Two Spirit Ranch by Jaime Stryker tells the tale of a successful transgender lawyer running away from her tumultuous life in New York City to Montana meets a handsome small town sheriff.
Publisher Chances at Romance says it's perhaps the first mainstream romance novel with a transgendered heroine, and explores love being challenged by a rugged sheriff's preconceived notion about gender and the heroine's fear of not being loved for the woman she is.
"Popular art reflects culture, and the past year brought transgender issues to the forefront. It was simply time for a romance novel that also touched upon gender issues," the LA-based author says.
The title delves into the fact that some Native American tribe members could assume the identity of the opposite gender and still be accepted and respected by their community. "Many of the native peoples believed a spectrum of gender identities was part of nature's diversity." Stryker goes on to say, "When European colonization started to dominate the region rigid gender roles became the norm."
Chances Press spokesman David Pearson says publishing sales figures have shown that mainstream audiences have begun to accept other romantic sub-genres such as gay love stories. "So, why not create another sub-genre that helps educate readers about the transgender experience? Love and romance is universal."
GayNZ.com Daily News is checking whether the book will be distributed in New Zealand, however it can be ordered online from Amazon and e-book retailers.