The most recommended books on non-binary gender

Who picked these books? Meet our 39 experts.

39 authors created a book list connected to non-binary gender topics and characters, and here are their favorite non-binary gender books.
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Book cover of Confessions of the Fox

Morgan Thomas Author Of Manywhere

From my list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I came to genderqueer histories searching for a reflection of myself that I couldn’t find in my immediate environment (the rural American South). Early on, I thought I’d found it—historical figures, both real and fictional, who shared my gender identity. But as I’ve continued to research, I’ve realized that the reflections of history are less a mirror image, more a reflection in water—fluid and distorting. Genderqueer people throughout history use different language for their identities, navigate different social and family systems, and express their gender in different ways. In the space created by this difference, I’ve begun to understand my gender as a thing that changes, too, across space and time.

Morgan's book list on folks seeking genderqueer ancestry

Morgan Thomas Why did Morgan love this book?

I read this book early in my exploration of genderqueer identity, and I found Professor Voth’s defiant joy in uncovering and sharing the historical story of Jack Sheppard, and in his own trans identity, permission-giving. This playful book dramatizes the search for trans histories and ancestries, ultimately transforming this search into a celebration of chosen family.

By Jordy Rosenberg,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Confessions of the Fox as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, 2019
Finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award, 2019

A New Yorker Book of the Year, 2018
A Huffington Post Book of the Year, 2018
A Buzzfeed Book of the Year, 2018

'Quite simply extraordinary... Imagine if Maggie Nelson, Daphne du Maurier and Daniel Defoe collaborated.' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent

Jack Sheppard - a transgender carpenter's apprentice - has fled his master's house to become a notorious prison break artist, and Bess Khan has escaped the draining of the fenlands to become a revolutionary mastermind. Together, they find themselves at the center…


Book cover of Manhunt

Richard S. Sargent Author Of The Horror Movie Night Cookbook: 60 Deliciously Deadly Recipes Inspired by Iconic Slashers, Zombie Films, Psychological Thrillers, Sci-Fi Spooks, and More

From my list on delicious horror stories to devour in one sitting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a student of horror since my mother first sat me down in front of the TV to watch the old monster movies with her. It's a genre for the outsiders, the underdogs, which I've certainly felt at several points throughout my life. Good horror is both an escape and a vessel to affect change in the world. Many people in my life believe horror is just boobs and blood, so I feel like it's my job to educate them. This is why I started hosting my horror movie nights, which later developed into my first cookbook. Horror is a major part of my life and I hope it gets the appreciation it deserves.

Richard's book list on delicious horror stories to devour in one sitting

Richard S. Sargent Why did Richard love this book?

Described by many, including myself, as a modern horror masterpiece, Felker-Martin creates a grotesque post-apocalyptic world in which transmen and transwomen are on a gendered journey of survival.

While at first glance it may seem a bit on the nose, I couldn't put it down. The horror aspects are handled brilliantly and the characters are as flawed as they are strong. It is shocking, fun, and full of heart, an honest and inspirational tale of a band of outsiders coming together to not just fight for survival but to thrive in a world where everything and everyone seems to be against them.

By Gretchen Felker-Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Manhunt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs in a gruesome effort to ensure they'll never face the same fate.

Robbie lives by his gun and one hard-learned motto: other people aren't safe.

After a brutal accident entwines the three of them, this found family of survivors must navigate murderous TERFs, a sociopathic billionaire bunker brat, and awkward relationship dynamics-all while outrunning packs of feral men, and their own demons.

Manhunt is a timely, powerful response to every gender-based apocalypse story that failed to consider the existence of transgender…


Book cover of Champagne Kisses

Ivy L. James Author Of Make the Yuletide Gay

From my list on queer romance capturing the magic of the holidays.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve adored holiday love stories ever since I was a kid watching Hallmark movies. There’s something about the magic of the holidays that makes two people falling in love even more special. That’s why I chose a contemporary holiday romance for my debut. And we see so much straight romance on TV and in bookstores, but I want to contribute to the queer community with my writing. I write a mix of sexualities; Make the Yuletide Gay features two lesbian women. All that to say, I just love queer holiday romances!

Ivy's book list on queer romance capturing the magic of the holidays

Ivy L. James Why did Ivy love this book?

