11 of the Best Memoirs by Transgender and Nonbinary Authors

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CJ Connor is a cozy mystery and romance writer whose main goal in life is to make their dog proud. They are a Pitch Wars alumnus and an Author Mentor Match R9 mentor. Their debut mystery novel BOARD TO DEATH is forthcoming from Kensington Books. Twitter: @cjconnorwrites | cjconnorwrites.com

March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility, an observance that celebrates trans and nonbinary joy while raising awareness for the discrimination many face in daily life. Memoirs by transgender authors offer a window for trans readers into experiences that mirror their own. They’re vital for feeling understood and less alone. They also offer cisgender readers a more informed perspective on trans issues and can be a catalyst for greater compassion.

Not sure where to start? Here are 11 of the best memoirs written by trans and nonbinary authors. These books explore gender identity and self-actualization alongside topics like parenthood, career achievements, spiritual journeys, and more.

Interested in reading more books that center trans voices? Check out the Must-Read Literature by Trans and Non-Binary Writers. There, you’ll find award-winning and genre-defining books that explore the complexities of trans identity, including Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki and Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen.

Plus, find more nonfiction book recs by exploring 7 of the Best Transgender History Books. You’ll learn about gender non-conforming people and identities that transcended assigned sex throughout history, like Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identities by C. Riley Snorton and Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman by Leslie Feinberg.

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Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love, and So Much More by Janet Mock

Journalist Janet Mock reflects on her childhood, her decision to transition at 18 years old, and her journey to self-love and fulfillment. Of great focus is her career dedicated to advocating for LGBTQ youth.

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The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood by Krys Malcolm Belc

Krys Malcolm Belc shares his experience with pregnancy and early parenthood as a transmasculine person. In particular, he explores how pregnancy affirmed his nonbinary identity amidst a medical system that is not mindful of trans patients.

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He/She/They: How We Talk About Gender and Why it Matters by Schuyler Bailar

With anti-transgender legislation and violence on the rise, athlete and activist Schuyler Bailar shares his story along with a call to treat transgender people, and particularly trans youth, with dignity and compassion.

The Risk it takes to Bloom coverThe Risk it takes to Bloom cover

The Risk it Takes to Bloom: On Life and Liberation by Raquel Willis

Black transgender activist Raquel Willis explores her experiences growing up in Georgia, coming out to herself and others in college, and using her voice as a journalist to raise awareness for suicide prevention and violence against trans women of color.

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Tar Hollow Trans: Essays by Stacy Jane Grover

Essayist Stacy Jane Grover holds her transgender and Appalachian identities as equally misunderstood and more complex than they seem. After returning home, she reflects on Appalachian traditions and the memories that define her today.

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A Trans Man Walks into a Gay Bar: A Journey of Self (and Sexual) Discovery by Harry Nicholas

Harry Nicholas explores his realization in his early twenties that he is a transgender man and how, after transitioning, he navigated the gay dating scene while prioritizing his authentic self over who he felt pressured to become.

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Horse Barbie by Geena Rocero

After competing in pageants during her teenage years, Geena Rocero moved to the United States, where she could legally change her name and gender marker. While living stealthily as a model offered her a greater sense of safety, she ultimately came out as transgender for the freedom and joy that can be found in authenticity.

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Pageboy by Elliot Page

Actor Elliot Page shares his journey to self-discovery, from his early years feeling out of place in his body to finding healing and joy in his transition as an adult. He also reflects on the abuse he’s faced as an openly queer person in the film industry and the belonging he’s found in the transgender community.

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None of the Above: Reflections on Life Beyond the Binary by Travis Alabanza

Through analyzing the seven most common questions people ask them after they come out as nonbinary, artist Travis Alabanza confronts the ways human beings treat each other and how to change for the better.

Beautiful Monster coverBeautiful Monster cover

Beautiful Monster: A Becoming by Miles Borrero

At 40 years old, Miles Borrero came out as a transgender man. This became a catalyst for reflection on his childhood in Colombia, his experiences as a budding actor in Salt Lake City, and his journeys with gender and spirituality in New York City.

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She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan

With a thoughtful and often humorous lens, author Jennifer Finney Boylan shares the highs and lows following her decision to transition. Boylan has written two additional memoirs that explore gender identity: Stuck in the Middle with You focuses on parenthood and Good Boy shares her connection with seven dogs over her life.

To find more books by transgender and nonbinary authors to support and enjoy, try:

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