58 Must-Read Sapphic Books by Trans and Nonbinary Authors

a graphic with flowers and two figures handing together, one with a trans flag on the back of their jacket. The text on the graphic reads "Sapphic Books
by Trans and Nonbinary Authors "

In March, I put together a list of sapphic books by trans and nonbinary authors for the Trans Rights Readathon, but we don’t need a readathon to read trans books!

For each of these, I tried to verify that the author publicly identifies as trans or nonbinary, but if I’ve made a mistake, please let me know and I’ll edit the post! I’m also using the broadest definition of sapphic in order to talk about as many books as possible, but if you’re an author who would rather their books aren’t categorized that way, let me know and I’ll remove it.

Some of these have trans main characters, some don’t, but all of them are by trans or nonbinary authors. Most of them have Lesbrary reviews linked, because so many of our favourite sapphic book are by trans authors!

Fiction:

the cover of Nevada

Nevada by Imogen Binnie (review): one of my favourite books, following a trans lesbian who steals her ex-girlfriend’s car and goes on a road trip. It’s introspective, sarcastic, and unforgettable–and it recently got republished!

Missed Her by Ivan E. Coyote (review)—and everything else they’ve ever written: Ivan Coyote is an incredible storyteller, and I recommend not only all of their books, but also checking out their videos on YouTube.

Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg (review): It’s hard to overstate the important of Leslie Feinberg’s work in queer and trans literary history. You can download this for free on hir website.

The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard edited by Tom Léger (review): this is a great way to be introduced to a bunch of trans authors, and it includes several F/F stories.

Lost Boi by Sassafras Lowrey (review): a queer punk BDSM retelling of Peter Pan.

A Dream of a Woman: Stories (review) and A Safe Girl to Love (review) by Casey Plett: beautiful literary short stories, most with sapphic trans women main characters.

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters: this won the PEN/Hemingway Award along with many other honours and became an instant classic of trans literature.

Romance:

the cover of Wherever Is Your Heart

Chef’s Kiss by TJ Alexander: an F/NB romance with a foodie element.

Who We Could Be (review) and many more by Chelsea Cameron: this is a grown up Anne of Green Gables-inspired romance (between Anne and Diana, obviously), but Chelsea Cameron writes lots of “tropetastic sapphic romances”!

Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant (review): paranormal romance with a bi trans heroine and bi trans hero.

Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly (review): an F/NB romance set at a reality TV baking competition!

Wherever is Your Heart by Anita Kelly (review): a butch/butch romance novella.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (review): if you somehow haven’t already read this F/F time travel romance, now is a good time!

Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner (review): the milf F/F romance. You know the one.

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Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror:

the cover of Light from Uncommon Stars

Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers edited by Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett (review): this is a fantastic collection that is also an introduction to a ton of trans authors, and it’s finally back in print!

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki (review): one of my favourite reads of last year! This has two sapphic main characters and a trans woman character. It’s genre-blending and heartwarming—but also, check the content warnings.

From A Shadow Grave by Andi C. Buchanan (review): this is an experimental collection of connected short stories told in the second person about a trans girl in 1930s New Zealand.

Finna by Nino Cipri (review): this a wacky sci-fi adventure set at an Ikea. Ava and Jules are exes and coworkers who have to rescue a customer who went through a wormhole.

the cover of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson: a fantasy trilogy following witches who fight the patriarchy and also fight TERFs.

The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw (review): “a little bit heist novel, a little bit noir narration, a hint of Lovecraftian, and a whole lot of gritty sci fi.”

Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (review): military science fiction with intense worldbuilding and a lesbian main character.

A Lake of Feathers and Moonbeams by Dax Murray (review): this is a queer, polyamorous Swan Lake retelling with a nonbinary main character!

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan (review): an epic queer fantasy that begins with a sister assuming her dead brother’s identity in order to claim his destiny for greatness.

Unwieldy Creatures by Addie Brook Tsai: “a biracial, queer, nonbinary retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein.”

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey (review): a Western dystopian about a queer caravan of librarians.

Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin (review): this is a gruesome post-apocalyptic zombie horror novel with queer trans main characters.

Graphic Novels:

the cover of Eat the Rich

Eat the Rich by Sarah Gailey, Pius Bak, and Roman Titov (review): an over-the-top, gruesome, funny, anti-capitalism, queer graphic novel!

Stone Fruit by Lee Lai (review): this is a graphic novel that follows Bron (a trans woman) and Ray (a cis woman) and their complicated relationship to each other and their families. 

