doubledaybooks:

"[O]ne of the most mesmerizing heroines in recent fiction…." Texas Monthly

"Merritt Tierce’s debut novel, Love Me Back, is a gorgeous, dirty razor of prose—sharp and dangerous and breathtaking." —Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist

"Tierce’s prose possesses the force, bluntness and surprise of a sucker punch. Love Me Back is an unflinching and galvanic novel full of heart and heartache; one of my favorite books of the last few years." —Carrie Brownstein, co-creator of Portlandia

LOVE ME BACK here.

For tida wena, the Warao word for transgender, identity is a matter of gender, but also a cultural and ethnic issue. Sanse, a 16-year-old tida wena… only women and and transgender/homosexual members wear long hair among the Warao.

Two Spirits in the Venezuelan Jungle

This dual-spirit identity of transgender people is common in some indigenous communities — Will Roscoe, an anthropologist and activist, identified some 130 examples in American Indian tribes alone. Though traditionally integrated and respected within their communities, encroaching social norms from elsewhere in Venezuela and blame for the spread of diseases like H.I.V. have threatened the relative well-being that tida wena have enjoyed for centuries.

Like other women, the tida wena tended to the home, cooked and cared for children and elders. They also participated in the harvest of important crops, like the ocumo chino, a starchy tuber. Historically, tida wena were sometimes the second or third wives of polygamous men. They also occasionally performed the role of shaman — the Warao are deeply rooted in the shamanist tradition — and tida wena in particular are thought to possess two spirits, bringing them closer to the ancestor spirits that roam the jungle.

a COLORLINES article:
Black, Queer and in Vogue 
Photographer Gerard Gaskin’s 2013 book, “Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene,” chronicles the New York City ballroom scene itself with intimate portraits he began recording in 1994, not long after the balls first poked into broader view through the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning.” Filmmaker Jennie Livingston’s documentary itself frustrated many within the scene, Gaskin included. “I’ve always kind of battled with the idea of whites coming in to do a documentary and their point of view being the strongest,” Gaskin says.
Like many others, Gaskin was drawn to the balls as a teenager living in New York City. He began by making portraints of his friends, and just kept going for decades. “I try not to have discussions around, ‘Oh, it’s an important study and all that,’” he says, rejecting the detachment that too often comes with studying things. Rather, Gaskin kept the project going because he loved being at balls. It’s the opening moments that get him. “The toughness and the rawness that the outside world has put on these young people—parents who threw them out, the word faggot, all those ills, all of that stuff—just peels away and they’re mini-celebrities in their own space. That energy is amazing.”
ZoomInfo
a COLORLINES article:
Black, Queer and in Vogue 
Photographer Gerard Gaskin’s 2013 book, “Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene,” chronicles the New York City ballroom scene itself with intimate portraits he began recording in 1994, not long after the balls first poked into broader view through the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning.” Filmmaker Jennie Livingston’s documentary itself frustrated many within the scene, Gaskin included. “I’ve always kind of battled with the idea of whites coming in to do a documentary and their point of view being the strongest,” Gaskin says.
Like many others, Gaskin was drawn to the balls as a teenager living in New York City. He began by making portraints of his friends, and just kept going for decades. “I try not to have discussions around, ‘Oh, it’s an important study and all that,’” he says, rejecting the detachment that too often comes with studying things. Rather, Gaskin kept the project going because he loved being at balls. It’s the opening moments that get him. “The toughness and the rawness that the outside world has put on these young people—parents who threw them out, the word faggot, all those ills, all of that stuff—just peels away and they’re mini-celebrities in their own space. That energy is amazing.”
ZoomInfo

a COLORLINES article:

Black, Queer and in Vogue 

Photographer Gerard Gaskin’s 2013 book, “Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene,” chronicles the New York City ballroom scene itself with intimate portraits he began recording in 1994, not long after the balls first poked into broader view through the 1990 documentary “Paris Is Burning.” Filmmaker Jennie Livingston’s documentary itself frustrated many within the scene, Gaskin included. “I’ve always kind of battled with the idea of whites coming in to do a documentary and their point of view being the strongest,” Gaskin says.

Like many others, Gaskin was drawn to the balls as a teenager living in New York City. He began by making portraints of his friends, and just kept going for decades. “I try not to have discussions around, ‘Oh, it’s an important study and all that,’” he says, rejecting the detachment that too often comes with studying things. Rather, Gaskin kept the project going because he loved being at balls. It’s the opening moments that get him. “The toughness and the rawness that the outside world has put on these young people—parents who threw them out, the word faggot, all those ills, all of that stuff—just peels away and they’re mini-celebrities in their own space. That energy is amazing.”