Virago Press has bought a book tackling "burning questions about transgender identity".
Commissioning editor Ailah Ahmed acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the "agenda-setting" title by CN Lester, a British LGBT activist specialising in transgender issues, from Laura Macdougall at Tibor Jones & Associates.
Trans Like Me takes the reader through a host of "pressing questions in the transgender debate", combined with a personal narrative of what it means to be a transgender person today. It is said it will show readers "how we are all defined by ideas of gender, whether we live our lives as he, she or they, and how we can strive for authenticity in a world which often seeks to limit us by way of labels". It also covers topics such as the rise in referrals for gender variant children, feminism’s treatment of the trans community, and "the mainstream media’s ‘trans moment’", among others.
Activist Lester co-founded the first ever national UK group for young LGBT people and has acted as a consultant on trans issues to a broad range of organisations, such as Channel 4, the BBC and the Huffington Post; as well as writing for New Statesmen, New Internationalist and the Feminist Times.
Ahmed said: "This book blew me away by answering all the most topical questions about the new gender debate. Time magazine declared 2014 the year of the ‘Transgender Tipping Point’, and the experiences of those affected by these issues have now entered the mainstream. Virago is delighted to welcome CN Lester to the list with this ground-breaking new exploration of trans lives. Trans Like Me has all the power of Living Dolls by Natasha Walter in really engaging with the zeitgeist. It is also a very moving account of what it means to be a trans person today."
Lester said: "So many of my formative feminist moments came through reading Virago titles - I'm absolutely thrilled to be joining them as an author. As a trans feminist, it was vital for me to find a publisher and editor who understand the broader implications of the current trans movement: how gender affects us all, how the fight for trans rights fits into a feminist debate, and how important it is to take an intersectional approach. I'm proud to be working with a team who have (quite rightly) already included trans women in their remit, and who support authors such as myself –genderqueer people, cis and trans men – who are working on issues of gendered oppression and justice. Trans Like Me is, quite genuinely, a book for all of us – I'm so grateful to both Ailah and my agent Laura for believing in it."
Trans Like Me: A Journey For All Of Us is scheduled for publication in November 2016.