This has been a Pride like no other. Our usual celebrations were cancelled for COVID-19, and police brutality protests take us right back to where Pride began. LGBTQ people have Black trans people to thank for the LGBTQ rights movement, for Pride, and for so much that we take for granted, which is why it’s even more important for us to stand by them now. Police continue to target Black people of all genders, Black trans people continue to face so much violence, and the fight for rights is far from over. Black Lives Matter protests continue (even if they’re not getting as much news coverage), and there are many ways to support the movement. Check out the Black Lives Matter carrd for continually updated petitions to sign, places to donate, and ways to educate yourself. For white and white-passing people, I highly recommend reading Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad. It guides you through digging into your own internal racism and the work to be done, and it’s really opened my eyes to how far I have to go, and how much anti-racism education is a lifelong process.
The world of LGBTQ books and publishing has began to reckon with its own racism, with Black Lives Matter protests bringing more attention to the inequalities that Black authors have been raising the alarm about for years. Check out the Lesbrary’s recent article Let’s Talk About Racism in Lesbian Publishing for a brief overview of the most recent iteration of the conversation.
- Continuing this conversation, Black f/f author Renée Bess wrote Excuse Me While I Burn a Few Bridges, asking publishers and readers both to examine their own racism, and also names a ton of Black authors of lesbian and f/f fiction
- Sistahs on the Shelf is a fantastic resource for Black lesbian and f/f books. They’ve been on hiatus for a while, but I’m so happy to see that Sistahs on the Shelf is back!!
- In the article Reading Black Joy: F/F Romances by Black Authors, I mentioned how Katrina Jackson’s twitter thread about queer Black romances was where I got many of the titles. At LGBTQ Reads, Katrina Jackson wrote about that thread and why she started it: Finding Queer Black Love in Literature
- Leah Johnson, author of You Should See Me in a Crown, wrote the stunning essay How Queer YA Novels Taught Me to Write My Own Happy Ending about growing up Black and queer and finding possibility in queer YA
- For other resources to find more Black queer books, NBC News posted Best Black Queer Books, According to Black LGBTQ Leaders, including recommendations from the president of the Human Rights Campaign, the executive director of Equality North Carolina, a filmmaker, and the programs officer for communities of color at GLAAD
- And for finding more queer authors of colour generally, check out Electric Literature’s Poetry Collections About Being a Queer Person of Color
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