Tag: adult

7 Young Adult Sapphic Books With Latinx Representation – The Lesbrary

7 Young Adult Sapphic Books With Latinx Representation – The

Sapphic Latinx Young Adult Books graphic

The sapphic spectrum runs far and wide, which is why it’s important to remember to add a little diversity to your reading list. You may have missed some of these spectacular reads as your never-ending TBR pile grows.

Diamond City by Francesca FloreDiamond City and Shadow City by Francesca Flores

Two for one! The first book in the Diamond and Steel duology, Diamond City, follows Aina Solís as she becomes an assassin to survive after her parents’ murder. Diamond City is a place filled with darkness, tyranny and magic, and Aina must find a way to live in a world that wants her dead.

The sequel, Shadow City, was just released today (January 26, 2021). It continues Aina’s story as she struggles to gain control of an assassin empire after fighting her way to the top of the criminal ranks.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida CordovaLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

The first in the Brooklyn Brujas trilogy follows middle sister Alex Mortiz as she quickly approaches her Death Day, a bruja’s right of passage in this magical world. Terrified of her powers and wanting to be rid of them, Alex casts a Canto with devastating consequences. She must fight her way through the magical realm of Los Lagos to rescue her family before it’s too late to save them.

The Summer of Jordi PerezThe Summer of Jordi Pérez by Amy Spalding

Abby Ives has always been satisfied with playing sidekick to others’ stories. She’s content to run her plus-size style blog as she dreams of shaking up the fashion world. But one summer, everything changes. She lands a dream internship at a local boutique and falls for fellow intern Jordi Pérez. Things can’t be so simple of course, as they develop feelings for each other as they both compete for a coveted job at the shop after the internship ends.

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby RiveraJuliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Milagros Palante comes out to her mom and isn’t sure she’ll ever speak to her again. But that doesn’t stop her from leaving the Bronx to go to Portland, Oregon for an internship with her favorite author, Harlowe Brisbane.

It’s a life-changing summer for Juliet as she navigates the whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing and finds herself. A classic coming of age tale.

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay MejiaWe Set the Dark on Fire and We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Another double set! In We Set the Dark on Fire, Daniela Vargas, a student at Medio School for Girls, lives in a society that defines her place as a woman in two ways only: running a husband’s household or raising his children. But she’s living a lie, as her parents forged papers to get her into this school, and she must keep the secret as her upcoming nuptials to a politico’s son quickly approach. She has to decide if she upholds everything her parents fought for or if she will choose another path for herself.

The follow-up book, We Unleash the Merciless Storm, is Carmen Santos’ story. On the other side of Medio, the oppressed fight for their freedom. Carmen is committed to the resistance group, La Voz. So much so she’s spent years undercover, but now that her cover is blown, she must return her home to an island on the brink of civil war. Carmen must choose between breaking away from her community to save the girl she loves or embracing her full, rebel identity.

What are your favorite bi or lesbian Latina YA books? Let us know what we missed in the comments!

Stonewall Book Award Winners for LGBTQ Kids’ and Young Adult Books

Stonewall Book Award Winners for LGBTQ Kids’ and Young Adult

The American Library Association (ALA) today announced its 2021 Stonewall Book Awards for LGBTQ-inclusive children’s and young adult books, part of the Youth Media Awards that also include the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

We Are Little Feminists: Families

The Stonewall Book Awards — Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award (to distinguish them from the Stonewall Book Awards for adult books) are chosen by a committee of the ALA’s Rainbow Round Table, “the oldest professional association for LGBTQIA+ people in the United States.” This year’s winner is:

  • We Are Little Feminists: Families, by Archaa Shrivastav (Little Feminist), a board book that uses simply rhymes to celebrate many types of families as it shows photos of real families around the world engaged in everyday activities. While other books may have similar themes, this one is notable for the photos of real families and the broad LGBTQ inclusion. Several of the families include two moms and two dads; there are also children who seem nonbinary or gender creative, and one image of a transgender man who is pregnant. (Readers may recognize him as trans advocate Trystan Reese, who posts about his family on Instagram at @biffandi.) Some images are below; note the publisher has not made the one with Reese available to the media, but it’s very similar to this one on his Instagram.

