While we should be reading LGBTQIA+ authors and Latinx authors throughout the year, it’s always special to read stories written by writers who are both LGBTQIA+ and Latinx during Pride Month. Especially because large corporations rainbow-ify their logos to sell products and Pride Month is often overtaken by white members of the LGBTQIA+ community, erasing the vital accomplishments and existence of LGBTQIA+ BIPOC throughout history and in the present-day.
But within our own Latinx community, we are beautiful, vibrant, and diverse in how we identify ourselves and who we love, and that should be reflected in the books we read, too. If you’re looking to expand your library and celebrate Pride Month at the same time, here are 12 LGBTQIA+ Latinx authors to read!
Erika L. Sanchez
Best known for her best-selling and critically acclaimed YA novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (which will soon be turned into a movie directed by America Ferrera!), Mexican American poet, essayist, and novelist Erika L. Sanchez came out as bisexual after the book’s publication and lives her life as an out and proud Latina. Both online and in her creative and journalistic writing, including her highly-anticipated memoir-in-essays Crying in the Bathroom, Sanchez is an honest, vulnerable writer who doesn’t hold any of her truths back—from LGBT rights to women’s issues, from sex to love.
Sonora Reyes is a new up-and-coming author for everyone to watch out for. A lifelong resident of Arizona, they write middle grade, YA, and adult fiction featuring queer and Latinx characters. Their debut young adult novel, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School, just came out last month to critical acclaim. It follows a queer Mexican American girl navigating girl crushes, having to hide her sexuality, and maybe the most important of all—Catholic school. Besides writing, Reyes also founded the highly popular Twitter chat #QPOCChat to help build an online community for other queer writers of color to write together, connect, discuss their projects, and have a safe space to express their creativity.
Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado has already become a queer icon for many readers, especially in the Latinx community. Machado identifies as queer and writes about her sexuality, identity, and intersecting identities throughout all of her work. She’s best known for her short story collection Her Body and Other Parties and memoir In the Dream House, where she explores her childhood growing up as a queer girl in a highly religious household and the domestic abuse she endured from an ex-partner. She hopes to bring much-needed representation to other queer Latinxs and to shed light on abuse cycles that are common in queer relationships, not just heteronormative ones, how to escape, and how to keep on thriving afterward.
Gabby Rivera is an openly gay writer from the Bronx and is of Puerto Rican descent. Inspired by Black, brown, and queer writers, she wrote short stories and poems for many years before penning her debut novel, Juliet Takes a Breath, which came out in 2016. Drawing from Rivera’s own experiences as a teenager, the book explores the limits of white feminism from a queer BIPOC lens and how feminism, queerness, and Latinx culture can co-exist to make Juliet the person she is. Rivera is also known for writing the Miss America Marvel comic book series and pioneering the first Latin American LGBTQIA+ character to lead their own series. In all of her work, she puts queer people of color first, inspiring the next generation of young, queer Latinx people to forge their own path and celebrate their identity without fear.
Andrea Mosqueda is a Chicana writer from Texas and assistant editor at Macmillan. Most recently, she became known for her debut YA novel, Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster, a hilarious and heartwarming story about a bisexual teen searching for a date to her sister’s quinceañera. Overall, Mosqueda is committed to telling stories that feature characters just like her and bring crucial representation to young people hoping to see themselves in the books they read.
Racquel Marie is a YA author dedicated to uplifting and writing about queer Latine characters who are just as confused about their sexuality and identity as she is. Of Irish, German, Colombian, and Cuban descent, Marie’s debut novel Ophelia After All follows a Cuban-Irish-American teenager in love with flowers, food, and boys—all of which begins to unravel when Ophelia begins to discover her queerness, question her sexuality, and wonder who she really is. If that premise sounds intriguing, be sure to keep an eye out for Marie’s next book, You Don’t Have a Shot, a queer retelling of Bend it Like Beckham out in 2023.
Filmmaker, photographer, model, and writer Orion Carloto is an openly bisexual poet from Los Angeles. Of Honduran, Italian, and Portuguese descent, she has so far released one poetry collection, Flux, and Film for Her, a multi-media book of film photos, poetry, prose, essays, and short stories. In both works, she explores identity, sexuality, memory, family, and religion. Outside of writing, Carloto frequently collaborates with luxury fashion powerhouses like Chanel and Gucci, and runs a YouTube channel where she recommends books by queer writers, women writers, and writers of color.
