This novellas was the first book I finished for 2017 as part of myself and my hubby’s project to sit back and read without electronics of any kind on Sunday mornings as scheduled reading time.
A Little Queermas Carol is adorable.
It’s not the kind of thing I expected to say about a Queer Leather Little retelling of A Christmas Carol, but then again, having been lucky enough to meet Sassafras Lowrey a few times at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, it’s a combination in retrospect that makes perfect sense. Much like Leather Ever After: An Anthology of Kinky Fairy Tales envisioned familiar fairy tales with a kinky and erotic lens to amazing effect, A Little Queermas Carol takes on a genderqueer Little/Daddy dynamic and brings forth the same result: a great narrative that invites in the very people that the original version of the tale would never have dreamed to even mention, let alone include.
Even better, that spirit of light-hearted joy that so infuses a Little narrative doesn’t shy away from the hurts and pains that many queer Littles have experienced. This isn’t a story of sunshine and rainbows, much like the original Dickens, and is instead a story of someone taking their pain and finding the joys and rainbows where they can—which, as in the real world, is often in the company of others like themselves who can truly empathize.
Am I overanalyzing? Maybe. But I don’t think so. Anyone who knows me knows I spend a lot of time discussing how we queerfolk don’t inherit our cultural narratives, on account of the vast majority of us not having a genetic lineage of queerness to create a constancy. Instead, we have to find each other, have to actively seek out our histories (assuming those histories have even been told) and all of this while doing the basics we need to do to survive what can often be a very hostile world. That Tiny Tim here is a weak-but-loving puppy, that Fred is a Daddy, and Marley is a former musician and that the lending house is instead an activist newspaper is the tinsel trimming on the tree: these are the queer families we create when the biological ones walk out.
Stories like A Little Queermas Carol are exactly the kind of narratives we need: stories that remind us we exist, have always existed, and will continue to exist. The spirits of past, present, and future queerness are very much alive in this novella.