LGBTQ+ Characters of Color In Media

Co-created with the amazing s4karuna! Check out her fancasts on tumblr!

[An image of Avatar Korra, Buck Vu, Captain Raymond Holt, Sophia Burset and Selina Kyle with the text

[An image of Avatar Korra, Buck Vu, Captain Raymond Holt, Sophia Burset and Selina Kyle with the text “LGBTQ characters of color”.]

Note I: If you send me a character for the list, please tell me their ethnicity in your comment/message and as much detail a you can!
Note II: Mixed-race, white passing actors are totally counted as long as they consider themselves non-white, even if the piece of media whitewashed their characters. Actors who don’t match the race/ethnicity of the character, specially in the case of white actors playing non-white roles, will also be clarified.
Note III: If you see any character is missing details or has any incorrect information, let me know!

Interracial Relationships Without White People In Media

Co-created with the amazing s4karuna!

Note I: If you send me a couple for the list, please tell me their ethnicity in your comment/message and as much detail a you can!
Note II: Mixed-race, white passing actors are totally counted as long as they consider themselves non-white, even if the movies whitewashed their characters. Actors who don’t match the race/ethnicity of the character, specially in the case of white actors playing non-white roles, will also be clarified.
Note III: If you see any couple is missing details or has any incorrect information, let me know!

Jewish Characters of Color!

A couple days ago I was daydreaming about the day we’ll finally get a sit-com about Jewish Latinxs, and that led me to wonder if there were any other Jewish Latinxs (or Jewish characters of color in general) going around. Thanks to @s4karuna/@online_muse‘s amazing researching skills, the list grew from a couple characters to this compillation.

 

Jewish Characters of Color in Television

  • Simon Lewis in “Shadowhunters” (Freeform, 2016-currently airing)
    • You can watch “Shadowhunters” on [Netflix].
    • The character is Jewish in book-canon, in the show the character (and his mother) are both played by Latinxs and the show makes Simon’s judaism an integral part of his character.
    • Leading character.
  • Phillip Goldstein in “Fresh off the Boat” (ABC, 2015-currently airing)
    • You can watch “Fresh Off The Boat” on [ABC.Go.com].
    • Chinese, adopted by Jewish parents and raised Jewish.
    • Shows up in two episodes (s01e08 and s01e11).
  • Rufus Turner in “Supernatural” (The CW, 2005-hopefully cancelled soon)
    • Black and Jewish, the character is revealed to be Jewish when he says he doesn’t want anyone “sitting shiva when [he] died”. He was buried in a Jewish cemetery when he died.
    • Was a recurring character during seasons 3, 5 to 7 and 11.
  • Cindy Tova Hayes in “Orange Is The New Black” (Netflix, 2013-?)
    • Black, she converts to Judaism in Season 3 and adopts the Jewish name Tova.
    • Regular character.
  • Timothy L. Finger in “No Tomorrow” (2016-?)
    • Indian and Jewish.
    • Regular character.
    • The actor is, indeed, Indian and Jewish.
  • Tina Cohen-Chang in “Glee” (FOX, 2009-2015)
    • The character is Chinese-Jewish, though it was never specified in-show.
    • Jenna Ushkowitz is actually Korean-Jewish.
    • Main character (though often sidelined).
  • Jake Puckerman in “Glee” (FOX, 2009-2015)
    • Black-Jewish. Judaism is a big part of the Puckerman brothers’ identities.
    • Main character from season 5 onwards.
  • Dean Levine-Wilkins in “The Good Wife” (CBS, 2009-2016)
    • Black and Jewish.
    • Recurring character.
  • Sidney in “Galavant” (ABC, 2015-2016)
    • You can watch “Galavant” on [ABC.Go.com].
    • Black, adopted and raised by a Jewish family.
    • Main character.
  • Max Bergman in “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS, 2010-currently airing)
    • You can watch “Hawaii Five-0” on [CBS].
    • Japanese, was adopted by a Jewish family.
    • Main character.
  • Isidore Latham in “Chicago Med” (NBC, 2015-currently airing)
    • You can watch “Chicago Med” on [NBC].
    • Black and Orthodox Jewish.
    • Recurring character in season 2.
  • Sammy Jones in “The Nanny” (CBS, 1993-1999)
    • Black and Jewish, he was Fran’s step-father and practiced Judaism along with his wife and step-daughter.
    • He cameo’d in a couple episodes.
  • Mona Thorne and Phyllis Thorne (daughter and mother) in “Half & Half” (UPN, 2002-2006)
    • Black and Jewish.
    • Rachel True, who plays Mona, is Black and Jewish!
    • Mona is a leading character, Phyllis is a main.
  • Cristina Yang in “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 2005-currently airing)
    • You can watch “Grey’s Anatomy” on [ABC.Go.com].
    • Korean and Jewish. Christina’s step-father is Jewish, and she was raised in Judaism. Though she is an atheist, she described herself as Jewish at a couple points during the show.
    • Main character since the beginning of the show, left in season 10.
  • Rainbow Johnson and Johan Johnson (sister and brother) in “Black-Ish” (ABC, 2014-currently airing)
    • You can watch “Black-Ish” on [ABC.Go.com].
    • Black and Jewish. They mention living in a kibbutz (Israeli agriculture-based community).
    • Both Tracee Ellis Ross and Daveed Diggs are Jewish. The actor who plays their dad, Beau Bridges, seems to have Jewish ancestry.
    • Rainbow is a leading character and Johan is recurring.
  • Isabella García-Shapiro and Vivian García-Shapiro (daughter and mother) in “Phineas and Ferb” (Disney, 2007-2015)
    • You can watch “Phineas and Ferb” at [DisneyXD].
    • Mexican-Jewish. Isabella’s mom looks more obviously Latina, but she speaks with a Yiddish accent. The García-Shapiro family observe Chanukah and they had an episode dedicated to a “Mexican-Jewish Cultural Festival”.
    • The voice actress for Vivian is Puerto Rican and, from what I found on Google, she seems to be Jewish.
    • Isabella is a main character.
  • Francine Frensky in the “Arthur” cartoon (PBS, 1996-2012)
    • Black and Jewish, the family observes Judaism.
    • Main character.
  • Ziva Davis in “NCIS” (CBS, 2003-currently airing)
    • The character is Israeli Jewish but played by a (white passing?) Chilean actress, which could easily make her a Latina Israeli. Her being Jewish and Israeli is a central part of her character.
    • Regular character from season 3 until season 11.
  • Juan Epstein in “Welcome Back Kotter” (ABC, 1975–1979)
    • Puerto Rican Jewish.
    • The actor is neither Latinx nor Jewish.
    • Main character.
  • Pam in “Will and Grace” (NBC, 1998-2006)
    • Iranian & Mizrahi Jewish.
    • Cameo.
  • Nwabudike Bergstein from “Grace and Frankie” (Netflix, 2015)
    • Black, raised by his adoptive Jewish family.
    • Main character.
  • Scott in “Son of Zorn” (Fox, 2016-currently airing)
    • Guatemalan-Jewish, he mentions celebrating Hanukkah.
    • Main character.

