Transgender Fiction - Karin Bishop

User Rating: 5 / 5

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Karin is an experienced writer with remarkable insights into the character and nature of transgender girls and transgender women.  A common trademark is that her transgender characters are remarkably intelligent, insightful, and wise.  I could tell you why this is accurate, but her books show it so much better.

All of her characters are interesting, complex, and inspiring.  Many of them are very enjoyable.  The plots are also creative and imaginative, with many interesting and unpredictable twists.

Many of her stories involve a young boy or man who is socially transgender, socializing primarily with women, and engaging in activities.  Often they are physically feminine as well.

Sometimes they are tricked into transition, other times they are pushed or coerced initially, other times it's just a "game".  In each case, however, the initial nudge breaks open a floodgate of desire to transition and what started as a reluctant episode of "Dress-up" becomes an aggressive desire to transition because they realize how much happier they are as girls.

Fashion Class

Kevin Turner's high school counselor has bad news for him—to take the French class he wants, he's going to have to take Fashion Class. But Kevin learns that he has a flair for fashion—and he learns that he is a girl in heart, that he is transgender. With the support of his mother and friends, he starts a journey to a career in fashion—as Katie.

On the Road-Again

This is the journal of Stuart Fairchild, about to leave on his first-ever road trip. What happens on the road to this talented guitarist leads to other roads, as a musician, artist and model … and as a female.

Deb - This is a series of four books, all of which are great fun to read.

I Should Have Known

Edward Campion was a lonely man who only interacted with the world through his industrial designs. He found a kindred spirit in his wife Monica, only to have their cozy world forever altered with the introduction of a gay couple and a sharp lawyer—and the possibility that he is transgender. Edward will be launched on a journey to become a woman named Edie …but who will benefit and who will suffer?

Deb - Not as popular as her others.  Don't like the criminal aspect.

Fool Moon

After Danny Anderson barely graduated from high school, he found that he had no home, no college, no job, no family. Danny had broken his high school girlfriend’s heart, and one night her mother appears at his door. She’d had a witch construct a love charm and now Danny must pay the witch. With no prospects for his future and out of guilt for hurting her daughter, Danny agrees. But very quickly he discovers two things: First, that he seems to have a degree of Power; and Second, that Power is transforming him into a female.

Deb - Magical transformations are always a fun fantasy, too bad there is no reality to it.

The Haight

San Francisco’s famous Haight-Ashbury, 1967: Gloria Mackenzie, RN, deals with the flood of patients brought to the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic during The Summer of Love. She’s a veteran of life in the Haight, living with several women and FreeBear, their landlord and lover, until that life is shaken by a bleeding young boy appearing in the clinic.

It’s a time of new life, of new concepts, of new music; a time of transition. Grace must deal with dangerous street drugs, a transgender child, a murderous cabal, and future epidemics—the new world displacing the old—while trying to stay true to the concept of the hippie lifestyle.

The Haight is a time capsule, historically and socially accurate, with famous musicians mingling with unknown street people as tourists stare while the world changes.

The XY Axis

All Mike wanted to do was survive school. But his best friend Christine helped him learn that he was transgender, and that his future should be as Michelle, not Mike. When Grandmother, the family's wealthy Connecticut blue-blood matriarch, becomes ill, the family gathers and Michelle learns about her family’s past. But there are troubles in the present, and Michelle may not be the only variant in a genetically remarkable family.


Role Of A Lifetime

Young Brian Cunningham wants to become an actor. He’s taken some acting classes and shown some talent but he’s small for his age—a reason he’s dreading high school.

Then he lands a role in a TV pilot that his mother is certain will be their ticket out of their Phoenix trailer park. It’s an exciting role, playing the youngest son in a family on the run—except that to throw off pursuers, the youngest son is disguised as a girl.

The studio provides wardrobe and coaching, and Brian is very believable in the role of a middle-school girl—so much so that in time he will be forced to answer: Is he transgender? How much is acting and how much is real?

Breath of Life

Ryan Bradley watches as a girl on his team collapses and dies during a track meet. Lila seemed to look right at him and speak to him ...but she was dead, wasn't she?

And gradually Ryan begins changing, able to see auras, move objects, know things he couldn't possibly know. And his body seems to be changing ...

