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The 10 Best Genderfluid Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

The 10 Best Genderfluid Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

Gender fluidity is a non-fixed gender identity. A gender-fluid person embraces an adaptable nature to gender identity and expression. They can be one gender, multiple genders or no gender. They can change or oscillate between different genders. Their gender ebbs and flows much like a pristine brook.

It is one of the most natural and beautiful things in the world. But it is seldom perceived like that. In a world obsessed with a rigid gender binary, we fail to appreciate the beauty in change and fluidity. That’s the thing about beauty; it continues to exist whether we appreciate it or not. 

Gender fluidity is a new term coined in the mid-2000s. However, the concept is not. Historically, there have always been people who fall outside of the gender binary. Native cultures across the world often worship such people. With the rise of Western civilization, which calls for a strict gender binary, these identities have been erased from our memory.

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Fortunately, many contemporary writers are bringing gender-fluid characters into mainstream literature. We have curated a list of such books that show gender fluidity in all its glory. These 10 best genderfluid books are a mix of fiction and non-fiction.

These books greatly represent the community, but they are more. They are educational too. Their stories are not just for those identifying as gender-fluid but for everyone. The own voices authors ensure that the stories are an authentic portrayal of gender fluidity.

Many of these novels give us access to the gender-fluid characters’ thoughts and feelings. It can be excruciating at times, but it is also humane. We are sure these books will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride. You will laugh and cry with the characters. You will befriend them and root for them. Are you ready for the adventure?

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Don't have time to read them all? Why not try listening to them? Audible is a great platform for listening to audiobooks because it offers a wide selection of books, including bestsellers and exclusive content. With Audible, you can listen to your favorite books on-the-go, whether you're commuting, working out, or doing household chores.

The Audible app also has features like adjustable narration speed, a sleep timer, and the ability to create bookmarks, making it easy to customize your listening experience. Additionally, Audible offers a membership program that gives members access to a certain number of audiobooks per month, making it a cost-effective option for avid listeners. 

A great resource for people who want to maximize their time and make the most out of their daily activities. Try a free 30-day trial from Audible today, and you'll get access to a selection of Audible Originals and audiobooks, along with a credit to purchase any title in their premium selection, regardless of price (including many of the books on this list!) 

For ebook lovers, we also recommend Scribd, basically the Netflix for Books and the best and most convenient subscription for online reading. While they have a catalog comprising over half a million books including from many bestselling authors, for some of the books on this list, you'll still have to purchase individually - either as a paperback or eBook to load on your Kindle - due to publishing house restrictions. 

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Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

The civil war has just ended in the kingdom of Igna. Queen Ignasi has banished the land of magic and the cruel beings that painfully kill people. Four bodyguards always accompany the Queen, named after the rings she wears on her fingers: Ruby, Emerald, Opal and Amethyst.

One of these positions has just opened up. Meanwhile, our protagonist, Sal, is busy with a robbery. They find a letter calling for the Queen’s fourth bodyguard as they finish the job. The other three bodyguards are holding a tournament to select their equal. One has to get a personal invitation or bring something worthy enough to be admitted into this tournament.

Sal believes they have something worthy. What follows is a bloody battle for the much-coveted position. In the process, Sal kills, falls in love, learns to read and write, and competes as if their life depends on it. The author, Linsey Miller, makes the protagonist gender-fluid. We see Sal alternating between dressing up as a woman and a man.

Like in real life, many people around Sal are clueless about what gender fluidity means. Sal ends up explaining their identity and their pronouns multiple times. Miller does not bank on the main character’s gender to run the story, though.

She gives Sal a tragic but well-rounded backstory. We learn how Sal grew up as an orphan and why they never learned to read or write. The secondary characters are well-written and add to the plot.

Mask of Shadows is not for the faint-hearted. There is abundant back-stabbing, killing and maiming involved. If a gory thriller with LGBT rep is your thing, this book belongs on your bookshelf!

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller - Best Books With Non-Binary Characters

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Is Gender Fluid? by Sally Hines

For a long time, gender and gender roles were strictly binary and set in stone. At least the mainstream depiction of them. In this book, Sally Hines questions this rigidity as the world gets increasingly flexible and fluid in the 21st century.

She questions the what, how and why of gender. Is gender something we are born with, or is it an identity developed through upbringing? As the traditional male and female activities merge, do gender roles remain relevant? Hines delves deep into the different genders, giving us a scientific explanation of each. She then builds on these to talk about gender roles and stereotypes.

She draws from cultures worldwide to make a case that gender was never as rigid as we were made to believe. In almost every culture, there are accounts of people who do not conform to the gender binary. Hines emphasizes that diversity is not new. Lack of it is. Hines does a remarkable job of creating an information-rich yet easily readable book.

The formatting of the book is unique and lends to its readability. Every page has a combination of text and images. The text is presented in different fonts to highlight important points. The illustrations complement the text beautifully, making for a very engaging and educational read. This unique format makes the comprehensive content skimmable too.

If you want a crash course on a modern take on gender, this is it! Grab a copy, and you will not regret it.

