Tag Archives: LGBTQ

SHM Pride Encore Guest: Sadie on Being Queer Enough

Hi friends! So, scheduling and craziness and look- things happen and it’s July but who wouldn’t want to revisit Pride? So that’s what we’re doing today with another delightful “guest” … only not, because Sadie is also a reviewer and formatter etc extraordinaire at ALBTALBS! <3 <3 But more seriously … I think so many of our Smithsonian Heritage Month posts are absolutely glorious, with so many people sharing such important parts of themselves, so I hope you take some time to read this post, and the others if you’ve missed them!

Sadie is a new reviewer on ALBTALBS and first time guest poster. Sadie is our final Pride guest for 2018! We hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s posts!

Being Queer Enough

When Rosa Diaz came out as bisexual on Brooklyn 99’s 100th episode, I felt this quiver deep in my belly. This glorious Latinix badass was one of us, and stood proud in her identity as a bisexual woman. I cried when I watched that episode. Cried even more when I learned that Stephanie Beatriz, the actress who plays Rosa, is bisexual. When I read her article in GQ I felt seen, acknowledged by someone who has never met me but who somehow knows my struggle just the same. Stephanie is so proud of her identity and so happy to be engaged to a heterosexual man who loves her deeply. She’s secure in her sexuality and in who she is. And she’s free to be out as queer. As bisexual. She embodies what so many people I know in the bisexual community want to feel – that they too are queer enough. Continue reading

SHM Pride Guest Author: Motzie Dapul on Creating the Content I Want to See in the World

We are so excited to have so many new guests to ALBTALBS for Pride month this year! Today author Motzie Dapul joins us with a beautiful post discussing two LGBTQ+ stories she has written. I’m a huge fan of romance and of comics, so when the two are combined you can’t pull me away! Please give Motzie a warm welcome! 

Creating the Content I Want to See in the World

It’s a bit odd to be talking about one’s own work when it comes to Pride, but a lot of great LGBTQ+ stories come from authors who, unable to find the kind of content they want to see in the world, create their own.

Start Here short story anthology edited by Ronald Lim and Brigitte Bautista book cover In the case of my own stories and comics, there was a list I found myself ticking off, of stories I’ve never seen in media, even in LGBTQ+ media, that I decided to create for myself. One of these things was the presence of the lesser known queer identities beyond lesbian and gay, which pushed me into writing a story between a pansexual woman and a non-binary person. Another of these things is something that’s becoming more frequently seen in media lately (in the year of our lord “20GayTeen”) is genre fiction with LGBTQ+ characters.

Which brings me to two of my works, putting F/F and F/NB fiction front and centre: Gorgeous, from the short story anthology Start Here: Short Stories of First Encounters, and BEHKomiks, a Filipino supernatural, urban-fantasy, action comics series centering on Filipino LGBTQ+ characters and their monstrous romantic partners. Continue reading

SHM Pride Guest Author: Alyssa Linn Palmer on Alberta’s GLBTQ2S+ History, and Me

We continue our Pride Month posts by welcoming another first time guest Alyssa Linn Palmer. I’m especially excited to welcome Alyssa because she’s Canadian, as am I, even though I live in the States these days. Welcome, Alyssa, it’s great to have you here!

Alberta’s GLBTQ2S+ History, and Me

Two young children on a tricycle, one on the seat, one on the handlebars

The author before she knew how life would change

There were times when I thought that nothing would ever change.

I knew I was bisexual from quite a young age, but until I was a teenager, I didn’t have the words to articulate it. And even then, given the homophobia prevalent in the early 1990s (the Calgary Pride Parade began in 1990 and some marchers wore paper bags over their heads so they wouldn’t be identified), those words stayed silent inside me. A few very close friends knew, but that was it.

