Just Girls is a young adult LGBTQ novel that stands out to me as innovative and aware while simultaneously touching on the topics that affect many teenagers as they enter the college scene for the first time.
Just Girls is the story about Ella Ramsey, a MTF transgender woman who is starting as a new student in college and hasn’t come out to people there even though she has gone through the coming out process in her hometown.
She becomes friends with Jess. She’s a cisgender lesbian who has overheard slurs and bullying comments about the transgender person on campus and pretends that she is transgender as a way to raise awareness of trans and LGBTQ issues. She doesn’t know at first that her friend Ella is the person she’s defending in this way.
The story is about their individual and shared experiences in these early days at a college campus.
What I Love
Author Rachel Gold does a great job of raising awareness of myriad LGBTQ issues in this book while still retaining the story itself as the primary focus. Reading it, I was concerned about the characters and their inner lives and their relationships. I wasn’t focused on anything as a “trans issue” and yet noticed that there was a lot of information and advocacy happening in those pages. I love that Gold was able to balance her writing in this way.