List of books featuring transgender persons

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This is a list of fictional books featuring transgender persons in either a peripheral or central role.

Bill's New Frock[edit]

Bill's New Frock (1989) by Anne Fine is a children's book for younger readers. Bill wakes up one morning to find he is a girl... Forced off to school in a frilly pink dress, Bill discovers one of the worst days in his life is about to begin. The book has been used successfully to challenge gender stereotyping.

Sacred Country[edit]

Sacred Country by Rose Tremain published in 1992 is a prizewinning novel about Mary Ward, who at the age of six decides she should have been born a boy. The novel concerns her struggle in a small town in England.

Cock and Bull[edit]

Cock and Bull is a 1992 novel by Will Self in which a man and a woman develop sexual organs of the opposite sex.

Stone Butch Blues[edit]

Stone Butch Blues (1993) by Leslie Feinberg tells the story of the life of a butch named Jess Goldberg and the trials and tribulations she faces growing up in the pre-Stonewall era. Published in 1993, the novel became an underground hit before surfacing into mainstream literature. It is generally regarded as a groundbreaking work on the subject of gender and is one of the best known pieces of LGBT literature. While the focus of the novel is on butch and femme culture during the late 1960s, the novel also deals with trans issues such as women taking testosterone to pass as men.

Breakfast on Pluto[edit]

Breakfast on Pluto (1998) is a Booker prize shortlisted novel by Patrick McCabe. It tells of the transwoman Patrick "Pussy" Braden's escape from the fictional Irish town of Tyreelin and a drunk foster mother, to find herself and the biological mother who gave her away.

Cereus Blooms at Night: A Novel[edit]

Cereus Blooms at Night: A Novel (ISBN 9780380731992, Shani Mootoo, 1999) is a multi-narrative novel set in a fictional island in the Caribbean. An ambiguously gendered, but often presumed male, nurse named Tyler tells the troubled family history of Mala Ramchandin, an elderly woman under her care at a nursing home. Ze also relates the story of the transgender man named Otoh, who becomes Tyler's boyfriend. Shani Mootoo's novel explores identity, gender and community.

The Danish Girl[edit]

The Danish Girl (2000) by American author David Ebershoff is a fictionalized account of the life of Lili Elbe, the first person to undergo sex reassignment surgery.


Middlesex is a bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jeffrey Eugenides published in 2002. Narrator and protagonist Cal Stephanides (initially called "Callie") is an intersexed man of Greek descent with a condition known as 5-alpha-reductase deficiency, which causes him to have certain feminine traits.

Inside Out: A Mystery[edit]

Inside Out: A Mystery (ISBN 978-0-31-228582-1, Elise Title, 2003) is a mystery, part of a serial featuring Natalie Price, a corrections officer operating in Boston. In this installment, Price investigates the assault of a post-operative transsexual ex-convict, Dr. Lynn Ingram.[1]


Luna (ISBN 978-0-31-673369-4, Julie Anne Peters, 2004), a young adult novel, is the story of male-to-female transsexual Luna (born Liam) O'Neill as told through the perspective of her sister, Regan. Peters has stated in an interview that she decided to tell the story of Luna through her sister because she is not transsexual herself, and she felt the authenticity of the story would be compromised.[2] The novel has won several awards and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category.[3]

Choir Boy[edit]

Choir Boy (ISBN 978-1-93-236081-3, Charlie Anders, 2005) is a coming of age story of twelve-year-old Berry, a boy who seeks out antiandrogens in order to suppress his testosterone and prevent voice change from affecting his ability to sing in the choir. The novel won the Lambda Literary Award in the Transgender/GenderQueer category.[3]

Bye-Bye, Black Sheep: A Mommy-track Mystery[edit]

Bye-Bye, Black Sheep: A Mommy-track Mystery (ISBN 978-0-42-521018-5, Ayelet Waldman, 2006) is a mystery, part of a serial featuring Juliet Appelbaum, a stay-at-home mom and former public defender. In this installment, Appelbaum is approached by Heavenly, a transsexual woman who asks her to investigate the murder of her sister, Violetta, a prostitute and drug addict.[4]

The Waves That Lift Us[edit]

