Tag: Baby

Books for Baby Gays – The Lesbrary

Books for Baby Gays – The Lesbrary

Books for Baby Gays graphic

I have personally identified as bi since I was about 22, and 5 years on, I’ve now started thinking about what might have been different if I’d realised that any earlier, if my personal queer revelation had arrived during uni or high school. In this alternate imagined past, are there any books that could have fast-tracked my identity discovery? Or, are there any books that I didn’t know I needed or to look for when I ended up having my epiphany? My book picks have always felt very organic to me, but at the same time I seem to lean towards queer genre fiction a lot — a preference which is definitely not universal. And with all these thoughts recently running through my head, I decided while it may be too late to sit my past self down and make her think about what she wants and needs in light of the new perspective, it is definitely not too late to do the same for others.

So. The below is a non-comprehensive list of books you might consider picking up if you’re questioning your sexual orientation, or have recently started to identify as sapphic in whichever way that is for you. I’ve aimed for happy endings and not too much tragedy or pain over the course of these stories. With the help of some friends I managed to identify a number of categories that you might wish for in such a situation. Here I have highlighted one book per category, but you can find a larger list of suggestions on my blog (though without any blurbs). Now, without further ado, read on one and all!

Coming Out Under the Age of 12:

Star-Crossed by Barbara DeeStar-Crossed by Barbara Dee (bi main character)

Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play. Gemma, the new girl at school and crush in question, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British. As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy. If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama!

Coming Out in High School:

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah JohnsonYou Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson (Black lesbian main character)

Alright yes, everybody and their mother is recommending this one, but clearly that means there’s a reason! Liz Lighty has a plan that will get her out of her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down — until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. Despite her devastating fear of the spotlight, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen…

Coming Out at University:

Learning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss coverLearning Curves by Ceillie Simkiss (fat Puerto Rican lesbian main character with anxiety, panromantic ace love interest with ADHD)

With only two semesters of law school to go, Elena Mendez’s dream of working as a family lawyer for children is finally within reach. She can’t afford distractions, but she has no idea how much her life will change the day she lends her notes to Cora McLaughlin. Over weeks in the library together, they discover that as strong as they are apart, they’re stronger together. Through snowstorms and stolen moments, through loneliness and companionship, the two learn they can weather anything as long as they have each other. College may be strict, but when it comes to love, Cora and Elena are ahead of the learning curve.

Coming Out Later in Life:

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman cover. It shows an illustration of two women kissing and a cat playing with yarn.Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman (Jewish lesbian main character)

Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations. When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…

Life After the Big Come Out:

Double Exposure by Chelsea CameronDouble Exposure by Chelsea Cameron (bi trans woman main character, pan woman love interest)

Anna Corcoran’s life is hectic, but that’s how she likes it. Between her jobs at the Violet Hill Cafe, the local library, and doing publicity work for authors, she doesn’t have much time for anything else. Until Lacey Cole walks into the cafe and she feels like she’s been knocked off her axis. Lacey’s a photographer and writer and wants to do a profile on the cafe, including an interview with Anna. She’s game, but after spending a few days with Lacey, Anna is falling. Hard. The only problem is that Lacey isn’t going to be sticking around. As they get closer and closer, Anna wonders if maybe this would be the one time when Lacey would decide to stay put. With her.

Proper Escapism:

Water Witch coverWater Witch: The Deceiver’s Grave by Nene Adams (identities unknown)

It is the eighteenth century in a world filled with magic and the Caribbean are a haven for pirates; the most feared of them all is Bess O’Bedlam, known as the Water Witch. Bess’ lust for riches knows no bounds and she is on the trail of the greatest prize ever taken — and thought lost for twenty-five years. When Bess meets Marguerite de Vries, the Dutch thief does not know she is the key to a king’s ransom. The Water Witch will use any means to find the loot, including seduction, but she had not reckoned on a fiery-tempered opponent determined to protect her heart at any cost. As the women are pitted against a deadly magical curse, they must overcome many enemies in their quest for the treasure… and each other’s love.

