer or simply another victim. Chaser is a gritty, fast-paced thriller filled with groundbreaking characters, mind-bending twists, and heart-pounding action
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
Disgraced captain Kel Cheris must recapture the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles from the heretics. Cheris’ careers isn’t the only thing at stake: if the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next. This gripping sci-fi novel is the first installment in the Hugo Award nominated Machineries of Empire series, and you’ll want to devour all *NUMBER OF BOOKS* as quickly as possible.
The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
January is a dying planet – divided between a permantley frozen darkness on one side, and blazing endless sunshine on the other. Sophie, a student and reluctant revolutionary, is supposed to be dead after being exiled into the night, but is saved by forming an usual bond with the beasts who roam the ice. This haunting and beautiful novel follows Sophie and her ragtag found family as fate guides their ongoing odyssey to change the world.
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
It’s 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. But Paul’s also got a secret: he’s a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather club, Paul transforms his body and his gender at will in this riotous, razor-sharp adventure through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure.
Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg
Jack Sheppard and Edgeworth Bess were the most notorious thieves, jailbreakers, and lovers of eithteenth-century Lonon. Yet no one knows the true story. Until now. Reeling from heartbreak, a scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript – a gender-defying expose of Jack and Bess’s adventures. Is Confessions of the Fox an authentic autobiography or a hoax?
Skeleton Keys by Riley Black (Brian Switek)
In this delightful natural and cultural history of bone, Riley Black explains where are skeletons came from, what they do inside us, and what others can learn about when these artifacts of mineral and protein are all we’ve left behind.
I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
In order to survive childhood, writer/singer/artist Vivek Shraya had to learn to convincingly perform masculinity. As an adult, she makes daily compromises to steel herself against everything from verbal attacks to heartbreak. In a raw and honest memoir, Shraya delivers an important record of the cumulative damage caused by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia.
Something That May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel M. Lavery
In a personal collection of essays, Ortberg offers laugh-out-loud funny accounts of both popular and highbrow culture while mixing in meditations on gender transition, family dynamics, and the many meanings of faith. From a thoughtful analysis of the beauty of William Shatner to a sinister reimagining of HGTV’s House Hunters, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is a hilarious and emotionally exhilarating compendium that combines personal history with cultural history to make you see yourself entirely anew.
All We Knew But Couldn’t Say by Joanne Vannicola
After being pressured to leave home at fourteen, and after fifteen years of estrangement, Joanne learns that her mother is dying. Compelled to reconnect, she visits with her, unearthing a trove of devastating secrets. Joanne relates her journey from child performer to Emmy Award-winning actor, from hiding in the closet to embracing her own sexuality – All We Knew But Couldn’t Say is a testament to love and survival.
Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton
Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials, Snorton attends to how slavery and the production of racialized gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable. In Black on Both Sides, Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.
Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power. Don’t Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America – where very day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.
Pansy by Andrea Gibson
The top-selling queer poet in America, Andrea Gibson’s Pansy balances themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, illness, family and forgiveness with stunning imagery and a fierce willingness to delve into the exploration of what it means to truly heal. While this book is a rally cry for political action, it is also a celebration of wonder and longing and love.