This one is technically New Year’s holidays, not Christmas specifically, but it swept me away with the meet cute and resulting fake dating. The main couple is adorable, and so is the side couple whose wedding they’re attending. Beau? Charms my pants off. The kisses (and more) steam up my glasses. I also appreciate the nonbinary representation; Alex is hilarious. It’s funny and cute and ugh, I just love it so much.

By M.J. Duncan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Champagne Kisses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Flying solo at a wedding is the absolute last way Aubrey Gill wants to ring in the new year, so when she rolls into Whistler for the event, it’s with one goal in mind—survive the weekend. The Fates have other plans for her, however, as Beau Demers crashes into her life the moment she arrives. Young, gorgeous, and irresistibly charming, Beau quickly slips past her defenses, and Aubrey finds herself with a “date” for the weekend after all. It’s all for show, of course, except for the part where it’s the truest thing she’s ever known. And as the festivities…


Book cover of The Black Tides of Heaven

Corin Reyburn Author Of Binary Stars

From my list on speculative fiction for dismantling the patriarchy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a non-binary, neurodivergent, queer speculative fiction writer who loves a good revolution story—whether that’s a quiet, personal revolution, or a big, explosive overthrowing of the 1%. These books have helped me create my own odd fictional worlds as well as space for my psyche to survive in. I wanted to represent a variety of perspectives here from writers who are subversive, LGBTQ, BIPOC, and, for lack of a better word, brave. As a university writing teacher, I believe that the written word holds power and drives us closer to a utopia, or at least towards a more colorful future community where all are welcome and supported.

Corin's book list on speculative fiction for dismantling the patriarchy

Corin Reyburn Why did Corin love this book?

As a fellow genderqueer/non-binary Asian writer, I’m happy to champion the first in Neon Yang’s Tensorate series. A YA novella set in a non-Western fantasy landscape, this book tackles issues of gender identity and choice head-on, introducing us to a society where children are referred to individually using they/them pronouns, and can select one of the binary genders when they come of age or chose to remain non-binary. We see the world through the eyes of twins Mokoya and Akeha as they come into their gender expressions and their powers in a feudal, monastic society largely reminiscent of those found in Asian history.

By Neon Yang,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Black Tides of Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Joyously wild stuff. Highly recommended." ―The New York Times

One of the 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time, according to Time Magazine

A Finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards for Best Novella

The Black Tides of Heaven is one of a pair of unique, standalone introductions to Neon Yang's Tensorate Series, which Kate Elliott calls "effortlessly fascinating." For more of the story you can read its twin novella The Red Threads of Fortune, available simultaneously.

Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her…


Book cover of Trans Voices: Becoming Who You Are

Philippa Ryder Author Of My Name Is Philippa

From my list on our lives in public: personal stories and memoirs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I had so many questions as I grew up. Why was I so different to other boys. Then, some 20 years ago, I started to find and talk to others like me. I realised I was transgender, ‘born in the wrong body’ as the saying goes. From that point on I began to work for the LGBTQ+ community as I also negotiated the personal and difficult path of transitioning from male to female. My passion for activism continues to this day, shown in my role as Chair of Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride and delivering workshops, presentations, and lectures to multinational companies and government bodies where I encourage everyone to see the beauty in diversity.

Philippa's book list on our lives in public: personal stories and memoirs

Philippa Ryder Why did Philippa love this book?

I loved this book! The author has interviewed lots of trans people and has nicely captured the diversity of the different expressions of gender which is such an important part of being transgender. It covers all aspects of transitioning such as hormones, surgeries, coming out, sex and sexuality, and other areas.

The challenges faced by the trans community are also covered, from transphobia, discrimination, and hate crime to accessing vital health care. Declan Henry has provided valuable insights and lessons for the LGBTQ+ community and all who wish to be an ally to the trans community.

By Declan Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trans Voices as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bronze Winner for the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the category of Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans Non-Fiction

Foregrounding the voices of transgender and non-binary people, this honest and insightful book is a compilation of the voices of those who have decided to undergo transition - both male-to-female and female-to-male. Drawing on over one hundred interviews with individuals, the book details the diverse experiences and challenges faced by those who transition, exploring a range of topics such as hormone treatments; reassignment surgeries; coming out; sex and sexuality; physical, emotional and mental health; transphobia; discrimination; and hate crime, as well as highlighting the lives…


Book cover of Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night

Felicia Davin Author Of Thornfruit

From my list on fantasy with polyamory.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write fantasy romance, or romantic fantasy, and one of my favorite things this little genre niche can do is use its otherworldly setting to re-examine our preconceived notions of romantic relationships. Polyamory exists in the real world, of course, so surely it should also exist in worlds with hauntings, spells, magic-powered giant mecha, and gods who intervene in mortal fates. Here are some books I have loved that make polyamory a fundamental part of their fantasy worldbuilding.

