Writing a Trans* Protagonist

As of this month, I have decided that my novel, Queer Greer, is due for a sequel.

What comes next for Greer?

What comes next for Greer?

This won’t be a sequel in the strictest sense, however, considering that Greer MacManus will not be the protagonist in this next book, but a secondary character. In that Queer Greer follows the evolution of a girl in high school coming to terms with her bisexuality, the sequel — tentatively called Straight Nate — will be about a freshman in college coming to terms with the fact that “she” is not and never has been a girl, but is actually a transgender individual who has always been truly male.

I have always been an activist for trans* issues. As of late, I am seeing more and more stories about trans* individuals in the media. One story that is currently getting a lot of play revolves around 6-year-old Coy Mathis in Colorado who has been fighting to be allowed to use the girls’ restroom at her elementary school. This past January, a beautiful video made by YouTube member iiGethii showing her three-year transition from male to female was highly publicized on Internet news sites and blogs, garnering over four million hits to date. The same month, 11-year-old Sadie wrote to President Obama, telling him, “It would be a better world if everyone knew that transgender people have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else.” In February, the Massachusetts Education Department decided to accomodate transgender students by mandating “that transgender students be allowed to use bathrooms and play on sports teams that coincide with their gender identification.” Just this month, Mississippi high school student Leah challenged her school’s dress code that stipulates students must wear “gender-specific” clothing.

These stories are heartening! With trans* issues becoming more and more mainstream, as an author I cannot help but wonder if the literature available for trans* individuals to turn to is keeping up.

Just as there seem to be more and more books about lesbian, gay and bisexual protagonists being written every year, fictional stories about trans* protagonists are as well. Being Emily by Rachel Gold comes to mind. Still, considering how many MILLIONS of books about heterosexual characters are available in comparison, I think there is room for many more books on trans* topics.

Since I am not trans*, I am actively seeking trans* individuals to answer a set of interview questions as I begin my research for Straight Nate. If you are trans* and would like to be involved, please feel free to email me at walkleyaj@gmail.com; tweet to me @AJWalkley; or message me on Facebook at AJ Walkley or through the A.J. Walkley Author Page.

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Filed under Gender, LGBT, Queer Greer, Social Justice, Writing

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