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Transgender Lives, Transgender Voices

Memoirists, researchers, historians, and novelists create bodies of work presented with sensitivity through shared transgender identity, and transgender narrators extend that authenticity to audiobook listening experiences. Our list includes choices for those seeking good stories well told, inclusive listening, academic understanding, and the opportunity to consider how gender and misgender affect fellow humans.
AS A WOMAN

AS A WOMAN What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned

by Paula Stone Williams | Read by Paula Stone Williams

Simon & Schuster Audio
Biography & Memoir

The gentle rasp in author Paula Stone Williams's voice speaks of how much she has used it as a minister, church leader, counselor, and singer. Her vocal control, specifically her alterations in pacing, intonation, and emphasis, reveals her remarkable intellectual curiosity and allegiance to honesty as she shares skillful observations of social relations in American culture. At... Read More

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A TRANSGENDER SCIENTIST

THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A TRANSGENDER SCIENTIST

by Ben Barres, Nancy Hopkins [Foreword] | Read by Paul Boehmer

HighBridge Audio
Biography & Memoir

Dr. Barres's autobiography is a straightforward account of the life of one of the leading neuroscientists of our time who happened to be transgender. The audiobook has three themes: the discovery of the importance of a distinct type of brain cell and the promise it holds for understanding a wide range of debilitating conditions, gender discrimination within the scientific... Read More

BECOMING EVE

BECOMING EVE My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman

by Abby Chava Stein | Read by Abby Chava Stein

Hachette Audio
Biography & Memoir

Abby Stein narrates her engrossing memoir of growing up in the insular Ultra-Orthodox Hassidic Jewish community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Stein’s Yiddish accent connects listeners more deeply with her upbringing in a large family strongly bound by rabbinic traditions. The author’s openhearted account of struggling with heightened expectations to perform as a male while coming... Read More

BECOMING NICOLE

BECOMING NICOLE The Transformation of an American Family

by Amy Ellis Nutt | Read by Amy Ellis Nutt

Random House Audio
Biography & Memoir

Read by the author, this compelling story of a twin boy who from the age of 3 consistently asserted that he was a girl offers insight into the emotions and challenges of transgender youth and their families. Nutt, a science writer for the WASHINGTON POST, has compiled a chronicle of the family's journey, paying attention to the feelings and evolution of both parents and the... Read More

BEING JAZZ

BEING JAZZ My Life as a (Transgender) Teen

by Jazz Jennings | Read by Jazz Jennings

Listening Library
Young Adult

In 2015, the picture book I AM JAZZ, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, about a transgender girl, was No. 3 on the American Library Association’s Top Ten Banned Books. Now Jazz Jennings gives voice to her story in a new way by narrating what she calls her memoir on growing up transgender. Jennings’s youthful enthusiasm and her acute memories of the difficulties posed by... Read More

BETWEEN PERFECT AND REAL

BETWEEN PERFECT AND REAL

by Ray Stoeve | Read by MW Cartozian Wilson

Recorded Books
Young Adult

The theme of self-discovery drives this realistic audiobook featuring Dean, a high school thespian who has recently realized he is transgender. Playing Romeo in a nontraditional school production of ROMEO AND JULIET inspires Dean to recognize that masculinity isn't just a role for him--it's what he is. So he begins the complicated and ever-continuing process of coming out as... Read More

THE BOLD WORLD

THE BOLD WORLD A Memoir of Family and Transformation

by Jodie Patterson | Read by Jodie Patterson

Random House Audio
Biography & Memoir

Author-narrator Jodie Patterson, who is a social activist and entrepreneur, shares her relatable struggle to find a harmonious balance of self, family life, and career. Her conversational style engages listeners with her account of her formative New York City childhood and undergraduate years at Spelman College. Patterson's love and respect for her family are at the heart of... Read More

CHONBURI INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND BUTTERFLY CLUB

CHONBURI INTERNATIONAL HOTEL AND BUTTERFLY CLUB

by Shakina Nayfack | Read by Shakina Nayfack, Kate Bornstein, Annie Golden, Telly Leung, Jason Tam, Bianca Leigh, Ivory Aquino, Pooya Mohseni, Samy Figaredo, Angelica Ross, Liz Lark Brown, Ita Segev, Dana Aliya Levinson

Audible, Inc.
Poetry & Drama

With sensitivity, courage, and easy humor, transgender advocate and playwright Shakina Nayfack takes listeners on a tour of Thailand's Chonburi International Hotel. There, a fascinating group of transgender women, portrayed by a capable ensemble that includes nine transgender actors, have gathered to recuperate after gender confirmation surgery, sometimes known as gender... Read More