Is Gender Fluid A Primer for the 21st Century by Sally Hines - Best Transgender History Books


The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

This sci-fi book is a bold and fabulous exploration of gender fluidity and sexuality. The main character, Genly Ai, is a male human envoy sent to Gethen to persuade its inhabitants to join the Ekumen Union. He initially appeals to the King, who refuses. He then tries to convince the politicians of the mutual benefits of exchanging trade and technology.

While on this quest, the Gethenians shock him. You see, Gethenians have complicated genders. They remain sexless and genderless mostly, except during the mating season. During this time, they take up either gender and become capable of sex. But Genly finds it hard to understand this concept of fluidity.

Having only seen a gender binary all his life and identifying as a virile man, he scoffs at the Gethenian flexibility. It tickles him to learn that the Gethanian King is pregnant.

He doggedly views them as male or female, and when they don’t conform to his labels, it appalls him. Until he meets Estraven, the disgraced former prime minister; as their friendship develops, he finally sees Estraven as a human, not a man or a woman. 

This is a poignant tale of how love can conquer all the prejudices and hatred within us. 

The author, Ursula K. Le Guin, does a commendable job of inclusivity in the book, not just of gender and sexuality but race too. Genly is black, and the Gethenian population has many skin colors. Told from the dual point of view of Genly and Estravem, The Left Hand of Darkness is not a feel-good read. If you like books that make you reflect, this one’s for you!

Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin - Best Books About Gender Identity

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The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

Time for some young adult fiction, no? Well, here goes. Teodora Di Sangro is the daughter of a mafia don with secret magic. She can turn her father’s enemies into decorative objects! She knows her role as the daughter of the family. That does not prevent her from harboring a grudge against her brother, who is set to inherit their father’s title no matter how hard she works.

But when her father receives a poisoned letter from another lord and dies, her life turns upside down. She must now travel to the capital disguised as the Di Sangro heir to resurrect her father. Along the way, she meets a form-changing witch, Cielo, who teaches things she had never thought of before. Having lived in the confines and comfort of her home, Teo is relatively naïve and inexperienced.

Cielo tutors her to reach new levels in her magic she never thought of before. They also trigger Teo to examine her complicated relationship with gender. Cielo is genderfluid, appearing as a man or a woman at any time.

Teo has always felt dissonance with her gender but has long pushed any doubts under the rug. Cielo encourages her to look them straight and sort them out. She shows Teo that gender fluidity is very much real. The character arc of Teo is heartening to read. A beautiful romance blossoms between Teo and Cielo.

This is a story about the denial of identity. Teo’s denial of her identity as a witch and her gender. This story is also full of complex emotions, self-discovery, love and politics. Sounds like your cup of tea?

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta - Best Genderfluid Books

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Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by Kate Bornstein

This book is a collection of poems, essays, comic strips and more that shine a light on the fluidity and non-binary nature of gender. If you have read Kate Bornstein’s Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us, this book is a loose sequel to it. The book is organized into five sections with many first-person essays that tell stories of transgender people and gender fluidity.

Bornstein believes gender oppression is not just denying equal opportunities to one side of the male-female binary. It is more about having the rigid binary itself. S. Bear Bergman, co-editor of this anthology, identifies as a trans man. He has lived as both a woman and a man, garnering a unique experience of both sides of the coin.

While Bornstein was born in the late 1940s, Bergman is a Gen X man. They make for an intriguing duo who complement each other. The introduction is a lively dialogue between them, juxtaposing their views. As we move past the introduction, it is like stepping into a carnival of genderqueer stories.

The content and the viewpoints are as diverse as they are engaging. From deeply personal to academic essays, satire to tragedies, they make for a fascinating read. 

This book was first published in 2010, so some changes have occurred. But the experiences, thought processes and arguments stay relevant to this day. All in all, Gender Outlaws is a quirky, eccentric collection that demands to be read!

Gender Outlaws The Next Generation by Kate Bornstein - Best Genderfluid Books

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Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

This book follows the main character on their exciting and eclectic adventures. The story begins in the early 1990s when Paul works as a bartender. He is a student immersed in the queer subculture of Iowa City. And Paul is a shapeshifter- he can become taller/shorter, man/woman based on pure will. The book is divided into three parts. In the first one, Paul has a rich dating life.

His sexual encounters are many and not far between. His interactions are with both men and women as a man and a woman. This fast-paced life segues into a slower lifestyle in the second part. As a woman, Polly, Paul falls in love with Diane. He moves to Massachusetts to be with her. Paul is now stuck in his female form and is getting frustrated by the day.

He finds that he can no longer able to shift as he felt. He is at the risk of compromising himself for the one he loves. And the final part shifts the pace again. It is not similar to the earlier two but depicts a more mature, intentional part of Paul’s life. He discovers a fellow shapeshifter known only as “the youth”. 

The author, Andrea Lawlor, ensures that the book is not conclusive. It also defies any categorization too. It is as fluid and unrestricted as the main character. Lawlor does an amazing job of using shapeshifting to depict gender fluidity. What’s more, the book is saturated with the 90s counterculture. The story takes you on an immersive journey of someone who refuses to fit into any box.

