My friend Autumn has been writing some amazing short fiction with queer and trans characters in a fantasy universe. She’s also really struggling with student loans. Y’all should try out her fiction here: http://trashmance.com/ and if you like it, contribute to her Patreon here: http://www.patreon.com/lifeinneon
Either Magda de’Stain from Soulstring by Midori Snyder or Phedre no Delaunay from the Kushiel’s Dart series by Jacqueline Carey.
Magda de’Stain was the first really fleshed out female protagonist I ever saw in fantasy. And she doesn’t ape male characters. It’s a book where problem solving and conflict resolution, and even accountability are paramount for the character, and violence is a last resort. It truly is a wonderful book, and still one of my favorites. I must have read it at least 50 times. If not more.
Phedre no Delaunay shows that “that which yields is not always weak.” She is strong but vulnerable. She is sexual, but that isn’t all she is. She is unashamed of who she is. And it is nice seeing a bisexual leading character where that aspect isn’t exploitive.
Well, that answer probably tells you more than you want to know about me.