Pride month takes place globally every June. It’s a chance for the LGBTQI+ community to celebrate, peacefully protest and raise awareness. It’s also a reminder that we’ve come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969 (which helped serve as a catalyst for the modern day gay rights movement). Gay marriage is now legal in Australia, the USA, Ireland, and in Taiwan too! But there are a lot of other countries around the world still fighting for their rights (especially in the Asian region). So it’s a fitting time to highlight some of the great LGBTQI+ books out there. We know some of you may already have a small library of “books to read” gathering dust in the corner, but this selection should go straight to the top of your reading list this summer.
Release Date: 6 April, 2019
If you’ve ever binged on Netflix hit “Queer Eye” then you will probably be familiar with the fashionista that is Tan France. This book gives us a more cultured insight into what his childhood was like while living as an ethnic gay minority in Yorkshire. He injects his witty humour throughout this heartfelt warming memoir, which is an eye-opening story about how he grew up in a religious home and found his voice while growing up.
Available on Book Depository here for $168 or on Audible here for $226
Genre: Biography and Memoir
Release Date: 16 October, 2018
We’ve all seen how the “Me Too” movement has gained momentum over the past few years. It’s encouraging to see there are now more female film directors and more ethnic minorities are being cast as female leads. Similarly, there is also a growing movement in the LGBTQI+ community when it comes to women, so this anthology is filled with leading women (including non-binary folks) in different types of careers and industries. Not only is it a good read for adults, but it could also be used to introduce children to the many individuals who are changing and fighting these issues globally.
Available from Amazon here for $96
Release Date: 5 March, 2019
As the first transgender woman to speak at a national political convention in 2016, we follow McBride as an openly transgender activist fighting for equal rights in the White House. She writes about the political and cultural obstacles that she has faced and weaves these into the narrative of how she hopes to change the mindset of her country.
Available from Book Depository here for $206
Release Date: 28 August, 2017
If you’re a fan of John Green or Jennifer Niven books, then look no further than Danforth’s debut novel. After the death of her parents, Cameron Post is forced to live with her conservative aunt and grandmother in Montana, only to find herself falling in love with the newly-moved Coley Taylor (who also came with a perfectly matched boyfriend). So she is sent off to gay conversion therapy by her Aunt Ruth instantly in an attempt to “fix” her. A story about love, pain, and survival, as well as trying to find the courage to live your own life by your own rules, this is a heart-wrenching summer read.
Sassy Tip: Don’t forget to watch the 2018 film directed by Desiree Akhavan, starring the talented young Chloë Grace Moretz, after reading this stunning novel.
Available from Book Depository here for $87
Genre: Literary Fiction and Historical Fiction
Release Date: 8 September, 2015
A fictional exploration of Jamaica’s history of politics and violence, Marlon James draws on characters from all walks of life during the political tensions in Kingston. The story starts from Bob Marley’s family’s encounter with unnamed gunmen at their house in the 1970s to the streets of Jamaica in the 1990s. This deeply moving and exciting story is for those who want to know more about the societal shifts throughout Jamaican history.
Available from Book Depository here for $117
Release Date: 30 August, 2012
Looking for a dystopian story that involves a rebellion against a ruthless regime with LGBTQI+ characters? Winner of the 2012 Costa Award, Maggot Moon is a novel that tells the tale of a regime determined to race against its enemies to the moon and how Standish Treadwell, his grandfather, and a small band of rebels decide to confront and defeat that regime, while saving Treadwell’s best friend at the same time.
Available from Book Depository here for $66
Release Date: 1 April, 2009
A New York Times bestseller with the same title as the Academy Award-winning film directed by Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name tells the tale of a powerful romance that grows between a teenage boy and a summer guest in Italy. As their passion and obsession with each other intensify, both will have to face consequences they weren’t prepared for.
Sassy Tip: Don’t forget to watch the film adaptation afterwards – you’ll need tissues, believe us!
Available from Book Depository here for $45
Release Date: 9 May, 2017
Winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Four Quartets Prize, Danez Smith is a force to be reckoned with. Known for his political, groundbreaking, lyrical poetry, he discusses life as a gay black man in America and the violence that accompanies it. He uses beautiful relatable imagery to talk about desire, being HIV positive and mortality. This ambitious collection, which is filled with love and longing for the safety of ethnic minorities, will tug at your heart strings.
Available from Book Depository here for $96
Release Date: 5 June, 2018
Born in the UK, Daley-Ward talks about her sexuality and adolescence in this raw, moving memoir. Her sharp on-the-point poetry is mixed with prose and explains what it was like growing up in the northwest of England, as her worn out, but beautiful, mother cared for both her and her younger brother. She shows the beauty and cruelty of life; the power and fear that sexuality can bring into a young woman’s life.
Available from Book Depository here for $88
Genre: Comic Book and Anthology
Release Date: December, 2016
For those who are more interested in beautiful visual drawings, this LGBTQI+ comic book anthology is for you. It’s a collection of artistically drawn short comics (compiled into one collection), to support the survivors and mourn the victims from the 2016 shootings in Orlando, Florida. It celebrates the LGBTQI+ community and examines diverse love in today’s world.
Available from Book Depository here for $87