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11 Books That Celebrate Transgender Identities

Books About Transgender Identities
At Fable, we are always looking for more books with authors and characters centering the transgender identity and experience. As book-banning efforts attempt to silence trans voices, it’s essential to acknowledge and support transgender identities all year round.

What does it mean to be transgender?

Transgender people are people whose gender identity is different than the gender they were assigned at birth. A gender people are assigned at birth is typically determined by the body parts they have. Most people who are assigned male at birth grow up to be men and most people who are assigned female at birth grow up to be women. But some people's gender identity shifts and becomes different than the identity they were assigned at birth and those people usually describe themselves as transgender. It's important to understand that gender is a spectrum and cannot be implied by just outward appearance. Some transgender people identify as neither male nor female, or as a combination of both. There are multiple terms people may use to describe their gender identity when it does not fit the gender binary, such as non-binary and genderqueer.Once a year, the world celebrates Trans Awareness Week and the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November. Transgender Day of Remembrance is an observance that honors the memory of trans people who have lost their lives due to acts of anti-transgender violence that year. The day is used to bring visibility and show support for the community. At the end of March, the world celebrates International Transgender Day of Visibility. Here's more about that important day:

"Trans Day of Visibility is an annual awareness day celebrated around the world. The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice."

11 books about the transgender experience!

1. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

felixEven though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself. Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.

2. Out of the Blue by Jason June

out of the blueFrom Jason June, author of the breakout teen debut novel Jay’s Gay Agenda, comes Out of the Blue, a stand-alone dual POV queer rom-com that asks if love is enough to change everything you’ve grown up believing. Perfect for fans of Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas and Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly.

3. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

cemeteryWhen his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

4. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

detransitionThe lives of three women—transgender and cisgender—collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires around gender, motherhood, and sex.

5. This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

this is how it always isThis is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

6. Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

meet cute diaryNoah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.

7. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

petWhen Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told about monsters. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question--How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

8. Nevada by Imogen Binnie

Maria and her girlfriend, Steph, break up, Maria goes into a tailspin, and then onto a cross-country trek in the car she steals from Steph. She ends up in the backwater town of Star City, Nevada, where she meets James, who is probably but not certainly trans, and who reminds Maria of her younger self. As Maria finds herself in the awkward position of trans role model, she realizes that she could become James’s savior—or his downfall.

9. Dreadnought by April Daniels

dreadnoughtDanny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

10. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

An Unkindness of GhostsAster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot--if she's willing to sow the seeds of civil war.

11. The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

vivekOne afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious.

Find LGBTQ+ reading book clubs and book recommendations on Fable

In a world struggling with cognitive dissonance and toxic behaviors on social media, we believe that a reading habit delivers digital nutrition. Fable community members enjoy the many benefits of reading while making deeper human connections with other readers. Start by exploring our exceptional book recommendations from some of the world’s great tastemakers. Each Folio covers an important theme, and some of our Folio curators include LeVar Burton, Paulo Coelho, Wolfgang Puck, and Jasmine Guillory. 
Discover great queer recommendations on Fable!
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Every week, we update our Fable blog with new features, interviews, and reader resources. Explore any of these pages to become a better reader and discover book recommendations in every genre. 

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