13 Great Queer Books to Read During Pride Month

Pride Month is here, which means it’s time to add some wonderful LGBTQ stories to your reading list. Although you should always include queer literature in your reading list, Pride Month offers a great opportunity to celebrate the rich breadth and diversity of the LGBTQ community.

Fortunately, the book world is heavily laden with queer stories of all genres. If you’re into meditative poetry about queer identity and mental health, an exploration of New York City’s ballroom culture in the 1980s and 1990s, or a comic about supernatural creatures tormenting a group of scouts at camp, there’s a queer book that will strike your fancy.

Below are 13 brilliant, gay-themed books to read this Pride Month.

1. Less, by Andrew Greer

Less is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that features Arthur, a struggling novelist feeling existential as he approaches his 50th birthday. To make matters worse, he receives an invitation to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Rather than despairing, Arthur decides to embark on a haphazard literary world tour. Greer’s resounding heart and humor sell the book, making this tale of romantic misadventures as funny as it is profound.

2. Under the Udala Trees, by Chinelo Okparanta

Under the Udala Trees follows the life of Ijeoma, a young girl who’s sent away from her family at the beginning of the book to avoid danger during the Nigerian civil war. She meets Amina, another girl who’s also separated from her family when they’re away. The two girls form a short-lived relationship, only to realize that their love is taboo. The novel is a compelling story about love and hardship as Ijeoma is sent home, forced into a miserable marriage with a man while struggling with her attraction to women.

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3. madness, by sam sax

If you’re looking for a poetry collection about sexuality, mental health, and culture, you should check out sam sax’s madness. The poems are incredibly thoughtful and evocative while touching on a range of topics.

4. At Certain Points We Touch, by Lauren John Joseph

At Certain Points We Touch is a brilliantly written novel about a tumultuous love affair. The story is told by an unnamed narrator who chronicles ten years of their life, most of which is entangled with a man named Thomas. Unfortunately, or fortunately, they never reunite because Thomas died years before the book begins.  Joseph’s novel is told across time and continents, and while the story is not linear and sometimes meandering, it’s still riveting.

5. Nevada, by Imogen Binnie

Imogen Binnie’s Nevada follows Maria, a young transgender woman living in New York City and trying to navigate the punk scene while working in retail. When Maria’s girlfriend breaks up with her by revealing that she’s been cheating, Maria’s world is turned upside down. On a mission to escape her troubles, she embarks on a cross-country road trip. Nevada offers a beautiful portrayal of identity and the trans experience.

6. Yerba Buena, by Nina LaCour

Yerba Buena is Nina LaCour’s first adult novel, a modern sapphic love story focusing on characters Sara and Emilie. Yerba Buena is a heartwarming novel that explores bringing past pain into current relationships. The titular Yerba Buena is a restaurant where the couple meets, which also features fantastic food and cocktails.

7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home is a graphic memoir about Alison Bechdel’s experience of coming out and finding love. It primarily centers on her and her father’s resistance to her sexuality. After her father is killed in a car accident, she reflects on his past and how he might have struggled with his sexual identity. Alison Bechdel is also the person who came up with the Bechdel test.

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8. How To Write An Autobiographical Novel, by Alexander Chee

If you’re looking for a deep dive into someone’s past, Alexander Chee’s essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel is the book for you. Chee is an essayist, novelist, gay rights and HIV/AIDS activist, and rose gardener; he examines how writing allows us to shape ourselves while we, in turn, shape our writing.

9. They Both Die At The End, by Adam Silvera

They Both Die At The End is a heart-wrenching novel that follows two boys, Mateo and Rufus, who receive early morning calls informing them that their last day on earth has arrived. They’re strangers to each other at first, but are soon united by the Last Friend app

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