Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day where we recognize our transgender friends and raise awareness for trans rights (which are human rights!). But perhaps most importantly, when we acknowledge all of the wonderful contributions that trans people have made to our world. One way you can support trans writers and creators is by reading their stories and buying their books, so I want to highlight five amazing YA books about trans teens coming out in 2021 that you should preorder or request at your local library!
Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve
Dean is certain that he’s a trans guy, even if he hasn’t come out yet. Everyone, including his girlfriend, assumes he’s a lesbian, and Dean thinks that perhaps he’ll wait until college to come out…but then he’s cast as a “nontraditional” Romeo in the school’s production of Romeo and Juliet, and suddenly Dean is finding it harder and harder to play Romeo on the stage while not living as himself in every day life. He just has to find the courage to live his truth, now.
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee
Noah has been keeping the Meet Cute Diary, a blog of trans meet cutes and love stories, for a while now. But there’s a pretty big secret behind his popular blog: the stories are fiction. Noah wrote them as a way to find hope and believe in love. And when that secret is exposed, his reputation is called into question. Then he meets Drew, who is willing to pretend to date Noah in a plot to save the Meet Cute Diary…but fake dating is difficult when real feelings and introduced.
All Kinds of Other by James Sie
Jules and Jack are two guys — one cis and one trans — who find each other at a low point. Jules is trying to figure out what it means to be gay while also balancing not being out to everyone he knows and cares about, and Jack is reeling from a friendship break up. When they connect, they find understanding in each other, and something more, too. But then a video links Jack to some popular trans vloggers, and the private truths that Jules and Jack have been shielding from the rest of the world are exposed, threatening their new relationship.
The (Un)Popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez
Mark is the son of a Congressman who has just transferred to a new school and agrees to keep a low profile as a cis guy in order to keep his dad happy. But when another manipulative student starts running for student class president, Mark can’t sit by. He runs against the popular candidate, drawing upon all he knows about politics in order to run a good campaign. But he’s the new kid in school, and when people start digging into his past, Mark knows that his actions might expose his past, and jeopardize everything he’s worked for.
Cheer Up: Love and Pom Poms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise
Annie is an antisocial lesbian with amazing grades but no extracurriculars to speak of. Beatrice is the cheer team captain and the only out trans girl at their school. When Annie is pressured to try out for the team, Beatrice welcomes Annie, and the two find themselves picking up their friendship where it left off and falling for each other as Annie learns what it’s like to be a part of a team and Beatrice figures out how to stand up for herself to their well-intentioned but oblivious teammates. I read an early copy of this graphic novel, and it is very funny and sweet — a must purchase when it’s finally on shelves!
Want more great YA about trans teens? We’ve got you covered.