Further Fiction Reading: Gender Fluidity & Varied Sexual Identities (The 5th Gender – Special Extras)

Today I tackle my failings for you.

First an important statement:

Dearest Gentle Reader,

If you see yourself in one of my characters, that character is for you. Whether explicitly stated or not. Whether described that way or not. I don’t write my books for me, I write them for you. You should take from them whatever solace you need. I don’t feel like they are trivialized or diminished by this, I feel like this is what makes fiction magic.

And now…

Miss Gail where are your Ace or Grey or Demi or Other Queer Characters?

How about a disabled characters?

What about Pan or Poly?

How about neurodiversity ?

Where is your OCD lesbian gender-fluid butch jaguar gynecologist from Peru, on a motorcycle?

I’m doing my best but even I can’t catch them all, as it were. (Although that jaguar sounds fun.)

I will keep writing lots of queer characters, I promise, but in the meantime…

Here’s a sample some fun romantic or sexy (not too serious) books with main characters that straddle the divides that I do not – so to speak. Oh and happy endings. ALWAYS.

I’m specifically going for a lighter tone, since that’s what I like to read (although a few of these are a touch dark they always end happily). For Your Enjoyment!




Won’t Someone Think of the Children!?

  • The Bride Was a Boy by Chii, an almost memoir manga of love and transition that manages to be entertaining, happy, and sweet but ALSO extremely informative. Highly recommended for those who might be questioning their own gender identity, but also family and friends of anyone transitioning who need a window of understanding.
  • Dreadnaught by April Daniels (YA)
    Superhero featuring a trans main character. Everyone keeps telling me how brilliant it is and the reviews confirm.
  • Claire Kann writes LBGTQ+ rom com for the YA audience, try Let’s Talk About Love featuring and ace main character obsessed with pop culture.
  • Having Her Back by Ann Gallagher (YA sweet romance, trans)
    A sweet first love YA about a boy whose best friend cuts him off unexpectedly for years, and when they meet again that friend is now a girl. They fall in love. It’s adorable and complex and gentle but also quintessentially YA in that it is the adults who often make mistakes, and the kids must learn to see their parents as fallible. No major triggers and yet it deals deftly with some very complex issues.
  • Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe (graphic novel)
  • Not Your Sidekick and other books in CB Lee’s series (YA queer superheroes), own voices author. Not Your Backup features and ace/aero character!
  • When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (YA)
    This is a fantastical atmospheric fable featuring varied sexual identity, own voices author.
  • Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister, stayed up WAY too late reading this one. It reminded me not so much of Cinderella as it did Pump Up the Volume. The charming story of a young teen who goes to a party dressed as a girl and the boy who falls in love with him. It’s touching and sweet, high angst, kick butt, and utterly adorable. Deals gently with themes of honesty and identity in terms of both gender fluidity and bisexuality as well as standing up to bullies and fighting for queer rights.
  • It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn (children’s picture book)


Since I read a lot of gay romance, and I vetted these myself, you can tell my recommendations are skewed. Please feel free to submit your own in comments but remember I’m PICKY. I don’t read: Hero’s Journey, rape, abusive/stalker Alphas, explicit violence, sad endings, etc…

Gail Carriger’s Reading Wheelhouse: What I Hate, What Turns Me Off, What I Won’t Read in BOOKS!



Researching Gender Fluidity & Representing it in Fiction – The 5th Gender by Gail Carriger (Custard Protocol, San Andreas Shifters & Tinkered Stars Behind the Magic)

Reading Lists

Similar to The 5th Gender, Gail Suggests More Queer SciFi (Miss Carriger Recommends)

9 Favorite Queer Fantasy Books (Miss Carriger Recommends)


Resource Books

Other posts in this series


Finally I am going to throw this AMAZING movie into the mix. I just love it so much…

Boy Meets Girl is a sweet charming contemporary romance, adorable and fun and so lovely. And yes one of the characters is trans but that’s only part of it. If you hesitate about anything around trans identity, please watch this movie.

Honestly it’s so good, it will leave you with warm fuzzies, I promise. And here’s :

13 Fascinating Movies That Celebrate the Richness of the Transgender Experience

Yours, bathed in alternatives,

Miss Gail

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The 5th Gender (A Tinkered Stars Mystery as G. L. Carriger).

Preorder on Amazon | Elsewhere | Direct from Gail
Audio is coming. 

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery in which a hot space station cop meets the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!) from a race with 5 genders.


  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Fan Service Omnibus, October 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Magasin des Demoiselles July, 1870

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Cat Rescued From Garbage Disposal

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” 

~ Madeleine L’Engle

Book News:

“I don’t remember what I ate for lunch, but I remember the plot to every one of these books.”
~ Borderlands Books Hillarious “Overhead in the store” April News

Quote of the Day:

Gail: I think I put too much garlic in the mashed potatoes.
AB: No such thing.
G: It’s like 1/3 potato, 1/3 butter, 1/3 garlic
AB: Nothing is wrong with this.

~ Self on Twitter

Your Moment of Gail


“I suspect it may be like the difference between a drinker and an alcoholic; the one merely reads books, the other needs books to make it through the day.”

(Interview with The Booklovers blog, September 2010)” ~ Gail Carriger

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? Wiki that sheez!


“I was a baby butch who had never heard the word and so didn’t know what to call myself until I first heard that word out loud in 1992 in the back stacks of Little Sister’s bookstore. I wore second-hand army boots three sizes too big and cut my own hair with clippers and met what I didn’t know at the time was my first femme lover and bought my first necktie and she called me handsome and that one word handsome made up for two decades of knowing I was never really all that pretty.”

~ Tomboy Survival Guide by Ivan Coyote

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