Books: SA's first transgender teen novel published

Published: March 25, 2015

Original Article:

Miscast, written by Charmaine Kendal, is published by Junkets Publisher. In it, Kendal tells the story of Cathryn, a teenager born as a biological girl, who has always felt that she was in the wrong body, and how she journeys to her real identity.

Cathryn knew she was different, that she was being asked to play a part that wasn’t written for her: she was ‘miscast’. In a brave bold move, she tells first her mother and then her teacher that she is now Caleb. That is the start of an extraordinary adventure for this transboy.

“It’s not an easy journey for Caleb,” said Robin Malan, the owner-manager of Junkets.

“He is blessed with a very understanding mother, and his best friend tries hard to make the adjustment that’s necessary, but he does have to change schools, and then change schools again, before things calm down. Any transsexual will attest to how difficult a journey this is.”

The theme of gayness or LGBT experiences has rarely been the subject of teen fiction in South Africa. Significant exceptions have been the work of Barry Hough in Afrikaans; and Malan himself with The Sound of New Wings and My ‘Funny’ Brother, as well as several of the novels in the Siyagruva Series, of which he was the series editor.

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