471 anti-trans bills have been proposed in the United States in the 2023 legislative session, according to the Trans Legislation Tracker, 55 of which have been proposed in Texas alone. The Trans Legislation Tracker website states that many of these bills block trans people from receiving basic healthcare, education, legal recognition and the right to publicly exist.
As a human and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I am horrified that these bills are being proposed, and I want to rally around and support the trans community in any way I can.
One day I was browsing TikTok and came across Sim Kern, (they/them,) an author and self-described “book tocker” who was proposing a trans rights readathon as a way to support trans authors and raise money for non-profits who support the trans community.
As we all know, I love to read. I’m always looking for books that are inclusive and allow me to learn about others’ lived experiences, and this readathon does just that. The readathon was originally created to support trans authors, but has expanded into books written by trans or non-binary authors and/or books that have trans and non-binary characters.
If you’d also like to participate, here’s how:
- If you’d like to, sign up for the participation survey. That way information can be collected to see how many people participate and how many books are read. *not a requirement*
- Choose a trans rights organization to support. It can be a national organization like The Trans Health Legal Fund or a one local to you. For those participating in Texas, the Transgender Education Network of Texas, Equality Texas and TexasTransKids.org are great ones to support. In the Coastal Bend we have Pride Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend Pride Center.
- If you choose to set up a fundraising goal, set that up. You can ask people to donate per page, per chapter or per book. A good website to use is called PledgeIt. If you don’t feel comfortable asking others to donate, decide on your personal donation amount.
- If you are comfortable, share your participation! You can share it quietly amongst friends and chosen family, or you can shout it from the rooftops on your social media. If you choose to share on social media, use the hashtag #transrightsreadathon.
- Read, read, read! From March 20 – 27, the goal is to support trans authors as much as we can through purchasing their books, sharing about them with friends and on social media, and interacting with the authors on social media platforms.
- After the readathon, encourage others to keep reading books by trans authors, supporting trans organizations and reach out to your elected officials to fight against hateful legislation.
If you search the hashtag #transrightsreadathon on any social media platform, you can find a plethora of book suggestions to read. If you’d rather see things written down, TikTok user @readwithrhys (he/him) created a spreadsheet that has over 602 books written by trans authors and/or have trans characters in them. If you’re looking for books for young kids, here’s a list of 14 books starring trans or gender-nonconforming kids. My personal TBR list has grown exponentially these last few days and I’m so excited to dive into some new books.
Let me know in the comments if you’re joining me in the trans rights readathon this week, what book you’re excited to start, and what organization you’re donating money to.