Your essential Pride Month reading list, featuring the most anticipated LGBTQIA+ books of 2023, classic poetry collections, popular graphic novels and more…
Pride Month is a great jumping point when it comes to diving into these truly incredible, layered books and works. You know what they say, there’s no better time than the present — and in light of the legal and socioeconomic struggles for equality that members of the LGBTQIA+ community endure and the rights they (we!) fight for, why not pick up a few new reads from queer voices and help amplify books penned, drawn, collected and inspired by trans, non-binary, gay, lesbian, and asexual writers.
From classic poetry collections to graphic novels, memoirs, contemporary romances and more, here are 15 LGBTQIA+ books to add to your June TBR list.
Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns
Genre: Dark comedy
Priya Gun’s gender-flipped adaptation of the iconic 1970’s film “Taxi Driver” offers a sharp social commentary on gig workers, racial discrimination and performative ally-ship. The debut novel is narrated by Damani, a fictional, queer Tamil ride-share driver who falls in love with Jolene, a seemingly five-star passenger. But just as their whirlwind romance intensifies, Jolene does something unforgivable, setting off a messy chain of events.
Available on Blackwell’s for $104.06
Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart
Genre: Coming-of-age Fiction
From the Booker Prize-winning author of “Shuggie Bain” comes this heart-pounding story of the perilous first love of two young men. Born under different stars, we have Mungo, a Protestant, and James, a Catholic, living in the hyper-masculine and violently sectarian bubble of Glasgow’s housing estates.
Available on Blackwell’s for $88.17
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Genre: YA Fiction
“Felix Ever After” is a charmingly honest tale about a 17-year-old demiboy grappling with his first love, hampered by the fear that he is one marginalisation too many — black, queer, transgender — to get his happily ever after. Troubles escalate when a vengeful catfish trap lands him in a quasi-love triangle.
Available on Blackwell’s for $98.28
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Torrey Peters’ debut novel “Detransition, Baby” is a beautiful piece of literature that explores gender, parenthood, love and trans life. Tender and emotional (Peters said the novel was written like a soap opera), this book is groundbreaking by sheer publication, as it’s one of the first novels written by an out trans person to be published by a big-five publishing house and was also nominated for the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction, making Peters the first openly trans woman to be nominated for the award.
Available on Blackwell’s for $102.01
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Nar, a bisexual Armenian-American woman rediscovers her roots and learns to embrace who she really is in this heartfelt queer rom-com. It all starts when she meets Erebuni, a cool and intriguing gal who helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture. Could her new best friend be the girl of her dreams?
Available on Blackwell’s for $92.68
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Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chan
This rare gem explores what it means to be asexual (the often overlooked ‘A’ in LGBTQIA) in a world that’s obsessed with sexual attraction. As an asexual person herself, journalist Angela Chen uses her own journey of self-discovery to educate readers on desire and identity, alongside interviews with a diverse range of other ace people (including non-gender-conforming aces, aces of colour and disabled aces).
Available on Amazon for $121.78
Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Think “Heartstopper” crossed with “Crazy Rich Asians”. This sweet romance follows an aspiring chef who starts fake-dating a charming and wealthy customer. Their worlds are sun and moon, but the attraction is undeniable and Theo proves to be a great distraction for Dylan who has his heart set on winning a mooncake-making contest in order to save his family business.
Available on Blackwell’s for $86.40
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Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Manns
From spoken word poet Jasmine Mans, this poetry collection explores race, feminism, and queer identity — almost pushing back against the often flat, limited, and often outright flagrant attempts at representing Black women to really showcase and consider these layered, multifaceted women for who they are.
Available on Blackwell’s for $119
We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown
While not quite a “read”, this substantial photography book from the creators and curators of the massively popular Instagram account LGBT History showcases a rich, sweeping archive of the Queer Liberation Movement. A beautifully crafted coffee table book to flip through again and again.
Available on Blackwell’s for $699.26
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Stung with Love by Sappho
What is a gay book list without the mother of lesbians herself — Ancient Greek poet Sappho! In fact, the word “lesbian” is derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, where Sappho resided. Little remains of her writing, so this surviving text is really worth delving into for lyric poetry on love, longing and desire.
Available on Blackwell’s for $87.78
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The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Author Emily M. Danforth’s debut novel, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” is a coming-of-age story that follows a 12-year-old Montana girl who is sent to a conversion camp after her romantic relationship with another girl is discovered. You may be familiar with this story through its 2018 film adaptation that stars Chloë Grace Moretz. Even if you’ve given that a watch, don’t hesitate to pick up the original book.
Available on Blackwell’s for $103.39
We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
A heavy piece about family and forgiveness, Pakistani Canadian writer and photographer Samra Habib pens this emotional memoir about growing up as a Muslim minority (Ahmadi Muslims are explicitly forbidden to call themselves Muslim under the Pakistani penal code) and queer in Pakistan and, later, Canada. A poignant exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality.
Available on Blackwell’s for $91.02
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
A semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story about a lesbian girl growing up in an English Pentecostal community, first published in 1985. One of the more closely studied books on this list (being included on both GCSE and A-Level reading lists in England and Wales), the novel also contains references to numerous other literary works, historical figures and aspects of popular culture.
Available on Blackwell’s for $96.51
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The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice by Shon Faye
A Sunday Times bestseller, this is a book clearly written by a journalist. Shon Faye put together this project over three years, with a good chunk of research and writing taking place during the pandemic. Emphasising transgender experiences, Faye touches on issues of social class, housing insecurity, police violence, sex work and liberation.
Available on Blackwell’s for $109.08
Heartstopper Volume 1 by Alice Oseman
Genre: Graphic novel
An ongoing webcomic started in September 2016, this beloved series focuses on two English boys — Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson — who meet and fall in love is truly heartwarming. Its popularity led to an equally lovely live-action television adaptation, that you can watch now on Netflix Hong Kong.
Available on Blackwell’s for $112.42
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Editor’s Note: “15 LGBTQIA+ Books To Read This Pride Month” was most recently updated in June 2023 by Nicole Moraleda. With thanks to Zona Hiranandani and Sakina Abidi for their contribution.