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.
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
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
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
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.