As our knowledge of gender and sexuality expands, more and more people feel comfortable in trying out numerous ways of expressing themselves. Many books using the LGBTQ+ BISAC codes may represent characters who are coming to terms with their identities. But “coming out” and growing into one’s own identity is not the end of the story, and oftentimes many queer people look to find characters who represent an experience that more closely represents their own.

For instance, there are many people who utilize multiple sets of pronouns for different reasons, whether that’s because of who they are with, the situation they are in, or simply because one pronoun doesn’t fully encapsulate how one experiences their gender. There are a wide variety of reasons why someone might choose to use multiple pronouns, and it is in this way that one might wish to see this experience represented in a book.

So what are some books where characters are genderfluid and/or utilize multiple sets of pronouns? And what about neopronouns, which are pronouns outside of he/she/they? I set out to curate a short list of some of these books across multiple genres, so that those looking to expand their ever-growing reading lists with gender diverse characters need look no further!

1.) Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Those who enjoyed Riordan’s Percy Jackson series may have to check out this middle-grade fantasy. The Hammer of Thor is the second book in a series that includes a character named Alex Fierro, who uses both he and she pronouns. Alex also identifies plainly as both genderfluid and transgender in the book. In this book, Thor loses his legendary hammer to an enemy, so Magnus Chase and his friends must retrieve it in order to stop an oncoming war.

2.) Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker
If you’re more in the mood for a heartwarming story about acceptance, Zenobia July is a middle-grade mystery that follows a trans girl who wants nothing more than to feel confident in her own skin. She moves to a new middle school and household, and while she struggles with gender dysphoria and fitting in, a mystery arises regarding the perpetrator of an offensive website hacking. The main character uses she/her, but this book also features an extremely diverse secondary cast, including genderqueer Arli who utilizes the neopronouns vo/ven/veir.

3.) The Genesis of Misery by Neon Yang
In this adult science fiction book, Misery Nomaki (who uses she/they pronouns) is a character in a world full of space battles and dangerous factions. Misery is from a mining planet and possesses the saint powers of stone-working, but said powers can be dangerous, leading them to hide these powers; that is, until Misery finds themself pulled between two factions that hope to win a violent war by using their powers.

4.) The Heartbreak Bakery by A. R. Capetta
The Heartbreak Bakery is a young adult magical realism that stars Syd (who uses no pronouns) and Harley, who uses both he and they, wearing a pin to denote which the character is more comfortable with at a given time. Syd gets through the tough things in life, such as being dumped, by baking. But Syd’s brownies seem to have magical powers, and anyone who eats them ends up breaking up with their significant other. The owners of the Proud Muffin, Vin and Alec, even fall victim to this magic, and it’s up to Harley and Syd to harness this magical baking to fix things.

5.) Orlando by Virginia Woolf
Lastly, if you’re more inclined toward the classics of queer literature, Woolf’s Orlando explores gender, pushing the boundaries of social construct. This book is a departure from the above, because Orlando changes sex mid-novel. But regardless, Orlando breaks down all gender boundaries, all the while exploring relationships with men, women, and even a character that uses they/them pronouns. This book has also been described as magical realism, since the plot spans three centuries.

The majority of these books were discovered through personal recommendation and Goodreads. Through my research, I did notice I am wanting more books with characters that use neopronouns, such as xe/xem/xir or fae/faer. I’m curious to know if anyone has found or is planning on writing a book with gender non-conforming characters that either use neopronouns or use multiple sets. I’d love to hear about them!


  1. Medicine for the Blues trilogy’s book 2, Chicago Blues has a major character who uses he and she by turns, and a minor character who is trans before that term was known (1923) and who presents as female throughout.

  2. Medicine for the Blues trilogy’s book 2, Chicago Blues has a major character who uses he and she by turns, and a minor character who is trans before that term was known (1923) and who presents as female throughout.

Leave a Reply