BookTok Beat

Freydis Moon was a beloved queer fantasy author, until fans learned the despicable truth

Last year, R.F. Kuang’s razor-sharp satire Yellowface came out to widespread acclaim. In the wake of the American Dirt controversy and the continuing, age-old problem of white authors cosplaying as Black and brown identities, Yellowface was something of a pulse-taking of the American publishing climate. How far, it asked, will white writers go to stay in the spotlight, despite having nothing original to offer?

The answer—in the book and is life—is pretty damn far. But no one knew that Yellowface would not only chart the past but predict the future, or perhaps serve as a guidebook for one author desperate to stay in the limelight. Enter Freydis Moon, aka Jupiter Wyse, aka Taylor B. Barton.

Let’s take it all the way back to 2020, when a white trans fantasy author by the name of Taylor B. Barton started getting called out by fantasy writers of color for racist targeting. Barton came back with a non-apology, and then continued to double down. Their forthcoming book was dropped from publication, and they seemed to finally get the message. But in 2021, a new fantasy author named Jupiter Wyse showed up claiming to be a queer person of color. Readers noticed something strangely familiar about Wyse’s style, however, and they were revealed to be Barton yet again cosplaying as non-white. Once again Barton retreated, and then re-emerged in 2023 as beloved fantasy author Freydis Moon, who was recently unmasked yet again a few days ago by the writer Elle Porter.

As the Internet learned that Barton had taken on the identity of yet another queer person of color, the Yellowface parallels started to leap out, and queer fantasy writers and readers started speaking out against Barton.

BookTok is calling out Barton’s behavior, pointing out that there’s nothing harmless about race-baiting. When white authors cosplay as an identity that’s not theirs, it not only takes resources away from actual queer writers of color, it creates bigger issues in an industry that famously loves to profit off the labor of QPOC without giving them credit or platforming them fairly.


Who is Freydís Moon and why are we talking about them? #booktok #freydismoon

♬ original sound – Carter Kalchik

The fact that Barton felt comfortable race-faking again and again speaks to the wider issues the publishing industry has in regard to DEI and diversity. As Yellowface accurately surmised, publishers often prioritize an exoticized idea of diverse storytelling over the real thing, and that’s a huge problem.

But BookTokers are taking this moment to shine some light on actual queer fantasy authors of color, like Mexican-American writer Anna-Marie McLemore, who writes sapphic and bisexual romances with a fantastical twist.


Why waste time obsessing over a fake Latine author when you could be reading one of the best authors in our community?? #BookTok #LatinxAuthors #SapphicBooks #FreydisMoon #Dreareads

♬ original sound – Drea🇵🇷| Queer Books & Fandom

BookTokers also showed some love to queer Latine authors like Aiden Thomas and Gabe Cole Novoa.


Because F*** Freydis Moon for their deception. I have lots of thoughts but while I’m involved in the Latinx community (through marriage and work) I am not Latinx. And while I’m a lgqbt ally, I’m not trans. So my role right now is to lift up and support trans latinx authors and other poc reeling from these revelations. Because this is absolutely insane right now. #booktok #freydismoon #transrights🏳️‍⚧️ #latinx #aidenthomas #sunbearertrials #gabecolenovoa #thediabloscurse #thewickedbargain @Aiden Thomas @Gabe Cole Novoa

♬ original sound – 🍉 📚BooksNPuppies🐶 🍉

Basically, the world didn’t need Taylor B. Barton in any of their many iterations. The moral of the story is: race-faking is never okay, and authors like Taylor B. Barton should absolutely know better. But some people never learn.

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