Four honor books were also selected:

  • Beetle & The Hollowbones, written and illustrated by Aliza Layne (Atheneum Books for Young Readers): In this middle grade graphic novel, 12-year-old goblin-witch Beetle, who lives in the eerie town of ‘Allows, fits in neither as a sorceress nor as a ghost whose spirit is trapped in the mall, like her nonbinary best friend Blob Ghost. When Beetle’s old best friend, Kat Hollowbone, returns to town for a sorcery apprenticeship with her Aunt Hollowbone, Beetle is reminded of her inadequacy. Yet plans are afoot that endanger Blob Ghost and force Beetle to act, confronting her fears and her feelings for Kat. A fun and clever story that is surprisingly human despite the fantastical characters.
  • You Should See Me in a Crown, by Leah Johnson (Scholastic): In this middle grade novel, Liz Lighty is a Black, nerdy, poor, wallflower, which sets her apart in her small, rich, Midwestern town. But when a scholarship to an elite college falls through, she unexpectedly finds herself in the social spotlight, running for prom queen and the prize money that brings. As if that’s not hard enough, she may also be falling for one of her competitors. Full review.
  • Darius the Great Deserves Better, by Adib Khorram (Dial Books): This sequel to Khorram’s young adult novel Darius the Great Is Not Okay, continues the story of Darius, an out gay Iranian American teen navigating romantic relationships and family as well as bullying, racism, and his family’s financial struggles. He also has queer grandmothers.
  • Felix Ever After, by Kacen Callender (Balzer + Bray): A young adult novel about a Black, transgender teen whose plan to foil transphobic harassment lands him in an unexpected love triangle—but also leads him to redefine how he feels about himself.

In addition to the above, Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail, by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Susan Gal (Charlesbridge) won the Sydney Taylor Book Award, presented annually to “outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.” While the LGBTQ content is slight (one pair of visiting relatives to the Passover seder is a two-dad couple), I’m still going to mention it. Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies and many other LGBTQ-inclusive works, arguably brought LGBTQ picture books into mainstream awareness, so I’m happy to celebrate any recognition of her work. Full review.

And queer mom Jacqueline Woodson won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award for her middle grade novel Before the Ever After (Nancy Paulsen Books) about a 12-year-old whose father, a retired football player, is grappling with traumatic brain injury.

The full list of ALA Youth Media Award winners is here.

Congratulations to them all!


(As an Amazon Associate and as a Bookshop Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Can adolescent love lead to adult desire? / Queerty

Can adolescent love lead to adult desire? / Queerty

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Reunion: Esteros

Sociologists routinely state that most children have early experiences of sexual exploration with other kids, and that “playing doctor” is actually a normal experience in childhood. Often those experiences happen with other kids of the same sex, though obviously, not all of them grow up to be queer.

On the other hand, if you’re reading this, you probably did.

The Argentine film Esteros uses one of those experiences as its set-up for an adult exploration of friendship and sexuality. Directed by Papu Curotto from a script by Andi Nachon, the movie follows the reunion of two childhood friends, Mati (Ignacio Rogers) and Jero (Esteban Masturini). As kids, they spent summers together and formed a deep emotional bond. They also had a physical experience together, which their parents seemed to acknowledge as healthy.

Flash forward 20 years, and the pair reunite for the first time. Mati has become a successful biologist with a girlfriend, while Jero works as an openly-gay make-up artist. Their chance meeting awakens their childhood bond, though Mati hesitates. Is it because he’s ashamed of their childhood encounter? Or does he feel something deeper for his old friend?

Esteros plays with these questions in the coyest way using the Jero-Mati relationship as a means of exploring memory and life, not to mention sexual fluidity. Tender, quiet, but smoldering with erotic tension, we suggest giving Esteros a watch. What the movie says about the nature of love is just as elusive as it is intriguing.

