From characters in “Orange is the New Black” to “Transparent,” transgender people are finally being represented in pop culture. This growth in the community isn’t limited to television, as there are some very influential transgender authors and characters in literature.
1. Jan Morris
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“Letters from Hav” by Jan Morris hits close to home. The book details a fictional memoir about being in the country Hav, which is on the brink of war. In 2005 she won the Golden PEN award for “a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature.”
2. Leslie Feinberg
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Leslie Feinberg’s “Stone Butch Blues” is attributed with raising awareness for proper terminology used in the LGBTQ community. This book won the Lambda Literary Award and the American Library Association Gay & Lesbian Book Award. Feinberg prefers pronouns “ze/hir” in order to avoid being forced into a gender.
3. Charlie Jane Anders
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Charlie Jane Anders’s “Six Months, Three Days” won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Novelette. She has been nominated again for Best Novel with her newest book “All The Birds in the Sky.” This book was also listed at number 5 in Time’s “Top Novels of 2016.”
4. Julia Serano
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“Whipping Girl” by Julia Serano is a popular manifesto for both feminists and transgender activists. This book discusses a phenomenon specifically pointed at trans-women who are faced with misogyny. Serano created the term “effemimania” in this novel, Serano describes the societal obsession with male and trans expressions of femininity — an obsession that is rooted in transmisogyny.
5. Vivek Shraya
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Vivek Shraya published 21 personal essays and short stories in her book “God Loves Hair.” Goodreads says the book “navigates complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging.” She has also been a successful musician since she began at the age of 13 and has toured with Tegan and Sara.
Feature image courtesy of Shelf Life Books