Literature for Bisexual/Lesbian Women of color
I’ve wanted to put together this list for a while, After taking a queer studies class in college I started actively looking for media to consume that would validate & help me learn more about myself/my identity. Being a South Asian woman loving woman I was skeptical at first and was so sure I wouldn’t find representations of myself anywhere. It’s out there, not much, but lesbians/bisexual women have been creating forever.
Our bodies, spirits, and love are works of art themselves. Although we have been largely silent because our race and sexuality, there are still many beautiful works to be treasured. I myself am still new to my identity, I didn’t stop denying my sexuality until I was a sophomore in college, which was about 3 years ago. After having read these books my life/mentality was changed forever. I no longer felt as alone and could draw strength and courage from these women’s struggles, fears, hopes, and love. I’ve yet to find a community of women like me, but the closest I’ve come to that is bonding with the narratives and stories in these books.
Many of the books here deal with race, gender, Diaspora pain, living as a brown body in a western society, feelings of isolation/alienation from our own communities, and sexuality. I got most of these books online used on Amazon, but also a good portion can be found in book stores. I have the freedom to have these books mailed to my house and keep them in my room safely, but if that may expose you to your family or harm you in any way I suggest trying to access digital copies or being extra cautious! I hope that after reading these books you too feel the kinship and bond with other women of color loving each other.
Disclaimer** I haven’t finished some of these books, and tend to start and skip around a lot, also some of the anthologies are a bit older but sadly the same issues are still present today so its still relevant. Also this list is not in order of importance or quality! not all of these involve gender/sexuality/race, some are one or the other. I will add a * to my top super favs tho!!
- The Very Inside, An Anthology of writing by Asian and Pacific Islander lesbian and bisexual women - Sharon Lim-Hing 1994*
- a collection of stories, poems, interviews, a few images, and writings by Asian/pacific islander women.
- The Woman that I am, the literature and culture of contemporary women of color - d. Soyini Madison 1994
- stories, poems, plays, essays about gender / race.
- Piece of my Heart, a lesbian of color anthology - Makeda silvera 1991
- Good Girls Marry Doctors, South Asian American daughters on obedience and rebellion - Piyali Bhattacharya 2016
- Being brown/a girl/ living as diaspora / breaking your familys heart to live happily
- Does your mama know? An anthology of black lesbian coming out stories - Lisa C. Moore 1997*
- These hit home really hard and have made me cry
- Spirited, affirming the soul and black gay/lesbian identity - G. Winston James and Lisa C. Moore, 2006
- Spirituality/religion and sexuality, writings about being gay and religious/ feelings of guilt/ betrayal regarding your relationship to your faith and god (Christianity).
- Beyond Trans Does Gender Matter? - Heath Fogg Davis 2017
- Gender identity/politics in U.S. context. Trans activism & rights. Discussion of institution oppression/ being discriminated against for your race/gender identity as a trans person of color. The narratives of the dangers trans people face in cities coupled with the discussion of legislation and how little has changed.
- Ain’t I a woman, black women and feminism - Bell hooks 1981
- Race, gender, sexuality, class, feminism
- Women, Race & Class - Angela Y. Davis 1981
- Title says it all
Race / Being brown in a western society
- The Good Immigrant - Nikesh Shukla 2016
- Narratives of being brown in a post 9/11 world by ppl in the UK
- Trust no Aunty - Maria Qamar 2017
- Probably the most lighthearted and uplifting book on here, its funny n feels like an older sister giving you advice on how to be a south Asian girl/ pursue art/ deviate from your parents wishes and find happiness.
- The Thing Around Your Neck - Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, 2009
- On Monday of last week and arrangers of marriage are my favorites
- Happiness, Like Water - Chinelo Okparanta 2013
- All about Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color - Jina Ortiz 2013
- When Fox is a thousand - Larissa Lai 2004
- Supernatural/Chinese bisexual women, set in both modern day Canada and ancient china. I really enjoyed the writing style, also the book reminds me of fables/mythology elements.
- Notes of a crocodile - Qiu Miaojin 1994*
- I love this book so much and re-read parts of it often. Its depressing and really captures the coming of age lesbian loneliness/isolation/fear and anguish. I love this author’s writing so much, this is one of my most favorite books of all time.
- Speaking in whispers, African-american lesbian erotica - Kathleen E. Morris 1996
- Black lesbian Smut & fluff, its beautiful
- The red threads of fortune - Jy yang, 2017
- adventure fantasy
- Yabo - Alexis de veaux 2014
- Last words from Montmartre - Qiu miaojin 1996/2006
- Not actually published by her, though intended to as a sort of memoir before her suicide. Captures the pain/anguish/betrayal she experienced. Another one of my favorites, but this book is really depressing.
- Under the Udala Trees - Okparanta, Chinelo 2015
- Another depressing book I enjoyed. African women loving each other/struggling in a homophobic/politically complex society. religion/sexuality