Romance Takes a Back Seat:

The Black Veins by Ashia Monet coverThe Black Veins by Ashia Monet (no romance, queer found family, bi Black main character, British-Chinese ace trans man and Black bisexual ensemble characters)

In a world where magic thrives in secret city corners, a group of magicians embark on a road trip. Sixteen-year-old Blythe is one of seven Guardians: magicians powerful enough to cause worldwide panic with a snap of their fingers. But Blythe spends her days pouring latte art at her family’s coffee shop until magician anarchists crash into said coffee shop and kidnap her family. Heartbroken but determined, she packs up her family’s bright yellow Volkswagen, puts on a playlist, and embarks on a road trip across the United States to enlist the help of six strangers whose abilities are unparalleled—the other Guardians.

Classic:

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu,Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, edited by Carmen Maria Machado (lesbian main character and love interest)

Isolated in a remote mansion in a central European forest, Laura longs for companionship when a carriage accident brings another young woman into her life: the secretive and sometimes erratic Carmilla. As Carmilla’s actions become more puzzling and volatile, Laura develops bizarre symptoms, and as her health goes into decline, Laura and her father discover something monstrous. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s compelling tale of a young woman’s seduction by a female vampire predates Bram Stoker’s Dracula by over a quarter century.

The History:

Sapphistries coverSapphistries: A Global History Of Love Between Women by Leila J. Rupp

From the ancient poet Sappho to tombois in contemporary Indonesia, women throughout history and around the globe have desired, loved, and had sex with other women. Sapphistries captures the multitude of ways that diverse societies have shaped female same-sex sexuality across time and place. We hear women in the sex-segregated spaces of convents and harems whispering words of love. We see women beginning to find each other on the streets of London and Amsterdam, in the aristocratic circles of Paris, in the factories of Shanghai. We find women’s desire and love for women meeting the light of day as Japanese schoolgirls fall in love, and lesbian bars and clubs spread from 1920s Berlin to 1950s Buffalo. And we encounter a world of difference in the twenty-first century, as transnational concepts and lesbian identities meet local understandings of how two women might love each other. Rupp also creatively employs fiction to imagine possibilities when there is no historical evidence.

Marieke (she / her) has a weakness for niche genres like fairy tale retellings and weird murder mysteries, especially when combined with a nice cup of tea. She also shares diverse reading resources on her blog letsreadwomen.tumblr.com

A beachside baby announcement

Beachside baby announcement

When U.K. couple Alex and Emily learned they were having a baby, they wanted to share the news with loved ones in a creative and meaningful way.

The couple was married at the Boathouse in Norfolk in 2019, ,and decided this exciting announcement was the perfect opportunity to relive some of those memories. With the same videographer, Mike Savory Wedding Films, along with Tim Stephenson Photography, Emily and Alex donned their wedding dresses and strolled together down North Norfolk’s Winterton Beach for a photo and video session.

After an outfit change, the black-and-white video zooms in on the pair holding a onesie that reads: Baby O’Brien, Due March 2021.

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Beachside baby announcement | Tim Stephenson Photography | Featured on Equally Wed, the leading LGBTQ+ wedding magazine

Search our directory of LGBTQ+ inclusive vendors.

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Photographer: Tim Stephenson Photography

Videographer: Mike Savory Wedding Films

Two Dads and the Baby They Found in the Subway Star in New Picture Book

Two Dads and the Baby They Found in the Subway

When a man finds an abandoned baby in a New York City subway station, he and his partner unexpectedly end up adopting the child, in a new picture book based on the true story—and perfect for Christmas.

Our Subway Baby

“Some babies are born into their families. Some are adopted. This is the story of how one baby found his family in the New York City subway,” begins Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio (Dial). Told from Mercurio’s first-person perspective, it shows his then-partner (now husband) Danny, finding an abandoned baby in a corner of the subway station. The police are called and Mercurio arrives; the media covers the event and the baby is placed in foster care. Eventually, the judge in charge of deciding what to do with the child wants to meet Danny, and suggests that the two men adopt him. Both men are White; the baby is a light-skinned person of color.

The men have hesitations. “Our apartment was tiny. Our piggy banks were empty. I didn’t know if we had what it took to be your parents,” Mercurio relates. They finally decide, though, that “We were meant to be a family.” The judge says they can bring the child home in only three days, just in time for Christmas! Neighbors and relatives, at least two of whom seem to be people of color, help them prepare. The men take the child to their apartment—via the subway, arms around each other and the baby cradled between them.

