Trans rights readathon runs from Mar 22-29

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A person with a bun on top of their head reads a book, standing in front of a green grid background. The cover has no title, and has the trans flag on the cover. 
We owe it to each other to listen, learn, and hear one another out.  lee lim

Readers encouraged to donate, discuss books authored by 2SLGBTQIA+ authors

From March 22 to March 29, readers, book lovers, and those looking to expand the scope of their knowledge have been called to support the trans rights readathon. The readathon leads up to the International Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) on March 31.  

Every year on March 31 the world observes TDOV to raise awareness about trans visibility, identities, and queer social justice. The International TDOV was established in 2010 by trans advocate Rachel Crandall.  

Crandall created TDOV after recognizing that an overwhelming number of media stories featuring or about transgender people are focused on violence. Crandall noted that other than the Trans Day of Remembrance, there was no existing day to celebrate the lives of trans people.  

Reflecting on the creation of TDOV Crandall stated that “visibility is a double-edged sword. Any kind of visibility can bring attacks. Honestly, if I had to do it again, knowing what I know now, I’m not 100 [per cent] convinced I would create the International Transgender Day of Visibility.”   

Part of the ”sword” that Crandall and other queer activists have discussed is that visibility does not necessarily translate to safety. Often, without any structural or social protections, visibility can lead to increased rates of targeted violence. Part of what makes the readathon so critical is that it pairs visibility with education and an exploration of trans voices and identities.  

The readathon was founded by queer author Sim Kern. In addition to writing, Kern is an environmental journalist who deals with topics like climate change, queer identity, and social justice. Their debut horror novel Depart, Depart! follows the queer protagonists life after being displaced from an unprecedented environmental disaster. The novel explores the intersections of social justice and climate change by asking readers to contemplate how they will respond to looming social and environmental changes.  

The readathon originally started as a small movement, but in 2023 raised over $234,000 for trans supporting organizations with upwards of 2,500 participants reading a total of 7,800 books from 43 countries.  

Participants in the readathon support and uplift trans voices by reading books written by trans authors or that feature trans characters. Readers are also encouraged to read books by genderqueer, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, and Two Spirit authors. 

To participate and register as a reader, visit transrightsreadathon.carrd.co. Participants are asked to donate to trans supporting organizations. However, the way you choose to participate is your choice. There is no minimum number of books that must be read nor is there a limit to what you can read or donate. Donations can vary from established non-profits to direct mutual aid, such as GoFundMe online fundraisers. 

Organizers encourage readers to share their booklist or titles they recommend on social media by tagging the new official @transrightsreadathon accounts on Instagram and Tiktok and @trreadathon on twitter. The Trans Rights Readathon website includes access to a wide variety of resources that include the Storygraph Challenge, the Trans Book Master List, and the Indie Books Master List.  

If you’re hoping to have some books on your list written by queer Canadian authors, titles of interest may include: Angry Queer Somali Boy by Mohamed Abdulkarim Ali, A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt, The Gospel of Breaking by Jillian Christmas, and We have Always Been Here by Samra Habib. 

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