Guest Post: LGBT Identities in Second-World Fantasy

Today’s post marks the beginning of our guest post series! We started having guest post slots way back when we celebrated our one year anniversary on here, but recently we’ve figured, why not expand that? So here we are!

This post is written by Anya Leigh Josephs, author of the upcoming Queen of All (9th June), and is a fascinating look at just what goes into fantasy worldbuilding, particularly the language used to describe your LGBT characters.

So, get yourself some lunch (or a coffee/tea/other hot beverage, depending on your time zone), and have a read of this!

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Discussion: Goodreads Awards 2020 & LGBT Books

We’re turning our awards into a yearly thing! Because really, if we spend all day every day promoting LGBT books, we should be able to celebrate them with awards, too! And what’s a better time to do it than the same as Goodreads’ Choice Awards.

The rules for the Goodreads’ Choice Awards stay the same: 20 categories and 15 books nominated in each in the first round. There are of course a few books nominated in more than one category, but for ease of conversation let’s say it’s 300 books.

Now. We know about a lot of LGBT books, but we’re aware it’s not possible we know about all of them that came out this year. Even with that in mind, and even only counting books that came out between January and October, we know about 1148. Just so you have some kind of frame of mind here.

Below you will find LGBT books nominated in each category. This year there is only one category without any LGBT nominees and that is Science & Technology, so frankly, that’s fair enough. Everything else? Well.

And of course! We prepared our own Alternative Choice Awards, where all the nominated books are LGBT. Below you have a link to cast your vote! Yes, you can write in your choices as well.

Vote in our LGBT Alternative Choice Awards!

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Discussion: The L Word

Or, regarding the erasure of the word ‘lesbian’ from YA contemporary literature. I don’t know if you’ve noticed (perhaps you haven’t) that, while the use of some labels to describe sexuality is (wonderfully) on the rise, the use of the label ‘lesbian’ has stagnated, to say the least. So this piece will, hopefully, provide an explanation of sorts of why this shouldn’t be.

A note to start: we’re limiting this discussion to mainstream YA contemporary because that is what’s most likely to get into young lesbians’ hands, especially if they are not so deep into talking about books on the internet.

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Discussion: We Are More Than Our Traumas: History Beyond Stonewall and AIDS

Discussion posts aren’t exactly a regular feature on this blog, to be sure, not least because we generally find ourselves wondering what exactly we can discuss. But today, we do actually have a topic for you.

And it relates to history.

I (Charlotte) made a tweet about 9 days back (here) asking people to read a nonfiction book about LGBT history sometime this month. Really, the reasoning behind it is what spawned this post.

So read on, and let us know what you think!

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Discussion: Goodreads Awards & LGBT Books

As I’m sure you’re aware, the Annual Goodreads Choice Awards just started yesterday. And as you also probably already know, the list of official nominees isn’t the final list of nominees. But it is a start & it was put together just the way it was & as someone who co-runs an LGBT media blog, I wanna talk about it.

We have 20 categories and 15 books nominated in each. Some books are nominated in more than one category so it’s not actually 300 books, but it’s close enough. And how many of those 300 books do you think are LGBT ones? Before you start guessing, though, let me remind you that we have a list of all LGBT releases of the year that we could find & it’s currently over 560 books long.

Below you will find LGBT books from each category. (Not) Surprisingly there are a few with no LGBT nominees but I still numbered the categories as listed on Goodreads. (Also, if you notice I missed any books, please let me know so I can edit the post. I might know a lot but I surely don’t know everything!)

When I told Charlotte I want to write this post, it took her basically no time to decide that another thing we need are LGBT Alternative Choice Awards & she set hard to work to put them together. The categories are pretty much the same, but the nominees are – obviously – all LGBT.

Here’s a google form where you can cast your vote!

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Discussion: Stop Turning Us Into Tragedies

In case you hadn’t realised, it’s LGBT History Month this month! (I know, I know, it looks a little like we hadn’t realised, but just wait til you see the doozy of a rec list Anna has for you later on.) This post was born after I finished a book, went to look it up on Google for whatever reason, and found that it had been turned into a film. But not only had it been turned into a film, it had been turned into a tragic film.

The book, by tragic gay ending standards, was relatively benign. Yes, it was bittersweet and the characters didn’t end up together, but they both survived. The film had obliterated that. So, of course, I got annoyed, said to Anna “hey how do you feel about this as a discussion post” and wrote about a third of it just for the catharsis.

The premise of this post is this: we have enough tragic stories as is without straight people taking what happy stories we’ve written for ourselves and making them tragic in the name of some bullshit historical accuracy. So. Enjoy.

(And don’t forget, we have various rec lists of nonfictionhistorical fictionperiod dramas and historical f/f!)

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Guest Post: Writing Comics with Cait

This is the last of our celebratory guest posts – but not the least! We figured five is a very nice number & were super lucky to get five amazing people to write for us. Today’s post is by Lou. We’ve met on book twitter, which seems to bee the place to meet interesting & talented people, doesn’t it. She’s an aspiring author and believe me, y’all really want her to land a book deal! Meanwhile, you can read a webcomic she cowrites with an illustrator friend. Or follow her on twitter.

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Guest Post: Found Family and LGBT in the Periphery

Charlotte lowkey makes fun of me for this, but if she let me, I probably would turn this blog into a shrine for Kayla. I’m just a big fan of her work, okay guys? And not without reasons, because everything she already published is amazing.

Anyway, I guess it comes as no surprise then that I asked her to write something for Reads Rainbow’s anniversary. And if you’ve read either of her books, you know that found family is a bit of a signature trope for her. So enjoy!

You can follow Kayla Ancrum on twitter (and you should, because she’s hilarious) & read our interview with her for some more content!

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Guest Post: Expanding the Possibilities of Fantasy: LGBTQ Representation in Malinda Lo’s Books

Today I’m very excited to host another dear friend on our blog! I’ve known Amrita for about four years and can honestly tell she’s one of the most talented writers & poets I have ever met. So you can imagine how happy I was when she agreed to write about something close to her heart.

You can find some of Amrita’s writing here or just go ahead and follow her on twitter.

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Guest Post: The Many Coming Outs of Gabriela Martins

We’re here two days after our blog anniversary with another guest post & we’re hoping you are all still in the mood to celebrate with us.

Today, we have an essay by Gabriela Martins. I met her around a year ago, I think, thanks to the book twitter community & being friends with her has been amazing. That’s why I was thrilled when she agreed to writing something for our blog!

You can follow Gabhi on twitter @ gabhimartins or visit her writer’s website:

And hey, we actually interviewed her a few weeks back!

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