 

Jewish Characters of Color in Books

  • All the main characters in the “Mangoverse” series by Shira Glassman are LGBTQ+ and Jewish, and some are characters of color. [author’s tumblr]
  • Alex-Li Tandem (Jewish-Chinese) from “The Autograph Man” by Zadie Smith. [amazon]
  • Tara Feinstein (Indian-Jewish) from “My Basmati Bat Mitzvah” by Paula J Freedman. [amazon]
  • Nazira Mualdeb and her family (Syrian-Jewish) from “The Perfumes of Carthage” by Teresa Porzecanski. The book is part of a series called “Jewish Latin America”. [amazon]
  • Emily (Jewish-Puerto Rican) from “Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa” by Micol Ostow. [amazon]
  • The narrator and her family (Indian-Jewish) from “The Walled City” by Esther David. [amazon]
  • Ruthie Mizrahi (Cuban-Jewish) from “Lucky Broken Girl” by Ruth Behar. [amazon]
  • Yumi Ruiz-Hirsch (Cuban and Jewish-Japanese) from “I Wanna Be Your Shoebox” by Cristina García. [amazon]
  • Chloe Leiberman (Chinese-Jewish) from “Chloe Leiberman (Sometimes Wong)” by Carrie Rosten. [amazon]
  • Kana Goldberg (Japanese-Jewish) from “Orchards” by Holly Thompson. [amazon]
  • Frances (Japanese-Jewish) from “Black Mirror” by Nancy Werlin. [amazon]
  • Dave Caros (Turkish-Sephardic Jewish) from “Dave At Night” by Gail Carson Levine. [amazon]
  • Mahboubeh Malacouti (Iranian-Jewish) from “The Girl from the Garden” by Parnaz Foroutan. [amazon]
  • Higgs Boson Bing (Chinese-English Jewish American) from “The Kidney Hypothetical: Or How Ruin Your Life in Seven Days” by Lisa Yee. [amazon]
  • Desta (Ethiopian Jewish) from “The Return” by Sonia Levitin. [amazon]
  • J from (Puerto-Rican Jewish) from “I Am J” by Cris Beam. [amazon]
  • Violet Paz (Polish-Jewish and Cuban) from “Cuba 15” by Nancy Osa. [amazon]
  • Pablo (Mexican-Jewish) from “Jalapeño Bagels” by Natasha Wing. [amazon]
  • The main family (Black-Jewish) in “Always an Olivia” by Carolivia Herron. [amazon]
  • The protagonist (Ethiopian-Jewish) in “Day of Delight; A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia” by Maxine Rose Schur. [amazon]
  • Elan (Jewish-Native American) from “Elan, Son of Two Peoples” by Heidi Smith Hyde. [amazon]
  • Isobel (Mexican-Jewish) from “Hanukkah Moon” by Deborah Da Costa. [amazon]
  • Joey Sexton (Black-Jewish) from “Stealing Home” by Ellen Schwartz. [amazon]
  • The writer (Black-Jewish) of “The Colour of Water” by James McBride. [amazon]
  • Noah (Black-Jewish) from “A Turn for Noah: A Hanukkah Story” by Susan R. Topek. [amazon]
  • The family (Mexican-Jewish) from “Abuelita’s Secret Matzahs” by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. [amazon]
  • Natalie (Black- Jewish, also disabled) from “Bluish” by Virginia Hamilton. [amazon]
  • The protagonists (Ethiopian-Jewish) from “Daughters of the Ark” by Anna Morgan. [amazon]
  • Reyna (Chinese-Jewish) from “Reyna And the Jade Star” by Robin K. Levinson; part of the “Gali Girls” series. [amazon]
  • Shoshana (Brazilian-Jewish) from “Shoshana and the Native Rose” by Robin K. Levinson; part of the “Gali Girls” series. [amazon]
  • Rahel (Ethiopian-Jewish, also blind) from “The Storyteller’s Beads” by Jane Kurts. [amazon]
  • Zack Lane (Black-Jewish) from “Zack” by William Bell. [amazon]
  • The writer of “Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self” by Rebecca Walker. [amazon]
  • Ronnee (Black-Jewish) from “Half a Heart” by Rosellen Brown. [amazon]
  • The protagonist (Black-Jewish) of “Oreo” by Fran Ross. [amazon]
  • The family (Ethiopian-Jewish) in “When I Left My Village” by J. Brian Pinkney. [amazon]
  • The protagonist (Ethiopian-Jewish) of “On Wings Of Eagles” by Micha Feldman. [amazon]
  • The protagonist (Black-Jewish) of “Nappy Hair” by Carolivia Herron. [amazon]
  • Avi (Israeli-Jewish) from “Snow in Jerusalem” by Deborah Costa. [amazon]
  • The protagonist (Moroccan-Jewish) in a reversion of Cinderella titled “Smeda Rmeda Who Destroys Her Luck with Her Own Hands” by Haya Bar-Itzhak. [jstor]
  • The protagonist (Yemeni-Jewish) of a fairy tale called “The Mute Princess“. 
  • Coleman Silk (Black-Jewish) from “The Human Stain” by Philip Roth. [amazon]
  • Mona (Chinese Jewish convert) in “Mona In The Promised Land” by Gish Jen. [goodreads]
  • Oscar Khan (Indian-South African Jewish convert) from “Kafka’s Curse” by Achmat Dangor. [amazon]
  • The characters (Ethiopian-Jewish) in “The Moon is Bread” by Naomi Samuel. [amazon]
  • The Ermosa family (Israeli Sephardic Jewish) from “The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem” by Sarit Yishai-Levi. [amazon]
  • The protagonist (Indian-Jewish) from “Book of Rachel” by Esther David. [amazon]
  • The writer (Indian-Jewish) of “Burnt Bread and Chutney: Growing Up Between Cultures” by Carmit Delman. [amazon]
  • The family (Mexican-Jewish) in “The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende. [amazon]

Also, check out this [list of Indian-Jewish novels] and this [list of non-fiction books about Jewish PoC] that @s4karuna found.

 

Jewish Characters of Color in Movies

  • The Prince of Egypt” (USA, 1998). [imdb]
  • Live and Become” (France, 2005) is about Ethiopian Jewish folx. [wiki]
  • Eyes Wide Open” (Israel, 2009) is about two Israeli men of color falling in love. [wiki]
  • Gramophone” (India, 2003) is about an Indian-Jewish family. [imdb]
  • The Rabbi’s Cat” (France, 2011) is an animated film about Jewish Algerians. [wiki]
  • You Don’t Mess With The Zohan” (USA, 2008) has Moroccan Jewish actress Emmanuelle Chriqui. [imdb]

And @s4karuna found this [list of Black Jewish films] that premiered at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and this [list of films and videos for multiracial Jewish folx].

 

Jewish Characters of Color in other media

  • Zatanna Zatara (Jewish-Rromani) from DC Comics’ “Bombshells”.
  • Suki Leiber (Japanese-Jewish) from the comic “Goofyfoot Gurl”. [amazon]
  • Wanda and Pietro Maximoff (Jewish Rromani) from Marvel Comics.
    • Technically Wanda’s children, by virtue of being twins and her kids, should also be Jewish-Rromani, but only Billy is ever acknowledged to be Jewish and none of them have their Rromani heritage acknowledged in comic.
  • Jamie Wellerstein from [this production] of “The Last Five Years” is Black and Jewish.

 

Characters of color that might be Jewish

  • Meyer Wolfshiem in  “The Great Gatsby” (2013)
    • The novel says that he’s Jewish and he’s played by an Indian actor in the film so he could technically be seen as Indian Jewish.
  • Alexander Hamilton in “Hamilton: An American Musical” (2016)
    • Alexander Hamilton has Jewish roots and is played by a Puerto Rican actor in the original production and always by actors of color. The real Hamilton’s Jewish connection was because of his stepfather and it’s possible that his mom was Jewish. It’s sure he was educated in a Jewish school, maybe because he couldn’t go to Catholic school because he was illegitimate. 
  • Edna Mode in “The Incredibles” (2004)
    • She’s part Japanese and she was based on Jewish designer Edith Head.

 

You can see an extended and always updating list here:

 

A million thanks to @s4karuna for being the best researcher known to humanity and finding so many awesome media, and also to @binoctis, @apolloniae, @bnckybarnes, @redravensunrise, @femmefareeha, @margueritelareine and @devenircyborg for their amazing additions.

Same-gender couples with people of color in 2016

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Chiron and Kevin
(Moonlight; USA; Dir. Barry Jenkins)

Lady Hideko and Sook-hee
(The Handmaiden; South Korea, Dir. Park Chan-Wook)

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Kelly and Yorkie
(Black Mirror, 2011-still running; episode s03e04: San Junipero)

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Amanita Caplan & Nomi Marks, and Hernando Fuentes & Lito Rodriguez
(Sense8, 2015-still running, the 2016 Christmas Special is on Netflix now)

tumblr_oirs5tzs5q1vm18zno1_1280

Annalise Keating and Eve Rothlo
(How To Get Away With Murder; 2014-still running)

Kevin Cozner and Raymond Holt
(Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 2013-still running)

tumblr_oirs5tzs5q1vm18zno5_1280

Kisa and Manola Jimenez
(From Dusk Till Dawn, 2014-?, no renewal for a fourth season confirmed)

Root and Sameen Shaw
(Person of Interest, 2011-2016, ended/cancelled)

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Kareema and Sofía
(No Tomorrow; 2016-?; first season will be up for streaming on Netflix in January 2017 and it might get a second season on Netflix depending on its views)

Corey and Mason Hewitt
(Teen Wolf, 2011-2017, last season airing now)

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Amy Raudenfeld & Sabrina; and Noah & Shane Harvey
(Faking It; 2014-2016, cancelled, you can read the creator’s Goodbye Letter here)

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Alexander Lightwood and Magnus Bane
(Shadowhunters, 2016-still running, second season premiered January 2nd 2017)

Anne Bonny and Max
(Black Sails, 2014-2017, last season airing January 29th 2017)

tumblr_oirs5tZs5q1vm18zno4_1280.png

Chantall and Nova Bordelon
(Queen Sugar, 2016-second season confirmed, first season will be up for streaming on the WatchOWN app in January 2017)

Dizzee Kipling and Thor 
(The Get Down, 2016-?, second half of the first season will be streaming on Netflix during 2017, renewal hasn’t been confirmed)

Celebrities who came out in 2016

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[images: square pictures of the celebrities listed below, arranged in rows of three square pictures each.] // #coming out cw, #outing cw, #transphobia cw

Rowan Blanchard, in January 2016, tweeted about being “open to liking any gender in the future, which is why I identify as queer”.

Amandla Stenberg came out as bisexual in January 2016 via the Teen Vogue Snapchat, though they later talked about preferring the label “pansexual” and not using it due to people’s ignorance. They also stated that they prefer gender-neutral pronouns, though they’d rather keep it low-profile so it won’t affect their career.

Mara Wilson came out as bisexual in June, while expressing her pain about the Orlando Shooting. She began by talking about her experience in gay bars and, when someone asked if she was gay, she replied with “Bi, but yeah.

Vincent Rodriguez III made his marriage public by posting a collage for his year and a half anniversary with his husband on Instagram.

Rebecca Sugar came out as bisexual during the San Diego Comic-Con.

Robin Lord Taylor made his marriage public by posting on Twitter a picture of his and his husband’s wedding rings for their 5th anniversary.

Sara Ramirez came out as bisexual with a speech during an event for LGBT Youth in October 2016.

Clea DuVall publicly declared her sexuality during a panel for LGBT writers, explaining that “I’ve played a lot of gay characters, but I haven’t really played a gay character that is gay in a way that is the gay that I feel like I am.

Lilly Wachowski publicly announced her transition in a statement after various publications threatened to out her without her consent. After addressing the transphobia in the media and the terrible consequences it has, she said, “So yeah, I’m transgender. And yeah, I’ve transitioned.

Lauren Jauregui was outed when someone leaked her pictures kissing a girl on Twitter, but days later she made her own, public coming out in an open letter to Trump supporters about being “a Bisexual Cuban-American Woman & So Proud of It”.

Gina Rodriguez was asked if she was gay on Twitter, to which she answered “I don’t need anyone to define their sexuality to me nor do I feel the need to either. I love hearts.

Stephanie Beatriz came out as bisexual on Twitter, quoting Aubrey Plaza’s “I fall in love with girls and guys. I can’t help it” in a tweet.

Jordan Raskopoulos came out as trans in February 2016, in a Facebook video where she said, “I am transgender. No shit. That’s right, I’m a girl. I am transgender.

Brianna Hildebrand announced that she has a girlfriend on Twitter. She was asked if she had a boyfriend, and she replied, “Kind of except she’s a girl”.

Gigi Gorgeous came out as trans back in 2013, and this year she announced on a YouTube video that she is a lesbian.

