Posted on June 02 2021
June is all about centering and celebrating the stories of the LGBTQ+ community. A wonderful way you can partake in this celebration of love is through reading! Enjoy this curated a list of our favorite authors, books, and characters that bring attention to the LGBTQ+ experience through literature. Whether you are part of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally, you’ll be sure to enjoy these bookish recommendations during Pride month and long after.
Dean Atta: Atta is an author from the UK whose work frequently discusses themes of gender, race, identity, and growing up. He has been listed by The Independent newspaper as one of the 100 most influential LGBT people in the UK. His most recent work, The Black Flamingo, won the Stonewall Award, which is an award that recognizes works with "exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience" in the U.S.
Dean Atta on Goodreads
Malinda Lo: Lo is a critically acclaimed author of several young adult novels. Her debut novel, Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, and was a Kirkus 2009 Best Book for Children and Teens. In 2006, ahe was awarded the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Journalism by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.
Malinda Lo on Goodreads
Meredith Russo: Russo is an award-winning author and LGTQ+ activist. Her award-winning debut novel, If I Was Your Girl, won the Stonewall Award and honors for the Walter Dean Myers Diversity Award. Her work has covered a variety of topics from nonfiction, to dystopian cyberpunk, to the stories of transgender women.
Meredith Russo on Goodreads
George M. Johnson: Johnson is an award-winning journalist, author, and LGBTQ activist from New York. Their work covers themes of gender, sex, race, and culture. Johnson is well known for their YA memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue, which features stories from their life growing up as a queer Black teen.
George M. Johnson on Goodreads
Aliette de Bodard: de Bodard is a fantasy & science fiction author from France. She is a three-time winner of the Nebula Award, which recognizes the best works of science fiction & fantasy. She is well-known for her sapphic romantic fantasy Fireheart Tiger and Hugo-award nominated series The Universe of Xuya.
Aliette de Bodardon Goodreads
Kacen Callender: Calendar is the bestselling author of novels for children, young adults, and adults, including Felix Ever After and King and the Dragonflies. Their debut novel Hurricane Child, received the Stonewall Book Award in 2019.
Kacen Callender on Goodreads
Nic Stone: Stone is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. Since she grew up with a diverse range of backgrounds, religions, and cultures, Stone brings the influences alive in her work. Her work Dear Martin was awarded the William C. Morris Debut YA Award in 2018.
Nic Stone on Goodreads
L.C. Rosen: Rosen writes books for people of all ages and his work is frequently featured on “Best of the Year” lists, including that of Forbes, Elle, and The Today Show. His most recent work Camp is a Lambda finalist and an ALA Rainbow List Top Ten.
L.C. Rosen on Goodreads
CB Lee: Lee is a writer of young adult science fiction and was nominated for a Lambda award. Her work frequently features stories centered around queer teens, magic, and superheroes. She is best known for her series Sidekick Squad.
CB Lee on Goodreads
Abdi Nazemian: Nazemian is an Iranian-American author, producer, and screenwriter. His novel The Walk In Closet, won the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction. He was a producer on several films including Call Me By Your Name and Little Woods.
Abdi Nazemian on Goodreads
Akwaeke Emezi: Emezi is a a writer and artist based in liminal spaces. Their debut autobiographical novel Freshwater, won the 2019 Otherwise Award, and they were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine as a Next Generation Leader.
Akwaeke Emezi on Goodreads
Aiden Thomas: Thomas is a trans, Latinx, New York Times bestselling author. They are best known for their YA fantasy Cemetery Boys, which was selected for the 2020 Longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
Aiden Thomas on Goodreads
Support Los Angeles LGBT Center with a purchase of this Cemetery Boys Enamel Pin Set. All proceeds donated.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
This YA romance follows the story of two teen boys who meet each other at a post office in New York City before a flash mob separates them. The novel alternates points of view between Arthur, who's in New York City as an intern at his mom's law firm, and Ben, who's recovering from a recent breakup. Will Arthur & Ben have a fateful, show-stopping romance? Or will they not get the happy, Broadway-worthy ending they hoped for?
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gaby Rivera
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other “gay-sounding stuff.” As Juliet’s story unravels, you’ll find out if she’ll be able to figure out her life over the course of the summer, or if she opts for running away from her problems.
Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
Quiet, thoughtful princess Thanh was sent away as a hostage to the powerful faraway country of Ephteria as a child. Now she’s returned to her mother’s imperial court, haunted not only by memories of her first romance, but by worrying magical echoes of a fire that devastated Ephteria’s royal palace.
The Unintentional Time Traveller by Everett Maroon
After agreeing to participate in an experimental clinical trial to find new treatments for epilepsy, fifteen-year-old Jack Bishop finds himself in a completely different body—that of a girl his age, Jacqueline, who defies the expectations of her era. Jack/Jacqueline becomes caught between two lives and epochs, and must find a way to save Jacqueline’s town, which is in a fight for survival. And all the while, Jack still needs to find time to fit in algebra class.
Fairest by Meredith Talusan
This coming-of-age memoir is about a boy with albinism living in a rural Philippine village, who would grow up to become a woman in America. Throughout her journey, Talusan shares poignant and powerful episodes of desirability and love that covers themes of gender, race, disability, and the immigrant experience.
The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke
This story is about Sideways Pike, a lesbian witch, who finds herself the new member of a friendship group with a popular clique of girls after she does magic with them at a Halloween party. Then things start to get weird, involving a curse on a boy, a cute girl, and a creepy family of witch hunters.
Birthday by Meredith Russo
Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break up—and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other.
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.
The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun. Which would be the perfect, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemor
Blanca and Roja are the latest in the long line of del Cisne girls - a Latinx family who are always cursed to have two daughters, one who survives and one who is taken by the swans. No matter what they do, one sister is always taken. And Roja has always known it will be her.
Felix Love: From Kacen Callender’s Felix Ever After, Felix is a transgender teen who has never been in love, despite his last name, and desperately wants to know the feeling. While he’s proud of who he is, Felix fears that his Black, queer, and transgender identities may be making it hard for others to love him. Throughout his complicated story, Felix learns about self-discovery & recognizing the love you deserve.
Simon Spier: From Becky Albertalli & Mathilde Tamae-Bouhon’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Simon is a not-so-openly gay teen with a love for theater. When his secret runs the risk of being put into the spotlight, he must find a way to navigate his sexuality without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or ruining a shot at love with an adorable guy.
Lisbeth Salander: From The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series by Stieg Larsson, Lisbeth is a bisexual heroine who tackles the culture of institutionalized rape in her world.
Alec Lightwood: From The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Alec is a shadowhunter who has the courage to live openly in his sexuality and gives courage to other shadowhunters to live openly in their love.
- Molly Bolt: From Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle, Molly is this coming-of-age story’s sharp-witted lesbian protagonist who is beautiful, intelligent, and strong-willed. She proves the power of being true to yourself and being unapologetic when it comes to who you love.