Hello and welcome to It’s Queer Here!
It’s Queer Here is a ten days long mini blog series which will hold from June 14 – June 25th (skipping Juneteenth) to commemorate Pride month. The purpose of this blog series is to centre more often forgotten queer voices, especially those which intersect with other marginalisations and affect their experience of queerness. It’s Queer Here can be seen as reminder, that although these identities less are presented, that they’re still here and they’re still queer.
We started this mini blog series with a statement and reminder to support Black trans lives and today, we’re ending it with a list of Black trans writers to support.
This list is a small compilation of Black trans, nonbinary, genderqueer and gender non conforming writers whose works you should read.
Kacen Callender (they/them and sometimes he/him)
Born and raised in St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, Kacen Callender is the award-winning author of the middle-grade novels Hurricane Child and King and the Dragonflies, the young-adult novels This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story and Felix Ever After, and the adult novel Queen of the Conquered.
Kacen was previously an Associate Editor of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, where they acquired and edited novels including Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles, the New York Times bestseller Internment by Samira Ahmed, and the Stonewall Honor award-winning novel Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake.
They enjoy playing RPG video games in their free time.
Kacen currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Dane Figueroa Edidi (she/her)
Dubbed “The Ancient Jazz Priestess Of Mother Africa”, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi is an African,Cuban, Indigenious, American trans performance artist, author (Yemaya’S Daughters, Brew, Wither Baltimore: A Love Letter, Keeeper, Remains:A Gathering Of Bones, Incarnate, For Black Trans Girls Who Gotta Cuss A Mother Fucker Out When Snatching An Edge Ain’T Enough, Solace), teacher, choreographer, oraclur consultant, educator, healer, advocate, political commentator, and a founding member of force collision.
Danez Smith (they/them)
Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of “Homie” (Graywolf Press, 2020), “Don’t Call Us Dead” (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and “[insert] boy” (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez’s work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez has been featured as part of Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list and is the winner of a Pushcart Prize. They are a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.
Venus Selenite (xe/xym)
Venus Selenite is a poet, writer, performance artist, social critic, editor, educator, and technologist based in Washington, D.C.
The author of a poetry collection, trigger, xe is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where xe began xyr career on the youth slam and spoken word circuits. After working with the National Center for Transgender Equality on the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey, xe became devoted to her art and mission full-time. Venus works as the Trans Voices Columnist for Wear Your Voice Magazine, serves on the leadership team of Trans Women of Color Collective, is an editor for Trans Women Writers Collective, and is the Communications Coordinator for The Future Foundation. Xe has performed and spoken at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Anacostia Playhouse, New York University-DC, American University, the Capturing Fire Queer Poetry Slam, and the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam. Venus will be publishing xyr first novella, Istrouma, and co-editing Nameless Women: An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color, both eyeing publication in early 2017.
Cameron Awkward-Rich (he/him)
Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of Sympathetic Little Monster (Ricochet Editions, 2016), which was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. He is a Cave Canem fellow, a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine, and his second collection of poetry, Dispatch, is forthcoming from Persea Books in December 2019.
Also a critic, Cameron earned his PhD from Stanford University’s program in Modern Thought & Literature, and he is an assistant professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, he is working on a book about maladjustment in trans literature and theory.
Cole McCade (he/him)
Author of the Crimina Intentions series. He is tall, bi/queer, introverted author of a brown-ish persuasion made up of various flavors of Black, Asian, and Native American.
C. Riley Snorton (he/him)
Riley Snorton is associate professor of Africana studies and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Cornell University and visiting associate professor of American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He is author of Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low (Minnesota, 2014).
Janet Mock (she/her)
Janet Mock is the New York Times bestselling author of two memoirs, Redefining Realness (2014) and Surpassing Certainty (2017), a writer, director and producer on Ryan Murphy’s FX series Pose, for which she made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of television with the landmark script, “Love Is the Message.”
Isaac Fitzsimons (he/him)
Isaac Fitzsimons grew up in the DC suburbs but spent his summers in England and France. When he’s not writing young adult fiction, he enjoys trying out new recipes, supporting his soccer team, Manchester City, and butchering songs on the banjo, piano, and ukulele. His dream vacation would be traveling around Europe via sleeper train to see every top-tier soccer team play a home game. He currently lives outside DC and works for an arts advocacy nonprofit in the city.
