Guest Post by The Seasonal Pages “5 Wonderful LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels to Read This Summer”

5 Wonderful LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels To Read This Summer

Hello readers of The Unconventional Quirky Bibliophile! I am Isaly, the owner of the stationery store The Seasonal Pages and I am guest blogging to tell you about a few books that I think you will love for this summer season. June is officially here and you know what means, it is PRIDE month. Pride Month is the perfect time to tell you about wonderful LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels to read this summer time. The books listed below are some of my personal favorites and I think you will enjoy them too!

Title: Bingo Love

Author: Tee Franklin

Genre: Romance

Synopsis: “When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.”

Bingo Love is one of my favorite books to read every couple of years when I am in the mood for romance and a graphic novel. The characters are fun to read and the illustrations captured my art soul so much. You will adore this book with humor and romance. I had to add Bingo Love to this list!

Title: The Prince & The Dressmaker

Author: Jen Wang

Genre: Graphic Novel

Synopsis: “Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!”

This adorable story about a person finding themselves is needed on your next to be read list. Sebastian is a character that you want to learn more about and see what happens at the end, I highly recommend this graphic novel.

Title: You Brought Me The Ocean

Author: Alex Sanchez

Illustrations: Julie Maroh

Genre: Teen & YA Romance Graphic Novel

Synopsis: “Jake Hyde doesn’t swim-not since his father drowned. Luckily, he lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, which is in the middle of the desert, yet he yearns for the ocean and is determined to leave his hometown for a college on the coast. But his best friend, Maria, wants nothing more than to make a home in the desert, and Jake’s mother encourages him to always play it safe.

Yet there’s nothing “safe” about Jake’s future-not when he’s attracted to Kenny Liu, swim team captain and rebel against conformity. And certainly not when he secretly applies to Miami University. Jake’s life begins to outpace his small town’s namesake, which doesn’t make it any easier to come out to his mom, or Maria, or the world.

But Jake is full of secrets, including the strange blue markings on his skin that low when in contact with water. What power will he find when he searches for his identity, and will he turn his back to the current or dive head first into the waves?”

Between the ocean theme, the romance and the illustrations — You Brought Me The Ocean will not disappoint. It is a stunning story of self love, romance, and another world. I think that this graphic novel will leave you wanting more from the author and artist. This book introduced me to the author and the artist I have read before, so I recommend her books as well.

Title: The Banks

Author: Roxanne Gay Genre: LGBTQ+ Graphic Novel

Synopsis: “For fifty years the women of the Banks family have been the most successful thieves in Chicago by following one simple rule: never get greedy. But when the youngest Banks stumbles upon the heist of a lifetime, the potential windfall may be enough to bring three generations of thieves together for one incredible score and the chance to avenge a loved one taken too soon.”

Roxanne Gay is an author that I try to read more and more after reading some of her writing recently. I love the way she writes and how she tells such detailed plots that leave you on edge. The Banks is one of her newest books and it is a graphic novel that I think will be great for this spring season. The cover draws you in and the green tone makes you feel like you are going to enjoy a book that is fit for spring time.

Title: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

Author: Mariko Tamaki Genre: LGBTQ+ Graphic Novel

Synopsis: “Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.

Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy’s best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But

Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever.

Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.”

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me is perfect for a fun read that will lighten your mood. I enjoyed this story for the self reflecting and the teen in love trope. I think this book will be a great read for the summer time!

Since it is the beginning of June, I plan on rereading this 5 books for Pride Month and enjoy even more books with a focus on POC LGBTQ+ characters and/or authors. What do you plan on reading in June? Do you have a book that you really want to read for Pride month? Thank you so much for reading about my 5 chosen LGBTQ+ graphic novels that I think you will love during Pride Month. You can find me at The Seasonal Pages Stationery Shop anytime by visiting my website theseasonalpages.com or my Instagram page: instagram.com/theseasonalpages. Happy Reading!

The Past and Present Pain of the Queer Community- Guest Post by C.M McGuire

Author Information

When C.M. McGuire, author of Ironspark, was a child, she drove her family crazy with her nonstop stories. Lucky for them, she eventually learned to write and gave their ears a rest. This love of stories led her to college where she pursued history (semi-nonfictional storytelling), anthropology (where stories come from) and theater (attention-seeking storytelling). When she isn’t writing, she’s painting, crocheting, gardening, baking, and teaching the next generation to love stories as much as she does.

