Today, it was announced that Dylan Edwards’ nonfiction graphic novel Transposes—which explores the life stories of seven transgender men who also happen to be gay, bisexual, or otherwise non-straight—has been honored with a nomination for a Lambda Literary Award in the category of Transgender Nonfiction.
Transposes is an amazing window into the lives of these men, both the major events in their lives and the day-to-day ones, and paints a wonderfully human portrait. The book features a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Alison Bechdel, who was also nominated for a Lambda for her memoir Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama.
“Back when I first started making comics in 2000,” said Edwards, “I sent a few of my creations to Alison Bechdel. I was a big fan of her work, and was seeking advice on how to advance my comics career. She did me the honor of writing me back, said she enjoyed my work, and told me to get a blurb from the most famous person I knew. ‘Ahem,’ I said.”
“Fast forward a few years, and Alison’s book Fun Home had become a huge success,” Edwards continued. “Beacon Press contacted Alison for recommendations of cartoonists who might be interested in creating original non-fiction graphic works, and she pointed them to me. Together, Beacon’s editors and I came up with the idea for a book about queer-identified female-to-male transgender men. Although Beacon unfortunately had to close their graphic book department, I still benefited greatly from the insights offered by their editors, and their work unquestionably made Transposes a stronger book. I approached Zan Christensen of Northwest Press to see if he’d be interested in picking up the book. He agreed, and here we are.”
“The Lambda nomination is definitely very exciting,” said Edwards. “It’s the first time my comics have been nominated for an award, and for my first one to be as prestigious as the Lambda Literary Awards is very thrilling. I think they make us fight in a pit to determine the winner? Or maybe I’m thinking of something else. I’ll be sure to wear my spiky armor to the ceremony just in case.”
“Transposes took me four years to create, but it won’t take you four years to read,” Edwards jokes. “You can probably finish it in one sitting. You’ll get to meet seven real men who generously shared their life stories with me so I could share them with you in the form of cartoon vignettes. The comics medium allows you to watch as their physical appearance changes, and allows a certain freedom from the burden that pronouns can impose on the life stories of transpeople. Whether you’re reading to learn about this specific topic, or looking for reflections of yourself in the culture, I hope you enjoy what you find in Transposes.”
In addition to Transposes and Are You My Mother?, Justin Hall’s No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics was nominated for a Lambda Award. The book also features work by Edwards, as well as excerpts from Northwest Press books Teleny and Camille and A Waste of Time. The full list of nominees is available on the Lambda Literary Foundation website.