CONUNDRUM

CONUNDRUM

by Jan Morris | Read by Roy McMillan

Ukemi Productions
Biography & Memoir

The reissue of Jan Morris's 1973 autobiography translates well to the audiobook medium. A well-known travel writer, Morris was one of the first people in public life to discuss her experiences as a transgender person. Roy McMillan's narration includes authentic accents for characters of different cultures and changes in pacing that enhance the peaks and valleys of unfolding... Read More

DEAD COLLECTIONS

DEAD COLLECTIONS

by Isaac Fellman | Read by Dani Martineck

Penguin Audio
Fiction

Dani Martineck's quiet narration, full of longing and anger, sometimes wry and sometimes earnest, is as richly layered as this remarkable novel. Sol is a trans vampire who is trying to survive by living in the basement archive where he works. When he falls in love with the widow of a famous lesbian TV writer, he's finally inspired to confront his future. Martineck smoothly... Read More

DEAR SENTHURAN

DEAR SENTHURAN A Black Spirit Memoir

by Akwaeke Emezi | Read by Akwaeke Emezi

Penguin Audio
Biography & Memoir

This is perhaps Igbo and Tamil writer Akwaeke Emezi's most vulnerable--and groundbreaking--book. In a series of letters to the people in their life, Emezi explores their experience as an embodied spirit, a nonhuman living in human flesh. Their writing is bold and absolutely unapologetic. So is their narration. Even while describing the most painful moments, their narration... Read More

FUTURE FEELING

FUTURE FEELING

by Joss Lake | Read by MW Cartozian Wilson

Blackstone Audio
Fiction

In a voice sporting a perfect balance of brash courage and vulnerability, transgender writer and narrator MW Cartozian Wilson playfully captures the life of a dog walker extraordinaire. Penfield R. Henderson is a young trans man who is trying to make his way in a surreal world of designer hormones, B-list celebrity hookups, social-media obsession, and unfulfilled societal and... Read More

GENDER EXPLORERS

GENDER EXPLORERS

by Juno Roche | Read by CN Lester

Bolinda Audio
Contemporary Culture

When Gendered Intelligence, the UK charity that supports trans kids, sought a writer to interview and compile interviews with youth who self-identify as trans, the choice of Juno Roche, founder of the Trans Teachers Network, proved to be perfect. Trans narrator CN Lester channels both the author and the spirit of the project to produce excellent listening results. Their clear,... Read More

GOD LOVES HAIR

GOD LOVES HAIR

by Vivek Shraya, Cherie Dimaline [Fore.] | Read by Vivek Shraya

ECW Press
Young Adult

Vivek Shraya warmly narrates her tenth-anniversary edition of connected short stories inspired by her own childhood. Shraya's youthful tone reflects a curious boy's innocence as he navigates coming of age with Hindu parents unwilling to discuss bodies, sex, and queerness. This book was originally published before the author began to identify as transgender. Shraya's emotional... Read More

HE SAID, SHE SAID

HE SAID, SHE SAID Lessons, Stories, and Mistakes from My Transgender Journey

by Gigi Gorgeous | Read by Gigi Gorgeous

Random House Audio
Biography & Memoir

YouTube lifestyle vlogger Gigi Gorgeous's vivacious personality and candor illuminate her narration. Before launching into her memoir, Gigi shares a glossary of "Gigi-isms" for listeners unfamiliar with the words that pepper her speech, which include "everything," "hundo P," and "eek-a-deek." Growing up in Toronto, Gigi struggled with gender identity and sexuality, coming out... Read More

THE HIDDEN CASE OF EWAN FORBES

THE HIDDEN CASE OF EWAN FORBES And the Unwritten History of the Trans Experience

by Zoë Playdon | Read by Rebecca Root

Simon & Schuster Audio
Biography & Memoir

Excellent storytelling by the cofounder of the UK's Parliamentary Forum on Gender Identity and transgender narrator Rebecca Root quickly pulls listeners into a life story that created a gap in British social justice law. Ewan Forbes (1912-1991) lived his life as male from early childhood, supported in his identity by his family and peers. Although he won a 1965 court case based... Read More

MELISSA

MELISSA

by Alex Gino | Read by Jamie Clayton

Scholastic Audiobooks
Children

Everyone else thinks she’s a boy named George, but 10-year-old Melissa knows she’s a girl. When her fourth-grade class puts on a play of CHARLOTTE’S WEB, what Melissa wants more than anything is to play Charlotte. Narrator Jamie Clayton's voice is distinctive, though not necessarily young, but she infuses her delivery with a childlike enthusiasm that fits this middle-grade... Read More

