Love Wins: LGBTQA in Literature

The recent Pride Day celebration for the LGBTQA+ community and their supporters all around the world has made such a presence that it’s difficult not to think about how queer themes and concerns have become a large part of culture and a topic of discussion. We live in an age where queer communities are able to celebrate and be vocal about their identity and who they love. But queer themes have always been part of culture, albeit muted or suppressed in the past. Instead of the regular long post, this post is a list of websites, pages, commentary, and lists on the rich and long history of queer themes in literature and queer literature, as well as the authors whose own life experiences have helped shape and contribute to it.

The Greatest LGBT Love Letters of All Time – from

  • Maria Popova of BrainPickings gives us a fascinating rundown of the love letters shared by famous writers and artists, such as Virginia Woolf and Allen Ginsberg, with their lovers. The post itself provides excerpts of the letters, which are, in their own right, beautifully written and filled with passion. If you’re a fan of these artists and their works, you’ll potentially find connections between their lives and their work. Looking for and reading the letters themselves can be rewarding experiences.

On Bisexual Characters and YA Literatureby Malinda Lo, from her website.

  • Malinda Lo, who is herself a writer of YA LGBT, tackles the issue of – as the title outlines – bisexual characters in YA. Bisexuality itself gets overlooked as, Lo points out, issues tackled are often on the “gay” part of the queer community. Bisexual erasure does happen – bisexuality is often seen as a “watered-down version of gay,” which, Lo says, is problematic. All in all, the post is fascinating, as Lo ultimately asserts that – while each part of the LGBTQA+ has its own problems and its own history – bisexual representation has to overcome certain prejudices and prevailing notions that hurt it.
  1. As a side note, you may also want to look at Malinda Lo’s article, My Guide to LGBT YA,” a rather long list that covers covers issues, writing advice, interviews, and statistics on LGBT YA literature. This list is especially helpful if you want an overview of LGBT YA.
  2. Another side note: I’ve said earlier that Lo herself is a writer, and her works are particularly good and readable. You may want to read her Cinderella-inspired novel, Ash, as well as the follow-up and companion novel, Huntress.

From Problem to Pride: A Short History of Queer YA Fiction – by Daisy Porter, from Malinda Lo’s website.

  • YA has always been a place that tackles queer themes as part of teenagers’/young adults’ coming-of-age and identity formation, although queerness was not always given a friendly treatment. Daisy Porter tackles the history of queer YA fiction, looking at how it started out and listing down the key texts of queer YA, from Nancy Garden’s Annie On My Mind, which was the first major queer YA text depicting a queer relationship in a positive, healthy light, to more recent works and writers, like David Levithan.

Julie Maroh on creating Blue Is the Warmest Color – by Trish Bendix, from AfterEllen.

  • This article is a short interview with the graphic novel Blue Is the Warmest Color’s creator, Julie Maroh. The graphic novel is, of course, the work on which the film directed by by Abdellatif Kechiche, starring Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.

50 Essential Works of LGBT Fiction – from

  • Finally, if you want to read LGBT fiction, or fiction that tackles LGBT themes, here’s a long list that you might want to check out. Among texts listed here are works by Jeanette Winterson, Yukio Mishima, Alice Walker, and Patricia Highsmith.


Do you know other important or interesting works that contribute to discussion on LGBTQA+ literature? Let us know in the comments!

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People in Your Life Who Influence Your Creativity

No man is an island. This does not only apply to the need for interaction among people for socializing purposes. Being around others affects how we behave, how we make decisions, and even the ideas that our minds bring forth. Every single person is a domino piece. We are able to touch a person the same way we have been touched by another. It doesn’t matter what your outlet for creativity is, when you hang out with certain people, it is possible to point out which one of them has had something to do with your creations.


There is no such thing as bad inspiration in the aspect of creativity. Whether a person is a good influence or otherwise, as long as the time you spend together causes you to become more creative, that person is a good enough inspiration.


Here are some of the people in your life who influence your creativity, and the ways that they affect your attitude towards creating.


  1. Your mother – She is your first art teacher. She taught you about the many beautiful things in this world, and that there are countless ways of how you can utilize these things, especially those that are free. She is the first to appreciate your talents and will always be your number one fan. When you do your work and have her in mind, you tend to become a little cautious whether what you do or part of it would go against the values she has taught you and hurt her feelings. She makes you create things that are rather conservative.


  1. Your father – He is your hero. He has shown you that there is nothing to be afraid of. It doesn’t even matter to him whether the work you’ve done is polished to perfection or not. As long as you keep creating stuff, he will be proud of you. Having close ties with your dad makes you fearless. You will see this in your work when you try new things and not mind about what others will think about it. You will have no fear for criticism because your dad is your number one critic. He may tell you at times that your work is sloppy, but he will reassure you that the next one will be better.


