March 31, Trans Day of Visibility, feels more important than usual this year: maybe that’s because while the Biden Administration announces moves to expand trans rights (woo!), it’s clear as a queer, trans person that this country still has a way to achieve trans justice. With the number of states passing anti-trans legislation, it’s even more important than ever to make sure we keep telling and listening to trans stories.

Therefore, I want to dedicate Trans Day of Visibility to trans comic book creators. They aren’t afraid to create great works of art promoting a trans and gender-nonconforming-inclusive community. Here, I hope to celebrate their accomplishments with a list of seven trans graphic novels about the LGBTQIA+ experience!

RELATED: 10 Queer Furry Comics You Need To Read Now

1. Made in Korea

Made in Korea

Photo: Image Comics

In Made in Korea by writer Jeremy Holt (they/them) and artist George Schall (they/them), high-octane action and heady science fiction explore concepts of identity, specifically relating to gender, race and being adopted. At a company that makes “proxies,” AI children who are “adopted” (bought and paid for) by childless couples, a programmer makes an unauthorized change in the programming of an AI. When the programmer puts the AI up for sale at a discount and a Texas couple purchases one of the proxies, Four-Five-Nine-Four/Jesse, the AI fails to conform to their expectations for their “daughter”?

Support a trans artist here!

2. Lumberjanes OGN Trilogy

Lumberjanes

Photo: IDW

The Lumberjanes OGN trilogy is by Lilah Sturges (she/her) and Polterink (she/they), with letters by Jim Campbell (he/him). The well-thought-out scripts written by Lilah combine with the incredible art of Polterink to create a trilogy of graphic novels that both fit perfectly in the Lumberjanes canon while simultaneously having a distinct flavor. These three novels have their own unique monochromatic color scheme, highlighting the essential queer themes explored. Plus: a mystical compass, Pookas, and a Zebracorn!

Support a trans graphic novel artist here!

3. Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio and Y2K-O! 

Heavy Vinyl! Riot on the Radio

Photo: BOOM! Studios

Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio by Carly Usdin (they/them), Rebecca Nalty (she/her), Kieran Quigley (he/him), Nina Vakueva, Irene FloresWalter Baiamonte and Natalia Nesterenko, with letters by Campbell (he/him), takes place in 1998. Chris, the main character, works her dream job at a local record store that is too punk for a small town. By day Chris and her girlfriend, Maggie, recommend the band Stegosaur to customers, and by night they fight for justice as part of a teen girl vigilante squad.

In the second TPB volume, Heavy Vinyl: Y2K-0!, a trans woman, Carmen, joins the squad as a love interest to one of the long-time squad members. She also brings with her DYI zine skills and some incredible computer skills necessary for taking down shadowy corporate masters of the music industry.

Support a trans artist here!

4. Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms

Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms

Photo: Oni Press

In Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier (she/her), Val Wise (he/him) and Oscar O. Jupiter, Bebe is the only trans girl at her high school. Her parents are bound and determined to make sure no one says anything transphobic to her—they are so eager to be allies they take some serious missteps to learn to support their trans daughter.

Cheer Up! explores whether being the token trans girl at school comes with benefits and if those benefits are really all they are cracked up to be (here’s a hint, they aren’t.) Bebe’s best ally is her old BFF, Annie, a lesbian who teaches the rest of the squad (and Bebe’s parents) what true allyship looks like. 

RELATED: DC Comics Annual Pride Anthology Returns for 2022

If you are interested in learning more about gender-affirming and inclusive athletics participation, check out GLSEN’s website. Then, support a trans artist here!

5. Transgender Heroes Coloring Book

Transgender Heroes Coloring Book

Photo: Stacked Deck Press

Stacked Deck Press’ The Transgender Heroes Coloring Book features “illustrations and short biographies of 45 real life figures from Marsha P. Johnson to Elagabalus! Learn about trailblazers in trans history while you color images drawn by some of today’s finest trans cartoonists.”

I own several of the publisher’s coloring books, each top-notch. Plus, SDP is owned by a trans woman, Tara Madison Avery, and the publisher almost always includes illustrations by trans creators in its coloring books.

Support a trans artist here!

6. The Legend of Auntie Po 

The Legend of Auntie Po

Photo: Penguin Random House

Written by Shing Yin Khor (they/them), The Legend of Auntie Po takes place in the years immediately after the United States passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. The main character, Mei, deals with the racism and tumult of being a closet lesbian by reimagining Paul Bunyan as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch who looks out for the entire community, not only the cishet white men. 

When my wife and I came out to our families, almost everyone close to us reexamined their gender or at least considered how gender norms impacted their lives. This graphic novel may not directly deal with trans issues, but it deals with how being othered impacts a person’s ability to play with gender norms—in Mei’s case, it allows her to get away with wearing pants. 

Support a trans artist here!

7. Magical Boy: Volume 1

Magical Boy

Photo: Scholastic

Magical Boy by The Kao (he/him) was initially released for free on Tapas. It tells the story of a transgender boy named Max who is trying to navigate all the usual highs and lows of high school in addition to his magical duties. Max’s life is turned upside down when his mom (who doesn’t know he’s trans at the start of the story) reveals that he’s descended from a long line of Magical Girls. If you like Aiden Thomas  Cemetery Boys, then you’ll like Magical Boy

Support a trans graphic novel artist here! Or read it on Tapas.

Trans Day of Visibility Resources

GLSEN provided the following guides for members of school communities:

Learn more about trans athletes here.

 

Queer Tested, Teacher Approved: 5 YA Books Where the Trans Kid Beats the Monster

 

 

Rebecca Kaplan