June is one of our favorite months here at BELatina. Although we celebrate diversity, inclusion, and love in all its forms and colors all year long, this month is particularly important to make it clear that the LGBTQ+ community is here to stay.
Part of the magic of our work is that we write about Latines all year long. This month alone, we’ve covered the ways you should respond to your tía when she assumes your partner is your “amiguita,” the pros and cons of companies filling their logos with rainbows during Pride month, and you can bet we’ll keep doing it all day, every day.
But this time, we want to go a step further and shed light on the literature from Queer Latine authors you should have on your radar. Here are five of our favorites.
In case you missed it: Yamily Habib’s first novel is here! The Queer Latine author’s first book it’s “a brave novel, written in a direct and fierce style that is still deeply human and moving.” The reader will not find a more honest novel in contemporary Venezuelan publications. It is a debut novel, but it seems to be written as if it were going to be the last: it is hammered and chiseled with all frankness, power, love, and fury.
Another Latine Queer book that’s core in our modern Latine library is Rodríguez’s unapologetic read about the struggles of “sexism, racism, and classism.” The author “offers wisdom and a liberating path forward for all women of color. She crafts powerful ways to address the challenges Brown girls face, from imposter syndrome to colorism. She empowers women to decolonize their worldview, and defy ‘universal’ white narratives by telling their own stories. Her book guides women of color toward a sense of pride and sisterhood and offers essential tools to energize a movement.”
“Adonis Garcia (El Vampiro de la Colonia Roma) Novel” by Luis Zapata
For those who may not have heard of Luis Zapata before, “Adonis Garcia” is often categorized as the Queer Latine author’s most important work. With this novel, first published in 1979, Luis Zapata “not only created among us a new way of telling a story but also made visibly and gave a public voice to the gay world, thus opening the way to a current with a space in its own right.”
“Mean” a: “True crime, memoir, and ghost story.” “Mean” is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba’s coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. “Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously.”
Last but not least, our fifth Queer Latine book is “Chulito.” This novel is “a coming-of-age, coming out, love story of a sexy, tough, hip hop-loving, young Latino man and the colorful characters who populate his block. Chulito, which means ‘cutie,’ is one of the boys, and everyone in his neighborhood has seen him grow up, including Carlos, who was Chulito’s best friend until they hit puberty and people started calling Carlos a pato.”