One of the first things I remember about GLBTQ in the news was in 1991, when Alberta teacher Delwin Vriend was fired by a Christian college he worked at, just because he was gay. He tried to take his case to the Alberta Human Rights Commission, but he was turned away because at that time, sexual orientation wasn’t protected under the province’s human rights code. He sued the government and the commission, and won. And then on appeal, because the provincial government was staunchly anti-gay, the appeals court overturned the decision. Vriend took the case to the Supreme Court, and that court finally ruled in 1998 that governments could not exclude people from human rights legislation based on their sexual orientation. This change was “written in” to the province’s human rights legislation at the time. Continue reading

SHM Pride Guest: Tamsen Parker on The Power of the Female Default

Hi friends! I’m super excited to welcome our first Pride guest author of 2018, Tamsen Parker! A new friend to ALBTALBS, so please welcome another first timer with a fabulous post!

The Power of the Female Default: Why I Love F/F Sports Romance

Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker Book CoverI went to an all girls high school, and one of the best things about being at an all-female school was that all the resources were devoted to us. Classrooms and the dedication of our teachers, but also both of the gyms, the theater, all of the squash courts and tennis courts, the classrooms, and the weight room were for women. They were women’s spaces that centered women’s effort and accomplishments.

The romance genre is also a space that centers women. As a genre that is written primarily by and for women, it centers the pleasure, agency, and voices of women in a way that most genres do not.

When the worlds of sports and romance combine, it can sometimes be jarring to find most of the books in the popular subgenre of sports romance dominated by male athletes, especially those hitting the tops of the charts. Which perhaps shouldn’t be surprising. The big money sports—both professional and at the college level—feature primarily men. That’s where the money and the media and the fame are weighted. But still… Isn’t this a space for women? Why do so few sports romances feature female athletes? Continue reading

SHM: Pride!

Hello my darlings! You might have questions. Lime! WTF are these letters? And abbreviations? I hope to always have new visitors to A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet (ALBTALBS) – and of course old ones. [I SEE YOU, THE FEW LOVELY AMAZING PEOPLE WHO HAVE STUCK WITH ME, IN THIS DYING WORLD OF BLOGGING <3] … That’s literally a whole other topic though that I’m not trying to use to take over this subject.

OK! So! SHM = Smithsonian Heritage Month. Which as I addressed last year isn’t technically a Smithsonian or whatever month but, you know. When it’s important, it’s important.

It’s kind of crazy a little over a decade ago there were arguments in Romanceland whether or not M/M romances (and other LGBTQI+ stories) were romances or not. (Or whether or not erotic romance was romance … which I’m including to more show “yes it’s ridiculous people even tried to make these arguments.”)

ANYWAY! I know there is a very large and very active M/M romance community. One point I see a lot is “why say it’s LGBTQI+ romance if the only ones being discussed are M/M?” and I think that’s extremely valid, so this year I tried to focus on F/F romances, while of course also opening all of SHM to everybody. (As is how we operate.) … Am I even making sense?

I hope you also check out posts from last year, with a number of authors who not only are own voices, but also write a variety of LGBTQI+ romances.

I’m always interested in knowing also – do you have an LGBTQI+ romance authors to recommend? Have a favorite book? Is there an author I should try to have guest?

Thank you for joining us this month, and I hope you discover a number of wonderful new authors to read! <3 (As well as subjects to consider. I know so many of these SHM posts have hit me, and often made me shed a tear.)

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Soren Summers + A Giveaway

Hello hello my darlings! I cannot believe we’re nearing the end of June! Already! And… I’m going to be … older! However! The important person here today is Soren Summers! Yes! Another first time guest to ALBTALBS! So much fun and goodness this month! Everyone give Soren a warm welcome!

On Pride and Pen Names

When I was younger – much younger, way before I knew I could, or would ever write fiction – I wondered why people would ever want to hide behind a pseudonym. Isn’t your writing something to be universally proud of? The pen name, as it was, stood to me as a symbol of shame, even of cowardice.