Darlin’ It’s Betta Down Where It’s Wetta by Rosalarian, writing as Megan Rose Gedris (review): silly lesbian mermaid erotica comics.

I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space!!! by Rosalarian, writing as Megan Rose Gedris: I’m linking a pirate website (appropriately) because the rights to this comic were essentially stolen from the author and it’s no longer available legitimately, sadly.

Young Adult:

Once and Future cover

The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta (review): this is a heartwarming, super queer fabulist baking story with an agender/gender-fluid romance—not sapphic, but I can’t miss a chance to recommend it.

The Lost Coast by A.R. Capetta (review): a surreal story about six queer teen witches who band together to save one of them who disappears and then returns…empty behind the eyes.

Once & Future by A.R. Capetta and Cori McCarthy (review): “a queer, sci fi retelling of the Arthur myth, with a female Arthur. It’s somehow simultaneously dystopian, sci fi, and fantasy.”

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco: a sapphic YA fantasy dulogy pitched as Frozen meets Mad Max.

Dreadnought (review) and Sovereign (review) by April Daniels: a trans lesbian YA superhero story–but do be prepared for a lot of transphobia included in the story.

Iron Widow cover

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee (review): more teen superheroes! This one has a bi girl main character, but each book in the series has a different POV, including a trans guy.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee (review): “a dark academia, witchy, teenage boarding school sapphic romance which includes seances, a three hundred year old murder mystery, and ghosts.”

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (review): this has an F/F enemies-to-lovers story at its core, but it has a big queer cast.

Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve (review): a paranormal YA novel starring a nonbinary witch zombie and a Muslim lesbian werewolf.

A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth: an urban YA fae fantasy with four queer teen main characters.

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao (review): a bisexual, polyamorous, feminist YA novel with mechas and influence from Chinese history.

YA Graphic Novels:

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms cover

Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier, illustrated by Val Wise: an F/F YA graphic novel about two cheerleaders, one a trans girl.

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman (review): a YA graphic novel about a queer Brown kid on a (white) feminist spiritual backpacking trip, where she feel very out of place until she bonds with a trans girl there.

Stage Dreams by Melanie Gillman (review): this is a fast-paced Western comic with a trans Latina main character and a heist plot!

YU+ME: dream by Rosalarian, writing as Megan Rose Gedris: this began as a webcomic in 2004 and ended in 2010, and there are some very big changes that happen in between. It’s a teenage love story–that then turns fantastical and experimental.

The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin and Noah Haye: the adventures of a ragtag college basketball team.

Heavy Vinyl, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva (review): it’s like Fight Club, but teenagers at a record store.

Middle Grade:

the cover of Other Ever Afters

Ellen Outside the Lines by A.J. Sass: a sapphic middle grade contemporary with an autistic main character and nonbinary side character.

Other Ever Afters: New Queer Fairy Tales by Melanie Gillman (review): This is a middle grade graphic novel collection of queer fairy tales, most of which are sapphic!

Aquicorn Cove by Kay O’Neill (review): I love all of Kay O’Neill’s graphic novels, especially the Tea Dragon Society series. This is a MG fantasy book about grief with a sapphic subplot.

Princess Princess Ever After by Katie O’Neill (review): this is an all-ages comic about a princess acting as the knight in shining armor for another princess! It’s super cute.

Lumberjanes series by N.D. Stevenson (review): a fun and silly fantasy graphic novel set at a summer camp, with several queer characters and trans characters.

Nonfiction:

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha cover

Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote (review) and Gender Failure by Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon (review): you should read everything Ivan Coyote writes, for beautiful thoughts about gender, love, and being a human in the world.

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler: one of my favourite reads of last year! It beautifully weaves together Imbler’s memoir, including being Asian and nonbinary in the U.S., with science writing. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

Kicked Out edited by Sassafras Lowrey (review): this was published in 2010, so keep that in mind while reading it, but it’s an invaluable look at the experiences of homeless LGBTQ youth, told from their own perspectives.

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (review): this work is about disability justice: disability activism that centres queer and trans black, indigenous, and people of colour.

The Future is Disabled by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (review): this is another collection of essays about disability justice, but focused on the experiences of disabled people during the (ongoing) pandemics.

Bodymap by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (review): accessible, powerful poetry about being a queer disabled femme of colour. This is my favourite poetry book I’ve ever read.


This isn’t a complete list! Let me know in the comments which books I’ve missed that have sapphic content and trans/nonbinary authors.

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