Transgender Awareness Week

November 14, 2023


November 13–19 is Transgender Awareness Week! AWP is committed to uplifting and supporting trans writers and members, and is proud to include fantastic LGBTQIA+ panels at #AWP24. We’re highlighting just a few of our LGBTQIA+-centered conference events as well as our #WritersServe partner, Pride Haven. Be sure to find more events featuring trans and LGBTQIA+ writers on our full conference schedule.

Coming to Kansas City, Missouri for #AWP24? Be sure to check out our #AWP24 Updates & Resources page for conference news, updates, and resources in the Kansas City community for LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies. 

#AWP24 Conference Events

VIRTUAL: Queer & Trans Asians Writing as Rebellion by Asian American Writers' Workshop

The Asian and Arab community has been fraught with public and political violence directly enacted by colonization, displacement, and policing. What does it mean to uplift Queer Asian writers in a time of upheaval and resistance? What does it mean to rejoice queerness in the cusp of difficulties? How do we reframe narratives to compose transformation for our communities? Writers will share nuanced approaches to writing as they present complex, multiability, queer, and anticolonial writing.

This virtual event was prerecorded. It will be available to watch on demand online starting on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 through Thursday, March 7, 2024.

Queer Speculation: Transing Genre, Transing Gender

February 8, 2024, 3:20–4:35 p.m. CT, Room 2503AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2

Queerness is everywhere. Yet so, too are attacks on queer lives, stories, and art. Too often, these attacks and the erasures and gaps they leave behind become what we know of queer history. But might introducing speculative elements into narratives allow us to recover a fuller past and future? The writers on this panel will discuss how we deploy imaginative, fantastical, and fabulist moments in our nonfiction, fiction, and hybrid work, transing both gender and genre to remake a queerer world.


Transfigured Flesh: Shapeshifting, Embodiment and the Nonhuman in Trans Narratives

February 9, 2024, 9:00–10:15 a.m. CT, Room 3501AB, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

Trans writers have long been aware of the power of the animal, the nonhuman and the monstrous—whether jinn or mycelium—not only as metaphors but as kin. This panel brings together four trans authors whose genre-bending work interrogates the boundaries between human and nonhuman to resist the narratives that would erase those who live in their margins. We will discuss the craft of writing about embodiment and what can only be revealed by dissolving the boundary with the more-than-human world.

(Trans)cend: Trans Poetics in the Age of Anti-transness

February 10, 2024, 9:00–10:15 a.m. CT, Room 3501 EF, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 3

The world doesn’t know what to do with us. Publishers, politicians, etc.—everyone is wondering what transness is, why it exists, and projecting fears onto trans people in the process. So, what is the role of a trans writer, and how can we be free today? On this panel, trans writers discuss gender/genre, theme, tokenization, and how audiences do/don’t engage with trans writing. Through performance and conversation, this panel explores the state of trans lit to get to a future where trans people live.


Be Gay, Do Crime: Teaching Queer and Trans Poetics in Dangerous Times

February 10, 2024, 10:35–11:50 a.m. CT, Room 2103A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

Given our nation’s latest investment in suppressing both bodies and books, what is at stake—newly, historically—in the teaching of queer and trans poetics? Five seasoned poet-educators, working inside the classroom, libraries, and community centers, gather to discuss navigating threats on the poems they teach, the poems they make, and the bodies they occupy as they do both. Panelists will offer experiential commentary and strategies for protecting, generating, and sustaining queer and trans people and poems.


Transgender Nonfiction: Memoir and Essays Beyond the Transition Narrative

February 10, 2024, 12:10–1:25 p.m. CT, Room 2215C, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

For decades, the transition memoir was the only readily available transgender nonfiction. The mainstream publishing world has been slow to catch up, but contemporary trans and nonbinary writers are breathing new life into nonfiction. These writers are telling their nuanced true stories beyond a linear transition narrative. This panel will bring together five transgender and nonbinary memoirists and essayists for an engaging discussion about trans stories and the future of trans nonfiction.


Nonbinary and Genderqueer Writers Discuss Working in a Time of Transphobic Crisis

February 10, 2024, 3:20–4:35 p.m. CT, Room 2215A, Kansas City Convention Center, Street Level

Trans writers, editors, and performers have always had to navigate risk in this country, but the last few years have felt particularly perilous, both in the United States and globally. These nonbinary and genderqueer writers will discuss what it means to for us to exist as members of a literary community in the 2020s and what the transphobic policies being enacted (and the cultures in which they are being produced) mean to our pedagogies, our careers, and our lives.

These are just a few of the many events we have for #AWP24. Add these to your conference schedule and find more on our website.


#WritersServe Pride Haven at #AWP24


For #AWP24, we’re giving back to the Kansas City community by partnering with Pride Haven for #WritersServe. Pride Haven is SAVE, Inc.’s overnight shelter for transition-aged youth facing homelessness. Their safe and accepting space offers a welcoming and affirming environment for all youth. To aid Pride Haven in their mission to provide a safe and welcoming overnight shelter for all Kansas City LGBTQIA+ youth aged 18–24, we will be collecting the following items for Pride Haven residents:

  • Journals
  • Books
  • Cold weather essentials such as hats, gloves, scarves, and handwarmers

If you are flying into the conference and wish to travel light, journals and books from Pride Haven’s wish list will be available for purchase at the #AWP24 official bookseller on-site. If you are attending virtually or just would prefer to buy online, you can purchase through the Pride Haven book wish list, and books will be shipped directly to the shelter.


Pride Haven will have their own booth located by the entrance of the #AWP24 Bookfair with representatives from the organization. When you arrive at the bookfair, make sure to stop by to learn more about Pride Haven and their mission and outreach! Read more about our partnership with Pride Haven on our #WritersServe page.

No Comments