Mercurio’s text is straightforward but occasionally lyrical as he speaks of their hopes and dreams as a family. The word count places this book at the upper end of the picture-book age range, but the vocabulary and sentence structure feel well suited for that audience. (Adults may just need to explain that the term “Straphanger,” seen in a newspaper headline about the baby’s rescue, refers to a subway rider.) An Author’s Note at the end tells us that in 2012, the child (now named Kevin) had the idea of asking the same judge to perform his dads’ wedding, which she did.

This is a heartwarming story about building a family, made more impactful by its truthfulness. (Here’s the grown-up version that Mercurio wrote for the New York Times in 2013.) Leo Espinosa’s illustrations deftly capture the characters’ emotions and the details of the city around them. Mercurio also takes the time not only to share his personal story, but also to offer some insight into what it means to foster or adopt a child, noting, for example, “We learned that you were placed in a foster home. Some babies stay in foster care for a short time. Some for a long time. Some live in many different foster homes and grow up without a permanent home or family.”

I also love that this is a story about LGBTQ family building that doesn’t focus on “problematizing” LGBTQ identities. Danny does make one comment to the judge that “I know adopting a baby isn’t always easy for two dads,” but the judge quickly says, “It can be.” A note at the end about why adoption isn’t always easy for two dads might have helped adult readers explain this to kids who have questions, but on balance, I’m glad that the focus is on the positive.

My only (small) critique is that I would have liked a clearer introduction about who Danny is to the narrator. It’s obvious as the story goes on that the men are living together and love one another; several images show them with their arms around each other. Yet saying “Danny, my partner” (or “husband,” or however they referred to each other at the time) might have clarified things from the start.

This joyous book about a unique path to parenthood, full of love and warmth, should find a place on many bookshelves.

Sunday Funday Will Not Be Throwing a Gender Reveal for Miss Major’s Baby!

Sunday Funday Will Not Be Throwing a Gender Reveal for

Happy Sunday friends! This week I watched too much Grey’s Anatomy and fucked up my challah watching Izzie be Izzie. I also made my first ever actual sourdough loaf (she’s perfect), went to my first Selichot service, and stress bought eight fancy candles. Just an average week during a global pandemic. I made apple sauce, raspberry jam, and strawberry jam because for two perfect days, it was 68º in Austin, TX. In September! I’m starting to think the universe is not conspiring against me!

I’m gonna ride this high and focus on good news!


+ Are you still keeping up your sourdough starter? Gail (my starter) is doing well, and I hate throwing away her daughters, so here’s a recipe for strawberry and pecan scones to use up your sourdough daughters.

+ These queer women are making space for themselves in ballet.

+ Lucy Worsley is a straight white lady in the UK who stays in her lane and makes really cute documentaries about historic things. Fall in love with her newest one while you’re pretending time still matters.

+ Wynne Nowland came out as trans and it “stirred surprise, support and new challenges at the company she runs”

+ 19 Black families bought almost 100 acres of land in Georgia to create a safe space for Black families.

+ Miss Major and Beck are having a baby, and they will not be revealing the baby’s sex! Hooray and Hallelujah indeed!!

+ Sohla El-Waylly cooks three recipes that define her life.

+ San Jose’s Post Street is the city’s first LGBTQ+ district.

+ The Transgender First National Scholarship is the first of its kind for trans students.

+ A snake laid 7 eggs, even though she hasn’t been around a male snake in years. Good for her! Also, isn’t this the plot of Jurassic Park???

+ The film Tahara puts a Black queer Jewish teen at the center of it while she navigates her grief. 

+ Inside Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani’s Los Angeles office with Architectural Digest


And that, my friends, is all the good news fit to print. I’m off to go pay too much money to have a doctor look at my arm, which I lost 180º of motion in over a month ago. I love the medical industrial complex! Then tonight I’m gonna put on a robe and Auntie it out to the Gladys Knight and Patti Labelle Verzuz battle, then watch a Brandi Carlile concert, and convince my girlfriend to watch Cabaret with me.

This week will be good. I will be happy. I will be provided for. I will take care of my community, and they will take care of me. We got this! Have an amazing week, I love you, I’ll see you soon.

Ari

Ari is a 20-something artist and educator. They are a mom to two cats, they love domesticity, ritual, and porch time. They have studied, loved, and learned in CT, Greensboro, NC, and ATX.

Ari has written 320 articles for us.