Transgender Authors in Creative Writing: Highlights from the UNT Libraries Collections
International Transgender Day of Visibility occurs on March 31st. It is an opportunity to both celebrate the many accomplishments of transgender individuals and to raise awareness about the discrimination they continue to face worldwide.
This year, the University of North Texas Libraries is celebrating transgender authors in creative writing to highlight this area of achievement within the community. It is important to shine a spotlight on transgender authors in creative writing for other reasons as well. Studies show that reading fiction improves the way we interact socially as well as how we think about those interactions. Poetry can pack a novels worth of information into a few paragraphs and can trigger empathy and emotion because the reader has to decode the language by looking at the meaning the author is trying to convey within a personal context. There are also several studies that describe how graphic novels can improve a reader’s critical thinking skills. Although these are generalized statements on the benefits of reading creative writing, we can infer that such generalizations could translate into excellent reasons to read something creative written by a transgender author. If you are on the transgender spectrum, this kind of reading can be a reflection of your own experiences as a form of self-affirmation, or if you do not identify as transgender you can learn ways in which others handle an experience of reaching self-awareness or self-acceptance. It can also give you an opportunity to see things from a different perspective, to walk in their world, wrestle with their choices, and analyze how these experiences make you, as the reader, feel.
We hope this book display inspires you to read some creative writing by a transgender author, to appreciate their many contributions in this area, and perhaps gain a deeper understanding of the discrimination they have and continue to experience.
This book display includes a selection of e-books* written by transgender, non-binary, and two-spirit authors in popular fiction, poetry, and graphic novels. It also includes the database, Book Review Digest, if you would like to search for book reviews of other published works, and it includes some web resources with reading lists.
Article written by Julie Leuzinger (she/her/hers), Women's and Gender Studies Librarian, with contributions from Coby Condrey (he/him/his), Collection Development Liaison Librarian, and Clark Pomerleau (he/him/his), Associate Professor, Department of History.
*The e-books and databases require a UNT EUID to access; however, there are web resources at the bottom of this page that do not require a login.
This book display is primarily focused on e-books, but we also wanted to include the following print books by transgender, non-binary, or two-spirit creative writing authors that you can check out from the UNT Libraries either by finding them in the stacks or clicking the Request pickup link in the catalog record to have them brought to the hold shelf:
You can use the database, Book Review Digest, to locate reviews of books published about a specific topic. For example, enter transgender (highlighted in yellow below) in the text box and click the Search button (circled in red below).
The books you find in the resources below may or may not be in the UNT Libraries collections. If you find something you are interested in, please check the catalog to see if we have it, if not, you can request the book through Interlibray Loan. If you have questions, please contact the Women’s and Gender Studies Librarian, Julie Leuzinger.
LGBTQ Reads is a great resource to find transgender authors (and queer authors, in general), I especially like their Fave Five lists. I included here a couple of them, but I encourage you to use the search feature at the top right of the webpage to use other terms that would be appropriate (such as transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, etc.).
A few more: