Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thoughts on Transgender Fiction

Anyone who follows my blog is certainly familiar with my connection to the transgender community. You've probably been wondering, "Why doesn't Giselle have any TG work on the market?" Well, ask no longer, because KANDINSKY'S SHIRT BUTTON is the transgender romance you've been waiting for.

Okay, I know, that sounds wretchedly “courtesy of the Giselle Renarde marketing department.” Maybe I should have said KANDINSKY’S SHIRT BUTTON is the transgender romance I’ve been waiting to see on the market. Because, trust me, I write A LOT of transgender romance erotica. Writing isn’t the problem. Getting it published is.

I’ve heard a lot of people in the transgender community—my Sweet included—expressing distaste for a lot of the shemale/t-girl/ ladyboy porn out there. As much as I feel there’s a place in the world for every kind of artistic expression, that stuff doesn’t appeal to me specifically. We all want to see ourselves represented in media and art, and I just can’t relate to the shemale stories. The gorgeous girl I’m in a relationship with is no shemale; she’s a trans woman.

It’s important to have access to fiction that represents who we are and the kinds of lives we lead and relationships we form. TG people aren’t all freaks and prostitutes—and I know you’re going to say, “Excuse me? Then why did you write Violette in KANDINSKY as a sex worker?” I hear you, but that’s just what that character happens to do—most genderqueer individuals are supremely “normal” because they’re trying so hard to pass in their target gender identities. My Sweet happens to be a supremely conventional femme.

I know a writer is never supposed to say this but, when it comes to transgender fiction, I write my life. When I sit down at the computer, the issues that come out are often taken from my lesbian relationship with a trans woman. Now tell me, when was the last time you read a work of trans lesbian erotica? It’s just not out there and god how I want it to be. The only portrayal of a trans lesbian relationship I can recall in pop culture is in the Canadian film Better than Chocolate…which is kind of a pathetic movie aside from the trans lesbian subplot. To me, at least. But I’m biased; Anne-Marie MacDonald is one of my all-time favourite authors…

Getting back on track, I want to applaud brave women out there like Selena Kitt at eXcessica who will soon have published two of my genderqueer works, and Violet Blue who included my cross-dressing story Spring Fever in a wonderful anthology called Girls On Top (Cleis Press).

KANDINSKY’S SHIRT BUTTON differs from the majority of my TG erotica in that it’s a romance between a man and a trans, not a lesbian tale. It’s also the only story I’ve ever written featuring a sex worker. Two firsts. Or should I say, “be gentle; it’s my first time”? Or should I say it twice? *smile* As I’ve said before, I do hope you’ll give it a read and, more than that, I hope you’ll love my work.

Bright Blessings,

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