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Can You See Me?: Stories to Fight Erasure

Description

There has been a recent push for queer fiction, especially in the young adult genre, whose focus is gay and lesbian relationships. This growth is much needed in terms of visibility and the furthering of acceptance, but there are still

There has been a recent push for queer fiction, especially in the young adult genre, whose focus is gay and lesbian relationships. This growth is much needed in terms of visibility and the furthering of acceptance, but there are still subjects within the LGBTQ+ community that need to be addressed, including bisexual, asexual, and non-binary erasure. There are many people who claim that these identities do not exist, are labels used as a stepping stone on one's journey to discovering that they are homosexual, or are invented excuses for overtly promiscuous or prudish behavior. The existence of negative stereotypes, particularly those of non-binary individuals, is largely due to a lack of visibility and respectful representation within media and popular culture. However, there is still a dearth of non-binary content in popular literature outside of young adult fiction. Can You See Me? aims to fill the gap in bisexual, asexual, and non-binary representation in adult literature. Each of the four stories that make up this collection deals with an aspect of gender and/or sexuality that has been erased, ignored, or denied visibility in American popular culture. The first story, "We'll Grow Lemon Trees," examines bisexual erasure through the lens of sociolinguistics. A bisexual Romanian woman emigrates to Los Angeles in 1989 and must navigate a new culture, learn new languages, and try to move on from her past life under a dictatorship where speaking up could mean imprisonment or death. The second story "Up, Down, All Around," is about a young genderqueer child and their parents dealing with microaggressions, examining gender norms, and exploring personal identity through imaginary scenarios, each involving an encounter with an unknown entity and a colander. The third story, "Aces High," follows two asexual characters from the day they're born to when they are 28 years old, as they find themselves in pop culture. The two endure identity crises, gender discrimination, erasure, individual obsessions, and prejudice as they learn to accept themselves and embrace who they are. In the fourth and final story, "Mile Marker 72," a gay Mexican man must hide in plain sight as he deals with the death of his partner and coming out to his best friend, whose brother is his partner's murderer.

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Date Created
2018-05