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Aiden Thomas On Growing Up In Oakland And Making History As A Trans Author

Aiden Thomas

Aiden Thomas is the first openly-trans author, to reach the New York Times bestsellers fiction list with a main character who is trans. He talks about his groundbreaking yound adult novel “Cemetery Boys” and growing up in Oakland.

"Society doesn't get to decide who you are. You get to decide who you are."

As a kid, Thomas hung out at a local cemetery with his friends. That and his Cuban/Mexican heritage are some of the inspirations behind “Cemetery Boys.” The paranormal romance centers on a gay, trans, teenager named Yadriel. He comes from a family of brujos and brujas. Many of his relatives don't accept his gender. He tries to prove to them that he has what it takes to be a real brujo. He attempts to prove himself by finding the ghost of his murdered cousin, but he accidentally summons the wrong spirit. 

Aiden's next novel "Lost in the Never Woods" is a dark and suspenseful take on Peter Pan and is due out March 23.

Click the play button above to listen to this interview.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.