Non-white sapphics in current media y’all should be hyping up

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[images: Kareema from No Tomorrow, Pippy and Tara from Rosewood, Nova from Queen Sugar and Max from Black Sails]

Kareema (No Tomorrow): pansexual Indian woman, currently engaged to a latina. She’s a main character, and her story with Sofía begins at s01e06.
No Tomorrow is available on Netflix.

Pippy Rosewood (Rosewood): a black lesbian, from the beginning of the show she’s engaged to her bisexual girlfriend Tara. She’s the lead’s sister, a main character, and gets a good third of the show’s screentime.
Rosewood is on Fox and is in its second season, which means 1) it might survive and 2) you can get eps on the Fox website and Hulu, but only the current season.

Nova Bordelon (Queen Sugar): a black bisexual, dates a straight white dude (RIP) and a black lesbian through the course of season 1. One of the three leads of the show. Her story with Chantal begins in s01e06.
Queen Sugar is on OWN and you can watch it on the official app.
Warnings for the show: talks of rape and police brutality.

Max (Black Sails): a black lesbian, from the very first episode we know she’s involved with another main lady. She’s a main character (out of six mains, three are sapphic women and at least one of the men is gay), and her arc and her romances get around a third of the screentime.
Black Sails is on STARZ, and the first three seasons are on Netflix. You can go to their website or STARZ on Demand. I don’t have cable, but sometimes Amazon will have a workaround.
Warnings for the show: rape (timestamps here), general violence.

[images: Lady Ella and Pamela from Saints and Sinners; Stef and Lena from The Fosters.][images: Lady Ella and Pamela from Saints and Sinners; Stef and Lena from The Fosters.]

[images: Lady Ella and Pamela from Saints and Sinners; Stef and Lena from The Fosters.]

Lady Ella and Pamela (Saints and Sinners): Ella is a black bisexual and Pamela a black lesbian. Both are leading characters, and the center of the story is Ella’s family; and they have an ongoing relationship through the show.
You can watch Saints and Sinners on the official Bounce TV website.
Warnings: It’s rated tv14 so there isn’t anything explicit.

Lena Adams (The Fosters): Lena is a black lesbian and one of the two leads of the show. The story is about her, her wife Stef and their adopted children.
You can watch it on the Freeform website or on Netflix.
Warnings: Addiction, rape, alcoholism.

Feminist/Queer reads in Spanish

image

[image: the cover of Devenir Perra, showing a woman in lingerie staring at herself in the mirror as a naked, feminine angel leans over her.]

  • Devenir Perra (To become a bitch), a queer/feminist book by Itziar Ziga, is amazing and you can read the author’s blogspot here.
  • ¿Así que sos lesbiana? (So, you’re a lesbian?) is not exactly a “queer blog” or a “feminist blog”, it’s one of those old-style auto-biographical blogspots that’s long been abandoned, but it’s written by one of the most talented women in my city and it’s beautiful.
  • Anfibia Magazine and Furias Magazine are online queer magazines!
  • La Revuelta is an online feminist/queer community.

[image: a photo of Maria Eva Rossi, smiling, with sunglasses on.]

Here is Despertando a Lilith (Waking Lilith) a documentary about the transition of Maria Eva Rossi, a teacher from my city who transitioned while on the job. 

[image: a black and white photo of two men in a stage-adaptation of Kiss of the Spider-Woman. one of them lies in the bed of the cell, while the other towels his hair.]

Some essential queer readings in Spanish-speaking lit include:

  • El Beso de la Mujer Araña (Kiss of the Spider-Woman), by gay author Manuel Puig. About a man arrested for being gay during the last Argentinian Dictatorship and his cell-mate, a revolutionary.
  • Antes que anochezca (Before the night falls) by Reinaldo Arenas is an autobiographical book about what it was to be gay and a disident in Castro’s Cuba.
  • Loco afán: crónicas de sidario (Crazy toil: HIV cronicles) by Pedro Lemebel is a series of four scenes of the trans scene in Chile pre-Dictatorship.
  • Aristóteles y Dante Descubren Los Secretos Del Universo, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz; which you might have heard of via tumblr because it can be also found in English.
  • Federico García Lorca’s sexuality isn’t a secret, and he’s got a bunch of poems about men and being gay.

[image: a picture of Susy Shock speaking on a microphone, what looks like a pandereta next to her, lights shining from behind her.]

And it’s not just dudes writing…
  • My favorite poet is Jewish-Argentinian bisexual artist Alejandra Pizarnik, and many of her poems can be found online.
  • Cristina Peri Rossi, Uruguayan lesbian poet.
  • Rosa María Roffiel, Mexcian lesbian poet and novelist.
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a 17th Century Mexican poet, isn’t Confirmed Gay™, but she’s got some very sapphic poems about her friend Countess María Luisa de Paredes.
  • Susy Shock, an Argentinian trans poet and singer. (Here is her blog!)

[image: promotional still from Para Vestir Santos, of the three sisters sitting together on a couch, all looking in the same direction with more or less distressed expressions.]

