Kyle Huntley (he/him, they/them) can be found on Instagram @subtlegazephotography.
What queer book have you chosen to share with our readers today?
Sunstone by Stjepan Sejic. Mature slice of life, graphic novel. Sunstone is a powerful and realistic depiction of queer and kink life seen through the lens of the two fem main characters. The story explores the discovery process and gritty real failures that many of us experienced as we explored our identities and communities. We follow the characters through their meeting and relationship, queer, and kinky journey.
Why is this book one of your favorites?
This book is one of my favorites because it feels very real. Too often queer media or kink media is hyper sexualized or romanticized in many unrealistic and unhealthy ways. Sunstone addressed many of the common pitfalls and struggles that folks face as they explore, fail, learn, and grow. These characters struggle to communicate and overcome in modern healthy depictions. This combination of exciting and realistic depictions of the mundane and sexy make it one of my favs.
How would you describe yourself as a reader?
I consider myself a chaotic reader. I am usually reading two or three books at one time. Switching between a high fantasy novel, an academic style journal or book, and stylized graphic novels. I love satire and works that poke holes in our society or draw humor out of the absurd. Terry Pratchet’s Discworld series is a prime example.
As a queer person, have books helped you explore or express your queer identity?
I struggled a lot to find books that spoke to my queer identity. I come with many hyper masc aspects to my life (military service, tradesman, Gold medal athlete) which often came into conflict with my love of romantic poetry, and deep love of expressive painting and photography. I always felt split, as though I couldn’t be both of these things (of course I could but try explaining 24 year old me that). I remember reading the Malus Darkblade series from the black library (very edgelordy I know) and there were multiple characters who were the mercenary and fantasy fighter types. But in the side chapters of the books were artists, and poets, and expressed their love for other characters of various gender expressions as well as their devotion to the main character Malus. Looking back I don’t think these expressions of love were romantic, but to young me they were. It made me think of how a person is not limited by the expectations of others and is free to craft their own forms of self. I have always appreciated strong soft characters. Not the gentle giants, but the big strong characters who choose love and peace in life.
Other than reading, are there any queer nerdy recommendations that you would like to leave with our readers?
D&D is one of the single best ways to explore self expression and test out aspects of the self. If you can find a safe queer friendly community you will soar through the act of communal improve.
Check out our Queer Lil Library for more book recommendations and reviews!