  1. Your sister – She is your confidante. She knows your deepest darkest secrets. She can be brutally honest about her thoughts on your work, but that’s only because she does not want you to be put to shame when others see it. Unlike mom or dad, who may sugar-coat their opinion, she will tell you if your piece sucks and tell you to change it right away. Sure, she can be bossy, but that’s only because she genuinely wants you to shine. You trust your sister so even when you’ve already decided you’re going one way with a project, you will be open about the idea and make alterations or go an entirely different direction.


  1. Your brother – He is your partner in crime. He may not know anything about what you are doing, but you have his full support. He is even willing to lend a hand if you ask him to. The thing about your brothers is, he can make fun of your work but deep down he practically worships you and may even be thinking about letting you do his project in exchange for something you’ve always wanted. He is the master of trade. His main contribution to your creativity is that nudge that answers the question, “what’s in it for me?”


  1. Your bestfriend – He or she is your healthy competition. You and your pal hang out with each other for a reason. You like the same things. You want to create the same things. Not all bestfriends may be totally honest with their judgment on each other’s work for fear of not getting the same compliment(or insult). You secretly want to outdo your bestfriend, which is why you end up going out of your way to come up with the most creative concept. But that’s not at all a bad thing. When either of you get recognition for a job well done, you’ll both be thankful to have had a friendly rivalry. And you will celebrate with each other anyway.


  1. Your lover – A person who is in love can be one of the most creative individuals. If your partner truly is your better half, then with him or her, you are whole. There are no constraints to what you can do nor limits to how long you can keep going. Your lover will make you a better artist because you are creating things with a satisfied heart. Your work will often mirror your current dating status because it has romantic essences all over it.


  1. Your grandparents – They are your windows to the past. You have an appreciation for creative pieces in history because they show you how life in the old times are just as beautiful as our world today. Your grandparents will tell you about how magnificent your work is, but will never fail to remind you that simplicity is always best. Because of this, your work will bear a marque of classic elements. You will be able to create a piece that can withstand the test time.


Art is a product of the mind and the heart. The people we think about and have feelings for have so much impact on our creativity. The more we are aware of what kind of inspiration they can give us and acknowledge it, the more driven we become.


If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain, do you also believe that television shows are made inside your television set?” – Warren Ellis

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4 Reasons To Write About Your Pain


You’ve read about the stages of loss and grief. It starts with denial. It’s very tricky because you know the state of things but refuse to admit it. It may seem safe for a while, until you get to stage two, anger. Reality emerges, and the easiest means of deflecting it is taking it against someone or something else. Stage three is bargaining. This is where you drown yourself in the could-have-been thoughts. It may seems like the calm after the storm, but the real danger is not until the fourth stage, depression. In this stage you may not act as violently as the time you were angry, but you are twice as vulnerable. Acceptance. The final stage. It is not about seeing the rainbow. It is about knowing that the storm was inevitable, and being okay with it.


What if I told you that there is a way to skip all those stages? Well, there is.  Writing about it is a shortcut to acceptance of the pain. There are actually more benefits in it and not just a fast recovery.


  1. Therapy. You can save so much on expenses by not having to seek professional help. Some have spent so much on a mental health expert, and still take too long to recover or have not recovered at all. When you put it into writing, you may or may not jot down what is true, but when you read it again, it is easy for you to distinguish how much of it is a lie. You can be angry at yourself about it, but at least this is you re-telling the story to yourself.


We have just covered stages one through four with this alone. Moving on…


2. Growth. Writing about your acceptance means you are wiser. When you know better, you will be prepared for anything to come. Each time you write, you realize that you have learned so much. True enough, life does not come with a manual, but you can write one for yourself. It lessens the chances of being hurt again. Although it may not be completely pain-proof, it does have control over the harshness of the aching.


  1. Art. Just because the moment of agony is over, doesn’t mean your writing goes to waste. You can keep doing it for the sake of art. Nothing sells like pain can. Adele ‘s got a whole album to prove it. She came out of nowhere. She’s just a woman who experienced a great deal of heartache, turned her stories into songs, and received a Grammy Award. The thing is, breakup anthems tend to always get well-received because most of them are made from real experiences, ones that people can relate to. Take Wrecking Ball for example, how creatively it’s been written. Who would have thought you could make people feel your pain by comparing yourself to an equipment used to demolish buildings?


  1. Business. That’s right. I just said the B word. Who says you can’t do it for a living? You’ve used it as an inspiration for art, you might as well take it to the next level and earn from it. If you think you can’t pull it off, belting it out in front of an audience, sell it to a performing artist who can. You don’t instantly hit the big stars, but if your composition is that good, it won’t be too long before you get a name in the song-writing scene. Many recording artists started out as song-writers or lyricists, but eventually ended up owning their compositions and getting a career in the music industry. In the case of bad breakups, revenge isn’t even half as sweet.


When you write away the pain, you have none to lose and all to gain.

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