Palabra: Latinx LGBTQ and allied books and articles to add to your reading lists

Here is a list of LGBTQ and allied Latinx books and articles to add to your reading lists. They all are conversation starters, possible gifts and tools for increasing acceptance and understanding.

Novelist Carolina de Robertis is putting together an anthology of letters written by progressive voices that will be messages of hope to bolster the spirits of those resisting any rollbacks, or setbacks in the struggle for human rights in the United States. De Robertis herself is a queer novelist whose last book The Gods of Tango explored gender expression and love during the beginnings of the Argentinian tango. Some of the queer and trans contributors whose essays will be featured in the anthology include: Alicia Garza, Patrice Cullors, Jewelle Gomez, Achy Obejas, Chip Livingston and Meredith Russo. The collection titled “Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times” will be published by Vintage Books in the coming year.

Argentinian writer Antonia Amprino spent 23 days touring the United States reading from her book Words of Fire: Women Loving Women in Latin America, an English translation of her collection of 17 interviews that explores the stories of diverse lesbian and bisexual women in Latin America. The book provides a glimpse into the lives of queer women in the southern part of the region, showing similarities and specificities that can help spark dialogue. Katie Gray translated the original Mujeres al Borde de una Palabra and worked with Amprino to coordinate the US tour which you can read about in their bilingual blog.

Laurin Mayeno, the founder of Somos Familia and Out Proud Families, has written a bilingual children’s book called One of a kind, like me/Único, como yo, the story of a boy who wants to wear a princess costume in his school’s Halloween parade. Mayeno set out to write a book that would help both parents and children talk about gender expression and identity without stigma. She hopes the book will be available in other languages too according to an interview in the Huffington Post.

Cathy Arellano published Salvation on Mission Street this year, a book of poems about the people in the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco and their resistance to gentrification. Arellano is a queer Chicana poet and although this is her first book, she has long been a part of the Bay Area poet scene.  

Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism edited by Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz adds the voices of 14 Latina/o LGBT activists from throughout the US to the historical record of the struggle for LGBTQ rights in this country.

In 2014, writer and journalist Daisy Hernandez published her memoir A Cup of Water Under my Bed about the lessons of love and life that she has learned while growing up the daughter of Cuban and Colombian immigrants. In the book she wrote about her bisexuality. Recently Hernandez’ essay “Finding Refuge in a time of War” in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review explores her relationship with Buddhist practices and how they help her find a sense of refuge during a time of political aggression and uncertainty.

Finally, author Anel Flores (Empanada: A lesbiana story en probaditas) shares her journey to become an out lesbian Chicana writer in a great post that should inspire more Latinx LGBTQ to start writing themselves: