Unconventional families face structural barriers, even as social views shift

River’s family tree has three branches — one for each parent.

Markus Harwood-Jones, one of River’s dads, adjusted the five-month-old’s baby book so it would reflect the family’s unconventional parenting arrangement.

“I keep having to wipe out sections like that,” the 31-year-old said of the parenting keepsake, in an interview from his home in Toronto…

Review: In A Heartbeat

“This story isn’t just about teen romance, but also gives subtle insights into the angst of many trans kids.”

Confessions of a Teenage Drag King, Featured on The Next Chapter

“The Next Chapter holiday children’s book panel: 12 great book recommendations for young readers”
CBC Radio, November 2020

In the holiday edition of this semi-annual feature, panellists Michele Landsberg, Ken Setterington and Bee Quammie recommend 12 books to suit the tastes of every young reader…

Confessions of a Teenage Drag King, One of the Best Books of 2020 by CBC

“The Best Canadian YA and Middle-Grade Books of 2020”
CBC, 2020

Set in Toronto, Confessions of a Teenage Drag King takes a colourful and lighthearted look at gender, sexual orientation and identity. Lauren is a 17-year-old LGBTQ teen who breathlessly maintains two public personas — alternating between being a drag king and an unassuming high school student — as they look for romance in the city…

Trans Creatives to Look Out For

“Three Trans Creatives to Look Out for from Rye”
Rhea Singh and Dhriti Gupta
Eyeopener, May 2020

Markus ‘Star’ Harwood-Jones, a sociology alumni at Ryerson, has made his mark in the literary industry with three recent young adult novels, Just JulianRomeo for Real and We Three. Growing up in Winnipeg, Harwood-Jones started writing to create a space where he and his friends were represented…

Reviewing We Three

Review from Nour Abi Nakhoul
Quill and Quire, 2019

The latest offering from Toronto YA author Markus Harwood-Jones is a bright and quirky tale that explores themes of self-worth and social marginalization from the perspective of a young girl away from home at summer camp….

We Three featured by CBC

“30 Canadian YA and Middle-Grade Books to Watch for this Fall”
CBC, 2018

We Three by Markus Harwood-Jones is a YA romance novel about three teenage girls at summer camp. Jasbina “Jassie” Dhillon has feelings for her two best friends, Ams and Sydney. At first, it seems as though Ams and Sydney hate each other, but it turns out the opposite is true. The three of them form an unconventional polyamorous relationship that works at camp — but what will happen once camp ends…?

BookTrib Interview

“Harwood-Jones’ Journey Filled With LGBTQ Life Lessons”
BookTrib, June 2018

Markus Harwood-Jones is coming out with two companion books this August: Romeo for Realand Just Julian, both modern adaptions of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Julietbut updated to the 21st Century, with a gay love story between Romeo and Julian. In addition to these book, Harwood-Jones also self-published two story collections: Confessions of a Teenage Transsexual Whore and Everything & All at Once.

Here, he talks with us about his writing process, what inspired him to tell stories, his experiences as a trans man, and more….

Lecture at Queen’s University for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

“Building LGBTQ+ allies”
Phil Gaudreau
Queen’s Gazette, May 2018

An event marking International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia will explore both the personal and conceptual aspects of gender…

Outsider Artist: Markus “Star” Harwood-Jones

“The Eyeopener Outsider Arts Issue: Feature on Markus Harwood-Jones”
Dylan Freeman-Grist,
Eyeopener, 2015

Star is a trans activist and community organizer. They’re the lead coordinator at the Ryerson Trans Collective. From their office, which doubles as storage for both the Centre for Women and Trans people and the Collective, they steadily cut out newspaper clippings while reflecting on their art.

RU Trans Collective Action

“Ryerson Trans Collective tackles transphobia on campus”
Krista Hessey,
Ryersonian, February 2016

Starting in March, the Ryerson Trans Collective plans to launch a campaign to tackle systemic cissexism and transphobia on campus.

“Recently what I have been finding very challenging is dealing with transphobia in the classroom and transphobic professors,” said Markus Harwood-Jones…

The Zines of Markus “Star”

“Queer zines, naked hearts and confessions of a teenage, transexual whore: the art and activism of Markus/Star Harwood-Jones”
 MJ Lyons
A Queer Notion, October 2015

Existence, in itself, is resistance, says artist and activist Markus/Star Harwood-Jones. Survival has been a recurring theme from the time Harwood-Jones came out as queer and trans in his adolescence. Currently the coordinator for Ryerson University’s Trans Collective, Harwood-Jones goes by either Markus or Star interchangeably, and uses either “he/him/his” or “them/them/their” as gender pronouns…

Mosaic Documentary launched at Buddies in Bad Times

“Markus Harwood ‘s Mosaic at Buddies in Bad Times”
Courtney Miceli
Toronto Guardian, May 2014

This August, Markus will premiere his documentary Mosaic. The film takes an in-depth journey into transgender communities, and explores the meanings and effects of gender identity. The project was inspired by Markus’ own journey of self-discovery, particularly during a gender transition in his late teens…