Wednesday, June 12, 2019

New and Notable - Upcoming Trans & Non-Binary Reads

If you are like me, then there is nothing quite like the joy of anticipation that comes from pre-ordering a book that speaks to your heart, and then having it arrive days, weeks, or months later . . . like a little present to yourself. There is just something special about a book you have waited for.

So, without further ado, here are the New and Notable releases coming to shelves for the second half of the year.

Summer 2019 Releases

Metamorphosis: a Transgender Fantasy (TransMute Book 1)
by Raquel Swann [June 25, 2019]

Every morning when you wake up does the mirror tell you lies?

Today, Raquel doesn't feel quite herself as she opens her eyes in a mountain cottage beside a peculiar old woman with seemingly humble intentions. A choice, in a small shot glass, sits in front of her ready to change her destiny forever. Everything depends on her next move. Everything. A sinister evil which grows in the shadows must be stopped before it's too late. How can you stop what you can't see? Can one person really make a difference?

Metamorphosis is a serious deep dive into the heart of a transgender woman within a fantasy backdrop. This book examines social issues facing the entire LGBTQIA community with a focus on what it truly means to be yourself. There is a hero inside all of us, please join Raquel as she attempts to find strength in the face of unfathomable odds. Whether you are MTF FTM Nonbinary Transgender - there is something to soothe your dysphoria within the pages of this book.

Metamorphosis is Book 1 in the TransMute Series. Please enjoy and do not forget to review it afterwards. All constructive feedback will make me a better writer and person.
I have been following Raquel on social media for quite a while now, and I like her voice, so I'm excited for this - Sally

Michael's Black Dress
by James Thibeault [July 1, 2019]

“Cross-dressing involves dressing as the other gender for entertainment or pleasure. Cross-dressing isn’t necessarily a sign of a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.”—Mayo Clinic

Seventeen-year-old Michael has a secret: he likes to cross-dress. For years, this Black star of the wrestling team has kept this to himself. When his twin sister Shah walks in on him trying on her clothes, he finally confides to her that he wants to wear dresses in public. Understandably, Michael is terrified how his suburban peers will treat him. No one besides Shah knows the truth—not even Michael’s best friend, Jacob. Shah agrees to keep it a secret, but Michael’s eagerness to express himself in dress becomes stronger each day.

Michael’s desire becomes overbearing when he starts dating a girl named Bella. It’s clear that he’s only interested in her because of the way she dresses. In fact, when they go on a date, she wears a stunning black dress, and Michael is determined to wear it. When Bella spends the night in Michael’s bedroom, he decides to put on Bella’s dress while she’s sleeping. Michael is amazed how good he looks in Bella’s dress. When he steps out into the hallway, Shah discovers him in the dress and they fight—Shah demanding that he take off the dress. Michael comes up with what he thinks is an ingenious plan: Shah and Michael will buzz their hair and wear each other’s clothes.

When Jacob decides to make fun of Michael, Michael can’t comprehend how even his best friend turned on him. Together, they violently brawl in the cafeteria—with Michael repeatedly hitting Jacob with a lunch tray, displaying a dark side few people knew existed. Bella breaks up with Michael and he falls into a deep depression. He refuses to leave his room for weeks. Jacob eventually apologizes and presents Michael with a brand new dress. Even though Michael knows the road to acceptance will be long and difficult, he decides to try again to wear dresses. He figures it takes a real man to be strong enough to wear a dress in public, especially in that bastion of unforgiving in-crowds—HIGH SCHOOL.
I am curious (and excited) about the approach here, exploring crossdressing apart from gender identity - Sally

♥ Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family
by Amanda Jette Knox [July 30, 2019]

An inspirational story of accepting and embracing two trans people in a family--a family who shows what's possible when you "lead with love."

All Amanda Jetté Knox ever wanted was to enjoy a stable life. She never knew her biological father, and while her mother and stepfather were loving parents, the situation was sometimes chaotic. At school, she was bullied mercilessly, and at the age of fourteen, she entered a counselling program for alcohol addiction and was successful.

While still a teenager, she met the love of her life. They were wed at 20, and the first of three children followed shortly. Jetté Knox finally had the stability she craved--or so it seemed. Their middle child struggled with depression and avoided school. The author was unprepared when the child she knew as her son came out as transgender at the age of eleven. Shocked, but knowing how important it was to support her daughter, Jetté Knox became an ardent advocate for trans rights.

But the story wasn't over. For many years, the author had coped with her spouse's moodiness, but that chronic unhappiness was taking a toll on their marriage. A little over a year after their child came out, her partner also came out as transgender. Knowing better than most what would lie ahead, Jetté Knox searched for positive examples of marriages surviving transition. When she found no role models, she determined that her family would become one.

The shift was challenging, but slowly the family members noticed that they were becoming happier and more united. Told with remarkable candour and humour, and full of insight into the challenges faced by trans people, Love Lives Here is a beautiful story of transition, frustration, support, acceptance, and, of course, love.
I know a little bit about this story, having followed Amanda on Twitter, so this is a must-read - Sally

Trans Love: An Anthology of Transgender and Non-Binary Voices
edited by Freiya Benson [August 21, 2019]

Selected as a 2019 LGBT Book of the Year by Dazed and Ms. Magazine

A ground-breaking anthology of writing on the topic of love, written by trans and non-binary people who share their thoughts, feelings and experiences of love in all its guises. The collection spans familial, romantic, spiritual and self-love as well as friendships and ally love, to provide a broad and honest understanding of how trans people navigate love and relationships, and what love means to them.

