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Gabby Rivera’s first novel “Juliet Takes a Breath” is a 2016 coming-of-age story, based on her experience of coming out to her family and leaving her home in the Bronx to do an internship with a feminist author in Portland.

The novel got her attention from an unusual place: Marvel Comics. In 2017, they asked her to write for America Chavez, their first queer Latina superhero. America is a Spanglish-speaking college student who punches through dimensions of time and space.

As Gabby was writing “America” in 2017, she found herself swept up in #comicsgate, an online harassment campaign against the comic book industry’s efforts to include more women, people of color and LGBTQ characters into their comics.

In this Latino USA segment, Maria Hinojosa talks to Gabby about her beginnings as a writer, her experience with #comicsgate and about her first original comic series “b.b. free,” which came out this month.

Featured image by Alexis Montoya.

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