It's serving trans excellence: Transgender Day of Visibility
Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31) is an internationally recognized event that celebrates the accomplishments of transgender communities around the world. This includes trans women, men and trans-identifying non-binary folks. It’s also a chance to reflect on the fact that there is still a long way to go to erase discrimination and transphobia everywhere, including here at home.
No matter the day, it’s important to acknowledge our city’s diverse and vibrant transgender communities for their leadership, creativity and strength. Trans activists, especially BIPOC trans activists, have always spearheaded the push for equal rights for all 2SLGBTQ+ communities. They continue to lead this fight, and that work should be recognized always.
Every day is a good day to celebrate transgender excellence, but here’s a bit more background about this event and how to get involved.
The first Transgender Day of Visibility was founded by American trans activist Rachel Crandall in 2009. She was frustrated that the only widely recognized trans-centred day was the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which reflects on crimes against the trans community and those lost to violence. Rachel wanted a day to place equal emphasis on living members of the community. Since then, TDoV has become recognized around the world and is now led by the youth advocacy organization Trans Student Educational Resources.
Whether you are trans, a family member of a trans or questioning individual, or an ally, you can find many more educational resources through community agencies and organizations like Egale, which has put together helpful guides about proper use of pronouns, inclusive language and allyship, and accounts of trans lived experiences.
As part of TPL’s celebration of transgender excellence and achievement, we have also put together a list of books featuring trans writers, characters and subjects for all ages, as well as links to past programs featuring trans authors and titles. These books are beloved and highly recommended by 2SLGBTQ+ TPL staff, and we can’t wait to share them with you.
On this page
- Recommended Children’s Titles
- Recommended Young Adult Titles
- Recommended Graphic Novels
- Recommended Adult Titles
Calvin by JR and Vanessa Ford
Written by parents of a trans child, this picture book is about a trans boy who discovers the joys of being himself through the support and love of a community of parents, teachers and friends.
Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar
Relevant to current discussions around trans athletes, this middle-grade novel tells the story of a Korean-American trans swimmer who hopes for a fresh start on a new team after being kicked out by a transphobic coach.
Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff
In this middle-grade novel, eleven-year-old Bug wants to enjoy the summer before starting middle school, but between dealing with best friend Moira's new obsession with makeup, clothing and boys, and a ghost desperately trying to communicate a message, Bug realizes he is trans.
Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
Alok Vaid-Menon, a well-known influencer and queer rights activist, presents a vibrant, comprehensive, and well-written guide for children, parents and families that is all about gender, from exploring identity to self-acceptance and inclusivity.
Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky
In this novel of gender identity and queer romance, Alex begins questioning his gender as a young boy. Through experimenting with clothes, makeup, and self-expression, he discovers he may not be a boy at all, but rather, a young woman named Sasha Masha.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Felix, a young transgender man, is maliciously outed while attending a competitive summer arts program. While he initially plots his revenge, instead it sends him on a path to love and self-discovery. Named a Time Magazine Best YA Book of All Time and Stonewall Honor book.
The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons
Spencer’s new school provides a liberal atmosphere, a good chance at starting on their soccer team, new friends, and maybe even romance—but no one knows he’s trans. When a transphobic law forces his coach to bench him, he has to decide whether to sit by or publicly fight for his right to play.
Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words by Dr. Lindsay Herriot and Kate Fry, Eds.
This book, written with trans youth over a series of workshops, explores different facets of what it is like to grow up trans. Each section includes youth writing or art and tips for allyship and further readings to learn more.
Both Sides Now by Peyton Thomas
Toronto author! Finch, a transgender teen, wants nothing more than to win the National Debate Championships and get into Georgetown. However, he must choose between his dream future and betraying everything he holds dear when the assigned debate topic is that of transgender rights. Check out our talk with author Peyton Thomas.
Boys Run the Riot by Keita Gaku
A group of students bands together to create a clothing brand to express themselves. Among them is Ryo, a transgender boy who struggles with his identity and fitting in. While ridiculed for their project, they also find supportive allies among some parents and staff. (Multiple volumes.)
Magical Boy, Vol. 1 by The Kao
Turning the Magical Girl manga trope on its head, the next person in line in this funny and endearing graphic novel turns out to be a trans boy, who learns to use his powers in his own way and also morph the hyperfeminine costume into something more his style.
Dead Collections by Isaac R. Fellman
A crazy romance between a vampire and a grieving widow, this book creates a parallel between the "vampire disease" and dealing with transphobia.
Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
Charming romance about a non-binary person who wants to reinvent themselves by being on a reality cooking show. Little did they know they would meet someone so different and compelling that would not only affect their chances of winning the competition, but also change their life.
The Boy with a Bird In His Chest by Emme Lund
Owen has a secret: there is a bird named Gail who lives inside his chest. Though he lives in constant fear of discovery, as Owen grows up, makes friends and falls in love, he must choose between sharing his true self or continuing to hide. Check out our talk with author Emme Lund here!
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
A complicated and involved story of two trans people and a cis gender woman who, despite the odds, make a family together.
With thanks to Alice, Cameron and Scott for additional book recommendations.
Updated on March 15, 2023 – removed 2022 dates.