Resistance, Liberation, and Joy

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Too often, we hear about trans experiences rooted in trauma, shame, and fear. It's important that those stories exist, but we argue it's equally (if not more) important that trans stories rooted in joy also exist. Trans people, as well as people of other genders, need to see that the trans community is a beautiful community "that has resistance, liberation, joy and magic at its core" (Cosmopolitan UK).

  • A Million Quiet Revolutions

    2022 by Gow, Robin

    Written in verse, the story follows Aaron and Oliver, two trans boys coming of age in a small town in Pennsylvania. They’re grappling to understand themselves and their growing love for one another, knowing there is little support for LGBTQ teens in their community. Things intensify when Aaron’s family must suddenly move away. Inspired by an online story about two trans soldiers who fell in love during the American Revolutionary War, Aaron and Oliver navigate through the difficult period of separation. A stunningly beautiful read, it will make you feel all the feels. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Felix Ever After

    2020 by Callender, Kacen

    Both feel-good and inspiring, this book shines a light into the self-doubt, bullying, and harassment many trans individuals face. School Library Journal says this book is "full of warmth, love, and support." Suggested by Paul.

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  • Una Mujer Fantástica: A Fantastic Woman


    From Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio, this won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Marina, a transgender woman, is dealing with the sudden death of her partner, Orlando. Played by Daniela Vega, a transgender actress and singer, Marina faces suspicion, disrespect, hatred, and prejudice from hospital staff, the police, and some of Orlando’s family. Navigating through the sadness and turmoil, she picks up the pieces of her life, pursues her dreams, and shows the world that she is a fantastic woman. This is a tour de force, breakout performance from Vega, for whom Lelio wrote the role. In turn, Vega contributed ideas to help shape the story and characters. The last scene really knocked me out--it is perfect. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Cemetery Boys

    2020 by Thomas, Aiden

    We had a lot of fun reading this book that has an amazing cast of characters, a celebration of Latinx culture, acceptance, identity, and the various types of love, with a central mystery at its core. Suggested by Rummanah and Sharon.

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  • Saved by the Bell: Season One


    A revival of the popular 1989-92 sitcom, in which several from the original cast reprise their roles, all centered around Bayside High. There are familiar humorous situations blended with timely subjects, as well as a diverse, inclusive cast of new characters, allowing more viewers to feel seen and represented. Transgender actor Josie Totah, who has a main role as a trans student, is also one of the show’s producers. It won the 2022 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Future Feeling

    2021 by Lake, Joss

    Is this a book about an embittered dog walker who inadvertently puts a curse on a young man—and must adventure into a mysterious dimension in order to save him? Yes. But it's also so much more. Christina Orlando for Tor says, "Lake has constructed a wonderful world where trans identity is celebrated and centered, where trans characters are allowed to be messy and complicated and human. It’s, quite honestly, the kind of book I’ve been waiting for for a really long time. I’m so glad it’s finally here." Suggested by Allyson.

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  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch


    Film adaptation from the 1998 musical play about a genderqueer East German singer in a rock band. Much of the film is about Hedwig's gender identity. Suggested by Cecilia.

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  • Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms

    2021 by Frasier, Crystal

    One of my favorite graphic novels from 2021 that is guaranteed to cheer you up with its sweet romance. A great pick for fans of Heartstopper by Alice Oseman or Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Paris Is Burning


    Phenomenal, groundbreaking documentary about the drag scene in New York. The film goes deeper than just a look at becomes a very insightful look at sexuality in America. In 2016, it was selected by the Library Congress for its National Film Registry list. Suggested by Cecilia.

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  • Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir

    2016 by Thom, Kai Cheng

    GUTS calls this warmhearted fantasy-esque novel that overturns trans-tropes “A fairy tale, a love story, and a love letter from one trans woman of colour to other trans women and femmes of colour.” Suggested by Allyson.

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  • Cowboys


    Writer/director Anna Kerrigan delivers a touching drama about a father (Steve Zahn) with mental health issues who wants to help his 10-year-old transgender son live authentically, which Joe’s mother (Jillian Bell) does not accept. The two become modern-day outlaws on a western-inspired journey when they run away in the middle of the night and travel on horseback through the Montana wilderness toward Canada. At the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, Cowboys won Best Screenplay and Zahn won Best Actor. In his feature film debut, trans actor Sasha Knight as Joe is a natural in front of the camera and picked up the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Performance at the L.A. Outfest. Put this indie gem on your to-watch list. Also available on Hoopla. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • Meet Cute Diary

    2021 by Lee, Emery

    All Noah Ramirez wants is to have positive representation and joy for his trans community, but how does a real relationship hold up to an ideal, fake one? This wonderful debut is more than a sweet rom-com set up--it's a journey of self discovery, growth, setting up boundaries, and identifying toxic relationships. It also has a full cast of fantastically flawed characters. Suggested by Rummanah.

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  • Boy Meets Girl


    In her first movie role, transgender actor Michelle Hendley turns in a terrific performance as Ricky, a 21-year-old transgender woman hoping to get into design school and also ready to be in love. When she finds herself attracted to Francesca, recently engaged to a marine serving overseas, they explore their new relationship and the choices ahead. At the same time, Ricky’s longtime best friend Robby realizes that he must sort out his own feelings for Ricky. It is a sweet, funny, and provocative story looking at issues often not seen in romantic dramedies. Also available on Kanopy. Suggested by Sharon.

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  • The Passing Playbook

    2021 by Fitzsimons, Isaac

    In addition to a sweet romance between Spenser, a trans boy, and Justice, a gay boy, it is a story of acceptance, community, friendship, and living your truth. Suggested by Rummanah.

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