Happy Pride Month to all of my fellow LGBTQ+ peeps! 🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️
Reading books with LGBTQ+ representation is so important to me. I read books written by LGBTQ+ authors or with LGBTQ+ characters all year round but during Pride Month it’s particularly important to uplift the voices and stories of LGBTQ+ people.
With that in mind, in today’s post I’m going to be sharing one book recommendation for each letter of the LGBTQ acronym. It’s going to include a mix of books so hopefully there’ll be something for everyone 😊
- I haven’t read enough books about intersex and asexual characters/stories to make recommendations so haven’t included the I and A in this list separately. However, there are diverse voices represented under the Queer section of the recommendations including intersex and asexual/aromantic-spectrum voices.
- Wherever possible I have tried to include books where the identity of the character(s) or author (for non-fiction) is canonically and explicitly stated.
L – Lesbian
The Price of Salt – Patricia Highsmith
The Price of Salt or Carol is one of the most well-known lesbian classics. Set in the 1950s, the story follows Therese, a young woman working in a department store who falls in love with Carol a soon-to-be divorcee in her 30s. This story explores social concepts of womanhood, how they clash with queerness and the impact this has on queer women like Therese and Carol. Therese and Carol are at different stages in their life and their meeting impacts them both very differently; whilst Therese is young and excited about discovering her attraction to women, Carol struggles with her pending divorce and the threat Therese poses to her gaining custody of her child. What I love most about this story is that it’s one of a rare handful of queer books that has a happy ending.
G – Gay
The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta
Written in verse, this YA coming-of age tale follows Mike, a gay mixed-race teen growing up in London as he discovers his passion for drag. This book is absolutely stunning; from the writing style to the illustrations to the story and the themes it explores, it’s all a perfect recipe. It delves deep into the facets of Mike’s identity and the ways in which being multi-racial and black interacts with his queerness, and also the general impact it has on him to be part of multiple marginalised groups. But overall this is a story of inspiration, queer joy and pride. It’s about being true to yourself and taking the space you deserve in the world no matter what adversity you face, making it the perfect read for Pride Month.
B – Bisexual
In the Dream House – Carmen Maria Machado
Despite being commonly regarded as a lesbian book, Carmen Maria Machado identifies as bisexual. In this autobiography, she discusses her own experiences of domestic abuse at the hands of her ex-girlfriend integrating her personal story into the wider context of abuse in queer relationships. Research and data shows that bisexual women are more likely to experience domestic abuse than their straight or lesbian counterparts so this autobiography is very, very important in shining light on this. It’s unfortunate that Machado doesn’t use the word bisexual more frequently throughout the book but nonetheless, this is an own voices story from a bisexual woman that provides insight into an issue within the LGBTQ+ community that often isn’t spoken about.
T – Transgender
Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender
This YA novel follows Felix, a young trans man on his journey of self-discovery. It primarily focuses on Felix’s transition and the ongoing process of understanding and coming to terms with his gender identity but also focuses on other aspects of his life such as his education, relationships, family and experiences with bullying. Like The Black Flamingo, it delves into the hardship that goes with being part of multiple marginalised identities (black, trans and queer) and gives Felix space to explore and understand what these parts of himself mean to him and how that impacts where he fits into the world.
Q – Queer
We Can Do Better Than This – Amelia Abraham
Featuring 35 essays from a diverse range of queer voices, this anthology covers so much of what it is and means to be queer. From healthcare to legislation to relationships to pronouns to discrimination to pride to abuse to activism – it has it all. Everyone is represented here with essays from across the community and across the world. It’s an intersectional anthology that centres LGBTQ+ topics but allows the contributors to talk on their wider contexts in terms of culture, religion, race, class, age, disability and so much more. There’s something for everyone in this anthology.
There we have it, 5 book recommendations for Pride Month. To read more of my LGBTQ+ related content check out the LGBTQ tag here. What are some of your favourite LGBTQ+ books? Please share in the comments, I’m always on the hunt for more LGBTQ+ stories!
Here are some LGBTQ+ charities in the UK you can donate to this Pride Month:
- LGBT Foundation
- MindOut: LGBTQ Mental Health
- Rainbow Migration
- UK Black Pride
- Albert Kennedy Trust
- Black Trans Alliance
This is not an extensive list. If you would like to donate, I would recommend doing your own research to find a charity that aligns with your ethics and does the work that you feel most passionately about.
Let’s continue to uplift queer voices and support queer businesses and individuals around the world not just during Pride Month but all year round.
Happy Pride 🏳️🌈 my lovelies and keep reading.