Playlisted The Best Trans and Nonbinary Listens Explore this list of essential audiobooks from trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming authors and allies. By Staff Apr 12, 2021 As our society becomes more inclusive, some of our most underrepresented communities are getting a much-needed opportunity to tell their stories. And yet, listeners on the hunt for the best LGBTQIA+ books out there know that finding literature centered on trans and nonbinary characters can be difficult. So, we’re taking some of the guesswork out of the equation with a series of lists showcasing some of the best audiobooks by and about the queer community, from LGBTQIA+ listens to bisexual and lesbian literature. For this list, we’ve come up with some of the best trans and nonbinary listens, across all genres and age categories. And because we know that authenticity is important to listeners, our selections are almost exclusively written by queer, trans, and nonbinary authors.Note: You’ll find this list is a bit memoir-heavy, as fiction by and about the trans and nonbinary community is still sadly underrepresented in publishing. We’ve tried to make this list as varied as possible, and we plan to update it to surface more great trans and nonbinary works going forward. Here we go! M to (WT)F stop M to (WT)F By Samantha Allen Narrated by Samantha Allen 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In this Audible Original, Samantha Allen, journalist and author of Real Queer America, offers a joyfully frank take on gender, identity, and transition. Allen herself narrates this memoir, taking glee in recounting each embarassing moment (like learning how to take her bra off without removing her shirt) without sacrificing the depth and vulnerability that makes her storytelling so captivating. The result is a compassion-inspiring, candid memoir that thoughtfully descontructs our culture's perspective on gender all the while celebrating the liberation of finding moments of joy and humor in difficulty. Detransition, Baby stop Detransition, Baby By Torrey Peters Narrated by Renata Friedman 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In author Torrey Peters's groundbreaking debut novel, a trans woman named Reese receives a curious proposal from her ex, Ames: help raise a baby he's fathered with his new partner, a cis woman named Katrina. Ames, who was born a man but lived as a woman named Amy for years before detransitioning, speculates that Reese's involvement can help him come to terms with the fraught prospect of fatherhood. Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction–the first book by a trans women to be nominated in the prize's 25-year history–Detransition, Baby is a engaging, compulsive, and time-hopping journey through questions of identity that resists cliche and easy answers, its quippy, smart style enhanced by narrator Renata Friedman's knowing delivery. Redefining Realness stop Redefining Realness By Janet Mock Narrated by Janet Mock 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Janet Mock is a writer, director, producer, and trans rights activist, and here she tells her personal story. Starting from when she was a child of divorced parents who bounced around homes before settling in Hawaii, she recounts the hardship of her young adult years, transitioning, coming out to her family members, and living as her true self in New York. She also discusses navigating coming out publicly and speaking up for her rights. Mock narrates her own story, which is a mix of memoir, rumination on what it means to be trans, and insights into the fight for acceptance from loved ones and society. If you liked this listen, be sure to check out her next memoir, Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me. Tomboy Survival Guide stop Tomboy Survival Guide By Ivan Coyote Narrated by Ivan Coyote 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In this self-narrated memoir, Coyote recounts stories from their life growing up in Canada, where they were commonly labeled as a tomboy. As Coyote grew older, they explored this tomboy identity on a deeper level, as they were often perceived as butch, and then began to identify beyond the gender binary. Both instructive and revealing, this is a collection of real-life stories that will hopefully help anyone questioning where they fit on the gender spectrum, and offer reassurance and some humor. Stay Gold stop Stay Gold By Tobly McSmith Narrated by Theo Germaine, Phoebe Strole 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. This YA debut from Tobly McSmith follows the story of Pony, a transgender boy going stealth while navigating new kid status at a small Texas high school. He quickly falls for one of the most popular students, a cisgender girl named Georgia who also starts crushing on him, all while wrestling with whether he will share his past with his new peers. Pony wants to settle into his new life but faces very real challenges from his family, friends, and fellow students, who can’t see the person for all the gender norms. The emotional toll of not being his fully realized self, compounded by the constant threat of physical danger associated with being himself, offers a window into the reality for many transgender people in a profoundly moving and uplifting story. Felix Ever After stop Felix Ever After By Kacen Callender Narrated by Logan Rozos 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In Callender’s latest YA release, Felix is a trans student who is recently transitioned, Black, and queer. He desperately wants to find love, but is afraid that his identity makes that possibility just out of reach. Then, when an anonymous bully at his school begins dead-naming him and sending horrible messages, Felix engages in a catfishing scheme to try and suss out his bully and exact revenge...but finds himself in a complicated relationship as a result. This is a fantastic YA novel about love and identity, narrated by Logan Rozos. The Argonauts stop The Argonauts By Maggie Nelson Narrated by Maggie Nelson 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Maggie Nelson narrates her memoir about love and parenthood, and what it means to create a family when you’re queer. Maggie talks about her journey with her genderfluid partner, the limitations of language when it comes to their relationship and identities, and how the couple decided to have children. The story blends theory with memoir, making it a powerful and fascinating listen that’s been hailed as an important work of modern theory as well as a moving personal account. Pet stop Pet By Akwaeke Emezi Narrated by Christopher Myers 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In Emezi’s second novel (and their YA debut), teenage Jam lives in a utopian society called Lucille. In Lucille, there exists an easy peace after the adults got rid of the monsters before she was born, and Jam has never worried about being accepted as trans. But Jam is curious about those monsters, even though she’s told they no longer exist, and when a creature crawls out of her mother’s painting and tells her that she must hunt one final monster, Jam is torn with indecision. What do monsters look like? How are you supposed to find them? And most importantly, what are you supposed to do once you’ve found one? This is a slim but powerful