You're the Only Friend I Need

ISBN: 978-1-938900-37-2

Publication date: July 2021
50 pages, 5.3” x 7”
Read Press Release (PDF)


The stories in Alejandro Heredia’s You’re the Only Friend I Need offer new possibilities for transnational storytelling and the Dominican diaspora by centering Blackness and queerness. In these stories, friendship is a vehicle to understand what lies between and within people. A young Dominican immigrant makes an unlikely friend in her Bronx building. Two queer teens venture into the streets of Santo Domingo in search of queer belonging. A 20-something lost in existential thought finds a home in a gay Latin club.

In Heredia’s stories, friendship is at once balm, poison, wound, and respite from the troubles that society places on migrants, on queer people, on Black folks across the diaspora. You’re the Only Friend I Need cuts through received notions and sings with emotional honesty and lyrical prose.


“This is a stunning debut from Alejandro! These riveting queer stories sit with the complexity of heartbreak and romance, holding contradictions that push us to think and feel anew. These pages and the rich characters that populate them are a breath of fresh air. I can't wait to see what Alejandro does next!”

Travis Alabanza

Author of Before I Step Outside (you love me)

“Alejandro Heredia writes gorgeously. His voice elevates the queer poetry of the vernacular while his prose leaves fingerprints on your brain and heart. He will give you all the feels in Spanglish.”

Myriam Gurba
2019 Gold Line Press Fiction Chapbook Contest Judge



Not so long ago, they were boys playing baseball in the street. Raging against some inner beast. Or not resisting at all, taken over by its might. The wrath of boyhood—a scream, a belch, unabashed laughter. The soles of their naked feet slapping the concrete. The bloody knuckle crushed against another’s cheekbone. A bruised lip, a cutting joke, a chorus of argument. And when alone or coupled, the sudden gentleness. Protection, when needed. Showing up to a friend’s fight, just in case. The ever-present shyness in front of girls, in front of teachers, in front of the mirror, facing their naked bodies. Skinny or fat or too small or too big or smooth or growing hair, each day something new. The fear of jumping but jumping anyway, even if only to impress. They were everything, everything. Boys.
Now, look at them. Girls, or adjacent to them. Girly boys, maybe, gliding through the streets of Santo Domingo, protected by the night. Soft as feathers. Quick as shadows. Hiding, but filled with a gust of pride for everything they’ve made of themselves, what they’ve managed to take from the corner of the mind or a dream. A fantasy materialized.




Alejandro Heredia is a queer Afro-Dominican writer and community organizer born in Santo Domingo and raised in The Bronx. He is a 2018 VONA/Voices fellow, and 2019 Dreamyard Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium Fellow. Myriam Gurba selected Alejandro’s chapbook, You’re the Only Friend I Need, as the winner of the 2019 Gold Line Press Fiction Chapbook Contest. Alejandro’s work has been featured in Auburn Avenue Magazine, La Galeria Magazine, No Dear Magazine, and elsewhere.

Book design by Kenji C. Liu.



  • Gold Line Press | Ricochet
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