Elisa announced the 2013 winners of the Rainbow Awards yesterday. Be sure to stop by and check out all the winners, but I'd like to take a moment to showcase the short-list and winners of the Best Transgender Novel category.
First of all, there was a tie for the winning spot:
1 (tie). I Know Very Well How I Got My Name by Elliott DeLine
The night he loses his virginity, he becomes Dean. Amy Wagner names him—and she would know best. Amy knows all kinds of things that Dean doesn’t understand—things about sex, music, and the darker side of life. All Dean knows is his safe suburban home with his parents, books, and imaginary games. Until now, he’s been able to hide his true identity, even from himself. To the rest of the world, he is a teenage girl—an awkward, boyish teenage girl, but a girl nonetheless. Meeting Amy changes everything. Soon that protected world around him begins to fall apart, and he is left with no other option but to face himself and the truth. I Know Very Well How I Got My Name chronicles Dean’s clumsy progression through the American public school system. It is the 90’s and early 2000’s, in suburban Syracuse, New York—a world in which LGBTQ bullying is not yet a hot topic in schools, and there is little tolerance for outsiders of any kind. A prequel to the award-winning novel Refuse, Elliott DeLine’s second book is about the prevailing myths surrounding bullying and abuse, and the hardships of being young and transgender without a community, support, or a roadmap.
1 (tie). The Left Hand of Calvus by L.A. Witt
Former gladiator Saevius is certain fortune’s smiling on him when a Pompeiian politician buys him to be his bodyguard. But then his new master, Laurea Calvus, orders Saevius to discover the gladiator with whom his wife is having an affair. In order to do that, Saevius must return to the arena, training alongside the very men on whom he’s spying. Worse, he’s now under the command of Drusus, a notoriously cruel—and yet strangely intriguing—lanista.
But Saevius’s ruse is the least of his worries. There’s more to the affair than a wife humiliating her prominent husband, and now Saevius is part of a dangerous game between dangerous men. He isn’t the only gladiator out to expose the Lady Verina’s transgressions, and her husband wants more than just the guilty man’s name.
When Saevius learns the truth about the affair, he’s left with no choice but to betray one of his masters: one he’s come to fear, one he’s come to respect, and both of whom could have him killed without repercussion. For the first time in his life, the most dangerous place for this gladiator isn’t the arena.
As for the two runners-up, they are:
2. Roving Pack by Sassafras Lowrey
Click, a straight-edge transgender kid, is searching for hir place within a pack of newly sober gender rebels in the dilapidated punk houses of Portland, Oregon circa 2002. Ze embarks on a dizzying whirlwind of leather, sex, hormones, house parties, and protests until hir gender fluidity takes an unexpected turn and the pack is sent reeling.
3. Becoming Agie by Grigory Ryzhakov
"Becoming Agie" consists of two novellas about a M->F transsexual scientist called Agie. In "Usher Syndrome" she opens her heart to someone who would accept her for what she is. But her destiny has other plans and Agie has to fight for her love in the most challenging and unexpected way. In "Pumpkin Day" Agie tries to solve a mysterious disappearance of a giant pumpkin into a cavern beneath Slown City. Meanwhile, a lonely, well-to-do man called Jake has to choose between courage and prejudice to pursue his love interest. A lost notebook brings the two lives together. "Usher Syndrome" was adapted for stage and performed at London’s Barons Court Theatre in 2010.
Congrats to all!