Hi there! My name is Alex and I'm currently undertaking my Creative Writing PhD at the University of Lincoln. I'm a big fan of lots of streaming services, books, and am a published poet! I aspire to be a multi-genre,…
Now we are well into Pride Month, there is no better time to enjoy reading books that have great queer characters and storylines! Here I’m going to suggest just a few of my personal book recommendations which showcase queer representation in a variety of ways, through fiction and nonfiction. These reads range from surprising classics right through to the most modern, relevant reads, and I’d recommend you give them all a try this Pride Month and beyond!
This classic by E. M. Forster is one of my personal favourites of queer fiction. This book, published posthumously, was not published at the time it was written, because homosexuality was still illegal in the UK at the time. This book follows Maurice through his young adulthood in education and explores the various relationships he experiences whilst addressing conflicts of both his homosexuality and class. It is a beautiful, eloquent work, and its ending brings a beautiful satisfaction that any fan of classical writing will be able to enjoy.
This novel by Kacen Callender introduces us to Felix, a young trans-guy who gets outed anonymously which spurs him to determinedly discover the culprit, along with trying to manage his artistic pursuits. The story has so many twists and turns, a veritable collection of characters who you can love and hate, surprising romantic entanglements, and an eventual conclusion that leaves the reader satisfied. If you want a YA read that showcases a beautiful trans character of colour getting the resolutions he deserves, then this is the book for you!
This incredible book by Stephen Bourne is one of my favourite nonfiction books which reveals the experiences of queer people in the early-mid 20th century. The research displayed in this book reveals the lives and experiences of several queer individuals who served in the varying armed forces across both world wars. It highlights the dangers and prejudices they faced but also takes the time to reveal the many instances of love and acceptance experienced by these brave people, despite the turbulent circumstances of war & conflicts of sexuality combined. It is a seriously enlightening read and a valuable text of queer history, so I seriously recommend it!
This very recent memoir by Elliot Page offers a fascinating non-linear narrative full of stories relating to gender, relationships, mental health, love, and the varying experiences he’s faced in his career, particularly in the Hollywood film communities. This book offers a perfectly relevant, unfiltered perspective into the transgender experience today from the mind of a truly beloved actor and LGBTQ+ advocate. It is a sincerely eye-opening read and well worth taking your time over, and it’s a book I recommend whether you’re a queer reader or not!
I have enjoyed every one of these books for different reasons, whether due to their compelling plots and fascinating characters or with how they curate truly incredible awareness of queerness in the past and present. Though I am a queer reader, you do not need to be queer to enjoy these books, because, in a general sense, they are truly just enjoyable. However, if you want to have a bit more of a browse for queer literature, then you can have a look at the lists on Amazon, Goodreads, and the National Bookstore, or you can just ask in your local bookshop! I hope you find your perfect read, and have a happy Pride Month!