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A Spotlight on Trans Reads

Lauren Bell

July 14th is International Nonbinary People’s Day, which means that this week is Nonbinary Awareness Week! So let’s keep the pride celebrations rolling with a spotlight on a couple of Supposed Crimes works that feature transgender and nonbinary characters. If the heat of the summer is slowing you down, these books are sure to get you out of your reading slump.

First up is An Act of Devotion by A.M. Leibowitz. The book not only features a diverse cast of characters (including an MTF transgender character), but also touches on a variety of topics, such as self discovery, healing from your past, and mental health. Here’s the summary:

Adam Lansing has always relied on his charm to get by. Sure, he’s starting over—new school, new graduate assistant position—but he knows he won’t have any trouble working his magic on anyone he chooses.
Antonio "AJ" Mancuso is deep inside his own head. He's cool, calm, and confident. But despite all the friends around him, he often feels like he straddles two worlds. Is there anyone who could love him for everything that defines him—past and present?
From the first time they meet, Adam is determined to get gorgeous AJ to notice him. But just as the heat is cranking up between them, Adam spots AJ with another man. Adam strikes back through a fling with an ex. But when he discovers the truth behind AJ's behavior, he realizes that his magic won't clean up for him this time.


Next is The Practical Mage’s Guide to Magic and Mayhem by Dan Ackerman. The story is one of historical fantasy, taking place in the 19th century. It focuses on the unlikely friendship between a mage and a demon, forced together by circumstance. Yet where the story truly shines is in its representation of the nonbinary demon Phaedrus, and the openness with which the character speaks on their identity. Here’s more on the book:

Hiram Reinhart abandoned a life of privilege when he could no longer stomach the ugliness of plantation life. Now he resides in Canada, selling small enchantments to keep his rag-tag family fed and housed, if only barely. 
Matthew Blackwell, another mage, seeks out Hiram's assistance in order to find a demon. Hiram seeks out the demon on his own, concerned for the creature's well-being. The demon, Phaedrus, turns down Hiram's offer of aid at first. Soon enough, Hiram and Phaedrus regret not helping each other and not much later, it's all they can do to stay alive.
Hiram and Phaedrus grow closer as they try to stay one step ahead of Blackwell and his unsavory plans. Along the way, they help each other cope with a world that doesn't have much room for a man who doesn't like women and a demon who doesn't belong on either side of the gender binary.

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