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Why You Should Be Participating in the Trans Rights Readathon This Week

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Coastal Carolina chapter.

TW: discussions concerning anti-trans rhetoric
If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you would be aware of all of the anti-transgender legislation being passed, the ban on trans-centered stores, and general anti-trans sentiment and hate lately. It has been hard on queer communities in the United States, but the backlash has been particularly felt by those of us in the South. In response to the bigotry, author Sim Kern posted on Twitter about a “Trans Rights Readathon” that would take place from March 20 to March 27. They stated that “all the cool bookish kids on the internet are reading books by trans authors and raising money for trans orgs.” But how is the fundraising happening? Kern outlines that this is a “decentralized fundraiser” wherein “each bookish-content-creator will set up their own fundraiser supporting the trans org or individual of their choice.” By having this fundraiser be decentralized, funds can go to more varied places depending on what the bookish creator is passionate about. They can also go to more localized places to help support the communities that may be struggling that the content creators and followers are familiar with or that are close to their hearts.
Now that you are interested, here’s how to join! Step 1: Fill out the form on Kern’s Twitter; Step 2: Choose a trans organization, fund, or individual to support (optional additional step: make a fundraising page such as a GoFundMe); Step 3: Start making content using the hashtag #transrightsreadathon on any and all platforms; Step 4: Read and have fun supporting transgender communities, authors, and people!
Ok, so you’re interested and willing to create content, but what will you read? I suggest reading books by trans/genderqueer authors as you will be supporting the community in multiple ways by doing so. First, I’ll list some of my fiction recommendations. As always, whenever you get a book recommendation, please look at the tags and trigger warnings and be safe. I personally loved Aiden Thomas’s Cemetery Boys and I know that he has also written another book called The Sunbearer Trials which has been on my T.B.R. for months. Other notable recommendations include: Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White, Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters, She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan, Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki, Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, and I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver. My non-fiction recommendations are The Natural Mother of The Child by Krys Malcolm Belc, Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi, and Black Boy Out of Time by Hari Ziyad. If you are more into poetry I suggest either The Good Arabs by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch or Water I Won’t Touch by Kayleb Rae Candrilli. If you are more of a graphic novel reader, Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe might be for you. Some of these books I have personally read and enjoyed, others have been on my shelves for years waiting to be read, and for even more still I’ve heard about from TikTok. If none of these suit your reading style or niche, look up others! Google searches of “books by trans/genderqueer authors” or that using that same search on social media sites will produce an array of novels, memoirs, etc. by transgender and/or genderqueer authors. Sim Kern also gave a link to free ARCs and Ebooks for the readathon.
Supporting the transgender community has never been so important and an amazing way to do it is by participating in this readathon this week! Personally, I will be making my way through my T.B.R. and supporting the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center which is located in Columbia, South Carolina. They offer resources including a free lending library, meeting spaces for LGBT-supportive groups, and a directory of LGBT-friendly businesses, organizations, and counselors while also serving as the headquarters for the South Carolina Pride Movement. These resources are free and available to everyone during operating hours. Please consider donating and/or supporting the Trans Rights Readathon in any way you can.

Avery Griffin

Coastal Carolina '23

Avery is a senior Marine Science major, with an English minor. She is a queer woman interested in social justice, reading (or increasing her TBR), coffee, tea, and exploring nature and whatever else Myrtle Beach can offer. Her writings mostly consist of book reviews and some culture.