Ellen Wittlinger

About Ellen Wittlinger

Ellen Wittlinger is the author of young adult novels including the 2008 Lambda Literary Awards finalist Parrotfish and Hard Love, winner of the 1999 Lambda Literary Award and a 2000 Printz Honor (both Simon).

Parrotfish Needed an Update: The Rapidly Changing Language of Transgender Awareness

wittlinger_parrotfish update

A decade ago, I wrote Parrotfish, the first young adult novel with a transgender protagonist. At the time I wrote it, most of my (middle-aged) friends didn’t understand the meaning of the word transgender. They guessed that it meant cross-dresser or drag queen, but the topic was not one that straight, mainstream Americans thought about, […]

Too Gay or Not Gay Enough?

Several years ago, I was invited to an all-day reading festival held at a brand-new library in a mid-sized town in South Carolina. Four authors had been invited to speak and sign books, one for each age group. I was the young adult author. At the lavish party held the night before the festival, I […]