Desperate for answers, afraid his body is being taken over by a dead girl, Ryan seeks out Lila's mother and learns of a secret world of powers he never dreamed were possible.

Deb - Again, not a big fan of "Magic".  Too much disappointment.

Sail Away

Amy Cooper is an attractive, happy, and successful computer consultant who may have landed the biggest contract of her career. And she may have landed the love of her life with a handsome architect.

She is transgender and seems to be living a full life. But then a voice from the past—the past when she was a boy named Paul—threatens her future. And that voice ensnares her with the Russian mafia in a plot that threatens her life.




Dress Code

Laurie Tilden is a girl. She and her mother have known that since birth—except that Laurie’s birth certificate states: Laurence Tilden, Male.

That hasn’t been a problem for Laurie; she may be transgender but she’s a happy girl enjoying her friends at home school. But now it’s time for public middle school and bullies and mean girls and disapproving teachers make life difficult for Laurie.

Can she prove to the principal that she can be accepted as a girl, all in two weeks? And to meet the Girls’ Dress Code?


Charlie has a problem—he’s trying to be like his father Chuck, a sexist cheat.
Charlie’s father has a problem—he can’t wait to dump the kid so he can take off with his new honey.
Charlie’s mother, Carol, has a problem—her husband Chuck.
Charlie’s grandmother, Gram, has a problem—Chuck has dumped Charlie on her farm for the summer.

But there may be solutions to all of their problems, in the form of herbal solutions made by a friend of Gram’s. Solutions that might make Charlie more agreeable, might take the edge off his rough macho exterior …and might reveal a feminine interior …


Thomas Maxwell figured that starting college was a good time to stop living with his mother. He and his best friend moved into a place with a couple of other guys. But the bachelor pad life didn’t suit Thomas, especially when he discovered he was living with stoners and slobs. Then they needed another roommate, and never expected Cassie, the Golden Girlfriend of a local drug kingpin. And Thomas never expected to become friends with Cassie, and then become more than friends—almost sisters.


This series is an exciting adventure in the style of Tanya Allen, one of my other favorite authors.  The series takes us from a family on the run with a young boy forced to pose as a girl, to a happy family - eventually.  Lots of adventure in between.

Desperate Measures

"Desperate Measures" contains two linked books about a family in peril.

In "On The Run", a family at dinner is notified that the father has been killed. The boys are shocked to discover their father was a CIA operative, and they enter Witness Protection. But there's a leak and they must run again, completely off the grid. Their only chance for survival is to change every detail of their past, and the boys must be disguised as girls—a masquerade that becomes real as they live in their new gender.

"Just A Costume" follows their lives to a huge rock concert at Madison Square Garden

The Network

There are underground networks that exist to help battered women escape abusive relationships. June Sandowski lives in fear of her husband and his criminal associates, until one horrific night when she must flee with her two sons. The family escapes with the help of abused women’s networks, only to find themselves sought for murder and forced to make take drastic measures—her sons must become her daughters to avoid the police. With new identities the family attempts a fresh start as the boys struggle with girlhood, and learning about what it means to be female, to be male, and what it means to be transgender.

The Pact

What would you do if Russian mobsters wanted to torture and kill your entire family? Natalie Lancaster grabs her sons Bill, 13, and Tommy, 11, and they run for their lives. They must leave everything behind—their possessions and their past—in a desperate attempt to survive.

To throw the killers off their trail, they buy false identities from a shady dealer. But there’s a problem—the only identities available for the boys are as middle-school girls. The horror of being caught by the killers convinces them to unwillingly masquerade as girls and continue running. But changing cities, names, ages, clothing, and even their gender, can’t keep the truth from themselves—they never really were the people they thought they were.

They make a Pact to stay boys, no matter what they’re wearing or what their new names might be. But Tommy finds that acting like a girl has stopped being an act, that he may be transgender, while Bill doesn’t want any part of the masquerade.


Ignorance Is Bliss

Life is complicated when you’re not the right gender, but what if your parent is not exactly in her right mind? Andy McDonald is transgender, but Andy’s mother has a condition that prevents her from dealing with reality—including the reality that her son is her daughter. Fortunately, Andy has met a girl transitioning to life as a male, and the two help each other deal with the difficulties of life as transgender teenagers. But Andy must also deal with the difficulties of his mother's precarious mental state.


