After Orlando: A Queer Latinx Book Altar

A literary tribute inspired by the tragedy in Orlando. A guest post by Librarian Amy Sonnie.

Literary tradition is strong in the queer community. Storytelling is how LGBTQI people have named and defined existence, named and transcended fear, named and chosen family. Through poetry, music and memoir, LGBTQI communities keep constant vigil. Nowhere is that tradition more present than in queer and transgender communities of color. “All of us loved you / we want you to know this / listen,” wrote Tatiana de la Tierra.

In honor of Pride month and the 49 lives lost in Orlando, Oakland Library celebrates Latinx authors, artists and activists. Let us listen to their stories and hold the hard truth that we cannot truly know the names and stories of Orlando’s lost generation; they did not get the chance to name themselves.

But we can show up for the living: All of us love you. We want you to know this. We are listening.

que te queremos then and now
hear it in Nahuatl en Español en Pocho en Inglés
hear it en la canción del viento
en el silencio de tu desierto
en las rancheras que te cantamos
in the crackling of the candles that we burn for you

From “All of us want to claim you: Poema para Gloria Anzaldúa” by Tatiana de la Tierra.


Cover of A Cup of Water Under My BedCover of Butterfly BoyCover of When We Were OutlawsCover of Virgins, Guerrillas & LocasCover of For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough

A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir by Daisy Hernández

Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa by Rigoberto González

When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love & Revolution by Jeanne Córdova

Virgins, Guerrillas & Locas: Gay Latinos Writing on Love edited by Jaime Cortez

For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home edited by Keith Boykin



Cover of The Last GenerationCover of Elegies in BlueCover of MariposasCover of AmericanoCover of From the Other Side of Night

The Last Generation: Prose and Poetry by Cherríe Moraga

Elegies in Blue: Poems by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry edited by Emanuel Xavier

Americano by Emanuel Xavier

From the Other Side of Night = Del Otro Lado de la Noche: New and Selected Poems by Francisco X. Alarcón



Cover of We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?Cover of We the AnimalsCover of Chulito Cover of Dahlia SeasonCover of Mundo CruelCover of Juliet Takes a BreathCover of Sirena Selena

We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This? stories by Achy Obejas

We the Animals by Justin Torres

Chulito by Charles Rice-González

Dahlia Season: Stories & a Novella by Myriam Gurba

Mundo Cruel: Stories by Luis Negrón

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Sirena Selena by Mayra Santos-Febres


Journals, Anthologies and Queer Theory

Cover of AmbientesCover of NepantlaCover of Queer and Trans Artists of ColorCover of Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina LongingsCover of Performing Queer Latinidad

Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano

Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color edited by Christopher Soto

Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives interviews by Nia King

Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings by Juana María Rodríguez

Performing Queer Latinidad: Dance, Sexuality, Politics by Ramón H. Rivera-Servera



According to national reports, 80% of LGBTQI victims of hate violence are people of color.

Thank you Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha for inspiring the subtitle and to all those who suggested authors to include in this post. Please share your favorite works by LGBTQI Latinx authors in the comments.


What do you think?

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.