"The Waves That Lift Us" (ISBN 978-1470032494, Ryan Martin, 2011) is a Young Adult Novella, following the character Riley during his stay at a beach camp for boys. He listens to a bonfire story about a creature who lives on the same beach where the camp is located. Riley spends the rest of beach camp discovering more clues about the hidden monster. While trying to find the truth behind the mysterious creature, he also hears rumors that one of his new friends is transgender.[5]

Game Night: A Role-Play Novel[edit]

"Game Night: A Role-Play Novel" (ISBN 978-1466106598, Leela Ginelle, 2011) is a postmodern novel that follows the coming out process of Taylor, a closeted transwoman, and her girlfriend Jenny, a furry who fantasizes about being a cat. The novel has three parts: Game Night, which centers on Taylor and Jenny's relationship, Denny: A Public Life, which looks at a new character Denny (who may be a combination of Taylor and Jenny), and Leela's Story: 5 Essays, a section composed of memoir-esque essays looking back on the life of Taylor, pre-transition. Game Night is available as an e-book.


Parrotfish (ISBN 978-1416916222, Ellen Wittlinger, 2007) is a young adult novel that describes the coming out story of a transgender teenage boy named Grady. The title refers to the fact that parrotfish can change their gender.[6]

10,000 Dresses[edit]

10000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert is a children's picture book about a young transgender girl named Bailey whose family does not agree with her desire to wear dresses. During the course of the book, she meets an older girl who needs dress ideas and who does not disagree with Bailey's gender identity.


Refuse by Elliott DeLine is the story of a 22 year old female-to-male-transsexual named Dean and his would-be love affair with his college roommate, another trans man with a girlfriend and a successful indie rock band. It is Dean's fictional memoir with many references to classic literature and the English alternative rock band The Smiths. Much of the novel takes place in Syracuse, NY, New York City, and a fictional college campus in the Lower Hudson Valley[7]

The Butterfly and the Flame[edit]

The Butterfly and the Flame by Dana De Young is dystopian novel released May 4, 2011 [8] The story is set in the year 2404 A.D. in a time where technology and society have relapsed and a corrupt and repressive theocracy known as the Dominion of Divinity rules most of what was once the United States. The main protagonist is a male to female transgender teenager by the name of Emily La Rouche who has been living in stealth since the age of six, but is unwittingly forced into an arranged marriage to the son of her land lord when she turns sixteen years old. Much of the story is a backdrop for the American culture wars and incorporates issues such as separation of church and state, GLBT rights, unreasonable search and seizure, invasion of privacy, as well as enhanced interrogation techniques.

Almost Perfect[edit]

Almost Perfect (Delacorte, 2009) by Brian Katcher tells the story of an adolescent closeted transgender girl named Sage. Sage moves to a new high school in Missouri where she meets and becomes good friends with the protagonist Logan. When she confides her secret in Logan, he must choose between his friendship with and attraction to Sage and his inner feelings of homophobia and transphobia. Katcher's novel is geared towards young adults and won the Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association in 2011.[9]

Cherry Single[edit]

Cherry Single (ISBN 0-9600650-5-9, Valory Gravois, 1997) is a novel following 20-something David Nunley in 1970s San Francisco as he walks down several paths, searching for the reason for his avid crossdressing. He begins to share his secret with girlfriends, and gains the confidence to venture out to meet other crossdressers. On another track, he moves toward being a news photographer in an era of anti-war protests, finally meeting the woman who can offer him a lasting relationship. Available to read free at

Man Enough[edit]

Man Enough (Beth Burnett, 2012) is a romantic comedy about a single girl's search for love. While juggling a heartbroken roommate, a pot-smoking mom, and a lesbian best friend who might be falling in love with her, Davey Carter meets the man of her dreams. However, her new man may have some secrets of his own.


Annabel (2010) by Kathleen Winter is a Giller Prize Finalist. In 1968, into the beautiful, spare environment of remote coastal Labrador, a mysterious child is born: a baby who appears to be neither fully boy nor girl, but both at once. Only three people are privy to the secret—the baby's parents, Jacinta and Treadway, and a trusted neighbour, Thomasina. Together the adults make a difficult decision: to raise the child as a boy named Wayne. But as Wayne grows to adulthood within the hyper-masculine hunting culture of his father, his shadow-self—a girl he thinks of as Annabel—is never entirely extinguished, and indeed is secretly nurtured by the women in his life. Haunting, sweeping in scope, and stylistically reminiscent of Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex, Annabel is a compelling debut novel about one person's struggle to discover the truth in a culture that shuns contradiction.