Felicia's book list on fantasy with polyamory

Felicia Davin Why did Felicia love this book?

This beautiful and immersive novella is a winter-solstice-themed story about a woman and a genderqueer character who have nothing in common except for their mysterious, chaotic, magical, missing boyfriend. His magical experiment goes wrong and finding him requires them to cooperate. They make their way through a strange and wonderful set of clues that bring them closer together. Layla and Nat were both so richly drawn, and the contrast between their ordinary lives and the eerie, ineffable nature of the magic made the book so memorable for me. The whole cast is marvelously queer, and I laughed out loud a couple of times. A gem.

By Katherine Fabian, Iona Datt Sharma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sing for the Coming of the Longest Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The world you know is underneath the substance of another, with cracks in the firmament that let the light of its magic in…

Layla and Nat have nothing in common but their boyfriend – enigmatic, brilliant Meraud – and their deep mutual dislike. But when Meraud disappears after an ambitious magical experiment goes wrong, they may be the only ones who can follow the trail of cryptic clues that will bring him safely home.

To return Meraud to this world, the two of them will confront every obstacle: the magic of the wild unknowable, a friendly vicar who's only concerned…


Book cover of It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book about Gender Identity

Sarah Warren Author Of Stacey Abrams: Lift Every Voice

From my list on to read when you don’t have the answers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’d been a preschool teacher and a children’s author for years before I decided to become a mom. I was pretty sure I’d kill it at motherhood, I mean, I knew all the songs and I had lots of books. I was always up for giving advice to the caregivers at my school, heck, I was the perfect parent before my son was born. I knew everything then. Not anymore. Thank goodness for books. Over the years, my child has asked some tough questions, read on…you’ll see. Do they sound familiar? If so, these books might help you find your footing as you go looking for answers. 

Sarah's book list on to read when you don’t have the answers

Sarah Warren Why did Sarah love this book?

“Why is that dad wearing a dress?”

It wasn’t the first time my toddler commented on someone’s appearance in front of them, but I was convinced that his question sounded like a judgment. We have never left our grocery store so fast. I was angry. He was worried. Had he done something wrong? Yes! Maybe? I didn’t know. Had I? Yes. I wanted my family to be cool with all forms of gender expression, but I hadn’t built the common ground or the vocabulary to make that vision a reality. I’d projected my own fears, ignorance, and self-consciousness onto my child. I blew it. This book gave me words. We don’t assume anything about ourselves or other people anymore. I can see that my son’s curiosity comes from a place of sincerity and positivity. Now, I have the confidence to follow his lead.

By Theresa Thorn, Noah Grigni (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked It Feels Good to Be Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between.

This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. Written by the mother of a transgender child and illustrated by a non-binary transgender artist, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.


Book cover of Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction

E.G. Condé Author Of Sordidez

From my list on Indigenous futurism.

Why am I passionate about this?

In grade school, I was taught that my ancestors in Borikén (Puerto Rico) were eradicated by the Spanish, just a few decades after Christopher Columbus “discovered” the Americas. I have since become an Anthropologist of technology, where I study how the infrastructure failures and disasters like hurricanes are reactivating a dormant Taíno identity on my ancestral archipelago. My speculative fiction is inspired by this research and my fractured family history as a descendant of the Taíno, enslaved Africans, and their colonizers from Spain. In my stories, I challenge the narrative of my own extinction, imagining alternative pasts and futures where the Taíno are flourishing and Boricuas are free from American colonial rule (Taínofuturism).

E.G.'s book list on Indigenous futurism

E.G. Condé Why did E.G. love this book?

Among the more insidious and tragic consequences of colonialism and its assimilationist policies is the eradication of indigenous conventions around gender and sexuality. In many indigenous communities, gender and sexuality do not operate in as binary as a fashion as they do in European societies.

Highlighting these historical and contemporary possibilities for what we might call queer identities (or “two-spirit” in some communities), is Joshua Whithead’s breathtaking “Indigiqueer” anthology, Love After the End. Contributors amend the provocation, the future is indigenous, to consider how the future is also queer or indigiqueer. 

