Andrea Mosqueda’s debut YA novel, “Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster,” is about Maggie, a bisexual Chicana growing up the Rio Grande Valley. While in search of an escort for her sister’s quinceañera, she realizes she has feelings for three of her friends.
Mosqueda, a native of San Benito, Texas, remembers what it was like growing up in a small town with a conservative family. She was in the closet and had a lot of shame about being bisexual.
“I grew up with a lot of shame, a lot of fear,” she says. “It was sad to have the parts of myself shoved away in a box before I was even able to work through them.”
Mosqueda was inspired to write the book after she moved to the East Coast for college and later landed her first job in the area.
“The culture shock of it all,” she says. “I was really thinking about my upbringing and what that meant to me and really missing the Valley. So I wrote it as like a way for me to escape.”
Mosqueda also wanted to write a book with a happy ending that allowed queer kids from the Rio Grande Valley to see themselves reflected in media.
“I wanted to give them just one little bit of escapism, one 300-page book in which they could pretend that they had support. Pretend that they have a safe place to work out their problems,” she says. “That way, when they close the book and things in their real life are not going so well, they will at least have things they recognize.”
Mosqueda hopes her book empowers LGBTQ youth to write their own stories: “I want my book just to be one of many.”