By Julia Fitzpatrick
On Wednesday 12 July, the launch of the Trans Publishing Network (TPN) was announced by founder Harry Nicholas. Nicholas, a transgender author and publishing professional, set up the TPN to try to tackle the “lack of trans inclusion” within the publishing industry in major platforms such as author panels. The organisation is described on its Instagram page as a “community-led network for all trans, non-binary people and allies working in all areas of the book business in the UK.”
Speaking to The Bookseller, Nicholas explained his decision to form the TPN against the context of widespread transphobia and misconceptions. He said that “we are living in a time where transness is seen as a ‘debate,’ trans authors are being hounded online, and often trans voices are missed from panels discussing diversity and inclusion.” In opposition to this hostile environment, he told Pink News, the TPN will be a “positive and supportive space” for trans and non-binary people to “build connections, collaborate and flourish, as well as provide a collective voice with which to enact change.”
The TPN will be involved in a range of activities, including organising meetups for trans and non-binary publishing professionals, promoting the work of trans and non-binary authors, and championing initiatives for change within the industry. These efforts have already got underway, with the TPN marking non-binary awareness week by promoting a series of titles by non-binary authors on its Instagram page. The selected books include The Book of Non-Binary Joy by Ben Pechey, None of the Above by Travis Alabanza, and Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon.
Nicholas has long been a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion within the book publishing world. As a Senior Marketing Executive at Jessica Kingsley Publishers (JKP), he leads marketing campaigns for titles relating to gender diversity and sexuality, social work, adoption and fostering, and arts therapies. He is also the author of A Trans Man Walks Into a Gay Bar, a memoir which explores his experience of “contemporary gay transmasculine life.”
Trans creatives and allies working within the publishing industry who would like to get involved with the TPN’s activities are encouraged to join by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The TPN’s initiatives and events can also be found on its Instagram page, @transpublishingnetwork.