We’re proud to highlight some of our favorite books by LGBTQ+ authors. Whether you’re looking for a great novel to take on vacation, shopping for a young reader in your life, or just want to brush up on your LGBTQ+ history, we’ve got a great list of books for you to choose from. Let’s keep Pride going all year long!
A powerful memoir by two sisters about transitioning, family, and the path to self-realization.
by Cyrus Dunham
For as long as they can remember, Cyrus Grace Dunham felt like a visitor in their own body. Their life was a series of imitations–lovable little girl, daughter, sister, young gay woman–until their profound sense of alienation became intolerable.
Moving between Grace and Cyrus, Dunham brings us inside the chrysalis of gender transition, asking us to bear witness to an uncertain and exhilarating process that troubles our most basic assumptions about who we are and how we are constituted. Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs, A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved queer coming of age story.
In Andrew Sean Greer's 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Less, failed novelist Arthur Less is about to turn fifty when his whole life gets turned upside down. You see, Arthur just received a wedding invitation from an ex-boyfriend whom he dated for nine years. He obviously can't say yes, because... awkward! But he can't say no either, because that just looks like defeat.
So, what does he do? Instead of saying yes to his ex's wedding invite, Arthur says yes to a bunch of half-baked literary engagements that are scattered across the world. That's right—he'll travel to Paris, Berlin, Morocco, and India. He'll fall in and out of love. And, oh yeah, he'll turn fifty.
Less is, above all, a bittersweet love story that's also genuinely funny—and it's the perfect novel you need on your summer reading list.
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World is the kind of coming-of-age and coming-out story that can make a young queer girl or boy feel seen.
Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen feels invisible after her family of five is displaced in the wake of a devastating tornado. And, oh-by-the-way, her secret journal full of drawings of girls holding hands went missing in the storm.
But when pages of her journal start showing up in her locker with notes urging her to reveal her true identity, Ivy must decide how to be true to herself.
While fiction and humor are good places to settle in for a read, we'd be remiss if we didn't also offer up some nonfiction. After all, when we celebrate Pride, we celebrate a movement that is built out of struggle, policy, and justice. It's history books that help highlight the human struggles, the hard-fought battles, and legal and cultural victories of LGBTQ+ history. We recommend the second edition of Transgender History if you're looking for an exhaustive, yet approachable history of transgender life in America that explains how we arrived where we are today.
David Sedaris is another long-time favorite LGBTQ+ author in the nonfiction arena. Calypso is his latest collection of hilarious essays, but we think it seriously deserves a spot on your TBR list.
When Sedaris buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, he envisions long vacations and nights spent playing board games with his loved ones. The house, which he nicknamed the Sea Section, is every bit what Sedaris hoped for with one exception: he cannot take a vacation from himself.
In turning his gaze upon middle age and mortality, Sedaris's powers of observation turn to himself, his past, and what life is like when your body betrays you. Every bit as funny as you want, but with the at-times dark self-awareness that comes with age.
by CN Lester
In Trans Like Me, CN Lester takes on the most pressing questions facing the transgender community today. From the nuances of the media's wording when covering trans issues, to the way gender variant children are portrayed on television, Lester turns modern culture inside-out and expertly lays out the work that's left to be done.
by Cleve Jones
Like many LGBTQ+ folks of the 1970s, Cleve Jones went to San Francisco to be a part of the burgeoning gay rights movement taking place there. He worked with Harvey Milk, and when Milk was assassinated, Jones continued Milk's work, until the AIDS epidemic changed his life and shifted his focus.
Fans of Alexander Chee's How to Write an Autobiographical Novel might be particularly interested in Jones's Lambda Literary Award-winning history of the movement.
Have you ever read a wedding guide meant for straight people? It feels like wearing clothes that just don't quite fit. Equally Wed, however, bypasses heteronormative traditions and language and sets out to provide a wedding guide for LGBTQ+ people that actually feels useful. What's more, Kirsten Palladino's writing infuses the planning process with the excitement that such an event should inspire.