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor - Best Genderfluid Books

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Groom of Convenience by Alexander Viktor

Welcome to England, a fictional country where sexuality is fluid, and gender is defined by the ability to sire a child or carry one. Anyone born with a uterus is female (can have male genitalia), while anyone born with seed (not necessarily a penis) and a sire mark on the forehead is male.

Our protagonist, Lucien, is a woman with child-bearing capability but with male anatomy. We meet Lucien in a pub, frustrated at an impending marriage of convenience to an older Lord Heathcliff.

Despite the scandal he knows it will create, he is determined to lose his virginity. He finds a partner in crime with “Robert”. Returning to their lives, they realize it was not a night of meaningless sex. It was one of a real connection. Both of them decide to elope together.

Lady Lucien wants to meet his betrothed once before leaving for good, so he arranges a meeting with Heathcliff. Imagine his surprise when he finds out that Heathcliff is Robert! Could a marriage of convenience also be one of love and happiness?

Even as they flirt with this possibility, word about Lucien losing his virginity out of wedlock and a possible illegitimate pregnancy has gotten out. Did they inadvertently ruin a chance at a life together? 

While this story does not include characters that oscillate between genders, it depicts the fluidity of gender in a brand-new light. Alexander Viktor’s impeccable writing forces you to demolish gender as you know it. Groom of Convenience is a book that pushes the horizon on gender perceptions. Are you up for it?

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

What better way to show gender fluidity in all its glory than an illustrated novel? The Prince and the Dressmaker does exactly that. The protagonist, Prince Sebastian, is 16 years old, and his parents are urging him to find a wife. Since, you know, a future king needs his queen. Sebastian finds himself caught in a deluge of possible alliances. Some of these women are lovely too. But he can’t take a wife because he has a secret.

An elegant Prince by the day, he transforms into the fashionable, gorgeous Lady Crystallia at night. Lady Crystallia wears the best gowns and takes Paris by storm after sundown. It helps that Sebastian’s best friend, Frances, is also a talented dressmaker and seamstress.

Frances is happy to make her friend feel beautiful, but it’s not easy keeping a secret. Especially because this particular secret means that her talent goes uncredited, if the King and the Queen discover that Frances is making Lady Crystallia’s decadent dresses, it would not be long before they guess who the latter is. How long can she keep a secret this big?

This graphic novel has the cutest illustrations that perfectly complement the text. While Sebastian never labels himself as gender fluid, he mentions on many occasions that he feels like a man on some days while he feels like a woman on others. A 16-year-old in the 1830s does not have all the answers yet. This story of friendship, love, self-expression and acceptance will brighten your day!

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

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Both Can Be True by Jules Machias

It is not easy being a gender-fluid teen. Unsurprisingly, many hide their fluidity instead of repeatedly explaining to uncomprehending and, sometimes, insensitive strangers. As does our main character, Ash. On some days, Ash is a girl. On others, they are undeniably a boy. They struggle with people not perceiving them as they are. Our other protagonist, Daniel, is struggling too- with his emotions.

Dan has been told he is too sensitive and should not feel emotions so deeply, but he cannot help it. He wishes at least one person would accept him as he is and not try to fix him. Daniel volunteers at a vet in his spare time and rescues a dog about to be euthanized.

Ash agrees to help him with the dog, and they soon bond over their shared secret. When romance starts brewing between the two, Ash is apprehensive. Dan thinks Ash is a girl. Can he handle the truth?

Both can be True is a poignant story about being a gender-fluid teen. We are given a peek into the family dynamics that Ash experiences at home. His mother and friends are completely supportive and encourage them to be as they are.

Ash’s dad, however, is not as straightforward. He is not a bad man. He loves Ash and wants the best for them. But he struggles to understand their identity. He also fears how the harsh and cold world will treat Ash because of their gender fluidity. This book is a must-read for teens, parents and anyone trying to understand how a gender-fluid person feels like.

Both Can Be True by Jules Machias - Best Books About Gender Identity

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The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin

Appearances can be deceiving. Just as it happens for Ben. Ben Easton is a tattooed, badass guitarist in a band. He works as a bartender in a horrible pub. When he first lays his eyes on the beautiful Stan, he is blown away by her beauty. But he is not fazed when he learns that Stan is not always a girl. They are gender-fluid.

Stan is a stunning 22-year-old who has just moved to London to work in a fashion magazine. They have a troubled past, and those emotions still lurk in their mind, ready to take control at the slightest push. Having struggled with anorexia from a young age, Stan is not easy to be with. Ben proves to be the best boyfriend.

Despite his devil-may-care attitude, he loves and cares deeply. He is always there (except when he is away touring) for Stan to lean on. The romance is slow-burn; they do not jump into sex right away. They go on dates, hold hands, and the romance develops quickly.

While the love story is realistic and super cute, other parts of this novel are worth mentioning. The friendship between Stan and Tone, for instance. Their conversations on gender fluidity are wholesome and informational. 

The gender-fluid rep in this book is commendable. Stan chooses their pronouns depending on how they feel on a particular day. The author, Anna Martin, effortlessly combines mental health issues with queerness to make a deeply emotional novel. This is perfect for a lazy weekend read!

The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin - Best Genderfluid Books

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