20 Queer Q’s with Author Adam Silvera
20 Queer Q’s with Author Adam Silvera
Get to know the writer behind our some of our fave book titles like They Both Die at the End and More Happy Than Not!
The goal of these intimate conversations is to leave you, the reader, feeling like you just gained a new friend, a new perspective, and that you learned something new about or saw a different side of someone — maybe someone that you don’t see online, but someone that’s maybe like you.
This week get to know bestselling queer writer and novelist Adam Silvera, author of They Both Die at the End, More Happy Than Not, and more! Learn about his advice for queer youth, his deal breakers when dating someone, who he would shadow for a day, and more!
Name: Adam Silvera
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Sexually Identifies As: Queer
What do you love about the LGBTQ+ community?
I love that we all have a very similar upbringing in a lot of ways. It’s a very unique lens that we see our lives through and being able to connect with everyone over their personal journey and their respective journey feels sort of exclusive to us.
How did you feel attending your first Pride?
I was 24/25, I was in New York and it was weird for me because I was so self-conscious going into it. I had a lot of insecurities then and my "brave" outfit of choice was shorts. I remember flipping off people who had homophobic signs and that felt really great. It was weird sharing street space with people who were seemingly confident about their bodies and that’s always been tricky — but I also felt really safe there as well. I was self-conscious but it felt like a day where I was with my people whether I knew them or not.
What does Pride mean to you?
It means being legit happy with myself. I always strive for authenticity, I’m always pursuing happiness, and I love being queer. I have told people in conservative states that being queer is one of my favorite things about myself.
Do you think LGBTQ+ youth have it easier? It gets better, but does it get easier as time goes on?
I think queer youth now have a broader vocabulary than we did in relation to queer identity. But I hear from enough teenagers across the board who can't even purchase my novels or bring them home because they hint at gayness. Even in progressive cities. I know for a fact there are still people struggling even though we have made a lot of progress, but I’m sure that they have their own respective issues that I wouldn’t be able to relate to or wouldn’t have experienced myself when I was their age.
What’s advice you have for LGBTQ+ youth?
Find your people in whatever form possible, even if you’re bonding with people on fanfiction forums under different usernames. That was so helpful for me when I wanted to talk about queerness, but was scared of it being traced back to me.
Do you believe in love?
Yes, absolutely. When I love, I love so hard.
What are values that you look for in an ideal partner?
Honesty, humor, flexibility.
Describe what being queer is like in 3-5 words.
Beautiful in all forms.
What is something you want to change about yourself in the next six months?
I want to be kinder to myself. I think I’m already getting better with that but there’s still so much work left to do.
What’s your earliest memory that you felt you were different?
I was about 8 or 9, I was on my block in the South Bronx. My then best friend and I went to the sprinklers, we took our shirts off and I remember I touched his shoulder and my hand lingered a second longer and I just knew that that felt different from every other time that I had touched this friend.
What do you feel most insecure about?
What do you feel most confident about?
That I'm a great storyteller.
What is the title of the current chapter of your life?
"I Am Valuable."
What is a quality you find sexy?
What are deal breakers for you when dating someone?
Intolerance towards other communities, someone who lies, someone who can’t put up with me listening to the same song for two weeks straight.
What does an ideal night for you look like?
Going to an arcade with a shit ton of friends and drinking a shit ton of fruity cocktails and hugging everyone a shit ton.
Pick two people to invite to dinner. Who would you invite?
My Tio Cutito, who passed in an airplane crash two months after 9/11. He was the strongest male role model in my childhood. And my mom so she can have dinner with her brother.
Anyone’s birthday. I love birthdays more than I love Halloween which is my favorite traditional birthday.
If you could shadow anybody for a day, who would it be?
Michaela Coel. I loved I May Destroy You. I’m so inspired by all the roles that she played in that show's genetics from creator, director, writer, star, producer. I would love to see what a day in her life looks like.
What value/quality has being queer given you? What have you gained?
I think I’m a more accepting person in general. I was a very impressionable kid to the point where had I been straight, I wouldn’t have understood queerness and I could’ve been someone who was shitty to queer people. I think by having my own marginalization, it has allowed me a way wider empathy for other marginalizations.