The first time I kissed a girl was when I was nineteen. The only thing I had to go on was a stream of movies and TV shows like Carol, The L Word, and Orange is the New Black. A large group of sapphic friends filled my future in these (mostly bad) forms of media. I imagined that my love would be stronger than the cheating, violence, and death that surrounded every fictional lesbian. As a lesbian five years later, I am amazed by the beauty and creativity that comes from the group of people who are like me. Being a lesbian has been a hugely rewarding and fruitful experience that I’ve been able to share with so many people from different cultures and with different views on gender.
There is so much in common between lesbians, bisexual women, and other types of queer women. I’m grateful to live in a time where we can support each other and tell our own stories while still being true to ourselves. People in the wider LGBTQ community have done amazing things for the next generation, from the revival of The L Word to shelves and shelves of realistic and award-winning lesbian and queer stories, to name just a few. Sexuality is unique and sometimes changes, but the authors below have talked about being lesbians in interviews, bios, or tweets. They make my world brighter and less lonely as a lesbian author. This is what I’ll be doing for Lesbian Day of Visibility, which is a day I’ll spend with my girlfriend and with the queer friends I’ve always wanted to have around me. I’ll snuggle up with these stories of lesbians finding out who they are, how they feel, and what their futures will be.
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
This book is very rich and luxurious. It tells the stories of three generations of women from a Tawainese-American family. It’s mostly from the Daughter’s point of view as she deals with her mother and Ama, as well as her own body (which is growing a tail) and her neighbor, Ben. In the yard, Ama and Daughter start writing letters to each other out of holes in the ground. As a reader, it is easy to get lost in K-Ming Chang’s stories that are filled with lore and history. They show family secrets, desires, and histories.
With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
Kristen Arnett’s new book about a married lesbian couple with a troubled son will be out in June. Sammie is a stay-at-home mother, even though she isn’t naturally very maternal. She has changed her job to take care of her son, Samson, even though she isn’t very maternal. Her wife, Monika, isn’t very close to her and doesn’t help Sammie deal with her monotonous and growing fear of her son. The book starts when Samson is a little boy and moves on to when he’s a teen, when their problems are still growing and getting worse. A crooked picture of a bad relationship, raising kids, and finding peace inside yourself.
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
In Montego Bay, Jamaica, which is a popular tourist destination, there is a dark truth for the people who live there. She is the mother of Margot, a hotel worker by day and a sex worker by night. Thandi is a precocious student whose family will do anything to help her, and she is the daughter of Delores. She may be gay, but she uses her job at the hotel to get more customers so she can send Thandi to a private school. Thandi, on the other hand, feels like she doesn’t belong at the mostly white school. A haunted world comes to life thanks to Nicole Dennis-use Benn’s of dialects from her home country and dynamic characters.
The Tiger Flu by Larissa Lai
In a post-apocalyptic Vancouver, Kirilow lives with a group of women who have been exiled. Some of them can clone themselves or grow new organs, called “starfish.” As soon as the flu spreads, her boyfriend, a starfish with sick sisters, dies. Kirilow, who wants to save her town, leaves and finds a new starfish. But before they can help anyone, they’re kidnapped by a group of powerful men who are getting sick from the new flu. It’s called “cyberpunk.” In this book, Lai makes a fever dream world out of the remnants of the one we know.
Little Fish by Casey Plett
Wendy is a trans woman who has a group of trans friends and a Mennonite family. When Wendy finds evidence that her late Opa might have been transgender, she doesn’t pay attention to it. Her recently deceased grandmother, her and her friends’ addictions, and their sex work as well as their mental illnesses are all things Wendy has to deal with. This isn’t the only thing on her plate. This book doesn’t hold back when it comes to looking at the wide range of things trans women go through, but it doesn’t forget about the love they have in their community. New short story collection: Plett’s new book, A Dream of a Woman, is coming out in September. It’s also about queer trans women.
Funeral Diva by Pamela Sneed
Funeral Diva is a mix of essays and poems that tells the story of a generation of gay Black men and other people who died during the AIDS epidemic. It is a way to remember them. Sneed talks about coming out and losing so much of the Black queer community when he looks back at New York City in the late 1980s. He also talks about today’s problems with police brutality and the Covid-19 pandemic. With other pieces that talk about her childhood, media, and being a Black lesbian in the world, this collection is both concentrated and devastating.
Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden
When Madden was a child, she was the daughter of two addicts who had a troubled marriage. As a Jewish, bi-ethnic, and gay girl, she was lonely and isolated. In this memoir of essays, the author has a captivating voice and a lot of weight. It takes you into her world at full speed and shows you the trauma, confusion, and heaviness of addiction and sexual assault. She thinks about how to deal with the loss of a person you never fully knew when her father dies.
Without Protection by Gala Mukomolova
In this book of poems, Mukomolova talks about being a Russian Jewish lesbian in New York City through the stories of Baba Yaga and Vasilyssa. It doesn’t matter if a poem is about the woods and mythology or a fast-paced New York with Craigslist missed connections and a lot of lesbian sex. They sometimes meet and cross over each other in very interesting ways.