Also, if you want to watch some Gay Content™ in Spanish:

And I never miss a chance to insist that people listen to Kumbia Queers and Sara Hebe (x) (x), my favorite lesbians. You don’t truly know Spanish until you can listen to Sara’s rapping and understand it.

[image: black and white picture of a young Frida Kahlo and Chavela Vargas, laughing together while laying on the grass.]

Singer Chavela Vargas was Frida Kahlo’s lover, extremely talented and always unapologetic. Also, one of the singers from Eruca Sativa is bisexual!

Latinx LGBTQ Icons

  • Frida Kahlo, of course, who was openly bisexual.
  • Sara Hebe, a lesbian Argentinian rapper.
  • Flor de la V, a trans Argentinian celebrity (she’s messy but she’s been one of the most visible trans people in Lat Am since the 90′s when I was a kid, so I’ll always have a soft spot for her).
  • Kumbia Queers, a band of sapphic women that includes five Argentinian musicians and Mexican singer Ali Gua-Gua.
  • Alejandra Pizarnik, one of my favorite writers, was Jewish, bisexual and wrote a lot about her mental illness. I’ll be uploading translations of some of her poems in the next few days, because they’re hard to find.
  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz is a gay Mexican-American writer, and he’s the author of Aristóteles and Dante discover the secrets of the universe.
  • Amaranta Gomez Regalado, an Indigenous Mexican activist for the rights of people with HIV, is two-spirit and was the first transgender Mexican person to run for office.
  • Orlando Cruz lost this year, but the chance that he becomes the first openly gay boxing world champion in the future hasn’t gone yet.
  • Back to Argentina, Susy Shock is a trans musician and activist.
  • Vange Leonel Gandolfo was a Brazilian musician and activist, and an out lesbian.
  • Manuel Puig was a gay writer during the Argentinian military dictatorship, and his novel “The Spider Woman’s Kiss” is a retelling of his experiences in jail. It’s a beautiful book, though also very crude and painful. 
  • Argentinian writer Maria Elena Walsh was a lesbian, fact I sadly didn’t know about during my childhood.
  • Sylvia Rivera, one of the founders of the LGBT movement in the USA, was a Venezuelan-Puerto Rican trans woman who dedicated her life to the fight for trans and gay rights.
  • Of course, there’s Ricky Martin (who could forget Ricky?).
  • Michael Nava is a gay Mexican-American lawyer and author. (suggested by @sayitwithsarcophilus)
  • Gabby Rivera is a queer Puerto Rican comics writer who will soon be writing the America Chavez solo book.
  • Venezuelan supermodel Patricia Velásquez came out as gay recently.
  • Jesusa Rodríguez is a lesbian Mexican director, actress, playwright, performance artist, social activist. (suggested by @queersherlockian)
  • Mark Indelicato, who played Justin in Ugly Betty, isn’t straight. Raul Esparza (from Law and Order) is bisexual. And actresses Stephanie Beatriz, Sara Ramirez (who played Callie Torres in Grey’s) and Gina Rodriguez are all bisexual. Also, Lauren Jauregui, from Fifth Harmony, recently came out as bisexual too.

