Check out this selection of books by LGBTQ+ authors about LGBTQ+ characters and issues.
Biography & Memoir
¡Hola Papi! - In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet in America’s heartland, while attempting to answer some of life’s toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he’s out of the closet? Questions we’ve all asked ourselves, surely. ¡Hola Papi! is for anyone—gay, straight, and everything in between—who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world.
Ten Steps to Nanette - Hannah Gadsby's unique standup special Nanette was a viral success—and to some, her worldwide fame may have seemed like an overnight sensation. But like everything else about Gadsby, there's more to her success than meets the eye. In her first book, the queer Australian comedian, writer, and actress takes us through the key moments in her life that ultimately led to the creation of Nanette and her startling declaration that she was quitting comedy.
Apparently There Were Complaints - Anyone who has seen Sharon Gless act in Cagney & Lacey, Queer as Folk, Burn Notice, and countless other shows and movies knows that she’s someone who gives every role her all. She holds nothing back in Apparently There Were Complaints, a hilarious, deeply personal memoir that spills all about Gless’s five decades in Hollywood.
My Name's Yours, What's Alaska? - Before RuPaul's Drag Race became a worldwide phenomenon, drag was mostly an underground art form, performed by the daring and quick-witted with maximum energy and a minimal budget. This is the story of one of the galaxy's greatest queens, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, as she transforms from wearing dresses made of trash bags because she has to, to wearing dresses made of trash bags because she wants to. An intimate memoir told with poise and humor that recounts Alaska's meteoric rise to fame—from childhood makeovers of Mighty Mouse to chart topping hits, from prom king to the House of the Haunt—Alaska reveals the stories that shaped her into an All Star, including the full story behind the very public breakup that almost destroyed her.
How Y'all Doing? - Viral sensation and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan regales fans with entertaining stories about the odd, funny, and unforgettable events in his life in this unmissable essay collection that echoes his droll, irreverent voice. When actor Leslie Jordan learned he had "gone viral," he had no idea what that meant or how much his life was about to change. On Instagram, his uproarious videos have entertained millions and have made him a global celebrity. Now, he brings his bon vivance to the page with this collection of intimate and sassy essays.
Queerstory - A visual timeline of infographics mapping a century of the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights. Includes graphically represented statistics, key dates and events, quotes, and facts about rights, campaigns and queer pioneers.
The Stonewall Reader - For the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an anthology chronicling the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the 1960s and the activists who spearheaded it, with a foreword by Edmund White.
Less - You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years now engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes—it would all be too awkward—and you can’t say no—it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of half-baked literary invitations you’ve received from around the world. How do you arrange to skip town? You accept them all. Thus begins an around-the-world-in-eighty-days fantasia that will take Arthur Less to Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India and Japan and put thousands of miles between him and the problems he refuses to face. What could possibly go wrong? Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Red, White & Royal Blue - First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threatens American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
The Thirty Names of Night - Five years after a suspicious fire killed his mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria. One night, he finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than 60 years before, but her journal contains proof that Laila Z's past is intimately tied to his mother's—and his grandmother's—in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z's story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his community that he never knew. Following his mother's ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along.
All of You Every Single One - Julia Lindqvist, a woman unhappily married to a famous Swedish playwright, leaves her husband to begin a passionate affair with a female tailor named Eve. The pair run away together and settle in the more liberal haven of Vienna, where they fall in love, navigate the challenges of their newfound independence, and find community in the city’s Jewish quarter. But Julia’s yearning for a child throws their fragile happiness into chaos and threatens to destroy her life and the lives of those closest to her.
The Guncle - Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece and nephew. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is honestly a bit out of his league. So when tragedy strikes, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting—even if temporary—isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.
Mystery & Thriller
Long Black Veil - Long Black Veil is the story of Judith Carrigan, whose past is dredged up when the body of her college friend Wailer is discovered 20 years after her disappearance in Philadelphia’s notorious and abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. Judith is the only witness who can testify to the innocence of her friend Casey, who had married Wailer only days before her death. The only problem is that on that fateful night at the prison, Judith was a very different person from the woman she is today. In order to defend her old friend and uncover the truth of Wailer’s death, Judith must confront long-held and hard-won secrets that could cause her to lose the idyllic life she’s built for herself and her family.
Delilah Green Doesn't Care - A clever and steamy queer romantic comedy about taking chances and accepting love—with all its complications. Delilah swore she would never go back to Bright Falls—nothing is there for her but memories of a lonely childhood where she was little more than a burden to her cold and distant stepfamily. Her life is in New York, with her photography career finally gaining steam and her bed never empty. When Delilah's estranged stepsister pressures her into photographing her wedding with a guilt trip and a five-figure check, Delilah finds herself back in the godforsaken town that she used to call home. She plans to breeze in and out, but then she sees one of Astrid's stuck-up besties, and decides that maybe there's some fun (and a little retribution) to be had in Bright Falls, after all.
D'Vaughn and Kris Plan A Wedding - D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs. All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake. But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.
Sci-Fi & Horror
Manhunt - Beth and Fran spend their days traveling the ravaged New England coast, hunting feral men and harvesting their organs. Robbie lives by his gun and one hard-learned motto: other people aren't safe. After a brutal accident entwines the three of them, this found family of survivors must navigate murderous TERFs and a sociopathic billionaire bunker brat all while outrunning packs of feral men, and their own demons.
An Unkindness of Ghosts - Aster lives in the low-deck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, the Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship's leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster, who they consider to be less than human. When the autopsy of Matilda's sovereign reveals a surprising link between his death and her mother's suicide some quarter-century before, Aster retraces her mother's footsteps. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she's willing to fight.
Graphic Novel & Manga
My Brother's Husband - Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi's estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji's past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it's been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
Be Gay, Do Comics! - The dream of a queer separatist town. The life of a gay, Jewish Nazi-fighter. A gender reveal party that tears reality apart. These are just some of the comics you'll find in this massive queer comics anthology from The Nib. This book is filled with dozens of comics about LGBTQ+ experiences, ranging from personal stories to queer history to cutting satire about pronoun panic and brands desperate to co-opt pride.
When I Came Out - 40-something Louise is married to Peter, with whom she has four children. They live in a big house, and on paper everything looks fantastic. But Louise has a secret that she barely dares to admit to herself: a burning desire for women. When I Came Out is the story of a woman who has met society's expectations throughout her life but finally realizes that she has not been true to herself. From first-time creator Anne Mette Kaerulf Lorentzen, this bold and elaborate piece of autobiographical work addresses personal anxieties about coming out later in life and documents her jump from a safe, well-established, heteronormative, middle-class life to living openly as a lesbian. With beautiful drawings using anthropomorphic characters, Lorentzen tells her coming out story with charming sensitivity and a loving humor.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality - Asexuality is often called "the invisible orientation". You don’t learn about it in school, you don’t hear “ace” on television. So, it’s hard to be ace in a society so steeped in sex that no one knows you exist. Too many young people grow up believing that their lack of sexual desire means they are broken–so writer Molly Muldoon and cartoonist Will Hernandez, both in the ace community, are here to shed light on society’s misconceptions of asexuality and what being ace is really like. This book is for anyone who wants to learn about asexuality, and for Ace people themselves, to validate their experiences. Asexuality is a real identity and it’s time the world recognizes it.