Who's out there?
February 5, 2008 8:18 AM Subscribe
Children/young adult literature with transgendered characters?
posted by dlugoczaj to media & arts (24 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'm wondering if any folks know of children's and/or young adult books, short stories, movies, etc. that include transgendered characters. The actual word may not necessarily appear, but often (especially if you've read adult books on the topic or been otherwise involved with the TG community) you learn to see the signs.
A recent example: I was leafing through this month's Cricket magazine and spotted a story by Nancy Springer called "Girl Wears Tie, Says Hi." The girl in question was clearly more than just a "tomboy"--and the portrayal was lovely and sympathetic. I showed it to my TG family member and she broke down in tears, saying that such a thing never would have been around ten years ago. (Actually, I just discovered that this story was a reprint from the 1996 Cricket, so she's wrong--which gives me even more hope for my question!) A few days later I spotted a character in Lauren Child's Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now who gave me pause (girl named Stan who mostly wore boys' clothes). Again, a well-treated character whose choices weren't considered a big deal.
Now I'm starting to wonder who else might be out there. I'm especially interested at this point in anything about male-to-female TG characters, since I'm mostly seeing female-to-male so far (I suspect that they're more publicly palatable, much like "lesbian chic"). I'm very familiar with Julie Anne Peters's excellent novel Luna, and I understand that she has also published a short story collection that includes at least one story about a transgender teen.
Audience age doesn't make a huge difference at this point--I suspect we'll be wanting this stuff for a long time, since the kids in my family get some very nasty messages about transgenderism from fundie branches of the family, and the more we can counteract them, in as many ways as possible, the better. Books like the Clarice Bean book in which the TG character is sort of incidental might actually be best; we're almost more interested in normalizing the experience rather than making it a huge issue.