latin american literature

  • operation massacre, by rodolpho walsh. [amazon]
    credited as the actual first non-fiction investigative novel (nine years before capote’s in cold blood), it’s a crude retelling of the kidnapping and execution of a group of peronistas during the argentinian military dictatorship of the ’50s.
  • kamchatka, by marcelo figueras. [amazon]
    there were many dictatorships in our story and many stories in our dictatorship. from the argentinian dictatorship that started in the year ‘76, this one is the story of a boy whose family goes into hiding to avoid ‘disappearing’.
  • extracting the stone of madness, by alejandra pizarnik. [amazon]
    i don’t think i can explain how vital pizarnik is to poetry. her poems explore mental illness, suicidal ideation, institutionalization; but also love, childhood and the everydays of writing. i’ve found, though, that teenage boys have a hard time empathizing with a mentally ill woman’s poetry. i still recommend it.
  • red april, by santiago roncagliolo. [amazon]
    moving to perú, this novel follows the civil war crimes that occur between a terrorist group and the very corrupt government
  • the open veins of latin america, by eduardo galeano. [amazon]
    not everyone likes galeano and not everyone agrees with galeano but everyone recognizes that he wrote about america’s history of oppression, poverty and colonization in a way that could finally reach everyone. this book is one of the most important reads on latin american history of this century.
  • mario benedetti’s poems [amazon, a bilingual edition!] and short stories [amazon]
    to be honest, i think mario’s most essential read is his novel, ‘thanks for the fire’, but it hasn’t been translated. his poems and prose are exceptionally good, though, and an excellent insight into south american life.
  • by night in chile, by roberto bolaño.[amazon]
    another historical novel, this testimony dwells into the dirty business between a corrupt church and a military state during pinochet’s dictatorship.
  • the house of the spirits, by isabel allende. [amazon]
    another chilean author. though i personally hate every single one of her other books, this one is a classic for a good reason. it’s truly fantastic, and it’s a very dark and intimate walk through the life of a high class family across three generations.
  • alma guillermoprieto’s chronicles of latin america:
    cuba’s revolution [x], life in río de janeiro [x], and collections of stories and chronicles from all across the continent, both historical [x] and contemporary [x]
  • alfonsina storni’s poems. feminist poetry at the beginning of the twentieth century, shaped south american poetry in a lot of ways. you can find selections here and here.
  • regarding roderer (or, if you want to also have a movie adaptation to make the reading more entertaining, the oxford murders), by guillermo martinez [amazon] [amazon]
    to be completely honest with you, if i had the chance to meet him again, i’d punk martinez in the face. he’s pretentious and repetitive and the peak of the white dude author; but his prose is entertaining and enthralling and there is not a teenage boy in this world who won’t love him. i’ve read all of his books, and i have a very strong love/hate relationship with his work, but i can’t deny he’s an excellent mystery writer. regarding roderer has never stopped being a fascinating work, even after reading it a dozen times.
  • my sweet orange tree, by josé mauro de vasconcelos [amazon]
    i think i’ve read this book what? twenty times? twenty or a million, and i’ve laughed and cried with the same intensity every time. published in the 70s, this book is about the life of a poor boy growing up in río. sadly, the second part (let the sun heat) can’t be found in english, but this book alone is one of the most emblematic reads in latin american history.
  • kiss of the spider-woman, by manuel puig [amazon]
    another story about the dictatorship. two men, one guilty of socialist ideals and the other guilty of homosexual perversions, are incarcerated together. i’m not sure how apt for teenagers this book might be, because though, if not exactly explicit (it’s all dialogue, written like a screenplay), it’s not something most high schools would want teenage boys to read. our school was never scared of showing us the rough side of the dictatorship, so we all read a few rough things while still too young.
  • the nine guardians, by rosarios castellanos [amazon]
    set during the mexican revolution, this one shares with Kamchatka and my sweet orange tree the haunting honesty of stories of poverty and oppression told from the eyes and memories of children.
  • of love and other demons, gabriel garcía márquez [amazon]
    this one set during the 18th century, this novel is gorgeous, heartbreaking and an amazing story of love and religion. we read it at school, and it was without a doubt one of the best books i was assigned for lit class. another excellent book by garcía márquez is ‘story of a shipwrecked sailor’ [x].
  • fictions, by Jorge luis borges [amazon]
    because you really can’t talk about south american prose without benedetti and borges, fictions. this one anthology collects some of my favorite short stories, all of them magical and haunting and intriguing to no end.

two of what i consider must-reads of argentinian and latin american literature haven’t been translated to english: the conqueror, by federico andahazi (a story about an aztec man who finds europe way before the spanish find mexico) and the saga of the borderlands, by liliana bodoc (a fantastic retelling of the colonization). you can find a translation of the first book of the saga of the borderlands, but the second and third are impossible. there are also books specially oriented for teenagers (to say friend, which changed me for the better like few other books have) that are also impossible to find, but one day i’m gonna get rich and sit my ass to translate them all.

TV Shows To Watch Out For In 2k17

Here are some of the shows with main characters of color premiering in 2017, so y’all can prepare your schedules.

Do you know of any cool shows with main characters of color coming up on 2017?
Hit me up on the comments or @ me on Twitter so I can add it!


Emerald City (first season: 10 episodes)
Premiere date: January 6th.
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on NBC.
Genre: Fantasy
Highlights: Florence Kasumba as the Wicked Witch of the West and Adria Arjona as Dorothy, two classically white characters.

Image: the promotional poster for "Emerald City·, with the tagline "A new Oz rises".

Image: the promotional poster for “Emerald City·, with the tagline “A new Oz rises”.

When a tornado transports Dorothy Gale from Lucas, Kan., to the faraway land of Oz, her arrival sets in motion a prophecy about a disastrous event known as The Beast Forever and strikes fear into the land’s almighty ruler, the Wizard. On her quest to meet the Wizard in Emerald City, Dorothy encounters witches, an amnesiac soldier, a sheltered little boy and many more mysterious beings who will ultimately shape the future of Oz and Dorothy’s place in it.

Images: The three witches of Oz, standing together.

Images: The three witches of Oz, standing together.


One Day At A Time (first season: 14 episodes)
Premiere date: January 6th.
Where to watch: Will be streamed on Netflix.
Genre: Sit-Com
Highlights: Rita Moreno!

Image: Promotional still from "One Day At A Time", of some members of the family sitting together around a table, laughing.

Image: Promotional still from “One Day At A Time”, of some members of the family sitting together around a table, laughing.

The series, a multi-camera comedy, will follow three generations of the same Cuban-American family living in the same house: a newly divorced former military mother, her teenage daughter and tween son, and her old-school mother.

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Image: Promotional still from “One Day At A Time”, of some members of the family laughing together.


Riverdale (first season: 14 episodes)
Premiere date: January 26th.
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on the CW.
Genre: Teen / Drama
Highlights: Samoan actor KJ Apa as Archie and Latina actress Camila Mendes as Veronica, two classically white characters.

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Image: the promotional poster for Riverdale.

