We live in a world still blighted by homophobia and transphobia, regardless of the advances of recent years. I could point to the growing number of anti-trans laws, the fact that 59% of queer and trans students report feeling unsafe at school, the gob-smacking rates of violence against Black and Latinx trans women, but, by now, we should all be aware of the realities.
On the flip side, science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction allow us to explore and explode the limits of what’s possible, and not just when it comes to time travel, space, and magic. Why, when we can imagine any world, would we choose to create one where queer and trans people are still oppressed? Many recent works of science fiction and fantasy ask this question, imagining futures or alternate universes where queerness and gender nonconformity are presented as the norm within the world of the book.