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    13 Must-Read Books For Trans Day Of Visibility

    Celebrate Trans Day of Visibility with great trans lit from all categories and genres! Want even more titles? Check out last year's post of YA here!

    1. Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

    One World / Via, Natasha Gornik / Via One World

    Release date: Jan. 12, 2021

    What it's about: The complexities of gender, relationships, and motherhood abound in this bold, clever, and gloriously messy debut about a trans woman named Reese whose lovely life is upended when her partner decides to detransition and live as Ames. Ames isn't exactly thrilled with the aftermath either, having lost Reese and found that life isn't necessarily easier without the person he loves most in it. Then his new girlfriend announces she's pregnant with his baby, and the prospect of becoming a parent gives Ames hope of setting things right again; after all, a baby was the one thing that seemed to be missing in his and Reese's relationship, and Katrina isn't even sure she wants to keep it. Maybe the family he never meant to break apart simply needs different glue to hold it together.

    For upcoming contemporary novels starring trans woman, keep an eye out for Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton, releasing July 27, and f/f romance For the Love of April French by Penny Aimes, out Aug. 31.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    2. Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky

    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) / Via, Molly Hagan / Via

    Release date: Nov. 10, 2020

    What it's about: There's a lot Alex doesn't know or get about what's going on around him, especially since his best friend Mabel moved away. But there's one thing he does know: The name he gave himself, Sasha Masha, the one time he truly let himself free and wore a dress with Mabel, feels like it fits far better than Alex does. The only problem is that he has no idea what that means, either for his own identity or for his new relationship with his girlfriend. When he visits Mabel's old queer group though and meets Andre, it feels like the first step toward figuring out something. And the further into Andre's world Sasha Masha digs, the more he uncovers about who he is and what helps him feel at home in his skin for the first time. This YA novel is a rarity for taking place entirely on the questioning journey; there's no certainty or neatness to be found here. And that makes it all the more of a must-read.

    For an upcoming YA about a trans teen figuring it out, check out Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve, out April 27.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    3. The Tensorate Series by Neon Yang


    Release date: Sept. 21, 2021*

    What it's about: In Yang's Silkpunk fantasy quartet, children aren't assigned a gender at birth; they come to choose their own when they're ready, eschewing all gendered pronouns and garments until then. Among the residents of this world are twins Akeha and Makoya, children of the Protector, birthed for political gain and sold to the Grand Monastery when they were barely out of the womb. They're thick as thieves, until they find they fall on opposite political lines, with Akeha joining in the rebellion and Mokoya dealing with personal loss by embarking on deadly hunts. Rife with danger, magic, politics, and power, the Tensorate series makes for a fascinating world to get lost in.

    *While the four novellas that comprise the series won't be available as a single omnibus until September, if you can't wait, you can grab them individually now, starting with The Black Tides of Heaven or The Red Threads of Fortune. (Yes, either one!)

    For more SFF worlds full of trans and nonbinary characters, check out Finna by Nino Cipri and American Hippo by Sarah Gailey.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    4. Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker


    Release date: May 21, 2019

    What it's about: Being the new girl in school isn't easy but for Zenobia, it means getting to be herself for the first time. Besides, living her aunts is fun and her new friends (one of whom is nonbinary) are cool. But she'll truly get her chance to shine when someone hacks into the school website and posts hateful things on it, and Zen uses her cyber skills to find out who's behind it.

    For more trans girls in middle grade, check out George by Alex Gino and graphic novel The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith, or for nonbinary main characters, try Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass and Spin With Me by Ami Polonsky.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    5. Girl Haven by Lilah Sturges, ill. by Meaghan Carter, let. by Joamette Gil

    Oni Press / Via, Facebook: writerlilahsturges

    Release date: Feb. 16, 2021

    What it's about: Ash's mom created the all-girl fantasy world of Koretris as a child, but it isn't until after she leaves her family behind and Ash brings her friends from Pride Club home that three important things are revealed: 1) the world is real, 2) they're able to unlock it with a spell, and 3) despite it being for girls only, Ash is able to enter. Now the group is tasked with exploring and understanding both their new world and what it means that Ash, whom everyone else has always called a boy, is one of its newest inhabitants.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    6. Can't Take That Away by Steven Salvatore

    Bloomsbury YA,

    Release date: March 9, 2021

    What it's about: Salvatore's warmhearted, make-you-cheer debut stars Carey, a genderqueer teen who's obsessed with Mariah Carey and has the pipes to back it up. But when Carey earns the role of Elphaba in the school's upcoming production of Wicked, it's too much for some of their classmates and school parents to bear. Carey will have to fight for what they deserve, made a little easier by having found a boy who seems to deserve them.