Teresa Carraher is a 22-year-old struggling photographer in idyllic Whistler, BC. She’s working as a gallery manager for her mentor, an internationally-known photographer, and getting her life in order after a tumultuous youth. Her family was absorbed by a religious fanatic and Teresa barely escaped the compound. Her greatest regret was leaving her nine-year-old brother Roger behind to the religious madness.

Five years later, Roger has turned up on her doorstep. He brings three problems for his big sister. First, she must determine if Roger has been indoctrinated. The second problem is completely unexpected: Roger is transgender. But it’s the third problem that is most dangerous: The fanatic may have sent minions to reclaim Roger—and perhaps Teresa, too.

Teresa gathers strength and assistance from a group of Whistler women, her mentor, wealthy European friends—and a very hand


Ronald Covington has been medically diagnosed as transgender, but has a mother who can’t accept her teen daughter—or even the concept of being feminine. Connie McPherson, a close friend, recognizes that because of their past, neither of the Covingtons knows what it means to be a girl or woman. Connie struggles with a past as well—the death of her daughter. A compromise is reached: Ronald will come to live with Connie as Jessica. Over time they will try to heal and learn what it means to be female—and more importantly, to be fully human


David Watson’s fourteen years of life have passed in daily terror of his abusive father. But even after his father is dead, David still has trouble dealing with his anger. His mother tries vitamins and a tranquilizer to ease his unhappiness, but it takes his best friend Teresa to point out that David is transgender, naturally feminine, and that his body is changing. Doctors determine that David has a chromosomal abnormality, and David begins living as Elizabeth. As her life moves forward, making new friends, she joins a dance class and helps another girl trapped in her own parental relationship.

In Concert


Christopher Davis tries to be invisible in middle school, but being small and smart, he’s still a target for bullies. Chris just goes through life until Mandy, his one friend, points out that his life would be better as a girl. In fact, Mandy believes that Chris’s true self is female. Chris has never thought he was transgender but medical tests prove that Chris is actually intersex, a genetic variation.

With the support of his mother and Mandy, Chris begins the transition to living as Lauren. This includes going to school as a girl, dealing with classmates and teachers, making new friends, and discovering her truest self.



Melanie Stanwood is a brilliant girl, nearly a genius. She can take isolated facts and bits of data and make connections. But she can’t seem to make a connection with her mother, because Melanie was born as a boy named Michael. Her mother can’t quite grasp what it means to have a transgender child, and they live in an awkward, uneasy truce.

Things can’t continue that way, so Melanie goes to live with her mother’s only friend Marilyn, a glamorous divorcée and widow who turns out to be a bit of a genius herself at making connections. Together with her daughter Carol, Marilyn connects Melanie to the world of girls, a world that rightfully should have been hers from birth.

A companion to the book Salvations.



Fifteen-year-old Mike Hollander is drifting in his life. He doesn’t feel strongly about anything; he doesn’t really feel anything much. Not like his best friend Mark Thompson, who perhaps feels things too strongly. But Mike considers himself just a regular guy; nothing special.

Then their high school announces an Opposite Day, where students can come dressed as the opposite of what they are—nerds can be jocks, jocks can be nerds, and so on. Mark has an idea: Since he and Mike are just regular guys, they should do the opposite and show up as regular girls. Nothing special.

Mike is reluctant but with the help of two girls, Mark and Mike get the clothes to become two regular girls—and it would just be for Opposite Day, right? And then everything would go back to the way it was, right?

Mark sails through happily but Mike is troubled, tied up in knots. The whole ‘regular girl’ thing—why did it feel almost … normal? But his definition of ‘normal’ is rocked as his own normal world comes apart. His father seems to be somebody completely different from the man Mike had known. And then Mike learns that his parents’ marriage is disintegrating. And then Mark isn’t spending time with Mike anymore.

And now everything seems so opposite to the way it was …

Port of Departure

A cruise ship is plying the Mexican Riviera … and Brian Taylor is playing piano aboard. For a quiet, small guy, it’s a dream job. He is a world-class pianist who lives only for his music, and he’s quite comfortable in the regulated and confined day-to-day world of a ship. Then a series of circumstances, including a crew member’s accident and corporate skullduggery, force him to masquerade as a female lounge singer for one night. But further circumstances mean Brian must continue the masquerade, and learns that it is no deception—and it may truly be a dream job for life.