The absence of trans, gender queer and gender nonconforming people in books, movies, television and art is glaringly obvious. And finding any trans protagonists whose struggles are more than gender identity issues is nearly impossible, said Salt Lake City author Mikki Whitworth. She’s one of 28 trans authors who contributed works to The Collection, a new anthology of fiction.
Whitworth’s piece tells the story of a young trans woman who is also a super hero. In place of autobiographical stories surrounding transitioning, changing gender markers on identifications and finding health care, Whitworth’s super hero simply kicks ass.
“There is a lot of terrific trans-related literature out there, but it’s so hard to find stories that just tell the stories that we like to hear. We need more fiction where trans people can really identify with the characters. Not just relate to them, but identify with them,” Whitworth said. “That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to participate in this project.”
The book is available just in time for Transgender Awareness Month and the West Coast debut of the book will be held Friday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m., in the Gore Auditorium at Westminster College, 1840 S. 1300 East. Six of the book’s contributing authors will be present for a reading and discussion. The event is free and open to the public.
“The writers chosen for The Collection represent some of the best trans work that is being done in North America within this genre,” said co-editor Tom Leger, “and putting them all together in one place is an unprecedented step forward as a unified movement.”
The book is the first step in a movement toward literature and art that reflects the personal experiences of trans and gender nonconforming people, Whitworth said. From super heroes to heartbroken lovers and homeless outsiders, there is an expansive nature to the works that encompass a large spectrum of human experience and emotion.
The book is available online at topsidepress.com and locally at The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East. For a full listing of events and activities for Transgender Awareness Month, go to utahpridecenter.org.