The Backstagers (Volume 1)
Book by James Tynion
From the New York Public Library:
The world of high school theater is a familiar place (one might say stereotypical) to find queer stories. But this series by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh throws in a little twist: this story is about the stagehands! There’s also magical Narnia-worlds behind the curtain that Jory and his new friends can use to put on the best production ever too.
Imagine Sailor Moon crossed with High School Musical, set in an all-boys’ school and aimed squarely at boys, and you get something of a compliment to On a Sunbeam. The Backstagers is loaded with pastels, romance, people expressing their feelings, and big, flamboyant tenderness that never succumbs to self-deprecating camp. It takes pride in its all-male cast getting to act like real boys, with feelings and relationships that aren’t welcome in hyper-masculine spaces.
One of Jory’s new friends, Beckett, is a trans man who transferred from an all-girls’ school, but is also just one part of the books’ rejection of traditional gender roles. This is for any boy who would dream of being in a shoujo drama as much as being a superhero.