    For upcoming YA with a nonbinary protags to keep on your radar, watch out for The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver, out June 1, and The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta, coming Oct. 12.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    7. The Love Study by Kris Ripper

    Carina Adores, Courtesy of Kris Ripper

    Release date: Sept. 29, 2020

    What it's about: This romance stars Declan, a cis guy who can't seem to settle down, and Sidney, a popular nonbinary YouTuber whose advice show might be just the thing Declan needs. They make the perfect arrangement: Declan goes on the dates Sidney sets up and then reports on the show the next episode. But things get tricky when it turns out the person doing the setting up is the only one Declan actually wants.

    For more male/nonbinary romance, check out Documenting Light by the prolific E.E. Ottoman and Jilted by Lilah Suzanne.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    8. The Ship We Built by Lexie Bean

    Dial Books,

    Release date: May 26, 2020

    What it's about: Rowan has some extremely heavy things to contend with, including gender identity questions and sexual abuse, and there's no one to talk about it with. So he writes letters, attaches them to balloons, and sends them out into the world, coping through the idea that there's someone out there in the world who'll understand what he's going through. But what if that someone is already out there, far closer than he thinks?

    For more middle grade novels starring trans boys, keep an eye out for Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff, coming April 20, and Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar, out Sept. 7.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    9. The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

    Dial Books, Raquel Toledo / Via

    Release date: June 1

    What it's about: Spencer is the new boy in school, having just transferred out of a dangerous situation at his old school where he was targeted for being trans. This time around, he's committed to staying stealth, which gets tricky when he lands on the soccer team and falls for a new boy. According to district rules, Spencer can't play on the boys team as long as he's got an F on his birth certificate and state law won't allow that to be changed. Now Spencer has to decide whether to let his team in on the reason he's benched to see if they can fight back together or give it all up in the hopes of keeping his past in the past.

    For more upcoming YA with transmasc leads, keep an eye on Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee (May 4), The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon (June 1), The (Un)popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez (June 1), and Act Cool by Tobly McSmith (Sept. 7).

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    10. The Seep by Chana Porter

    Soho Press, Peter Bellamy / Via

    Release Date: Jan. 21, 2020

    What it's about: A rare uptopian novel, this debut stars fiftysomething trans woman Trina Goldberg-Oneka, who's living happily with her wife Deeba through an alien invasion called the Seep that changes their world in small, bettering ways. Then Deeba decides she wants to begin life again under the Seep and uses newfound technology to turn herself back into a baby, leaving Trina alone and angry at how the world, and her world, has changed and how easily things now come to people for which she had to fight tooth and nail in the before times.

    For more SFF starring trans women, try Grey Dawn by Nyri A. Bakkalian, Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver, and the upcoming The Calyx Charm by May Peterson, out July 13.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    11. The Hazards of Love by Stan Stanley

    Oni Press / Via, Courtesy of Stan Stanley

    Release date: Mar. 30, 2021

    What it's about: This graphic novel stars a nonbinary Latinx teen from Queens named Amparo who makes an ill-advised deal with a talking cat in the hopes of becoming a better person...only to find the cat taking their identity to become that person. Now Amparo's spirit is stuck in the horrifying Bright World and must use all their wits to get out and get the Girl without turning into the very sort of monster which populates the world they're trying to escape.

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    12. Vanishing Monuments by John Elizabeth Stintzi

    Arsenal Pulp Press, Courtesy of John Elizabeth Stintzi

    Release date: May 5, 2020

    What it's about: Alani left home almost three decades ago, and they haven't seen their mother since. But when they get a call that their mother's dementia has worsened, they come running back to spend some time and try to create some new memories in what's looking increasingly like the end of her life. Being back means confronting some old memories, too, and the more time Alani spends in their old home, the more they realize that whatever it is they've come for may be forever out of reach.

    For more contemporary fiction with nonbinary protagonists, check out Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead and Behrouz Gets Lucky by Avery Cassell.

    Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    13. The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

    Simon & Schuster, Neha Gautam / Via

    Release date: Nov. 24, 2020

    What it's about: Joukhadar's award-winning sophomore novel is narrated by a closeted Syrian American boy in transition five years after his mother's passing, now searching for the perfect name to fit his identity. With everything in his life in upheaval since her death, the only thing that brings him solace is painting murals in the Manhattan neighborhood of Little Syria under cover of night. While doing so, he discovers a lost journal that ties an old artist to his mother through a rare bird and uncovers a history that will lead him to exactly where he needs to be.

    For more beautiful literary fiction starring trans people on emotional journeys, try The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi and the upcoming Future Feeling by Joss Lake (June 1).

    Get it from Bookshop, Target, or your local bookstore via Indiebound here.

    Want even more titles? Check out last year's post of YA titles here!