June is recognized as Pride Month to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall riots at New York City’s Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969. In honor of the month, we’ve rounded up 8 books, from inspirational memoirs to irresistible romances, from Pulitzer Prize-winning novels to historical accounts, to offer insight into the LGBTQ+ experience.
Ultimate LGBTQIA+ Pride Book List
Celebrate this Pride Month with inspiring picks from a variety of genres.
The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World:
This is about the first American legal same-sex marriage that occurred in September of 1971. How the couple navigated complex procedures to obtain a state-issued marriage license and what happened afterward. A great look back at the struggles of same-sex couples who wanted equality in employment and marriage.
Unicorn by Amrou Al-Kadhi:
From growing up in a strict Muslim Iraqi household to a vocal, queer drag queen estranged from their family, this is a heart-breaking and hilarious memoir about the author’s fight to be true to themself. A powerful and necessary narrative that fills in the gaps of the LGBTQ+ literature.
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin:
Set in 1950s Paris, Baldwin’s groundbreaking novel focuses on the events in the life of an American man and his relationships with other men, particularly an Italian bartender named Giovanni whom he meets Parisian gay bar. Everything about this book is hauntingly mesmerizing and tenderly moving.
Trumpet by Jackie Kay:
Trumpet tells the story of a fictional Jazz performs named Joss Moody whose death reveals that he lived his life as a man but was a biological woman. It is a beautifully written and powerful novel that explores grief and the complexities of gender in a way that you will never forget.
The Prophets by Roger Jones, Jr:
Jones’ bestselling debut novel features the lyrical story of Isaiah and Samuel, two enslaved men on a plantation in Mississippi who find refuge in their love for one another in the face of violence and unimaginable cruelty. A deeply moving novel about suffering, hope, and love.
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters:
The lives of three women—transgender and cisgender—collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires. It’s a story of the queer community, complicated relationships, and creating the kind of world we want to live in.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe:
This coming-of-age novel follows two teenagers, Aristotle and Dante, their friendship, and their struggles with racial and ethnic identity, sexuality, and family relationships. It’s full of poetry and the important questions of life and is a story I think everybody should read.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker:
Set in the deep American South between the wars, The Color Purple is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. There is love, tenderness, and care between the two characters, Celie and Shug Avery – which stand out all the more because this book is set in a society where Black women are often denied all three.
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