Myriam Gurba is a queer Mexican American writer who has written three books: Mean, Dahlia Season: Stories and a Novella, and Painting Their Portraits in Winter: Stories, which explores long-held Mexican traditions, customs, and stories from a feminist view. In 2019, Mean was featured on the “Best LGBTQ Books of All Time” list by Oprah. The following year, Gurba’s review of the highly controversial American Dirt went viral online and sparked much-needed discussion about cultural appropriation, white privilege, story ownership, and #ownvoices. In all of her work, she is dedicated to proper representation for her communities, including and especially queer Latinx readers and writers like herself.
Natalie Diaz is a Mojave-American and Latinx poet who was the first Latina to win the Pulitzer Prize for her best-selling, critically acclaimed poetry collection, Postcolonial Love Poem. In this book and her debut collection When My Brother Was an Aztec, she explores her upbringing as a Mojave woman, incorporates Spanish and Mojave with English, and dissects her queer sexuality. Before becoming known for her writing, Diaz was a professional basketball player and a language activist, working on language revitalization within her reservation Fort Mojave. She continues to advocate for her community, raise awareness of the struggles of Native peoples, and celebrate all the joys and complexities of her identity.
Crystal Maldonado is a YA author committed to writing stories about fat, queer, brown girls living their best lives. She first became known for her YA debut, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega, a coming-of-age story about a fat brown girl in Connecticut falling in love while struggling with body positivity and self-acceptance. Her follow-up, No Filter and Other Lies centers a fat Puerto Rican American teenager discovering her bisexuality, navigating social media, and following her passion for photography—all while catfishing as one of her models online. Maldonado has garnered acclaim and many awards for her work to represent fat queer brown girls just like her and continues to write for and celebrate her many communities.
Jaquira Díaz is an Afro-Boricua writer who has dabbled in a bunch of different genres including fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, and cultural criticism. Growing up as a queer biracial girl in between Puerto Rico and Miami inspired her to write and publish short stories and essays in publications as an adult, as well as her debut Ordinary Girls. The memoir won a slew of awards following its publication including a Whiting Award in Nonfiction and a Florida Book Awards Gold Medal. Keep an eye out for her new novel I am Deliberate, coming out soon.
Emilly Prado is a writer, journalist, educator, and DJ based in Portland, Oregon and originally from Redwood and Belmont, California. Known for her vulnerability, boldness, and honesty, the Mexican American writer frequently writes about identity, history, sexuality, queerness, racism, xenophobia, and Latinx culture. She first made her literary debut with Examining Assimilation and followed it up with her nonfiction essay collection Funeral for Flaca. The critically acclaimed book won the 2022 Pacific Northwest Book Award and was a finalist for the 2021 Foreward Indies Book of the Year. These days, she has co-founded Portland in Color, a directory of BIPOC creatives to foster creative collaborations with industry professionals. She also is a stunningly skilled DJ, even co-founding a collective for Latina DJs in a space that has historically been run by white men. In all of her work, Prado hopes to uplift the voices of marginalized communities and foster opportunities for other BIPOC creatives.
Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet who frequently writes about Black girlhood, queerness, patriarchy, capitalism, identity, and anti-Blackness in Latinx spaces through a Black Mexican lens. Her collections include Let Us Be Enough, a nine-track poetry EP putting her most popular poems to music; Sana Sana, a chapbook of poems reflecting on her childhood as a queer Black girl and the racism she faced from her Mexican American community; and We Are Owed. The latter is the poet’s debut poetry collection that puts Mexican, American, and Chicana nationalism in its place, questions the accepted Mexican identity as “la raza”, pushes back against Black erasure by dissecting historical Black figures in Texas and Mexico, and celebrates Blackness even as the world tries to silence it. Her most recent multi-media project After Poems incorporates photos, poems, illustrations, and visual cues to tell the story of the worst break-up of her life during the COVID-19 pandemic. In all of her work, Brown is most interested in tearing down systems that have been put in place for centuries and letting others in her community know they are not alone.
Anna-Marie McLemore is a queer Mexican-American author who identifies as nonbinary and bigender. They have written seven books, all of them featuring queer, diverse, Latinx characters who defy preconceived ideas of gender, sexuality, disability, and identity. Their work often incorporates elements of magical realism or re-tells popular fairy tales including their YA debut The Weight of Feathers and their fourth novel Blanca & Roja. Their most recent novel Lake Lore was recently released in March and features two nonbinary, neurodivergent, Mexican teens who discover a secret world beneath a lake. In all of their work, McLemore tackles discrimination, marginalization, identity, and queer love in all its forms, and has already cemented their status as one of the most essential queer Latinx writers of our times.