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It’s a easy truth, but it surely bears repeating: queer folks have at all times been right here. From historical occasions to the current day, folks representing each letter of the LGBTQ+ alphabet soup have lived, cherished, labored, performed — and, sure, confronted prejudice, hardship, and demise. However whereas tales of queer struggling and oppression are definitely essential to recollect, we also needs to have the ability to take pleasure in tales about queer folks simply having fun with themselves and reaching a well-deserved happily-ever-after.
The comics beneath do each. Some are brilliant, thrilling tales of discovered household, whereas others concentrate on the darker facet of residing in a society that doesn’t need you round. They span all completely different genres — memoir, horror, romance, and much more — and a number of centuries. As somebody who loves studying about each historical past and queer characters, it was nice enjoyable for me to seek out all these superb titles that permit non-straight, non-cis of us to star of their very personal historic adventures — and to do not forget that queer folks have at all times and can at all times have a spot in the true world and the world of comics.
As a result of I like retaining issues good and arranged, we’ll largely be entering into chronological order based mostly on when every story is ready. However first, just a little historical past lesson that covers a much wider time interval…
Queer: A Graphic Historical past by Dr. Meg-John Barker and Jules Scheele
The phrase “queer” has had virtually as contentious and controversial historical past as queer folks themselves. This informative nonfiction comedian takes you thru the historical past of this all-important phrase, together with how its utilization and that means have advanced from the nineteenth century to at present.
Stage Desires by Melanie Gillman
Flor, higher often known as Ghost Hawk, is a Wild West outlaw who robs stagecoaches. Grace is a trans lady making an attempt to flee her household by shifting out west to New Mexico. Collectively, they stands out as the solely ones who can cease a dastardly Accomplice plot by stealing labeled paperwork!
The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor
Mei, a teenage immigrant from China, works at a logging camp within the Western United States within the Eighties — the place she additionally nurses a crush on Bee, the camp foreman’s daughter. Struggling to slot in as each a newcomer to America and a woman who likes women, Mei will use tales to discover ways to join with others.
Parallel by Matthias Lehmann
Karl spent years making an attempt to reside two lives: as a husband and father, and as a homosexual man in Germany the place his sexual needs have been unlawful. The outcomes have been disastrous, along with his resentful daughter abandoning him in his outdated age. He writes her a letter, hoping to reconnect and to inform her his harrowing life story earlier than it’s too late. Translated from German, Parallel explores how painful it’s to reside a cut up life, with the notoriously cut up nation of East/West Germany as a backdrop.
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St Onge, and Pleasure San
The early Sixties isn’t the most secure time to be Black — or homosexual. Hazel and Mari discover this out the arduous method when their households discover out about their budding romance and enact a cold-hearted scheme to separate them endlessly. A long time later, by pure likelihood, the 2 reunite. Is there nonetheless time for them to rekindle their quashed romance?
Let Me Out by Emmett Nahil and George Williams (October 3, 2023)
As a transgender teen in Nineteen Seventies New Jersey, Mitchell’s life was already robust. However when the Satanic Panic involves city, courtesy of an unhinged preacher egged on by a sheriff and a authorities official with one thing to cover, he and his pals discover themselves hunted by bigots on the lookout for a scapegoat for the city’s current troubles — and a terrifying supernatural power that’s out for blood.
Constellations by Kate Glasheen
When requested if they’re a boy or a woman, Claire’s greatest reply is “neither.” However that’s not what folks within the Eighties wish to hear, and Claire finally ends up turning to alcohol to flee the fixed harassment. In rehab, they get an opportunity to soundly discover their identification for the primary time, however will they have the ability to apply these classes as soon as they return to the “actual” world?
Taking Turns: Tales from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 by MK Czerwiec
On this poignant memoir, Czerwiec, a lesbian and a nurse working with AIDS sufferers within the Nineties, seems to be again on the folks — each sufferers and medical professionals — who made her profession so memorable. Her tales are sometimes as amusing as they’re touching, reminding us that we will discover humanity and kindness even within the worst circumstances.
For extra comics with queer characters, right here’s an awesome choice!