Beyond the Binary: 10 Books with Trans, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer Rep. to Read During Pride Month!

A warm welcome back to the Book Rack, friends! We’re back with yet another book recommendation post and I’m so excited to share today’s list of books that you can all read during Pride – and beyond Pride Month!

Check out our last blog post here!


A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall

  • A trans heroine. A grieving Duke. Two old friends. A moving and beautiful historical romance. Alexis Hall has outdone himself!

  • After being presumed dead at Waterloo, Lady Viola Caroll decided to let the world go on thinking that and begin to live for herself. Sundering the past, Viola does not regret much. The loss of her wealth and title are trivial against the greater loss of her friend and closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood.

  • I would also be remiss not to mention the wonderful side characters in this novel, who radiate just as much as the two main leads. With a mix of queer and playful characters, Hall really creates a wholesome cast of supporting characters for the novel. The side plots intervening in the central storyline had the most fabulous banter and made me fall even more in love with the story overall.

 


Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

  • There's nothing that Reese, a trans woman living in New York City, wants more than to be a mother. She came close to adopting once — but that was before her girlfriend Amy detransitioned to live as Ames, their relationship crumbled, and the two fell out of touch. So when Ames calls up Reese out of the blue to tell her that his boss, Katrina, is pregnant with his child, and that he wants Reese to help them raise it, she gawks in disbelief.

  • Peters’ prose is conversational and astute, with a critical eye that positions each character equally as observer of, and participant in, their own story.

  • Detransition, Baby is delightfully sincere, self-indulgent, and searing all at the same time. Pick it up, flip through a few pages, and I promise that you won’t be able to put it back down.

 


Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

  • An absolutely lovely graphic novel about a Price who wants to wear dresses and a dressmaker who will help him realize who he really is and who he really wants to be.

  • Both characters are wonderful and lovable and, as readers shall soon see, they are surrounded by some pretty amazing secondary characters, too.

  • It's heartwarming and funny. I smiled my way through this graphic novel.

 


Gender Queer: A Memior by Maia Kobabe

  • This memoir is excellent. The author takes us through eir life from childhood up to present day.

  • The subjects of gender, sexuality, and identity are present in all parts of eir life.

  • This could be described as a coming-out story, but a more accurate representation of coming-out. Throughout eir life, e had various identities that led to having to (or choosing to) come out.

 


She Who Became the Sun by Shelly Parker-Chan

  • This novel has so much depth. From the characters that carry so much on their backs - from love to loss, to tragedy and joy - to the setting, to the writing (which is absolutely gorgeous, I was captivated from start to finish.)

  • This novel not only takes on historical attributes, but also touches on the topics of gender and sexuality.

  • In this novel we follow Zhu who's family was ravished by a famine that killed all of them but her, so to save herself she takes the identity of her brother - Zhu Chongba -and heads to a monastery where she finds her fate.

 


Outlawed by Anna North

  • Bank robberies and women's health may not seem like natural companions, but North weaves them together seamlessly in this alternate history Western.

  • Cast out of her hometown for failure to get pregnant after a year of marriage, Ada joins the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang and becomes an outlaw, all the while seeking real information about pregnancy and fertility.

  • Taking place in an alternative 1894, this feminist Western championing for gender and reproductive justice is a necessary and timely read in 2022.

 


Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

  • I love anything having to do with magic, ghosts, being able to see and summon spirits of the dead and this book has all that plus multiple murder mysteries!

  • That's icing on the cake right there for me. And really who doesn't love a beautiful queer romance between a ghost and the boy who summoned him? Truly a remarkable read!

  • This is absolutely the book we need right now. 

 


I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

  • ”If you're queer, your life has the potential to become one long coming-out moment. If I ever want to be called the right pronouns, I'll have to correct people and put myself out there first and who knows what could happen.”

  • This is such a groundbreaking YA book following a non-binary teen that is genuinely going to change lives. It was sadder than I expected, with more of a family focus rather than romance, but I really loved what it was doing and how it covered so much in such a short time.

  • Ben was a great main character, I liked that their reactions seemed realistic for the situation, and I felt they were a character that 'existed' rather than was necessarily designed to be liked or a teaching mechanism. Nathan was a huge angel and I loved him. I just wish there were more interactions between Ben and Nathan to build their chemistry and relationship more, though I do love their romance.

  • Overall this is a wonderful, and necessary book that tackled a lot of issues around homophobia, transphobia, living as a non-binary person and queer experiences.

 


On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

  • My favorite genre, generally speaking, is books about lesbians in space, and On a Sunbeam fits that description perfectly. It is a beautiful graphic novel by Tillie Walden, originally published as a web comic.

  • Our protagonist is Mia, a young woman who, after finishing school, joins the crew of a spaceship in hopes of finding her lost first love.

  • Walden's signature saturated colors and sweeping landscapes combine with romance and space opera tropes to create a moving portrait of a chosen family.

 


Deep Dark Blue by Niki Smith

  • The Deep and Dark Blue is an interesting graphic novel about a world spun with threads.

  • The main characters in the book, Grayce and Hawke have to save their kingdom and legacy from an evil cousin by seeking refuge with weavers, where secrets will be revealed... and questions answered.

  • This is a story about being who you really are, especially when everything you know has been stripped from you. I enjoyed this story, and would recommend it to those who like graphic novels and adventure books.