Celebrate pride all year long with books by LGBTQ+ authors! From inspirational memoirs to irresistible romances, these stories honour the journeys of LGBTQ+ individuals and the larger movement for love, acceptance, and equality for all. For LGBTQ+ month we have compiled a list of popular books for you to read.
This Booker Prize winner from 2019 tells the intertwining story of twelve female and non-binary characters of Black heritage across over 100 years of British history. It features many kinds of queer stories and relationships, including the story of Yazz who grows up as the daughter of a polyamorous lesbian mother and happily married gay father.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
This 1982 novel is written in the form of letters and follows the story of Celie, a Black woman growing up in early 1900s Georgia. After years of abuse from her stepfather and then her husband, she then finds liberation and empowerment through her lesbian relationship with glamourous singer Shug Avery. This key element of the story tends to be overlooked in adaptations, but the original novel is a must-read in the canon of sapphic literature.
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Lies We Tell Ourselves is about finding the truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it. Set in 1959 Virginia, Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend a previously all-white High School. When she is forced to work on a school project with Linda Hairston, the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration, both girls are forced to confront harsh truths about race, power, and their feelings for one another.
The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun
The Charm Offensive introduces us to Dev Deshpande, producer of long-running reality show Ever After, based on ABC’s The Bachelor. When the show casts disgraced tech guru Charlie Winshaw in a last-ditch attempt to rehabilitate his image, he turns out to be awkward, anxious, and bad for TV. As Dev attempts to connect Charlie with the contestants and save the show, Charlie begins to realise that it is Dev that he has chemistry with, not the female contestants. Described as entertaining, funny and romantic, The Charm Offensive is a heartwarming story focused on deeper themes of mental health, sexual identity, and self-esteem.
Like by Ali Smith
Published in 1997, Like takes the format of two parts. The first introduces Amy, a former scholar, lesbian, and mother of an 8-year-old daughter. The second concerns Ash, a Scottish actress who spends all her energy pursuing Amy, who she has been obsessed with ever since they were teenagers. The story explores how these two women’s lives intersect and diverge over time and explores the themes of unrequited and unresolved love.
How to Be Both by Ali Smith
Winner of the 2015 Women’s Prize for Fiction, How to be Both is told from two unique perspectives. George, in contemporary Cambridge, is dealing with the loss of her mother. Francesco del Cossa, a Renaissance artist from 16th-century Italy, has to hide her gender to get by. The novel’s timeframe is as fluid as its approach to gender and, in some moments, sexuality.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Yadriel, a trans boy, is determined to prove his gender to his family. But when he performs a ritual to try and bring back the ghost of his dead cousin, he actually brings back the ghost of his school’s bad boy, Julian. Julian agrees to help Yadriel with his family troubles, in return for help to find out the mystery behind his death. As the two work together, they grow closer and have to face their romantic feelings for one another.
Loveless by Alice Oseman
The fan-fic obsessed romantic Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush. As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a new town far from home, she’s determined to find romance. But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends in the Shakespeare Society, Georgia ends up in the middle of her own comedy of errors. This is a wise, warm and witty story of identity and self-acceptance, especially perfect for those who are exploring their own attractions.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Heartstopper is an ongoing LGBTQ+ young adult graphic novel and webcomic series (Currently 5 Volumes) that is both written and illustrated by Alice Oseman. It follows the lives of Nick Nelson and Charlie Spring as they meet and discover that their unlikely friendship might be something more. The series explores young love, self-discovery, and friendship.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
If I was Your Girl is the first widely disctributed YA novel about transgender teens written by a transgender woman. Russo gives us a love story that everyone will route for when Amanda meets Grant at school and starts to open up her life to him. Amanda is terrified that once she tells Grant the truth about her identity, he won’t be able to accept her and it will ruin her newfound love.
At Midnight edited by Dahlia Adler
At Midnight brings together fifteen classic fairy tales with fresh and unexpected reimaginings of tales such as Rumpelstiltskin, Cinderella and The Little Mermaid. Written mainly by queer authors, At Midnight brings a refreshing, inclusive and diverse take to some of the most iconic stories.
The T in LGBT by Jamie Raines
This book takes an autobiographical approach to encouraging people to explore and learn about topics surrounding gender identity, the trans experience, and understanding allyship. Raines has been in the process of transitioning for 12 years and takes us through his journey through the transitioning process, whilst also amplifying the voices and personal stories of a diverse range of trans people. The T in LGBT is full of tips and advice for those questioning their gender identity, transitioning, or simply wanting to be a good trans ally.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Evelyn Hugo is ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life to the world and selects Monique Grant, a magazine reporter, to write her biography. Despite the story examining the glitz and glam of Los Angeles in the 1950’s, her choice to leave showbusiness in the 1980’s and the seven husbands along her life, her great love story is with fellow actress Celia St James. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo explores love, sex and marriage intertwined with intersectional experiences of being Cuban, being a woman and being queer.
The Henna Wars by Abida Jaigirdar
When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. Her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life, and Nishat falls for her instantly. Amidst a school competition and stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.