7 quick reviews of books featuring trans characters, written by trans authors

As a trans reader, once I started one of these novels, I couldn’t rest until it was finished. I devoured them. Simply seeing trans people printed onto paper was an emotional and beautiful experience. For cis readers, these novels will be an insight into what it means to belong to one of the more marginalised communities in our society.

The world has far to go before it really, profoundly understands what it means to be trans, but reading trans novels is definitely a great way to start.

Here are 7 of my recommendations.

1. Dreadnought, by April Daniels

Darkness is the quiet in which we can understand what was hard to hear in the noise of the light.

Photo by David Levêque on Unsplash

I ought to shun darkness. Walk in the light, hegemonic global religions lecture, a message that evolved into the modern religion of self-help. Any emotion other than happiness is to be abhorred, as we seek the grail of constant joy. We certainly shouldn’t listen to those other emotions, let them be, try and understand their place in our emotional eco-system. We certainly shouldn’t seek out the darkness.

Let’s say you have someone you care about deeply and you just can’t get the pronouns right. You think it’s great that they are finally getting to express their authentic gender, you’re happy for them so why do you keep creating these awfully embarrassing, and damaging situations?

Rewiring the brain

A lot of it is material. Whenever you think two thoughts in connection the brain physically shortens the synapse, the junction where those two thoughts meet, literally making it physically easier to put those two things together again in the future.

My friend Taylor, he…

and before you know it Taylor and he…

L+G+B+T: Trans and Cis Unity

“people dancing on street at daytime” by Nadim Merrikh on Unsplash

The tiny group of cis lesbians that hijacked the head position in the London Pride march were fairly clear about what should happen to the LGBTQ+ movement. They do not want us to stay together. If they can’t kick the T out they want to try and drag the L off onto its own. It was an awful moment for many of us, full of sadness and frustration and anyone still affected by that hate fuelled action should look up #LwiththeT to restore some hope in your belly.

This article sprung from a minor miracle in the aftermath: I exchanged…

This is a love letter, a complicated one. It touches grief, confusion and shame but most of all joy and though it is written to some people I care deeply about I hope it may be of use to others as well. The letter arises from my transition but I’d like to clarify what that is. Like many other trans people now, I do not see myself as transitioning from one gender to another. I am transitioning from confusion to clarity, from night into day, from a social strait-jacket sized too small to free genuine self expression. My transition extends…

Elektra (Dominique Jackson), a powerful, tall trans woman navigating nineteen-eighties Donald Trump’s New York, uses her sculpted beauty to snag a sugar daddy who keeps her in luxury with a large weekly allowance, a penthouse suite and all the expensive gifts she can beg for. Her daddy makes it clear that he is buying what he wants; she is free to enjoy his lavishings so long as she doesn’t proceed with the gender affirming surgery that she desires so heart achingly. She, in turn, uses the money to buy herself her own reign of terror over a house of marginalised…

I won’t weep for lost time. I turned thirty eight when I came out as trans and there’s no use swimming in melancholy about the past but I would like to rake the soil of my subconscious for lessons from a late blooming and so I present six lessons a long time coming.

The Care Trap Whether you’re a natural born pleaser or you’ve worked to focus on giving care and attentiveness, these beautiful characteristics can crowd out your ability to hear yourself. I got it from my mother — the desire to make sure that everyone else is happy…

I woke alone, in the wild. After five years of building a small self-sufficient paradise my partner needed to leave and I was left with foxes and owls for neighbours and it was here alone, beneath the stars, that I gave up trying to be a man.
I’m often asked if being here helped. Did the silence of the hills midwife my waking? Wouldn’t that be a romantic thought — that leaving society behind for the howls of the night creatures crumbles our social artifices, leaving us naked and real. …

Som Paris

Paris has turned her wild home into a free nature retreat for trans and queer people. Her first novel, Raven Nothing, came out in 2020. www.patreon.com/somparis

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