Rivers Solomon (they/them)
Rivers Solomon is a dyke, an anarchist, a she-beast, an exile, a wound, a shiv, a wreck, and a refugee of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. They write a9bout life in the margins, where they are much at home.
In addition to appearing on the Stonewall Honor List and winning a Firecracker Award, Solomon’s debut novel AN UNKINDNESS OF GHOSTS (Akashic Books) was a finalist for a Lambda, a Hurston/Wright, a Tiptree, and a Locus Award, and was included in numerous best-of-the-year lists, including in NPR, Publishers Weekly, and The Guardian (UK). Their short work appears in or is forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, the New York Times, Guernica, Best American Short Stories, Tor.com, and elsewhere, and their second book, THE DEEP, is forthcoming November 2019 from Saga (Simon & Schuster).
They grew up between California, Indiana, Texas, and New York but currently reside in the United Kingdom.
(bio as written from author’s website)
Emery Lee (e/em/eir)
Emery Lee is a kidlit author, artist, and YouTuber hailing from a mixed-racial background. After graduating with a degree in creative writing, e’s gone on to author novels, short stories, and webcomics. When away from reading and writing, you’ll most likely find em engaged in art or snuggling cute dogs.
Akwaeke Emezi (they/them)
Author of PET, Freshwater and The Death of Vivek Oji (August 4, 2020)
Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Emezi was awarded a Global Arts Fund grant in 2017 for the video art in their project The Unblinding, and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. Their writing has been published by T Magazine, Dazed Magazine, The Cut, Buzzfeed, Granta Online, Vogue.com, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Their memoir work was included in The Fader’s ‘Best Culture Writing of 2015’ (‘Who Will Claim You?’) and their film UDUDEAGU won the Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival.
Jayy Dodd (she/her)
a blxk trans womxn from los angeles, california– now based in Portland,OR. she is a artist, writer, & curator. her work has been featured in LitHub, Poetry Foundation, Oprah Magazine, Ms. Magazine, The New York Public Library among others. she is the Executive Director for Dovesong Labs (a development of Winter Tangerine), editor of A Portrait in Blues (Platypus Press 2017), author of Mannish Tongues (Platypus Press 2017), The Black Condition ft. Narcissus & Impressive Woman (Nightboat Books 2019 & 2021). she has been a Pushcart nominee, co-editor of Bettering American Poetry. she is a Lambda Literary Fellow & a PICA Precipice Grant Recipient. she is also known as Lady Tournament, Mutha of Tournament.Haus in the Portland BallroomKiKi / Club Scene. find her talking trash online or taking a selfie.
Ceyenne Doroshow (she/her)
Ceyenne Doroshow (pronounced Kai-Ann) is a compassionate powerhouse performer, activist, organizer, community-based researcher and public figure in the trans and sex worker rights’ movements. As the Founder and Executive Director of G.L.I.T.S., she works to provide holistic care to LGBTQ sex workers while serving on the following boards: SWOP-USA, Caribbean Equality Project, SOAR Institute and NYTAG.
As an international public speaker, her presentations include The Desiree Alliance, Creating Change, SisterSong, Harm Reduction Coalition and the International AIDS Conferences. She was a featured emcee for Toronto Pride and MOMA/PS1’s Sex Workers’ Festival of Resistance, lifting her voice as a trans woman of color.
Ceyenne has been heavily featured in the media, has performed on television in Showtime’s OZ, for the documentaries Red Umbrella Diaries and Miss Major.
Known for her skills in the kitchen, Ceyenne co-authored the Caribbean cookbook Cooking in Heels, while incarcerated on prostitution charges. She is currently working on her second book, titled Falling Into the Fire.
Works | G.L.I.T.S
Da’Shaun Harrison (they/them)
Da’Shaun Harrison is a nonbinary abolitionist and community organizer based out of Atlanta, GA.
Harrison’s writing has appeared in PhiladelphiaPrint, OffThaRecord, Medium, Queer Black Millennial, THEM, Black Youth Project, BET, and other online publications. They have been interviewed by Roland Martin on NewsOne Now, and have also been featured in/interviewed by The Fader, Everyday Feminism, Buzzfeed, Electronic Intifada, and other local and national publications.