Who I Am and What I Want[edit]

Who I Am and What I Want (book) by David Michael O'Quinn published in 2011 is a novel about a post-operative transwoman trying to lead a "normal" life in Western Massachusetts.

Desiré Andersen has gotten her life back together, after a tumultuous childhood and a disastrous relationship with a pimp ex-boyfriend.

But just as she begins her ascend up the retail management chain, one night changes her life. It not only forces her to confront her past, but makes her choose how to shape her future.

"Who I Am and What I Want" is the journey of how Desiré hit rock bottom and managed to pull herself back up.

My Princess Boy[edit]

An American picture book written by Cheryl Kilodavis and illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone. Kilodavis first self-published the book in 2009, but Simon & Schuster published a new edition the following year.

Kilodavis wrote the book about her son, Dyson, and their family. Dyson's self-expression does not conform to stereotypical gender roles. Dyson expresses himself by wearing clothing meant for girls. My Princess Boy concerns this little boy's place in his loving and supportive family. It should be noted that Dyson's story is noted for his gender expression, not established transgender identity.

Being Emily[edit]

Being Emily (ISBN 978-1594932830) by Rachel Gold (published 2012 by Bella Books) is the first young adult novel to tell the story of a transsexual girl from her perspective. In the story, Emily (born Christopher) begins to come out during her junior year of high school, first to her girlfriend Claire and then, with the help of an understanding therapist, to her family. Kate Bornstein described it as: "Powerful and empowering, with an optimistic message that we all need more of in our lives."[10]

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children[edit]

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children (ISBN 978-0738732510, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, 2012). From School Library Journal: "Elizabeth Williams knows he has always been a guy, and if he can only get through graduation in a few weeks, he can begin his new life as Gabe. He is transitioning, but his family refuses to acknowledge him, and his classmates bully him. The only person who supports him is his BFF, Paige, and, predictably, he has a crush on her but can't take a chance on ruining their friendship. Gabe is a music geek, and his ultra-cool, grandfatherly neighbor John, a former DJ, lands him a community radio show, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children."


Silver (Novel) by Scott Cairns (Novelist) published in 2012 tells the story of how, on his death bed, it is revealed that Avery Silver, father and widow, was in fact a woman. The book is set in both Victorian and Edwardian London and follows the dual narrative of Avery Silver, as he transitions in the 1860s, and also Imogen Bancroft, Avery's daughter who struggles with the truth of her fathers identity and her own heritage.

The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy[edit]

The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy (ISBN 978-0987976307, S. Bear Bergman, 2012) Title-character Tulip deals with the birthday wishes of all the nine-year-olds in North America. Tulip receives a wish from a child known as David who wishes to live as Daniela. He doesn't understand how to help, so he seeks the wise counsel of the Wish Fairy Captain and learns (and teaches) how to help and respect a gender-independent young person. The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy was named a Lambda Literary Award Finalist in 2013.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown[edit]

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (ISBN 978-0316213103, Little Brown, 2013) features a periphery character, Valentina, who is living in a Vampire ghetto.[11] She came to Coldtown in order to have a gender reassignment surgery, but was unable to get it done. However, she falls in love with Jameson, who is another human living in this area. He loves her, too, and they both help save the main protagonist and her little sister.


Transgression (ASIN: B00GBFT8JW, Voodoo Lily Press, 2013) by Theo Fenraven features a main character, Sky Kelly, who is an MtF transsexual prior to operation, living in Los Angeles, who links up with a bisexual actor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Elise Little official website". Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  2. ^ Cynthia Leitich Smith (2004). "The Story Behind The Story - Julie Anne Peters on Luna". Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  3. ^ a b "2004 Lambda Literary Awards Recipients and Finalists". Lambda Literary Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  4. ^ "Ayelet Waldman official website". Archived from the original on 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  5. ^ " The Waves That Lift Us". 
  6. ^ Ellen Wittlinger's website
  7. ^ Elliott DeLine's website
  8. ^ "Dana De Young official website". Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  9. ^ Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. “Touching Teen Novel About Transgender Girl Wins 2011 ALA Stonewall Award”, ‘’GLAAD’’, USA, January 26, 2011. Retrieved on 2011-03-02.
  10. ^ "Being Emily official website". Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  11. ^

External links[edit]