novel, a National Book Award finalist that is narrated with heart and conviction by editor Christopher Myers. Amateur stop Amateur By Thomas Page McBee Narrated by Thomas Page McBee 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Thomas Page McBee is the first known trans man to have ever fought in the ring at Madison Square Garden. That alone would have made for a great memoir, but he doesn’t stop there. Amateur effortlessly explores gender stereotypes and male violence, and comes away with a hopeful vision for a new kind of masculinity—all in under 4 hours, and narrated in his own voice. Space Between stop Space Between By Nico Tortorella Narrated by Nico Tortorella 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Actor and queer activist Nico Tortorella (who you might know from the hit series Younger, the film Scream IV, or any number of other projects) is ready to help the world get the ever-evolving nuances of their nonbinary and polyamorous life with their intimate memoir. In this gorgeous exploration of gender identities, sexuality, love, and spirituality, Tortorella explains why it never felt like they were born in the wrong body so much as in the wrong world. A Year Without a Name stop A Year Without a Name By Cyrus Grace Dunham Narrated by Cyrus Grace Dunham 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. In this memoir, Dunham takes readers on a journey of transformation as they reckon with their identity as a nonbinary person. By excavating moments from their childhood and young adult years when their gender identity was put upon them by parents and society, and when they first identified as a gay woman, Dunham addresses society’s expectations about gender, and tells a different story about how we define ourselves. Narrated by the author, this is a fascinating and deeply personal memoir about challenging gender norms. Real Queer America stop Real Queer America By Samantha Allen Narrated by Samantha Allen 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Although this narrative is a journalistic look at the lives of queer people of all identities across the US, it’s also part memoir about Samantha Allen’s coming-out process, and how she learned to grapple with her identity as a trans woman and former Mormon who left home in order to be her true self. Wanting to understand why so many queer people live in rural and conservative areas, and how they build community, Allen embarked on a summer-long cross-country road trip in 2017, interviewing Americans from Utah to Florida. This self-narrated audiobook is the result, and it’s a necessary work that will challenge listeners on their assumptions about where and how queer people live. George stop George By Alex Gino Narrated by Jamie Clayton 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. George has a secret: Even though everyone thinks she’s a boy, George knows she’s a girl. She isn’t sure how to tell anyone, and she knows the news would upset her big brother. But when she tells her best friend in the whole world, George finds acceptance. And then they hatch a plan together: George will try out for the role of Charlotte in their class production of Charlotte’s Web. When everyone sees George give a stellar performance, they’ll be sure to accept her identity—right? This is an excellent, uplifting children’s novel that even adults will love, narrated beautifully by trans actor Jamie Clayton. Tranny stop Tranny By Laura Jane Grace, Dan Ozzi Narrated by Laura Jane Grace 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Fans of the punk rock band Against Me! should definitely pick up this memoir about lead singer Laura Jane Grace, and her journey to realizing she was trans and undergoing a gender transition. Including diary entries, Grace invites readers into her innermost thoughts and feelings as she narrates her younger years, how she formed her band, their dramas and woes, and how she dealt with gender dysphoria and transitioning. Part band history and part memoir, this is a moving account of how it took Grace 30 years to find the courage to live as her authentic self. If I Was Your Girl stop If I Was Your Girl By Meredith Russo Narrated by Samia Mounts 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Narrated by Samia Mounts, this YA novel is about Amanda Hardy, the new girl in her new small, Southern high school. It’s hard enough starting over in a new place and living with a dad who’s been distant at best since her parents got divorced, but on top of that Amanda has a secret: she’s trans. Wanting to protect her heart (and her physical self), Amanda is determined not to get close to anyone, but then she meets Grant and she can’t help but fall for him. Grant is kind and gentle, but when Amanda’s secret is threatened, they’re both put at risk. This is a groundbreaking and heartrending novel about Amanda’s quest for acceptance and love. Sissy stop Sissy By Jacob Tobia Narrated by Jacob Tobia 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Actor, producer, and writer Tobia narrates their own “coming of gender” story as a kid who was born into the expectation of being a boy and liking only “boy” things—but Tobia never wanted to be limited by their masculine interests. Their enjoyment of more feminine activities and items got them labeled a sissy at a young age, which is a label Tobia explores in this memoir about growing up and exploring what makes someone masculine or feminine, how family and community shapes our sense of identity, and finally feeling brave enough to come out as nonbinary. Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars stop Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars By Kai Cheng Thom Narrated by Adri Almeida 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. For something that differs a bit from the coming out and transitioning memoir, try this surrealist, genre-bending novel about a young trans Asian-Canadian woman who runs away from an abusive home and finds herself on the Street of Miracles, where she’s taken in by a group of fierce and femme trans women and taught to embrace her identity. Then one of their own is murdered, and she must join her sisters to fight against the killer and seek justice, but things don’t go according to plan. Our protagonist must find the strength to understand who her true family is, and what it means to embrace her identity. Narrated by Adri Almeida and boasting an authentic Canadian narration, this is a fantastical story with lots of heart and truth. How to Be a Girl stop How to Be a Girl By Marlo Mack Narrated by Marlo Mack 00:00 05:00 Update RequiredTo play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. The sole title on our list that was not written by a trans or nonbinary author, How to Be a Girl instead offers another perspective on gender: that of a mother whose young child has recently come out. Generous, thoughtful, and full of sensitivity and warmth, Marlo Mack's self-narrated memoir is a gorgeous exploration of family, identity, and unconditional love and acceptance. Deeply meditative on the nature of community and support and lovingly punctuated by the delighted giggles and singsong voice of Mack's daughter, this sincere and wholehearted listen shares a heartfelt story and a necessary lesson in allyship. 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