Yet here I am today, struggling in my thirty-somethings to make a living off of pulling stories out of thin air and pressing them into little books that I fervently hope people will enjoy. And I do it all from behind the safety of a pseudonym. Initially I wanted to go with what I thought was the gayest pen name I could come up with: Apollo Summers. Interestingly, that alias had already been snatched up by a male entertainer based in Kentucky. Good for him. Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Jason T. Gaffney (Plus Ed Gaffney & Suzanne Brockmann) AND a Giveaway!

Y’all!!! I know, that post title is a mouthful is it not?! But how fun and exciting, right? 😀 Seriously I hope you’ve checked out the other Pride Month posts here at ALBTALBS (all tagged), but I’m really excited about this new post, and how it’s delightful and different from what we’ve been seeing. (Diversity in all things! <3) 😀 I hope you’ll give a warm welcome to Jason T. Gaffney, Ed Gaffney, and Suzanne Brockmann who yes, are all first time guests! Thank you all for joining us! 

Classic Category Romance Tropes

Fixing FrankSuz Brockmann interviews Jason T. Gaffney and Ed Gaffney, authors of Fixing Frank, California Comedy series book #3, from Suzanne Brockmann Presents

Suz: So far, in your California Comedy series, you’ve used the “marriage of convenience” trope in Fixing Frank, where frenemies pretend to be engaged while contestants in a reality web series; the “friends to lovers” trope in A Match for Mike, where childhood friends meet again after a long-ago estrangement—and sparks fly; and the “Cinderella make-over” trope in Creating Clark, where a nerdy coffeeshop owner asks a hot actor friend to help him catch the eye of a another man. What do you think is the appeal of these tried and true romance tropes? Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Cathy Pegau

Hi everyone! I’m super excited to welcome back ALBTALBS friend Cathy Pegau! <3 Not only is she super awesome generally, she also helped bring in so many of the guest authors we’ve met this month! Thank you, Cathy, and thank you for guesting!

Queer Girls Belong Everywhere

RulebreakerOnce I started writing my science fiction romance Rulebreaker, I began seeking out more lesbian and bi women’s fiction to read. Though it wasn’t always so easy then, I found stories in a variety of genres: speculative fiction like Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite, historicals such as Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, and contemporary stories in the vein of Georgia Beers’ Starting From Scratch or Carsen Taite’s Nothing but the Truth, among others. There are still difficulties with wonky results (bare, manly chests in my search for lesbian fiction, Amazon? Really?), but search engines are improving and getting your queer girl fix in whatever you like to read isn’t the time-sucking, frustrating slog it used to be. Mostly. Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: J. V. Speyer

I really really really hope you’re out there – you plural – you anyone, you everyone – are out there reading these posts, because there’s so much heart in them, and so many important things. Today’s post is more of the wonderful same. We have another first time guest, J. V. Speyer, and a very warm welcome, J.V.!

On Pride, Drunken Monkeys, and Labels

MidnightI’m sitting here at my computer and I’m trying to think of what I want to write. I’ve started this post three times. Everything looks pretentious, and I keep refreshing my social media timelines like a drunken monkey because that’s going to make this easier.

“Write about drunken monkeys,” suggests one friend (Lydia Stevens, another author.) Continue reading

[Smithsonian Heritage] Pride Month Guest: Stella Samuel

Hi friends! Today we have another first time guest, the delightful Stella Samuel who really saved my bacon (numerous times!) with this post. Thank you, Stella, and welcome to ALBTALBS! <3 

Don’t Give Up

I’ve always been a writer. And I’ve always been a lesbian. Sure, there was that high school boyfriend that angered me when he broke my heart. And there was even that college boyfriend who fit me like Romeo fit Juliet. One day he set me on his kitchen counter as we were listening to my favorite new band, Indigo Girls, and we pondered of whether or not the girls were lesbians. They are, of course. But this was in late 1991 when technology wasn’t what it is today. So few celebrities were out, at least not outside the community. He looked at me and said to me, “I’d be devastated if you broke up with me. But I’d kill myself if you left me for a woman.” He broke up with me because I wanted to have children and being a father was never on his agenda. Continue reading