Lez Liberty Lit #67: Sick Day Reading


Malinda Lo is asked about why diversity is important a lot:

“Diversity is not important. Diversity is reality. Human beings are not all the same. We come from many different places and have many different identities and experiences. Having only one kind of human being in the stories being told is flat-out bad storytelling. Diversity is reality. Let’s stop erasing that.”

The Lambda Literary Award finalists have been announced!

Coffee House Press is launching an imprint with Emily Books that will be about “original books that speak to the aesthetic excellence, experimental boldness, and social concerns of both organizations.” While Emily Books the website currently functions as a tightly curated online bookstore featuring existing titles, Emily Books the imprint will release two original titles a year. (The website is also due to be improved.)

Lumberjanes co-creator, co-writer and all-around heartthrob Shannon Waters talked to Paste about “this is just the way it is” queer representation, all-ages comics, whether Taylor Swift would make a good Lumberjane and more.

Comic books don’t have a great history of queer representation, as Catwoman being officially bi illustrates. (Mey wrote about this too.)

Queer-positive kids’ books include Soma So Strange, The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket, And Tango Makes Three and more. And at the Millions, T.K. Dalton writes about gender, books and children. Getting a little older, Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian has recommendations for queer new-adult books. Or if you need to you could talk to your baby about post-structuralism.

Everything the Hays Code was worried about has come to pass (finally).

At Bitch, Black women writers talked about their work.

Alice Munroe wrote (in 1962) about the first book she ever read.

Schedule and timing impact how much writing time you spend writing and how much you spend bored or worried. Also if you are writing and not sure how to make women characters be human beings (or believable non-human beings) then here is what to do.

March is LGBT history month. It’s also women’s history month and Carmen has a reading list.

Speaking of history, here are ten books that will change how you see it.

Book Things To Do In Person

To 30 May, Lots of Places: Poet Andrea Gibson is on tour! And is going to a lot of places across the US and Canada, and to a few places in the UK. Maybe somewhere near you?

7 March: The Blk Grrrl Book Fair will be held at Cielo (3201 Maple Ave.)

7 March, New York: It’s NYC Feminist Zine Fest! Where “artists, authors, community organizers, and other feminist killjoys hold a day long celebration of DIY media.” Barnard Hall, Barnard College, 12 to 6 p.m.

15 March: Submissions for an anthology called Bad Dates: Hilarious Tales of Queer and Trans Romance Gone Wrong close.

1 December: Submissions for Topside’s short speculative fiction anthology by trans writers are due.

Know of a queer event with literary merit? Send it to us! The Liberty Lit is bi-weekly.

What We’re Reading:

Carolyn: I had not been reading and then I read the The First Bad Man: A Novel by Miranda July and it was weird and also good and I couldn’t put it down and I will talk about it with anyone.

Books! They are really great. You just won’t believe how great they are. You may think that the Internet’s great, but that’s just peanuts compared to books. In Lez Liberty Lit, we talk about literary shit that’s happening that you should probably care about.

The name “Liberty Lit” was inspired by the short-lived literary journal produced by Angela Chase at Liberty High School in 1994.

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. That anthology of speculative fiction by trans writers from Topside is gonna be so amazing…

  2. I don’t know how relevant this is to this post, but on the subject of diversity, it really buggers me. As a gender nonconforming, female attracted, able bodied Australian with Arab-Asian-African (so many As, and geeze, what the fuck multiracial parents?) heritage, it really sucked not having anything that really presented the former two and latter diverse things about me in literature I so loved. As a kid, I would grab anything East and Southeast Asian, even though the most I had related to it was my mum’s curries and my younger sister’s Malaysian nose. There were a few good East Asian novels out as a kid, and I clung to books like American Born Chinese in my teens because it was the closest I got.

    I’m on a mission to collect diverse books written by people who aren’t cis, straight, able bodied or white. I’m aiming to have enough books and have a good enough income to create a small community library for people to read these books. I want them all in one place and easily accessible. It’s something I can’t afford right now, but definitely in the future. I know there are bookstores, but I want a library. Young people, a lot of people, tend not to be able to cough up the money for bookstores. I mean, they’re so bloody expensive.

    I think the hardest part about my library is finding diverse books. I’m still begging every bookstore I come across to stock Brown Girl Dreaming. I want it in my collection so bad. I also want these books everywhere. It’s pissing me off now that I’m noticing there are so little English books written by people who aren’t white, but all these white books are written in other languages like Chinese or Arabic. I walk through bookstores with such angry faces that I think I’m starting to scare people. Also, where are my gay poets at?


    I totally talk to everybody’s babies about post-structuralism. I also talk to their adults.

      • Hey there! Thank you so much for all the links, and I do browse through Autostraddle’s collection. You should see my reading list. All I need is for my bookstores to actually stock these books. I would buy them online, but shipping to my lil’ city in Australia costs twice the actual book (that’s if I’m lucky). My current strategy in book shopping is go overseas/travel to a bigger city, buy some books, and take no clothes back home with me.

        • Have you tried Book Depository? They have free worldwide shipping (including to Australia!) but I don’t know if there are any strings attached like a minimum purchase amount.

          I hope you can keep pushing your local shops to stock those books, too, but if you’re in a pinch, this might help!

      • I was just on your blog, and how did I not know about Wanting in Arabic!? Thank you, I’m going to see if I can get that shipped in, price be damned!

  3. LGBT history month in the US isn’t until October and it’s observed in February in the UK. Which got me curious about Canada and other countries, but apparently it’s not a thing anywhere else.

    • I found it so weird because on one hand people kept making so many decisions that I found really stressful but on the other hand I could not stop reading to the point where it was annoying for other people.

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