Candice Montgomery (she/her)
Candice “Cam” Montgomery (non-binary she/her/Dad) is an LA transplant now living in the woods of Seattle, where she writes Young Adult novels. Her debut novel, HOME AND AWAY can be found online and in stores now, and her sophomore novel, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY was released October of 2019.
She’s long been an enthusiast of anthologies and now finds herself the editor of one! ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES (ed with davis-araux and Adrianne Russel-White) is to be published by Inkyard Press in winter of 2022!
By day, Cam writes about Black teens across all their intersections. By night, she tends bar at a tiny place nestled inside one of Washington’s greenest trees. Cam is an avid Studio Ghibli fan and will make you watch at least one episode of Sailor Moon before she’ll call you “friend.”
Xandria Phillips (they/them)
Xandria Phillips is a writer, educator, and visual artist from rural ohio. The recipient of the Judith A. Markowitz Award For Emerging Writers, Xandria has received fellowships from Oberlin College, Cave Canem, Callaloo, and the Wisconsin Institute For Creative Writing. Their poetry has been featured in American Poetry Review, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Poets.Org, Virginia Quarterly Review, And Bomb Magazine. Xandria’S poem, “FOR A BURIAL FREE OF SHARKS” won The gigant sequins poetry contest judged by Lucas De Lima. Xandria’s chapbook, REASONS FOR SMOKING WON THE 2016 Seattle Review Chapbook Contest JUDGED BY CLAUDIA RANKINE. Their first book, HULL was published by Nightboat Books in 2019 and is the winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for trans poetry, as well as a finalist for The Believer Award. Xandria is currently working on a non-fiction manuscript called PRESENTING AS BLUE / ASPIRING TO GREEN. This book explores color theory, gender, and modes of making. xandria also writes for artificial intelligence app, replika AI.
Danny Lore (they/them)
Danny Lore (they/them) is a queer black writer/editor raised in Harlem and currently based in the Bronx. They’ve worked in comic and gaming shops since the beginning of time. Most of their writing is contemporary speculative fiction, with the occasional foray into science fiction. They’ve had their short fiction published by FIYAH, Podcastle, Fireside, Nightlight, EFNIKS.com and more.
Their comics work includes QUEEN OF BAD DREAMS for Vault Comics, QUARTER KILLER for Comixology, and JAMES BOND for Dynamite Comics in December 2019. They have short comics in DEAD BEATS and THE GOOD FIGHT. They edited THE GOOD FIGHT anthology and THE WILDS (Black Mask comics). They will be included in the YA prose Anthology A PHOENIX FIRST MUST BURN, at Viking Books, in Spring 2020.
Tamara Jerée (they/them)
Tamara Jerée is a graduate of Purdue University’s Creative Writing MFA Program and the Odyssey Writing Workshop. Much of their fiction is secondary world fantasy where women mother their children after death and magical girls fall in love and heal their communities. They are at work on a novel.
Vita Ayala (they/them)
Vita Ayala is a queer Afro-Latinx writer out of New York City, where they live with their wife and cat sons. Their work includes THE WILDS (Black Mask Studios), SUPERGIRL (DC), XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS (Dynamite), MORBIUS: THE LIVING VAMPIRE (Marvel), LIVEWIRE (Valiant), and SUBMERGED (Vault), among others.
Shola von Reinhold (they/them)
Shola von Reinhold is a Scottish socialite and writer. Shola has been published in the Cambridge Literary Review, The Stockholm Review, was Cove Park’s Scottish Emerging Writer 2018 and recently won a Dewar Award for Literature. Shola is a recent graduate from the Creative Writing MLitt at Glasgow which was completed through the Jessica Yorke Writing Scholarship and has previously studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Shola has also written for publications including i-D, AnOther Magazine
Raquel Willis (she/her)
Raquel Willis is a Black transgender activist, writer and media strategist dedicated to elevating the dignity of marginalized people, particularly Black transgender people. She is the former executive editor of Out magazine and a former national organizer for Transgender Law Center (TLC).
And that’s the end of this mini series! Thank you for sticking around till now. Happy Pride and Black Trans Lives Matter.
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