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Part of the reason it took so long for me to come out as a teen was because I had no access to happy stories about transgender people. It wasn’t until college, when I found stories about trans characters that ended with them finding happiness, that I found the courage to come out, too. Meeting my now-husband, who is also non-binary and uses he/they pronouns like I do, was the first time I felt fully seen and loved unconditionally.
For that reason, I know just how vital it is for teens to access stories about trans and non-binary characters finding happiness and love. Stories about the discrimination and hardships trans people face are important, too. However, if those are the only stories trans teens are exposed to, they may worry that they will not find the love and acceptance they deserve after coming out.
These five YA romance books all feature trans and enby main characters and love interests. All are written by trans and non-binary authors. Each one centers coming-of-age stories where trans and enby teens fall for someone who loves and accepts them for who they are. For more recommendations, check out these transgender YA books written by trans and enby authors.
Most of the books on this list are already published, with one to be released soon. This can give you plenty of books to try now and one to look forward to as well!
The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta
Agender baker Syd expresses hard feelings through baking. And after a tough break-up, Syd needs baking now more than ever. But after a little while, Syd notices a strange trend: every couple who eats Syd’s brownies breaks up shortly afterward. Is it possible that Syd’s baking is magic? It’s up to Syd and bike delivery driver Harley to find out together, with unexpected romantic feelings coming up along the way.
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Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore
Bastián Silvano and Lore Garcia are two of the only people to have visited a magical world underneath their town’s lake. Other townspeople believe it exists only in legend. But when the world beneath the lake begins to surface, Bastián and Lore fear that their secrets will be exposed along with it. Although the two have not been on speaking terms since they were children, they must work together to protect their world and secrets from the rest of the town.
A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow
While growing up in a rural town with few openly queer people, transgender teens Aaron and Oliver rely on each other to feel safe and understood. But just as they begin to fall for one another, Aaron’s family moves away during their senior year of high school. This novel in verse follows Aaron and Oliver as they explore gender identity, queer American history, and their love for each other.
Across a Field of Starlight by Blue Delliquanti
This sci-fi graphic novel follows two non-binary people who fall in love despite time and distance threatening to keep them apart. Childhood friends Lu and Fassen are determined to stay connected, even though a brewing galactic war makes their future — and that of their worlds — uncertain. When the Empire attacks Fassen’s people, they and Lu must make a difficult choice in which they must ask themselves what they are willing to sacrifice to reunite.
Ander and Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa (2023)
After Ander is “fired” from their family taqueria, they meet and connect instantly with Santi, the waiter who replaced them. Their friendship quickly turns to something more, and they fall for each other hard. But when ICE agents raid the taqueria, Ander and Santi’s community and budding relationship is put in danger.
Looking for more LGBTQ YA book recs? Check out these five recent YA releases about trans and non-binary teens.