Pride Reads: BIPOC Trans/Non-Binary Poets

Pride month is a great time to be delving deeper into poetry, and in particular the kind of poetry that shares aspects of LGBTQIA+ experience. More specifically, voices that are often pushed to the margins of the queer community – the voices of trans and non-binary Black, Indigenous, People of Color – are especially important to seek out during this time. The books listed in this post are written by trans and non-binary BIPOC and whose writing is born directly out of those experiences.

Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul by Ryka Aoki
This is the first collection of poetry published by trans and Japanese American poet Ryka Aoki. The poems contained here are certainly working intentionally with her heritage and identity, but she has also been careful to make sure that her works appeal to a broader audience, as well. In an essay for Publisher’s Weekly, Aoki once wrote, “If a trans musician can make the audience cry by playing Chopin, how else, but as a human, can she be regarded? And if a book written by a queer trans Asian American can make you think of your own beaches, your own sunsets, or the dear departed grandmother you loved so much…. then what more powerful statement of our common humanity can there be?” This sentiment certainly shines through in her writing here. Continue reading “Pride Reads: BIPOC Trans/Non-Binary Poets”

Fresh Transgender and Non-binary Fiction

As readers’ interest in diverse voices and experiences continues to expand, it can be challenging to keep up. Here’s a variety of recent novels and stories that reflect on aspects of transgender and non-binary lives and identities; see our accompanying list for more.

Continue reading “Fresh Transgender and Non-binary Fiction”

November is for transgender and intersex awareness

This November marks an important time for transgender and intersex communities — not only as a crucial moment for intersex political organizing, but also as a period of celebration and remembrance: Intersex Solidarity Day is celebrated on November 8th, the birthday of Herculine Barbin.  Barbin was a French intersex woman who was forcibly assigned male by a court after her affair and medical examinations were made public.  Transgender Awareness Week is the second week of the month, leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th. This international observance honors the lives of trans people, and remembers those who have been killed due to transphobic violence. As nonbinary library employees of color, we’ve compiled this list of books that center the lives and experiences of intersex, transgender, and non-binary people.

I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shreya
This short volume of essays is a deeply vulnerable examination of masculine violence in our society. The essays are accessible, profoundly honest, and they serve to help us all think more deeply about gendered violence. Content warning for self-harm, transmisogyny (violence against trans women), abuse. Continue reading “November is for transgender and intersex awareness”

Celebrating Trans Lives

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.

transgender-historyThe 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. Continue reading “Celebrating Trans Lives”