MY SISTER

MY SISTER How One Sibling's Transition Changed Us Both

by Selenis Leyva, Marizol Leyva | Read by Selenis Leyva, Marizol Leyva

Hachette Audio
Biography & Memoir

Selenis Leyva, known for her role as inmate Gloria Mendoza in "Orange Is the New Black," and her younger sister, Marizol Leyva, share their affecting memoir of family and gender identity with listeners. They frame their memoir in three parts, emphasizing the importance of honoring the identities of transgender individuals while recounting Marizol's story as a transgender woman... Read More

THE NATURAL MOTHER OF THE CHILD

THE NATURAL MOTHER OF THE CHILD A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood

by Krys Malcolm Belc | Read by Krys Malcolm Belc

Dreamscape
Biography & Memoir

Author and educator Krys Malcolm Belc's ruminations on parenting, relationships, and gender identity are the foundation of this thoughtful production. Belc's writing is both intimate and accessible, with his steady narration directed toward his wife and children. The author candidly discusses his connection with his pregnant body while carrying his son before transitioning as a... Read More

THE SEEP

THE SEEP

Earphones Award Winner

by Chana Porter | Read by Shakina Nayfack

Brilliance Audio
Science Fiction

Shakina Nayfack's warm, potent tones highlight the deeply personal and humane side of Porter's profound, ethereal alien-invasion story. The Seep has overhauled the world, allowing expanded consciousness and endless new experiences. Trina Fasthorse Goldberg-Oneka, a 50-year-old trans artist, cannot embrace this reality as others have, and when her wife leaves to become a child... Read More

SHE'S NOT THERE

SHE'S NOT THERE A Life in Two Genders

by Jennifer Finney Boylan, Deirdre Finney Boylan [Afterword], Richard Russo [Afterword] | Read by Jennifer Finney Boylan, Deirdre Finney Boylan [Afterword], Richard Russo [Afterword]

Random House Audio
Biography & Memoir

Boylan employs her unique literary voice to tell the story of her transition as an adult to become the female she always thought she should be. The audiobook provides insight into transexualism, and hearing it directly from Boylan will augment the experience. Her narration has an air of authenticity that compensates, at least in part, for its flaws. She has a dramatic flair... Read More

SORTED

SORTED Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place (A Transgender Memoir)

by Jackson Bird | Read by Jackson Bird

Simon & Schuster Audio
Biography & Memoir

Jackson Bird, a YouTube nano celebrity and professional Harry Potter fan, engages listeners as he recounts his personal journey as a bisexual trans man in the U.S. This memoir’s title plays on the fictional Hogwarts Academy’s sorting process for new students, an experience that mirrors Bird’s own process of self-realization and self-acceptance. Originally released as a zine for... Read More

THIS TIME FOR ME

THIS TIME FOR ME A Memoir

by Alexandra Billings, Joanne Gordon | Read by Alexandra Billings

Brilliance Audio
Biography & Memoir

Award-winning trans actor and LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist Alexandra Billings exuberantly narrates her life story. With high energy and a commanding presence, Billings lays it all on the line, candidly sharing her painful and resilient journey through sexual assault, attempted suicide, the AIDS epidemic, and extraordinary barriers to living as her authentic self. The structure... Read More

TOO BRIGHT TO SEE

TOO BRIGHT TO SEE

Earphones Award Winner

by Kyle Lukoff | Read by Jax Jackson, Kyle Lukoff [Note]

Listening Library
Children

Narrator Jax Jackson quickly convinces listeners of Bug's determination to acquire a sense of self before middle school. There are several reasons for this: his beloved Uncle Roddy's death, a ghostly presence that haunts his dreams, and viewpoints he holds that don't jibe with friends' interests. Jackson's delivery also conveys the deeper uncertainty this 11-year-old is facing.... Read More

TRANS LIKE ME

TRANS LIKE ME Conversations for All of Us

Earphones Award Winner

by C.N. Lester | Read by C.N. Lester

Tantor Media
Contemporary Culture

With a distinctive voice that is both light and deep, C.N. Lester delivers a broad yet personal, challenging but affirming, thoughtful and compelling introduction to many of the common questions surrounding the transgender experience. The complexity comes from the subject matter--human experience--which is both singular and shared. Lester makes the case for greater awareness of... Read More

THE WITCH KING

THE WITCH KING The Witch King Duology, Book 1

Earphones Award Winner

by H.E. Edgmon | Read by Dani Martineck

Harlequin Audio
Young Adult

Trans, queer witch Wyatt Croft--portrayed by narrator Dani Martineck-- escaped the fae kingdom where he was raised to find freedom in the human world. After years without the pressure of fae expectations, Wyatt is taken by surprise when his betrothed--a fae prince named Emyr--shows up to bring him home. Unperturbed by Wyatt's transgender identity and insisting they fulfill... Read More

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