So I and $200 million worth of people went to see Wonder Woman this weekend.
I didn’t really say much on social media afterwards. On the one hand, I didn’t want to contribute to hype–I’ve definitely been the victim of a great movie failing to meet the outrageous expectations. On the other, I had too much to say.
Wonder Woman is not a perfect movie, but it is everything. When she crosses No Man’s Land, I realized I was seeing, for the first time in life, a woman superhero. On her own, standing up for justice, charging into battle with no fear because it was the right thing to do.
I’ve seen brave women on screen. Subordinate to male superiors, relying on male support, or working to save male victims. Always, their relationships with male characters are at the crux of their motivations.
I didn’t say much on social media about Wonder Woman because I don’t know how to express how much this movie meant to me.
And that brings me to the subject of Pride month. Did you know June was Pride Month?
June is Pride Month. But even if you knew that, do you know what Pride Month means?
Pride Month honors the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan, which were started by trans women of color and are widely seen as kickstarting the modern gay rights movement. It has become a month long celebration of queer people–gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, nonbinary, intersex, asexual, aromantic, pansexual, queer. Pride Month is for all those marginalized sexualities and gender identities.
We celebrate Pride because, even in 2017, queer people are still discriminated against. In the U.S., we face businesses that won’t serve us, landlords who won’t rent to us. In other countries, queer people face death and imprisonment. Much of the world tells us we should be quiet, hide ourselves, because it is shameful to be queer.
So we are proud. And some of us are lucky enough to be out and proud. Hence, Pride Month.
My TBR list is so long, I haven’t actually gotten to read a lot of lesbian stories. I’ve read ASH by Malinda Lo (highly recommend it) and books with f/f romances between secondary characters, but not many lesbian leads. When I get to read lesbian characters, see myself reflected in that work, it becomes a special story.
I grew up thinking homosexuality and gay marriage were morally wrong. I actually was out to myself for about a year before I finally convinced myself that gay marriage should be legal and I deserved the right to marry the woman of my choice.
Maybe if I had access to books with lesbian MCs or f/f relationships front and center as a teen, that journey wouldn’t have been so hard or so lonely. I write queer relationships in all my stories now, so that someone else’s journey will be different.
And having recently seen Wonder Woman and understood you can be completely unaware of how much you need something until you’ve gotten it, I think queer rep is more important than ever.
So for Pride month, here is a link roundup of some excellent LGBTQIAAP+ rep books:
Disclaimer: I have obviously not read most of these books so I cannot speak to the quality of the representation in them. Please support ownvoices books (those written by authors who share the same marginalization as the main character).
And hey, since Wonder Woman is canonically bisexual, go check out her stories, too.
That’s not even an exhaustive list of the teen fiction, so I’ll be featuring queer creators on this blog, Twitter, and Instagram throughout June. Follow along and feel free to leave your own suggestions!