Our Picks for Trans Young Adult Fiction

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com December 26 2007 12:00 AM ET

The National
Center for Transgender Equality estimates there are between
750,000 and 3 million transgender people in the U.S. And as
Barbara Walters showed recently in a 20/20
story last spring, questioning one's gender identity
can begin at a very young age. With that in
mind, we pulled together some literary inspiration
worth passing on to the inquisitive teenager in your
life.

Luna by Julie Anne Peters (Little, Brown; 2004)

For years Liam
secretly transforms himself into Luna each night with the
help of his sister's clothes and makeup. As he yearns to
reveal his nighttime identity, his sister Regan finds
it more difficult to keep Luna a secret with each
passing day. Are Liam's family and friends ready to
accept Luna into their lives? Julie Anne Peters's
well-received novel was a 2004 finalist for the
National Book Award in Young People's Literature.

Freak Show by James St. James (Dutton; 2007)

James St. James's
story of a teenage drag queen at an uptight private
academy is the classic tale of an outcast wanting
acceptance. Our hero, Billy Bloom, however, wants to
be homecoming queen. St. James's irreverent humor and
lively writing make this an endearing and entertaining
read that shirks the idea of being confined to a label of
sexuality.

Choir Boy by Charlie Anders (Soft Skull Press; 2005)

Berry, a
12-year-old church choir darling, is starting to notice the
effect of puberty where it matters most to him: his voice.
After a botched attempt to castrate himself, he
decided to use hormones intended for men transitioning
to women to keep his high vocal range. The story
may seem cartoonish, but this Lambda Literary Award
winner's emotional, sexual nature may be best for older
teens;

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger (Simon & Schuster; 2007)

Angela's
awkwardness in being a girl prompts her to chop her hair,
tie down her breasts, wear boys clothes, and change
her name to Grady. While his family is hurt and his
best friend ignores him, Grady finds support in a geek
and a popular older student. Meanwhile, he writes a report
on parrotfish, which are naturally able to change
gender.

Morgan in the Mirror by C.C. Saint-Clair (BookMakers Ink; 2004)

Morgan is a
23-year-old post-chest-op trans man who has been able
to pass as male for most of his life. Eventually he
makes the decision to make the full transition.
Saint-Clair steps away from lesbian subject matter to
delve into the topic of gender dysphoria.