Reclaiming what love means to trans people, this book provokes conversations that are not reflected in what is presently written, moving the narrative around trans identities away from sensationalism. At once intimate and radical, and both humorous and poignant, this book is for anyone who has loved, who is in love, and who is looking for love.
This just sounds like an entirely wonderful read, and one to which I am looking forward - Sally

Autumn 2019 Releases

Drag: The Complete Story
by Simon Doonan [September 17, 2019]

Drag is transformation, communication, and, above all, exaggeration, where gender non-conformity is the plat du jour. This fearless book observes this increasingly complex world by exploring drag's journey – from the surprising, to the sophisticated, to the utterly bizarre – through the twentieth century and up to the present day.

With witty text, dazzling photography, and corralled into thematic chapters, this is the first flamboyant and poignant survey of drag culture. Drag is not just for fabulous queens and drag enthusiasts, but for anyone interested in gender fluidity and the culture surrounding it.
This looks and sounds like a gorgeous book - Sally

Happier as a Woman: Transforming Friendships, Transforming Lives
by Martina Giselle Ramirez & Alicia Partnoy [October 8, 2019]

Martina Ramirez first started wearing her mother’s shoes in secret in second grade, when everyone still knew her as Martin. Growing up in a conservative household as an adopted Mexican-American in a racially segregated city, she swore she would not be just another crime or teen pregnancy statistic. She lived up to that promise when Martina was named high school valedictorian, became a tenured professor at a prestigious university, and had a family. It was only then, after she had become established in her life and career, that she was able to finally be her true self.

Happier as a Woman is not just a story of one woman’s transition. It is a story about relationships – those she fostered with herself, those that were hurt, those that were saved, and those that would not have existed if not for Martina’s desire to be a mentor, to be the change. Martina made it her mission to pave the way for all of those that would come after her – from the women seeking to break through the glass ceiling to fellow victims of emotional abuse – regardless of who they appeared to be on the outside.

As though all the emotions she had to bottle up in her youth have become more potent with age, they now tell a compelling journey of acceptance, self-discovery, and self-love. Martina’s story is artfully told through letters, anecdotes, and powerful interviews conducted by and written alongside her renowned co-author, human rights advocate and memoirist Alicia Partnoy.
Something about that opening line, wearing her mother's shoes in secret, resonates so deeply with me - Sally

Trans Power: Own Your Gender
by Juno Roche [October 21, 2019]

'All those layers of expectation that are thrust upon us; boy, masculine, femme, transgender, sexual, woman, real, are such a weight to carry round. I feel transgressive. I feel hybrid. I feel trans.'

In this radical and emotionally raw book, Juno Roche pushes the boundaries of trans representation by redefining 'trans' as an identity with its own power and strength, that goes beyond the gender binary.

Through intimate conversations with leading and influential figures in the trans community, such as Kate Bornstein, Travis Alabanza, Josephine Jones, Glamrou and E-J Scott, this book highlights the diversity of trans identities and experiences with regard to love, bodies, sex, race and class, and urges trans people - and the world at large - to embrace a 'trans' identity as something that offers empowerment and autonomy.

Powerfully written, and with humour and advice throughout, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of gender and how we identify ourselves.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers is becoming a household name in the trans community - Sally

Identity: A Story of Transitioning
by Corey Maison & Ahmara Smith [November 5, 2019]

What do you do when you are born as one gender, but feel yourself to be another? Gender dysphoria affects thousands of people worldwide, but has been ignored or ridiculed in our culture. With this graphic novel, Corey Maison boldly shares her story of transitioning, so that other kids with gender dysphoria and related conditions will no longer feel so isolated, hopeless, or lost.

Corey Maison was born a girl, trapped in a boy’s body. Growing up, Corey was more interested in dolls than trucks; in dresses than jeans.  Everything about Corey was female . . . except her physicality.

Known as gender dysphoria, this condition is devastating if not acknowledged. But society is slow to be sympathetic to the idea that a person’s gender is not entirely based on physiology, but instead is fluid, and a combination of emotional and psychological self-awareness along with, or sometimes more importantly, physical characteristics.

IDENTITY tells the complex and moving tale of a young person who knows that their true gender is not the one they were assigned at birth. With unconditional love and support from her mother, Corey successfully starts the transition process with hopes of being comfortable in her own skin, being accepted by others, and raising awareness of young people who wish to transition. At 16-years-old, Corey has become a voice for other trans teens, battling bullies and helping others who are on their own individual journeys of identity.
I love the idea of exploring gender transition via a graphic novel, which can reach a whole new audience - Sally

Becoming Eve: My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman
by Abby Stein [November 12, 2019]

The powerful coming-out story of an ultra-Orthodox child who was born to become a rabbinic leader and instead became a woman and an outspoken voice for gender freedom

Abby Chava Stein was raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, profoundly isolated in a culture that lives according to the laws and practices of an eighteenth-century Eastern European enclave, speaking only Yiddish and Hebrew and shunning modern life. Deeply immersed within one of the world's most gender-segregated societies, Stein was born as the first son in a rabbinical dynastic family, poised to become a leader of the next generation of Hasidic Jews.

But Stein felt certain at a young age that she was a girl, even though there was no context for understanding this disconnect. Without access to TV or the internet, and never taught English, she suppressed her desire for a new body while looking for answers wherever she could find them, from forbidden religious texts to smuggled secular examinations of faith. Finally, she orchestrated a personal exodus from ultra-Orthodox manhood into mainstream femininity-a radical choice that forced her to leave her home, her family, and her way of life.

Powerful in the truths it reveals about biology, culture, faith, and identity, Becoming Eve poses the ultimate question for a new generation: How far are you willing to go to become the person you are meant to be?

I am fascinated by the exploration of gender coming solely from the inside, in a world without media inputs - Sally


Do you have an upcoming transgender or nonbinary read that I have missed? Please let me know and I would be delighted to showcase it!

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