A story of a trans superhero: Dreadnought by April Daniels

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Metahumans are getting more and more popular. Just start with X-Men movies and comics and the new popular Tv shows like The Flash and Supergirl. Of course, the story about their superpowers and all the fights is exciting but the viewers are even more interested in their human struggles. Metahumans are perceived as monsters, half human, unnatural. They have a hard time fitting into “normal” life and it’s almost impossible for them to find love. But what happens when even in that world there’s someone who is not accepted?

Danny is a girl. She looks like a boy to everyone else but she’s a girl. She paints her toenails in secret, hiding her true self when something both terrible and amazing happens to her – hero Dreadnought dies and gives Danny his powers… and a new body. Now everyone can see that Danny is a girl. But not everyone is ready to accept it.

For what I know from the trans community – time is everything. From the first moment a trans person realizes they’re trans, they need time to deal with that – with themselves, their families, friends and the society as a whole. And for those who want to go on with the transition time is even more necessary. But Danny doesn’t have that. One day she’s a trans girl hiding that secret from everyone and the next day she can’t hide it anymore – everyone can see her new body and she can’t take her time with coming out. It’s both a blessing and a curse – she is what she always wanted to but not on her own terms. It’s a very complicated situation. I guess the most hurtful scene must be the one when she talks to her father and he is all for Danny taking pills to “become a boy again”.

Metahumans exist in this world. They are crime fighters, brave and organized. They are friends and family. Excluded from the “normal world” they fight together, aware that they will never be accepted. But they are not so ready to accept those who are not like them, too. Danny has the hardest of times joining the new society. Her new companions refuse to accept who she is and they use her dead name. No matter how hard she tries she can’t find her place, not as s superhero, not as a trans girl, not as a lesbian.

Coming of age books should come in all shapes. If we can have hundreds of books about boys growing up, then we sure as hell need a book about a trans girl who’s a superhero in more than one way. Every little girl who stands up for herself in this world is a superhero. Danny, who chooses to help the world even if the world refuses to accept her is even more so. She’s the biggest superhero of them all.

*I received this book on NetGalley and gave it my honest review. Thanks for sharing!

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