This post is part of the Reading Writers of Color challenge hosted by Lonely Cryptid Media’s staff writer and editor, Dan Michael Fielding.
How loud can I yell HAPPY PRIDE MONTH before people start getting upset? (Not that it’ll stop me from continuing to yell, of course.)
Pride month is a time of celebration for the queer community to loudly and proudly declare we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it! Pride month is a time to demonstrate solidarity across lines of gender and sexuality. It’s also a time to get introspective. In the midst of all this celebration, what can we do to better ourselves and the world we live in?
This month’s prompt for June asks us to read a book by a queer, trans, or nonbinary author. Although I always included nonbinary folks as part of the queer umbrella, there were questions last year that made me want to explicitly name them as an important part of our reading.
Nonbinary folks, their identities, and their communities are often what sociologists call “unintelligible” to a world that assumes there are two and only two genders, each mutually exclusive. Getting outside the gender binary in a world that constantly tries to force you back in often requires astonishing feats of ingenuity and will, and the perspective that brings can be particularly enlightening even for folks who identify strictly as either man or woman.
Last year I put together a list of graphic novels by queer and trans authors. This year, rather than focusing on books I thought I’d produce a list of nonbinary authors of color and let you peruse their repertoires. This has the added bonus of introducing us not just to book authors but also poets, short story authors, bloggers, and essayists.
As you look at each author’s website, which books or stories stand out to you? Are there any you’re particularly excited to read?
- Jay Bernard is a Black British writer, artist, and activist. They are the winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
- Lydia X.Z. Brown is an advocate, organizer, educator, attorney, strategist, and writer, as well as the founder of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment.
- Beth Brant was a Bay of Quinte Mohawk Two-Spirit and lesbian writer.
- Chrystos is a Menominee writer and two-spirit activist. Their work has been featured in numerous feminist anthologies of poetry and writing.
- Charlotte Nicole Davis is a critically acclaimed young adult author.
- Akwaeke Emezi is an artist and writer born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria. Their novels and poems have received numerous awards.
- Yuhki Kamatani is a Japanese, asexual, and X-gender manga artist and illustrator. (Note: Their website is in Japanese.)
- Dan Taulapapa McMullin is an American Samoan artist and poet who focuses on indigenous Samoan heritage and the fa’afafine gender identity.
- Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer and performer. They also co-host the podcast VS with Franny Choi.
- Hide Viloria is a Latine writer and human rights activist who is intersex, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming.
- Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree member of the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba and a two-spirit poet and novelist.
- Neon Yang is a queer nonbinary author based in Singapore. They have been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards for their novels in the silkpunk genre.
- Ziran Jay Zhao is a Chinese-born Canadian author and cosplayer whose debut novel won the BSFA Award for Best Book for Younger Readers.
No list of nonbinary authors could ever be complete. In fact there are a few we’ve mentioned before that aren’t on this list, like Kacen Callender and Rivers Solomon. Who are your favorite nonbinary, queer, and trans authors?
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