Transgender Day of Visibility 2024

This Sunday March 31st we celebrate the International Transgender Day of Visibility.  A day in which we celebrate the lives and stories of transgender people, their contributions to society and highlight the discrimination faced by trans people worldwide.  Here are a selection of books by and about transgender people from all over the world.

Black boy out of time : a memoir / Ziyad, Hari
“One of nineteen children in a blended family, Hari Ziyad was raised by a Hindu Hare Krishna mother and a Muslim father. Through reframing their own coming-of-age story, Ziyad takes readers on a powerful journey of growing up queer and Black in Cleveland, Ohio, and of navigating the equally complex path toward finding their true self in New York City. Exploring childhood, gender, race, and the trust that is built, broken, and repaired through generations, Ziyad investigates what it means to live beyond the limited narratives Black children are given and challenges the irreconcilable binaries that restrict them. Heartwarming and heart-wrenching, radical and reflective, Hari Ziyad’s vital memoir is for the outcast, the unheard, the unborn, and the dead. It offers us a new way to think about survival and the necessary disruption of social norms.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Detransition, baby : a novel / Peters, Torrey
“Reese had what previous generations of trans women could only dream of; the only thing missing was a child. Then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Ames thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese, and losing her meant losing his only family. Then Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she is pregnant with his baby– and is not sure whether she wants to keep it. Ames wonders: Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family, and raise the baby together?” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available in eBook format

Our work is everywhere : an illustrated oral history of queer & trans resistance / Rose, Syan
“Over the past ten years, we have witnessed the rise of queer and trans communities that have defied and challenged those who have historically opposed them. Through bold, symbolic imagery and surrealist, overlapping landscapes, queer illustrator and curator Syan Rose shines a light on the faces and voices of these diverse, amorphous, messy, real, and imagined queer and trans communities. The many themes include Black femme mental health, Pacific Islander authorship, fat queer performance art, disability and health care practice, sex worker activism, and much more.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available in eBook format

Echidna, or The many adventures of Hinenākahirua as she tries to find her place in a colonised world : including throught is the story of Māui-Pōtiki & Prometheus / Ranapiri, Essa May
“Echidna is a dangerous animal; she pokes holes in men just to remind them what kind of monster she is wakes up every single morning and chooses violence cos what choice does she really have? essa may ranapiri’s second poetry collection follows the story of Echidna, their own interpretation of the Greek Mother of Monsters, as she tries to figure out life and identity living in a colonised world. Echidna contends with three strands of tradition; Greek mythology, Christianity and Māori esoteric knowledge, and through weaving them together attempts to create a queerer whole.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available in eBook format.

Kitten / Nuttall, Olive
“Rosemary, a trans girl, has many conflicting qualities. She’s super smart but flawed, polyamorous but timid, promiscuous but inexperienced. She’s surprising, and surprised by herself. A call that Rosemary’s grandmother is dying puts her on the bus from Te Whanganui-a-Tara back to Kirikiriroa. There, with her mother, half-sister, and other family and friends, she remembers the damage of her past. And then Thorn – Rosemary’s long-distance daddy – shows up.” (Catalogue)

The risk it takes to bloom : on life and liberation / Willis, Raquel
“Born in Augusta, Georgia, to Black Catholic parents, Raquel spent years feeling isolated, even within a loving, close-knit family. There was little access to understanding what it meant to be queer and transgender. It wasn’t until she went to the University of Georgia that she found the LGBTQ+ community, fell in love, and explored her gender for the first time. In The Risk It Takes to Bloom, Raquel Willis recounts with passion and candor her experiences straddling the Obama and Trump eras, the possibility of transformation after tragedy, and how complex moments can push us all to take necessary risks and bloom toward collective liberation.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Jan Morris : life from both sides : a biography / Clements, Paul
“Born in 1926, she spent her childhood amidst Oxford’s Gothic beauty and later participated in military service in Italy and the Middle East, before embarking on a career as an internationally fêted foreign correspondent. However, public success masked a private dilemma that was only resolved when she transitioned genders in the late 1960s, becoming renowned as a transgender pioneer. She went on to live happily with her wife Elizabeth in Wales for another five decades, and never stopped writing and publishing. Here, for the first time, the many strands of Morris’s rich and at times paradoxical life are brought together.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also available in eBook format

Faking it : my life in transition / Mewburn, Kyle
“Kyle Mewburn grew up in the sunburnt, unsophisticated Brisbane suburbs of the 1960s and ’70s in a household with little love and no books, with a lifelong feeling of being somehow wrong – like ‘strawberry jam in a spinach can’. In this book, Kyle describes this early life and her journey to becoming her own person – a celebrated children’s book author, a husband and, finally, a woman. She shares the dreams, the prejudice and the agony of growing up trans and coming out, the lengthy physical ordeal of facial feminisation surgery, and her experiences as a woman – good, bad and creepy.” (Catalogue) Also available in eBook format

Summer fun / Thornton, Jeanne
“Gala, a young trans woman, works at a hostel in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. She is obsessed with the Get Happies, the quintessential 1960s Californian band, helmed by its resident genius, B–. Why did the band stop making music? Why did they never release their rumored album, Summer Fun? Gala writes letters to B– that shed light not only on the Get Happies, but paint an extraordinary portrait of Gala. The parallel narratives of B– and Gala form a dialogue about creation–of music, identity, self, culture, and counterculture. Summer Fun is an epic and magical work of trans literature that marks Thornton as one of our most exciting and original novelists.” (Catalogue)

Change for the better : the story of Georgina Beyer / Beyer, Georgina
“George Bertrand was born in 1957, an ordinary boy who was to become an extraordinary woman. As he grew up, George realised he was a woman trapped inside a male body. Once he discovered that men could live as women. Georgina Beyer was born. This book follows that difficult rebirth, Georgina’s time working in the sex industry in the 70s and 80s, a brutal rape in Sydney and her liberation by a sex change operation in 1984. Since then, Georgina has achieved acclaim as an actress, has tutored unemployed youth in drama, was elected to the Carterton District Council in 1993 and became the first transgender mayor in the world in 1995. This no-holds barred account of Georgina’s live is honest and moving, and gives real insight into New Zealand’s prejudices and intolerance of sexual difference.” (Catalogue)