Literature that can transform the minds of readers serves humanity. These stories about being both LGBTQ+ and Hispanic provide young readers with hope. A hope that they can walk through this world being kind to themselves. These stories offer a depth that positively impacts future generations to know they are worthy of authentic love.
1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Benjamin Alire Sáens
Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza experiences something he has never felt before after meeting Dante Quintana. This novel is set in El Paso, Texas in 1987 and reveals the complex inner workings of these two Mexican-American teenagers. Ari never intended to fall in love with Dante. His shy demeanor left him feeling comfortable being invisible to the world around him.
Yet, loving Dante has given Ari a new outlook on himself and helps him to embrace his own voice. The universe is a transcendent realm of endless opportunity; however, living on planet earth proves troublesome for these two. In a world that disagrees with the love Ari and Dante have for one another is it possible for their love to be ever flourishing like the ever-expansive universe?
2. Bad Girls, Camila Sosa Villada
Bad Girls illustrates a trans-coming-of-age story. The tale depicts the bold reality of how a trans woman survives in a world that cannot see beyond their own ignorance. The heart of the characters seeks to build a community that is inclusive and safe. It reveals the captivating world of a surrogate family that stands together enduring sex work, disease, and violence.
A well-written exposition that explores and challenges Latin American gender and sexuality. An enlightening story that our bodies are vehicles of love meant to be expressed through integrity.
3. Loving in the War Years, Cherrí L. Moraga
In her collection of essays, stories, and poems, Cherríe Moraga expresses the personal depth of being both a Chicana and a lesbian. Her words depict the vulnerability of experiencing unrequited love. Her poems seamlessly transport you into a realm of deep honesty. How the sensation of gently brushing your skin against the woman you love fills the stomach with butterflies.
However, Moraga’s work also delves into devastation, exclusion, and fear of being her authentic self. Loving In The War Years is provocative, bold, and insightful in recounting the wounds done to a heart that refuses to stop loving.
4. The Nowhere Girls, Amy Reed
Standing up for someone else is not always the easiest thing. However, when learning that their classmate Lucy Moynihan had been raped— three unique girls band together: Grace Slater, Erin Delillo, and Rosina Suarez.
As the story unfolds the three protagonists, not only want justice for Lucy but aim to resist the sexist culture that keeps them confined in chains of silence. Gracie wants to escape the memories of leaving her old town, Rosina desires to express her queer identity and dream of being a musician, and Erin wants to do everything she can from keeping her family from falling apart. The Nowhere Girls is a call to action that identity, sexuality, and the safety of everyone’s body should and can be respected.
5. Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun, Johnny Garza Villa
Some of us are not fortunate enough to walk a few blocks or even take a bus ride over to see the person we crave to be next to. In Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun, we have introduced to high school senior Julián Luna. He aspires to leave Corpus Christi, Texas in hopes of attending UCLA and finally being somewhere he can be himself.
However, trouble occurs when an unwanted tweet exposes his sexuality. Julián embraces the consequences of this event but then comes along a beautiful soul–Mat. Mat lives in Los Angeles. He and Julián exchange intimate messages through Twitter and form a sincere connection. However, will the distance be too much to handle or will their gravitational pull toward one another be strong enough to overcome anything?
Thanks for reading! For more bookish content with Hispanic & Latinx LGBTQ+ representation, click here