November is Transgender Awareness Month! Seattle Public Library is excited to honor this celebration of transgender folks through events, book displays, and this book recommendation list of books by trans people.
The first book I would recommend reading this month is Transgender History by Susan Stryker, because the transgender community wouldn’t be where we are today without the community activists who have fought for our rights. The depth of Susan Stryker’s research combined with the personal touch of her strong connections to many trans activists make this book a fast and educational read. For those who prefer a documentary film to a book, Stryker also filmed Screaming Queens about a 1966 act of resistance by trans women in San Francisco.
He Mele a Hilo by Ryka Aoki has been on my own “to read list” for longer than I’d like to admit. Aoki takes readers for a trip on the edge of reality and fantasy as she weaves a story about the lives of many residents of Hilo. Her tale of love, faith, friendship, and identity immerses readers in Hawaiian culture and deeply engages all of their sense through stories of food, dance, and music. And while this book does not have any explicitly out transgender characters, Aoki herself is a queer trans woman and honoring her work is a celebration of trans lives in and of itself.
Even though I have previously reviewed Trans Bodies, Trans Selves for ShelfTalk, it is too good a resource to leave off this list. This compendium contains a wealth of knowledge about health, employment, coming out, immigration, relationships, and legal issues pertaining to transgender folks. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for in depth information, viewpoints, and resources for and by transgender community members.
And for those of you who prefer to engage in person, the Library has a few exciting events coming up. On November 20th, Transgender Day of Remembrance, the University Branch is hosting Local Trans Shorts and Speed Friending from 2-4pm. Join the Library and Blanket Fort Films for a chance to engage with the local queer and trans community through short films and a speed friending activity. After the film screening, everyone will have a chance to get to know each other in 5 minute intervals before a social hour with refreshments. Then, on December 2nd, Seattle Public Library has partnered with the Seattle Non-Binary Collective to show Paris is Burning at the University Branch Library at 4pm. Both events are free, open to the public, and do not require registration.
Additionally, for the overachieving bookworms out there, both the University and Capitol Hill branches currently have displays up honoring Transgender Awareness Month for your browsing pleasure.
~ posted by Micah K.