“It’s really interesting to be part of a vast diaspora but also never feel like anyone’s writing about Bangla queer femininity, in a very specific way,” Tanaïs, who makes use of one title, mentioned.

The two writers have since turn out to be associates. After studying an early model of “Like a Bird,” Tanaïs instructed that Róisín revise passages she wrote when she was youthful that felt like a totally different voice — suggestions that helped her see the discrepancy extra clearly and gave her confidence to repair it. “It kind of liberated her to trust herself,” Tanaïs mentioned.

Zeba Blay, one other pal of Róisín’s who noticed a draft, was impressed by her dedication to the work. “She’s someone who kind of goes off into the mountains and then comes back down with a masterpiece,” she mentioned.

When she started writing the ebook, Róisín mentioned there was a lot she didn’t know. She devoured works by authors like Audre Lorde, Susan Sontag and June Jordan, who explored therapeutic of their writing. But not solely was the language of the early drafts extra easy, however there have been issues she didn’t perceive she might even write about, like her sexuality.

“Looking back at old pages, I’m just like, wow, even my conception of storytelling is so skewed,” she mentioned. There was initially a male love curiosity, for instance, earlier than Róisín modified Taylia’s arc to one wherein she finds achievement by group, not romance, one thing that felt extra true to the queer communities the place Róisín herself has discovered assist.

“It was a part of me that was being erased because I saw it as no other choice,” she mentioned. “Like, how could I be so audacious to write about my queerness or about a character that maybe isn’t as digestible?” Rewriting these parts, and having the ability to give names to forces like xenophobia, white supremacy and racism, helped carry the ebook into its closing kind.

“I think the greatest gift of this book is breaking through silences that have long plagued our communities,” Tanaïs mentioned. “Having a young person voice their pain and trauma and move through it is a gift for young people and people who have healed from trauma and survivors of trauma, like myself, who need that.”

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