Friends! It’s a special occasion over at Unbound publishing. This week marks one year since the publication of their wildly successful book, The Good Immigrant! TGI is a pioneering book, and with it editor Nikesh Shukla opened the door for a whole host of anthologies, collections of work by authors from marginalised communities whose voices might not otherwise be heard. I wouldn’t be writing to you today if not for The Good Immigrant.
So why am I here writing to you today? I’m trans. You probably know that. And you can probably guess that I wasn’t always as open about it as I am now. I’ve felt for a really long time since coming out that I wasn’t giving enough back to my community. As writers I think we have a tendency to see ourselves as, at best, ‘armchair activists’: we put words on paper but what does that actually accomplish?
But books can and do make a difference. Growing up I had no literature to refer to about being trans, let alone about being nonbinary. If I’d been able to pick up a novel where the main character was trans, or see a mention of someone like Marsha P Johnson or Christine Jorgensen in a school history textbook, I would have been deeply affected. I would have known that I wasn’t weird or unnatural or alone, and that people like me have made, and are making, history.
That’s what this book is for. We’ve gathered a group of transgender and nonbinary writers and activists and bloggers and artists from a really diverse range of backgrounds, and with a wide range of different gender identities. Transness isn’t a monolith, nor is it the be all, end all of ourselves as people. What I want this book to do is to tell other trans people that there’s nothing wrong with being trans, that their stories are important, and that they’re not alone. It’s what I would have wanted when I was a kid.
If you want to help me and my fellow trans and genderqueer authors tell our stories, you can pre-order a copy of the book from our crowdfunding page. Please keep in mind that we can ONLY publish if we receive enough pre-orders to cover production costs, so I encourage you to pre-order.