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International best selling author comes out as transgender

Joe Williams October 24, 2015

Young adult author James Dawson has opened up about his transition and the effect he hopes to have on his young readers.

Dawson – who still wishes to be referred to using male pronouns – has written a string of award-winning books, including ‘Hollow Pike’, ‘Say Her Name’ and the international bestseller ‘This Book Is Gay’.

He is the first Young Adult author in the United Kingdom to come out as transgender.

During a recent interview, he discussed felling “different” as a child, saying would often “pray to God” that he would “wake up a girl”

However, rather than thinking he was trans, he thought that his attraction to other men meant that he was gay.

“Given that I had been told I was a boy and I knew that if you are a boy that fancies boys that makes you gay, that was the only alternative I could see,” he told BuzzFeed.

Despite this, he says life as a gay man always “felt like role-play” and he often struggled to maintain relationships to due to intense insecurities.

“I could never understand how they could love me, because I felt like a sham, the worst specimen of manhood going.

“I didn’t understand what they found attractive. There was always this thought: ‘What do they even see in you? You’re just not a man’.”

The author went on to reveal meeting a young trans girl called Charlie lead him to the realisation that he was actually a transgender woman – and now feels he has a “lot of catching up to do.”

“She had decided in year 7 that she was going to start going to school as a girl,” he says.

“She was so cool and smart and I just thought to myself, ‘Imagine if that had been you, if you’d been able to have your whole life in the right gender.

“I realised, ‘If she can do it aged 11, you have no excuse at 30. None. You’ve got to confront this.’”

In a little more than four months, James will be touring the country as part of World Book Day with his book ‘Spot The Difference’.

He hopes the tour will start just a few weeks into his hormonal transition.

“I’d like to think in 2015 being trans is so mainstream now that it won’t be an issue,” he says.

“But sadly there will be people who will think it’s weird, and there is the worry that there will be a tabloid backlash around a ‘trans children’s writer’.

“Mainly I’m just excited.”

Dawson hopes both his transition and society’s view on the trans community will happen as quickly as possible.

“I hope that in a year or so I will be considered a woman and can go out as a heterosexual woman and date men and not have to dwell in specialist underground lairs,” he said.

“I want to be able to walk in the sun as a woman.”

More: Gay, james dawson, LGBT, Trans, transphobia, world book day

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