Streams on Amazon, VUDU, iTunes, YouTube & Tubi.

Gay adult film performer blasts studio for paying bottoms less than tops / Queerty

Gay adult film performer blasts studio for paying bottoms less

Adult entertainer Armond Rizzo claims that a studio called Blacks on Boys — the self-proclaimed “home to the best interracial” gay content — pays bottoms “way less” than tops under the rationale that the site is “more top dominant.”

“This has never happened to me but there’s a studio who is interested in me and what I found out about them is mind blowing,” Rizzo tweeted on January 25. “They pay bottoms way less than tops [and their] excuse [is] the site is more top dominant. I don’t give a f*ck, who are you to say that a bottom is worth less?”

Related: Guess how much gay adult film stars make?

Rizzo, who just won the 2020 GayVN Award for Social Media Star, went on: “If [you’re] wondering what site I am talking about, it’s @BlacksOnBoys. Such a shame… lost my respect.”

And in another tweet, he added, “It’s going to be a big NO THANKS! I don’t care that you even raised my fee up. It’s just unjust you pay bottoms less and for that I decline working for you!”

Rizzo’s Twitter rant got a ton of support: “If anything, bottoms should be [paid] more,” one user replied. “If it not for a bottom, what the top gonna do?” added another. Wrote a third: “Bottoms low-key are worth more in reality.”

Related: Gay adult studio Noir Male responds to allegations of “not catering” to the black community

FYI, CNBC reported in 2016 that male porn performers “average $500-$600 per scene or day” with better-known stars earning up to $900 and “superstars” up to $1,500.

As of the time of this writing, the @BlacksOnBoys Twitter account has not replied to Rizzo’s claims.

So there’s a cult run by a former gay adult film star? Be afraid… / Queerty

So there’s a cult run by a former gay adult

Welcome to Screen Gems, our weekend dive into queer and queer-adjacent titles of the past that deserve a watch or a rewatch.

The Aptly-Named: Holy Hell

Director Will Allen made this doc about his own 20-year stint in a West Hollywood-based cult led by–it’s true–a former adult film performer. Comprised of interviews of former members, as well as copious home video footage shot by Allen, Holy Hell examines the rise of the Buddhafield, a combination of environmentalist commune and spiritual movement. For gay men enduring the pain of the AIDS epidemic in the late 80s and early 1990s, it offers an accepting reprieve from an otherwise hostile religious landscape. A mysterious leader named Michel presides over it all, keeping creepy watch over his flock often while wearing a speedo and little else. Yet the downright silliness–and yes, it is very silly at times, by design–conceals something far more sinister as stories of psychological torture, manipulation and even rape begin to surface.

The participants of Holy Hell, especially Allen himself, bare their souls and experiences with little ego or reservation. That goes a long way toward giving the film its power, and its lasting creepiness. When Michel’s origins finally do surface, they only add to the insanity of it all, which drives home the film’s main point: cults seldom begin with nefarious purposes, nor do the participants seek to join one. Harrowing, scary, and always jaw-dropping, Holy Hell will likely inspire a giggle or two of disbelief. That only makes the menace of it all so much creepier.

Streams on YouTube & Amazon.

What’s it like to be a gay adult film star mid-Covid? Jimmy Fowlie digs deep. / Queerty

What’s it like to be a gay adult film star

Nikki Spitz spent years priding himself on being the nastiest one in the room. Then Covid hit.

The adult industry, like so many other industries, was suddenly turned upside-down and lockdown made Spitz realize it’s pretty difficult to humiliate yourself on camera. Go on, try it; we’ll wait.

Related: WATCH: Find love in quarantine with Christine (and Jimmy Fowlie)

So Spitz, the latest sketch creation from comedian/writer Jimmy Fowlie, had to make some life changes.

Watch below, and bonus points to Fowlie for managing to squeeze in legitimately useful pandemic info: