The US now has marriage equality- even Texas!!! The fight isn’t over yet- we have a long way to go before we reach true equality. But this is such a huge step, and a cause for celebration!
So, I’ve decided to compile my top ten books (and comics) starring LGBT+ protagonists to celebrate. There should be something for everyone on this list, whether you like fantasy, contemporary, or anything in between!
1. Hero by Perry Moore was actually one of the first LGBT+ books I read. It wasn’t really one of the best books that I’ve read, but it stuck with me, because, I mean, even if it’s not perfect, it’s really good. It was partly about the gay protagonist having to grow up with his extremely conservative dad, and partly a really funny parody of superhero stereotypes, so it has a really nice blend of seriousness and comedy.
2. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth was amaaaaazing and I’m so glad that I finally read it (many thanks to everyone who recommended it to me!). It’s a fantastic contemporary coming-of-age story about a lesbian girl growing up in the Midwest. Also, isn’t the cover just sooo pretty? I’m not usually a fan of covers with photos on them- I prefer artwork, especially the minimalist ones- but this one is really pretty and perfect for the story.
3. Ash by Malinda Lo is one of my favorite books ever. It’s basically a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, and I loved it, especially considering that LGBT+ fantasy is pretty sparse. Like, I’ve found plenty of good queer contemporary stories, but hardly anything in the way of fantasy??? Anyway. Ash is amazing and 5/5 would recommend!
4. Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis is AMAZING and LET ME TELL YOU WHY. It’s an epic fantasy with tons of people of color- I don’t think any of the main characters are white- and the main character is bisexual (and bisexual characters are ridiculously hard to find. And excellent representation aside, the world was just beautiful, and the way the magic in this world worked was so interesting. So, basically, this is one of my favorite books of all time.
5. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley was another ABSOLUTELY AMAZING book that EVERYONE needs to read RIGHT NOW. Like, if I had to pick a single favorite book, it would probably be this one. It’s a fantastic story that does a really amazing job at discussing race, sexuality, and gender inequality. And the CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT oh my god. Each of the main characters grows so much over the course of the story and just GO READ IT NOW okay?
6. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz is another great book. You know how I was mentioning how hard it is to find bisexual characters in books? Well, Not Otherwise Specified is a really good story about growing up, falling in (and out of) love, and never quite feeling like you fit in, starring a very clearly bisexual protagonist.
7. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is a really cute, fluffy book. It does a really good job of blending serious themes with humor and general cuteness, which is something that I really appreciate in books. Unlike a lot of the other books on this list which are either about characters who are already out (like Not Otherwise Specified) or are unable to come out (like Hero and Cameron Post), Simon is mostly about Simon’s coming out. It’s a really heartfelt, realistic book, and I’d definitely recommend it.
8. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray is absolutely glorious. It’s, like, a feminist take on The Lord of the Flies. There are a lot of main characters, but a good amount of them are queer, and they’re all really diverse. It makes a lot of serious points but it manages to be SUPER funny and sarcastic while it does so. If you’re into comedy and/or social justice, I would definitely highly recommend this one.
9. The Young Avengers by Kieron Gillen is one of my all time favorite comics. While it admittedly doesn’t have the best plot, it does have really well developed, three dimensional characters, and not one of them is straight! Tommy, Billy, and Miss America are, like, super gay, Noh-Varr, Kid Loki, and Prodigy are bisxual, and Kate is most likely bisexual as well.
10. The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon is another of my favorite comics, and the world in which it takes place was intentionally created to be very, very queer. The main character, The Girl, has no romantic interest, and in the way of side characters, there are quite a few LGBT+ characters, like the runaway robots Red and Blue (in the picture above), the rebel assassin Korse, and the freedom fighter Party Poison.
What are some of your favorite LGBT+ books?