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The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye | June 2022 at Rebel Book Club

February 15, 2023


For June 2022, we dived into PRIDE as a theme and June 2022 as a month for celebrating LGBTQ+ nonfiction.

To help with our curation, we got in touch with London's famous independent queer bookshop, Gay's The Word Bookshop in Bloomsbury, to get some tried and tested recommendations for the best in LGBTQ+ nonfiction. Manager Uli gave us a fantastic list of books, which we'll share towards the end of this blog.

From Uli's longlist, we shortlisted 3 books which showcased different voices and issues within the LGBTQ+ community. The June 2022 vote result was as follows…

🏆 The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye
🥈 We Can Do Better Than This edited by Amelia Abraham
🥉 The Pink Line by Mark Gevisser

This blog will take you through the highlights from PRIDE month at Rebel Book Club...


The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice was released in May 2022 in paperback via Penguin and it was written by Shon Faye.

"The Transgender Issue is a landmark work that signals the beginning of a new, healthier conversation about trans life. It is a manifesto for change, and a call for justice and solidarity between all marginalised people and minorities. Trans liberation, as Faye sees it, goes to the root of what our society is and what it could be; it offers the possibility of a more just, free and joyful world for all of us."

Shon Faye is an English writer, editor, journalist, and presenter, known for her commentary on LGBTQ+, women’s, and mental health issues. She hosts the podcast Call Me Mother and is the author of the 2021 book The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice. She was an editor-at-large at Dazed and has contributed features and comment journalism to The Guardian, The Independent, VICE, n+1, Attitude, Verso and others.

She studied English Literature at the University of Oxford, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Law. Faye moved to London in her early twenties, where she worked as a lawyer. In Faye’s own words, she later “had a complete implosion, quit my job, moved back to Bristol and came out as a trans woman”. She is now based in London.

Faye has campaigned for trans women to have access to rape and domestic violence services. In 2018 she presented at Amnesty International’s Women Making History event, where she gave a speech calling to “re-centre” underprivileged trans women.

PRIDE Events - Global, London + Bristol

We kicked off our June events with our global digital event on Monday 27th June with members joining from the UK, Germany and the US. We met on a platform called Gatheround, which is great fun for having conversations on their make-shift digital stage and for matching people in small groups at random so they can connect with people from all over the world.

During our online session, we heard from RBC member Sophie and her Mum, Ghisl, who talked to us about their own interests in The Transgender Issue and the conversations which surround the book. Ghisl kindly shared her experiences of working as a Children's Nurse, with a focus on LGBTQ+ children who come through her ward. She was able to give us some insights into how healthcare in the UK is setup for transgender children at the moment and what needs to change.

As part of this session, we invited members to have a go at answering some quiz questions about PRIDE more generally and also recapping on some of the trans facts Shon shared in her book.

As always, the real benefit of our global event is hearing perspectives and cultural differences from members around the world and this was no exception. With particular representation from the US contingent at this event, it was super interesting to dissect some of the more sensational headlines which have been affecting culture + politics around LGBTQ+ rights in the States.

Our London event took place at The Ministry, SE1 this month on Tuesday 28th June. RBC members Miles + Albert co-hosted with Ben Saul-Garner, with RBC member Sophie and her Mum, Ghisl, returning to support - this time joining us in person. We very much appreciated them sharing their perspectives. As part of us cementing our learnings from the month, we split into teams and hosted a pub-quiz style session. First of all focusing on LGBTQ+ history more generally and then zooming into Trans Facts from Shon's book and beyond.

As is tradition at Rebel Book Club, we closed by sharing actions with each other. Both in our personal and immediate communities, but also how we can affect change at a structural level.

Key actions from these sessions were:

Rebel Book Club members in Bristol meeting Shon Faye on her book tour.

> Support Amnesty International in their work around The Humans Rights Act in the UK

> Support + make noise about the Ban Conversion Therapy campaign

> Follow + supporting the work on Mermaids and Say It Loud.

12 Recommended LGBTQ+ Nonfiction Reads

Uli at Gay's the Word bookshop, expert in all things LGBTQ+ nonfiction, recommended these 12 fantastic books. That's enough for one a month for a year if you're up for it!?

We Can Do Better Than This - 35 Voices on the Future of LGBTQ+ Rights edited by Amelia Abraham
The Pink Line - The World's Queer Frontiers by Mark Gevisser
The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye
United Queerdom - From the Legends of the Gay Liberation Front to the Queers of Tomorrow by Dan Glass
Outraegous - The Story of Section 28 and Britain’s Battle for LGBT Education by Paul Baker
Deep Sniff - A History of Poppers and Queer Futures by Adam Zmith
Good As You - From Prejudice to Pride – 30 Years of Gay Britain by Paul Flynn
Things I have Witheld - Essays by Kei Miller
A Dutiful Boy by Mohsin Zaidi
We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
All The Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
Peter 2.0 by Peter Scott-Morgan

Thank you to our partners this month!

Huge thank yous go out to The Ministry for their beautiful space - where not only do we get to meet every other month, we also get 10 complimentary co-working passes for members to use on event days. And a massive thanks to Framework in Bristol, for hosting our Bristolian Rebels.

We'd also like to thank Uncommon Wine for their lovely English Sparkling Wines and Lemonaid+ for their tasty soft drinks. And shout out to TRIBE Bars, who suffered a slight logistical mishap in delivery, but their generosity was with us in spirit.


We are Rebel Book Club, a global nonfiction book club.

We’ve been reading together for 5+ years and we exist to accelerate your reading habits, connect you with like-minded thinkers + doers and take positive action in a changing world…

We have an event at the end of each month, where we hear from experts in a relevant field to the books we’re reading – which is how this blog post came about.

If you’d like to find out more, check out our website, follow us on Instagram or email our Membership Manager at hello@rebelbookclub.co.uk.

We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!

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