Hello and happy Monday, everyone!
In honour of Pride Month, I’m lining up my favourite YA novels with LGBTQIA+ characters, as well as books I haven’t read yet but I’m excited about. But, first, let’s talk about Pride Month.
As you may or may not know, the month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969. The Stonewall Inn was a bar located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan and was open to all members of the gay community (unlike other bars and establishments in the 1960s). Police raids were routine during that time, but the police force lost control of the situation at Stonewall Inn. Greenwich Village residents later organized into activist groups to fight for LGBT rights, which is why the Stonewall Riots are believed to be the most important event for to the gay liberation movement.
June 1994 was the first official Pride Month in the US. In 2000, President Bill Clinton declared June Pride Month. President Obama did the same for 2009-2016. Pride Month is now not only celebrated in the US, but all over the world.
Obviously, there’s been a lot of progress since the Stonewall Riots, but there’s still a lot more room for improvement. For the first time in 8 years, the US president won’t acknowledge Pride Month. Unfortunately, there are also many countries where people from the LGBTQIA+ community can’t be open about their sexuality, which is why it’s important that all of us keep fighting for equal rights.
It’s also equally important to make sure that everyone** from the LGBTQIA+ community is accurately represented in the media, which includes books.
**Note: June is LGBT Pride Month, but I’m choosing to include everyone by talking about books that feature LGBTQIA+ characters. I find it ridiculous that asexuals for example, who’re least of all represented in fiction, are ignored.
But enough talking! Let’s get straight into it
My Top Five Favourite Books with LGBTQIA+ characters
- History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera: a story about first love and grief that will break your heart
- We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson: funny, nihilistic Henry is unsure whether or not to save the world (featuring sluggers!)
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: I ❤ Simon. He and Blue are precious and I wish he was my best friend (Abby too!).
- Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Leviathan: Tiny is one of the most incredible and hilarious characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about.
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Dante is stubborn and angry and makes a lot of stupid mistakes while Ari is kind of a special snowflake, but I still loved them together.
Highly Anticipated Books with LGBTQIA+ characters
These are books I either haven’t read yet or that have yet to be released.
- They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera: I’m already preparing to have my heart broken once again.
- Radio Silence by Alice Oseman: “When Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.”
- Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee: ace representation + Tolstoy = ❤
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert: Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother (who has bipolar disorder!) is in love with.
- It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura: “Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.”
- Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley: a story about a fifteen-year-old bisexual girl who wants to start doing things. Or at least try. “But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you’re in love? It’s going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love”
- The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: I love Ari & Dante, so I’m excited to read another book by Sáenz.
- Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy: “As Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for childhood friend Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke.”
- Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski: “Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn’t quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . .”
- Noteworthy by Riley Redgate: “A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshipped…revered…all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.”
What are some of your favourite LGBTQIA+ books? Which are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments!