Did you miss me? Yash is BACK, I’ve caffeinated recklessly, and I’m hauling up buckets of fresh catches from the internet ocean just for you. The gay literary internet is recovering from the national writers’ conference AWP last week, and if any of you were lucky enough to attend Kayla’s readings in-person, I hope you know that I’m wild with jealousy!
Lately, I’ve been struggling to make time for reading; the books I desperately wish I were reading are making eyes at me from the ever-growing stack on my bedside table. It’s been very helpful and insightful to turn to Dr. Devon Price’s recent nonfiction, Laziness Does Not Exist, where they draw on their research about work and rest. Especially coming from a queer researcher, the truths in this book feel very close to home for me! It’s motivated me to make more deliberate room for reading and rest in my life, and I can feel the benefits of reading for pleasure (aka, yes i am adamant that gay books make me smarter.) So, up next for me are some very exciting books that I can’t wait to make a date with! I’ll be interviewing the writer and artist team responsible for Flung Out of Space, a graphic narrative depiction of Patricia Highsmith’s time writing Carol, and I’m so excited to return to the pages of Rainbow Rainbow, Yerba Buena, and LOTE (!!!!) for more Autostraddle books
coverage fangirling. I’ve never had chill a day in my life, and with books this breathtaking on the horizon, I’m certainly not about to start having chill now.
Anyways, let’s make like a banana and split. On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:
Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note
- Congratulations to the four LGBTQ+ winners of Whiting Awards! Ina Cariño, Anaïs Duplan, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Claire Schwartz!
- “What I did not expect was that asking researchers to situate anti-trans activists in the context of the broader right would turn out to be one of the scariest questions I’d ever ask. Every researcher I spoke to told me that the situation on the ground was far worse than I thought.” This piece in Xtra is urgent and alarming, but the conversation it expands is deeply deeply necessary.
- LGBTQ+ Romance in the New York Times — I loved this piece on why queer love stories are finally receiving long-overdue recognition and success.
- Okay I know it isn’t, like, the most literary~ of items, but we deserve nice gay things too. I got really invested in the story of the dog who was dumped at a shelter for being gay — and the news that he was adopted by a gay couple made me really happy! Congratulations to this gay dog and his gay dads!
- What’s happening to journalists in the newsroom at Buzzfeed is a really, really compelling case for why indie media (like Autostraddle!) is more important than ever.
- “A remote former logging town wasn’t the likeliest place for a community of fearless drag queens and gay rights activists…until it was.” Calling all my cabin queers — this piece about drag queens and activists in the Redwood Forest is one of my favorite things I’ve read this month!
- Autostraddle’s own beloved A. Andrews (the brain behind our beautiful Rainbow Reading banner!) was featured in Disability Visibility and in the Washington Post!
- R/B Mertz’s memoir Burning Butch is out now, and I’m so excited to get my hands on this one! Stay tuned for a review on Autostraddle!
- “How can we cultivate queerer worlds, or other possibilities? With these questions in mind, I read three new books that think queerly about straightness.” There are so many cool things happening for queer literature in academic spaces, and I loved this survey from Margot Weiss in Public Books about love, lifestyle, and living queerly ever after.
- “Our students need to see that the educators in their community are as diverse as the rest of that community.” Queer educators in Florida are also speaking out against the new Don’t Say Gay legislation.
- Of course, now that DeSantis has signed that legislation, Kristen Arnett’s essay in Time about growing up queer and closeted in Florida remains deeply moving and worth revisiting.
- As the debate around LGBTQ+ safe spaces and support for kids continues apace, these two pieces by Amanda Oliver about the real work of libraries and librarians were incredibly galvanizing.
- Beyond Pronouns: Accurate, Nuanced Gender Reporting! This popular program is finally open to the public, and if you’re a journalist or freelancer who wants to be better equipped to write about the nuances of gender, you can sign up for this workshop led by trans educators from Sylveon Consulting here!
- It’s happening, it’s finally happening —The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is being adapted for Netflix!
- Why Isn’t It May Yet: So many amazing books are coming out in May (have y’all seen Casey’s roundup?) and I’m especially looking forward to new releases from Michelle Hart, Sonora Reyes, Nina LaCour, and Lydia Conklin!
- I’m a book-at-the-bar kind of nerd (can’t help being what I am!) and I cannot wait to read some cute queer sports romances like She Drives Me Crazy or Like Other Girls at Portland’s new sports bar, The Sports Bra! (Also, please sound off in the comments with all your best gay sports romance recs.)
“Queer Nigerians wrote, and lived, and wrote some more and they gave us, their community, our selves back. They gave us our stories, our lives, as terrifying and brave and beautiful as it is. These are the stories that helped me remember my name, remember that no person has the right to unmake me, remember that I am not alone and most importantly, that I am loved.”
Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!
- Casey’s back with this spring’s Seasonal Preview, and me oh my am I ever excited for the books on this list!
- Queer Naija Lit is HERE! This new column highlights the literary brilliance of queer Nigerians, and Chinelo’s intro to the column lit me up.
[Carole King Voice] Where you read, I will follow, Chinelo!
- Fiona & Jane is out now, and I loooOOOOooOOved Em’s conversation with the author, Jean Chen Ho!
- Abeni also reviewed Little Foxes Took Up Matches, and I love the way she speaks to how a book can shine a light on parts of our own experience 🥰
- Almah Lavon Rice interviewed Jhani Randhawa about their new poetry, Time Regime!
- Which Funny Queer Book should you read this April? (I got Messy Roots, if you’re wondering)
- Nyri Bakkalian wrote this essay about being a queer author in Making It Work: A Queer Author Screams Into the Wind
Rainbow Reading Superlikes:
“I just need to know that it’s gay and it slaps and they’re going to kiss.wp_posts
Light of my For You Page, Laynie Rose Rizer got this banger of a sentence quoted in the paper of record for the NYT feature on LGBTQ+ Romance, and that’s why she’s this week’s Superlike! This BookToker extraordinaire is also a bookseller, so they’ve got an awesome on-the-ground perspective on queer reading trends that informs her thoroughly wonderful recommendations. Give them a follow!
That’s all she wrote, folks! If you’re a queer writer, particularly an early-career queer writer: I’d love to hear about the cool things you’re up to so that I can share links to your published essays, book reviews, short stories, poems, and longform features on LGBTQ+ topics! Please email me links for consideration at email@example.com with the subject line “Rainbow Reading Submission” — I’m an avid browser-tab-collector, and I especially want to hear from you if you’ve just landed your first publication or first major byline.