Author Links:

Website: http://seeemmcguire.weebly.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/seeemmcguire

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seeemmcguire/?hl=en

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18849889.C_M_McGuire

The Past and Present Pain of the Queer Community

Coming to terms with one’s queerness is, in so many ways liberating. In other ways, it brings with it a cultural weight with which we were not born. Though increasing waves of tolerance and diversity have perhaps made it easier than ever to be queer in America, that was not always the case. Conversion therapy remains an ongoing debate, as is the very validity of  being transgender, asexual, or any identity more complex than “straight” or “gay.” There will remain, for the foreseeable future, the frightening “what if” for this community. “What if history swings back the other way?” The effect of this history in conjunction with the present reality results in an obviously higher risk for mental health issues in the LGBTQ+ community.

Though the immediate affects of queerness in today’s society can be seen and felt, coming to terms with one’s queerness brings with it the shadow of the past. The pink triangle marked homosexuals as the lowest caste of those incarcerated during he Holocaust, and libraration did not come for them at the end of the war. Many remained imprisoned for decades after the war, and the same laws that allowed this to occur led to such horrors as the chemical castration of Alan Turing. Until 1973, the US still considered homosexuality and any and all subsets to be a form of mental illness, and more than a few lesbians were lobotomized in an attempt to cure this. Even as the US began ponderously removing its sodomy laws, the AIDS crisis left a tangible scar on the community. One that echoes through the modern culture, affecting even those who did not themselves suffer. 

It is difficult to be a queer person and not feel the weight of all of those who came before, who suffered so much more. There is relief to be in a world which is more accepting, grief for those who were not accepted, and fear. Will my rights be taken away? Will the suffering of my predecessors come to haunt me? However, it is also not a grief that can be readily discussed with one’s family, because in so many cases, it won’t be understood. To accept one’s own queerness is to shoulder the weight of this history, with the threat of its resurgence looming over a promising future. 

The communal grief of the queer culture is unique in that it is not automatically shared with the family. It is a grief into which an individual can come of age. I remember a ten-year-old me knew nothing about the history of queer people. It isn’t taught in schools. It isn’t deemed appropriate for  most audiences. Therefore, it was only when I came out myself that I began to learn and, quite without intending to, shouldered this very weight. One which my parents did not wish to know. Unlike many cultural traumas, this is not one which an individual can process with the safety of family. 

In fact, for many queer teens, the family is a greater source of anxiety than not. “Coming out” is still a difficult experience because it comes with the implication that one might not be accepted. The family might deny or disown a previously loved or at least tolerated child for this perceived abnormality. Bullying and social rejection are still the norm in many schools. For these teens, the haunting history of being queer in America is a present and lasting horror. 

For many, the support of a queer community is vital. Online forums and Pride events can provide much-needed support for those who are fortunate enough to access these. However, even within the community, the othering isms of racism, ableism, body shaming, and transphobia serve to further alienate those to whom the community should be a respite. Around half of transgender individuals will have attempted suicide, and well over half the community struggles with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Homelessness and substance abuse are a greater risk when a teen could be disowned without a lifeline or individuals are forced to wrestle with their trauma alone. 

Perhaps the biggest threat to the mental health of the community is the threat of stigma. There is still a stigma against mental health care today, discouraging people from seeking help for fear of being labeled “crazy” or “broken.” Many members of the community avoid the potentially lifesaving resource of therapy, knowing full and well that therapy can be a gamble if it cannot be confirmed that the therapist is an ally before the first session. 

I wish I could state an easy solution to this issue, but the factors threatening the mental health of queer individuals are many and varied. It is, perhaps, the greatest hope that the fight goes on. With greater representation and education, the isolation and rejection of the community’s past and present may turn to tolerance and understanding. The community may become more welcoming even unto itself, and the current pains of rejection from the medical community may turn to competent and compassionate care as the standard. For the moment, it is important that queer individuals not simply accept the rejection, but fight to secure the care they need. They owe it to themselves and to the next generation, to whom we will be but another chapter of an inherited history. 

YOU CAN FIND her BOOK AT:

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Indigo