Lez Liberty Lit: The End


Hi and welcome to the last-ever Lez Liberty Lit!

What we pay attention to grows.

Over the decade-ish that I’ve been writing this column, the number of published queer and trans stories has exploded. It used to feel possible to read all of them, because there were so few. Then it felt possible to at least track all of them. Now, they simply feel abundant.

This is, in case it’s not obvious, an extremely good thing. But it’s also not a sure thing.

It can be tempting, when you fight for something and then start to get it, to see it as static. Now that we have it, we will always have it. What a relief that would be, right? But queer stories, like queer pleasure and desire and love, must be part of an ongoing practice. We must continue to give them our attention and consideration and care.

If you take anything away from this space over the years, I hope it’s this: Seek out the stories that resonate with you, and when you can’t find them, write your own.

If you’d like to keep in touch, find me at rl.yates (insta), rlyatesofficial (twitter), rlyates (venmo if you want to buy me a coffee), or rlyates.com. Thank you so much for being here.

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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. “Seek out the stories that resonate with you, and when you can’t find them, write your own.” <3
    Love this advice.

    I discovered the column much too late, but whenever I read it, I got so so much out of it. A curated round-up like this one, where someone knowledgeable picks out recommended lists and articles for you, is such a reading feast in itself. Thank you.

  2. I’m sorry to see this column go! For anyone looking for queer book updates, I recommend following LGBTQ Reads and (if I may self promote) the Lesbrary, as well as the Our Queerest Shelves newsletter.

  3. Can’t thank you enough for this column over these many years. Wanted to join a couple other people in hoping Autostraddle can get someone to continue a queer book news round up, because it has been so helpful.

  4. I’ve really enjoyed this column over the years – thank you for all of it!

    This was pretty much the only thing I still actually read and enjoy on Autostraddle apart from the occasional essay, so I’m especially sorry to see it come to an end – guess I’ve just aged out/don’t live in the US and it’s time to move on to…oh yeah, there isn’t anywhere else. Will miss it.

  5. “What we pay attention to grows” is so true and so deep. Thank you, Ryan, for this weekly column i was very fond of and, just like NSFW, i am sad to see it go. Much luck and power to you for ur next chapter!

  6. Thank you for all the effort you’ve put into NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday and Lez Liberty Lit over the years, Ryan, they’ve been two of my favourite columns for as long as I’ve been reading Autostraddle. Best of luck for whatever you’re doing next!

      • Most of the website is queer TV/queer celebs/tik tok/A+ content now. Not necessarily bad, certainly different. I’m sure this is definitely the Best Content for a lot of folks, but today I realized this column was the only thing I clicked on out of all the options. Since it’s a farewell column, I’m not really sure what else there will be of interest to me here going forward, as the queer TV I watch doesn’t appear here, I don’t interact with tik tok or celebrities, and I’m not making enough money to pay for the luxury of an A+ subscription.

    • the editors are planning for another book column, it will just have a different name and be by a different author! they also publish multiple articles about books every week — they don’t get a lot of traffic but the editorial team cares a whole heck of a lot about books and it’s a consistent primary focus

  7. I’ve enjoyed your writing and this column, and I’m sad to see it go. I am always happy for people when they decide to end something on their own terms and move on. So best of luck, and I hope to read more of your writing wherever you end up.

  8. Ryan, I hope this change means you have time and space to work on something else that you love. Your column will be deeply missed and I look forward to reading whatever you write in the future 💕
    Thank you for all the care and curating you put into Lez Liberty Lit. It was so appreciated and my personal favorite as well.

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