A subversive take on Archie and his friends, exploring small town life, the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade.

Image: a promotional still from "Riverdale", of Josie McCoy singing and playing guitar.

Image: a promotional still from “Riverdale”, of Josie McCoy singing and playing guitar.


Powerless (first season: 10 episodes)
Premiere date: February 2nd.
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on NBC.
Genre: Comedy / Superhero
Highlights: Vanessa Hudgens and Danny Pudi as the leads.

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Image: the promotional poster for “Powerless”.

In a world where humanity must cope with the collateral damage of superheroes and supervillains, Emily Locke begins her first day as Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.

Image: a promotional still from "Powerless", of Vanessa and Danny's characters clapping at a work meeting.

Image: a promotional still from “Powerless”, of Vanessa and Danny’s characters clapping at a work meeting.


24: Legacy (first season: 12 episodes)
Premiere date: February 5th.
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on FOX.
Genre: Spy / Action
Highlights: Black actor Corey Hawkins as the lead.

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Image: a promotional still from “24: Legacy”.

A military hero who returns to the U.S. with a whole lot of trouble following him back. With nowhere else to turn, the man asks CTU to help him save his life while also stopping one of the largest-scale terror attacks on American soil.

Image: a promotional still from "24: Legacy".

Image: a promotional still from “24: Legacy”.


The Handmaid’s Tale (first season: 10 episodes)
Premiere date: April 26th
Where to watch: Will be streamed on Hulu.
Genre: Science-Fiction / Drama
Highlights: Samira Wiley!

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Image: the poster for “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Set in a dystopian future, a woman is forced to live as a concubine under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship. A TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel.

Image: pictures of Jordana Blake, Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer.

Image: pictures of Jordana Blake, Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer.


Star Trek: Discovery (first season: 13 episodes)
Premiere date: May, ?
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on CBS.
Genre: Science-Fiction
Highlights: Sonequa Martin-Green as the lead, Michelle Yeoh in a main role, Anthony Rapp playing a confirmed-as-gay character.

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Image: pictures of Anthony Rapp, Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh.

Set roughly a decade before the events of the original Star Trek series, the series follows the crew of the USS Discovery as they discover new worlds and civilizations, while exploring the franchise’s signature contemporary themes. The season-long storyline revolves around “an incident and an event in Star Trek history that’s been talked about but never been explored”

Image: promotional poster for "Star Trek: Discovery".

Image: promotional poster for “Star Trek: Discovery”.


American Gods (first season: 10 episodes)
Premiere date: ?
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on Starz.
Genre: Fantasy / Drama
Highlights: Ricky Whittle as Shadow.

Image: a promotional still from "American Gods", of Shadow fighting a guy.

Image: a promotional still from “American Gods”, of Shadow fighting a guy.

The series will focus on the mysterious Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison for assault. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed in a car accident. Flying home for the funeral, Shadow is seated next to a man calling himself Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job he seems all too confident that Shadow will accept.

Image: a promotional still from "American Gods", of Bilquis in a red-lit room.

Image: a promotional still from “American Gods”, of Bilquis in a red-lit room.


Still Star-Crossed (first season: ?)
Premiere date: May 29th
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on ABC.
Genre: Historical / Drama
Highlights: Black-led take on a classic romance, produced by Shondaland.

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Images: a promotional still from “Still Star-Crossed”, of Rosaline.

Still Star-Crossed is sequel for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It follows Rosaline, Juliet’s cousin in 16th century Verona, and who once rejected Romeo as a suitor. She and Benvolio of Montague are betrothed against their will by Prince Escalus, in order to end the feud between the two families. Both resolve to find a way to end the violence without having the union.

Image: promotional poster for "Still Star-Crossed", of the female lead and her two love interests.

Image: promotional poster for “Still Star-Crossed”, of the female lead and her two love interests.


The Defenders (first season: 8 episodes)
Premiere date: ?
Where to watch: Will be streamed on Netflix.
Genre: Superhero
Highlights: Jessica Henwick, Rosario Dawson and Elodie Yung are confirmed to make a come-back.

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Image: promotional poster for Netflix’s “The Defenders”.

The heroes of Hell’s Kitchen (and Harlem, in Cage’s case) will unite sometime in 2017 and, it would appear, so will Scott Glenn as Matt’s curmudgeonly “mentor” Stick – heard speaking in the Defenders teaser, saying “You think the four of you can save New York? You can’t even save yourselves,” to the eponymous team.

Image: photos of the four leads of The Defenders (Charlie Cox, Krysten  Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones) each with their comic-counterpart under them.

Image: photos of the four leads of The Defenders (Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones) each with their comic-counterpart under them.


Shots Fired (first season: 10 episodes)
Premiere date: ?
Where to watch: Will be broadcast in the U.S. on FOX.
Genre: Police / Drama
Highlights: Black actress DeWanda Wise as the lead.

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Image: promotional still from “Shots Fired”.

The event series examines the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small town in Tennessee. the event series examines the dangerous aftermath of racially charged shootings in a small town in Tennessee.

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Image: promotional still from “Shots Fired”.