Every year, we celebrate LGBTQ Pride during the month of June. During this month, we honor the heroes who fought for equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans during the Stonewall Riots. We also remember members of the LGBTQ community who were lost to HIV/AIDS or hate crimes, and we celebrate the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals in our communities and nationwide.
This Pride Month, do your part to honor the LGBTQ characters and writers by picking up one (or more!) of these books at your local public library or independently owned bookstore:
Ash by Malinda Lo
In this variation on the Cinderella story, Ash grows up believing in the fairy realm that the king and his philosophers have sought to suppress, until one day she must choose between a handsome fairy cursed to love her and the King’s Huntress whom she loves.
As I Descended by Robin Talley
Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are Acheron Academy’s power couple. Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey. And Lily and Maria are willing to do anything to keep Delilah from winning the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. Together, Maria and Lily harness the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school. When feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what’s imagined, the girls must find a way to stop what they started.
Sound by Alexandra Duncan
Ava’s adopted sister Miyole is finally living her dream as a research assistant on her very first space voyage. But when her ship saves a rover that has been viciously attacked by looters and kidnappers, Miyole – along with a rescued rover girl named Cassia – embarks on a mission to rescue Cassia’s abducted brother, and that changes the course of Miyole’s life forever.
Drag Teen by Jeffery Self
JT is a gay high school senior determined to get out of Clearwater, Florida, and be the first person in his family to go to college, even though he can not figure out how to pay for it–until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition where the first prize is a college scholarship.
Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
After a hate crime occurs in his small Texas town, Adrian Piper must discover his own power, decide how to use it, and know where to draw the line in this stunning debut novel exquisitely illustrated by the author. Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but at his Texas high school those traits would only bring him the worst kind of attention. In fact, the only place he feels free to express himself is at his drawing table, crafting a secret world through his own Renaissance-art-inspired superhero, Graphite. But in real life, when a shocking hate crime flips his world upside down, Adrian must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Teenaged Quinn, an aspiring screenwriter, copes with his sister’s death while his best friend forces him back out into the world to face his reality.
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Agoraphobic sixteen-year-old Solomon has not left his house in three years, but Lisa is determined to change that–and to write a scholarship-winning essay based on the results.
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
After enduring his father’s suicide, his own suicide attempt, broken friendships, and more in the Bronx projects, Aaron Soto, sixteen, is already considering the Leteo Institute’s memory-alteration procedure when his new friendship with Thomas turns to unrequited love.
Simons vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Sixteen-year-old, not-so-openly-gay Simon Spier is blackmailed into playing wingman for his classmate or else his sexual identity–and that of his pen pal–will be revealed.
Summer Love: an LGBTQ Collection edited by Annie Harper
A collection of nine short stories that feature characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.
Dreadnought by April Daniels
When Danny Tozer witnesses the death of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero, she inherits his powers. Suddenly the transgender youth finds herself in the body she always thought she should have–that of a girl. It should be the happiest time of her life, but the first week in her new body is complicated: her father is obsessed with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly wants to date her, and her fellow superheroes are arguing over her place in their ranks. She’s in over her head, but she doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer, a cyborg named Utopia, is threatening the destruction of humanity. Danny must find a way to sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time.
When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
As their deep friendship turns to love, Latina teenager Miel, who grows roses from her wrist, and Italian-Pakistani Samir, a transgender boy, fear their secrets will be exposed by the beautiful Bonner girls, four sisters rumored to be witches.
I am J by Cris Beam
J, who feels that he is a boy who was mistakenly born a girl, hides who he is from his family and the world, but after he loses his best friend, J decides to stop hiding, whatever the cost.
Have you read any books with LGBTQ characters or issues that you’ve loved? Leave their titles in the comments! Happy Pride!