Pride month is a celebration of queer culture, visibility and existence. Yet for centuries our models of life and love have been based on the heterosexual experience. This historic lack of representation means queer novels aren’t nearly as loved as they deserve to be.
Our stories are sidelined, lost amongst the masses, and their significance is dismissed. Regardless of sexual identities, understanding and compassion stem from our consumption of books.
Our celebration of pride month would be incomplete without recognition of queer voices. So to start, here is an essential reading list of LGBT literature.
We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir – Santa Habib
In a beautifully written memoir, Santa Habib explores hope faith and forgiveness. She recalls her both joyous and traumatic memories of childhood. Investigating identity and community, she offers an understanding of what it means to be a queer muslim living in Canada.
Tomorrow Will Be Different – Sarah McBride
Tomorrow Will Be Different is an informative and accessible memoir which recounts the trouble and turmoil of coming-out as transgender. A perfect combination of personal and political. Sarah McBride’s voice is heard and her story clearly expressed.
Patsy Nicole Dennis – Ben
Patsy, a Jamaican woman, lives with her mother and daughter, working a civil service job and barely escaping poverty. She dreams of obtaining an American visa, longing for the agency and sexual freedom moving to New York will bring. However, she soon finds her dreams don’t match reality. The author tackles sex, queerness and immigration with necessary honesty.
Giovanni’s room – James Baldwin
Giovanni’s room is a heartbreaking tale of the confinements of gay sexuality in the 1950’s. It follows an american man living in paris, focusing on his feelings towards the significant men in his life. The torment and agonising experience of his romantic love is perfectly written.
We Do What We Do in the Dark: A Novel – Michelle Heart
Forbidden love, obsession and high stakes. This adrenaline fuelling novel follows a young woman’s affair with her married professor. It profoundly encapsulates an intense all-consuming love which is widely experienced amongst WLW.