Hello and welcome to Trans Fiction Week!
Running throughout Transgender Awareness Week, we’re going to be bringing you posts about transgender and non-binary representation in fiction, signposts to transgender resources, and lists of transgender authors and books to check out. Because let’s face it: transgender representation in the media is awful. And queer fiction should be, but usually isn’t, leading the way.
Today, we will kick off with why transgender representation matters and why a ‘one size fits all’ policy isn’t going to cut it.
On Tuesday, we’re weighing up the two types of transgender stories—those focusing on the transgender experience, brought to the table by Matthew J. Metzger, and those where the appearance of transgender main characters is incidental, showcased by JL Merrow. There are free giveaways on Tuesday, so be sure to pop in!
This is followed by ‘Work in Progress Wednesday.’ And that work is safety and security. Fact is, it’s dangerous to be transgender. It’s a very vulnerable identity, and it’s very difficult to feel safe sometimes, even in places that should be. So Wednesday brings us an anonymous post from a non-binary person who didn’t feel safe in being named, and a collaborative piece on why ‘just leave the trans folks to write trans stories’ isn’t always an option.
Thursday arrives with The System. We all know publishing isn’t exactly all over diversity, and queer publishing is sadly no different. Fact is, gay or mm publishers are not necessarily any friendlier towards trans fiction than the cishet mainstream. So we have Petra Howard in the chair to talk to her fellow editors about the importance of their role in promoting and enabling better diverse fiction through the doors, followed by the announcement of a new trans reviewing project in 2017 specifically designed to promote positive transgender and non-binary representation.
Friday brings us that ‘can’t be arsed’ feeling. You know the one: three o’clock in the office on a Friday afternoon, and you should finish that big project, but ehhh, screw it. That’s often the attitude of cisgender authors towards calls for trans rep. ‘I’d like to, but ehhh.’ And just like why you can’t go to that meeting on Friday, out come the excuses. So Friday brings us Archer Kay Leah, talking about pushing past that ‘can’t’ mentality, and Matthew J. Metzger, asking why they can’t, but we can.
The weekend is all about visibility. So we kick off with a post very appropriate to the current situation in the US from Sara Newhart about the role of allies in supporting trans by signal boosting and support, not speaking over and silencing. This is followed by said boosting: trans books you should be reading, trans authors you should be supporting, and trans charities from around the world that need your help.
And what can you guys do to help? Share, share, share! This is all about visibility and awareness, so let’s raise some.