Weaving between the traditional and the contemporary, the past and the future, the ancestral and the posthuman, these tales of queer joy, love, and thriving remind us of what was lost and what is still possible as we strive toward mass decolonization.

By Joshua Whitehead (editor),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Love After the End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lambda Literary Award winner

This exciting and groundbreaking fiction anthology showcases a number of new and emerging 2SQ (Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous) writers from across Turtle Island. These visionary authors show how queer Indigenous communities can bloom and thrive through utopian narratives that detail the vivacity and strength of 2SQness throughout its plight in the maw of settler colonialism’s histories.

Here, readers will discover bio-engineered AI rats, transplanted trees in space, the rise of a 2SQ resistance camp, a primer on how to survive Indigiqueerly, virtual reality applications, motherships at sea, and the very bending of space-time continuums queered through…


Book cover of Sketchtasy

Tim Murphy Author Of Speech Team

From my list on LGBTQ+ characters who are a total mess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a 54-year-old gay man who has led my own messy life here in New York City, marked as much by sex, romance, friendship, and culture as by drug addiction, relationship drama, mental illness and youthful trauma. I’ve published five novels, all of which contain queer characters who’ve not exactly been poster children for mainstream-world-approved LGBTQ behavior. I’m drawn to novels like the ones I’ve mentioned because they show queer people not as the hetero world often would like them to be—sanitized, asexual, witty and “fabulous”—but as capable of dysfunction, mediocrity, unwise choices and poor conduct as anybody else.

Tim's book list on LGBTQ+ characters who are a total mess

Tim Murphy Why did Tim love this book?

One of the most kinetic books I read a few years back and told in a kind of beautiful, white-hot stream of consciousness, Sketchtasy is the tale of young, genderqueer Alexa and her friends navigating pleasure and survival in mid-90s, AIDS-battered Boston.

This is no “model LGBTQ person” book; Alexa and her friends, scarred by trauma and addled by every recreational drug on the planet, are creatures of the night, showing off outrageous looks in the clubs and turning tricks to pay the rent and put food in their mouths.

It’s a breakneck-paced look at both exuberant and terrified young queer people right before HIV went from being a near death sentence to a chronic manageable disease. 

By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sketchtasy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sketchtasy takes place in that late-night moment when everything comes together, and everything falls apart—it’s an urgent, glittering, devastating novel about the perils of queer world-making in the mid-‘90s.

This is Boston in 1995, a city defined by a rabid fear of difference. Alexa, an incisive twenty-one-year-old queen, faces everyday brutality with determined nonchalance. Rejecting middle-class pretensions, she negotiates past and present traumas with a scathing critique of the world. Drawn to the ecstasy of drugged-out escapades, Alexa searches for nourishment in a gay culture bonded by clubs and conformity, willful apathy, and the specter of AIDS. Is there any…


Book cover of Birdie and Me

Allan Hunter Author Of GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet

From my list on LGBTQIA+ YA on coming out and coming of age.

Why am I passionate about this?

Allan D. Hunter came out as genderqueer in 1980, more than 20 years before “genderqueer” was trending. His story is autobiographical: the story of a different kind of male hero, a genderqueer person's tale. It follows the author from his debut as an eighth grader in Los Alamos, New Mexico until his unorthodox coming out at the age of twenty-one on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque. 

Allan's book list on LGBTQIA+ YA on coming out and coming of age

Allan Hunter Why did Allan love this book?

Here’s a story focused on a gender-atypical main character where the book isn’t about being genderqueer or being nonbinary or whatever.

Birdie’s gender characteristics are just there, the same way that a book set in Manhattan can have Manhattan in the foreground without being a book about Manhattan. I like the way that being gay and being trans are discarded as not really applicable to Birdie without some other replacement identity being pushed forward instead.

By J. M. M. Nuanez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Birdie and Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

An emotional and uplifting debut about a girl named Jack and her gender creative little brother, Birdie, searching for the place where they can be their true and best selves.

After their mama dies, Jack and Birdie find themselves without a place to call home. And when Mama's two brothers each try to provide one--first sweet Uncle Carl, then gruff Uncle Patrick--the results are funny, tender, and tragic.

They're also somehow . . . spectacular.

With voices and characters that soar off the page, J. M. M. Nuanez's debut novel depicts an unlikely family caught in a situation none of…