Feature Image Credit: @giulia_and_books
June is Pride Month, and we are here for it! There is so much to celebrate about the LGBTQ+ community, and we are over the rainbow with excitement to share these books with you. Whether you are looking to read something funny, indulge in a racy romance, or immerse yourself in facts and history, we are confident that there is something on this list for you. Happy Pride and happy reading!
The Gay Agenda by Ashley Molesso & Chessie Needham
The power couple who penned this book really knew what they were doing with this masterpiece. From fun facts to full-color illustrations, The Gay Agenda has it all. This compilation covers culture, history and honors icons in the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, you’ll find helpful information, like acronym definitions, along with a timeline that includes historical icons and events. With each page, the reader can feel the enthusiasm that went into making this entertaining and informative guide for all people to enjoy.
Want more books that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community? Here are 5 books that honor International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Reese and Amy were in love and living their best life in New York City. The only thing that could make their already good life perfect would be to add a baby to complete their family. However, things start to unravel when Amy decides to detransition to Ames, leaving Reese heartbroken. Even though Ames knows their relationship is over, he can’t stop thinking about Reese, and when he finds out that he’s impregnated another woman who’s not sure if she wants to keep it, he can’t help but wonder if this is a sign that maybe the three of them could create their own unconventional version of happily ever after.
Things We Shouldn’t Say by Jay Coles
Coles shows us Gio, a guy trying to navigate love in all its ambiguity—whether it’s family love, friend love or romantic love—hoping at the other end he’ll be able to figure out who is and who he should be. Gio has always felt a hole in his life. Not because he’s into both guys and girls or because his father has some drinking issues. The hole takes the shape of his birth mom, who left Gio, his brother, and his father when Gio was nine years old. For eight years, he never heard a word from her . . . and now, just as he’s started to get his life together, she’s back. Can he forgive her like she wants to be forgiven? Complicating things further, Gio’s started to hang out with David, a new guy on the basketball team. Are they friends? More than friends? At first, Gio’s not sure . . . especially because he’s not sure what he wants from anyone right now. Things We Couldn’t Say tackles how Gio discovers how to love himself for who he really is—every part of himself, not just the parts he thinks the world will accept. And above all else, Gio learns how to fight for what he wants when the world, or life circumstances, try to crush his happiness.
All Kinds of Other by James Sie
Navigating the teenage years can be tricky enough but walking solo through the halls of a new high school can be next-level scary. For Jack, being alone isn’t so bad after having a falling-out with a friend. However, that changes when he locks eyes with Jules, the other new boy in class. As the pair grows closer, they try their best to keep things undercover—but when a video exposes Jack hanging out with some well-known trans vloggers, the quiet couple quickly becomes the talk of the town. Jack and Jules will have to decide if they’re ready to face the rumor mill or continue to keep things on the down-low.
Under the Rainbow by Celia Laskey
Big Burr, Kansas has that small-town feel where everybody knows each other and you just can’t escape it, no matter where you go. But when Big Burr gets named “the most homophobic town in the U.S.” and a queer task force comes to Kansas, things start to change. Linda, who has recently lost her son, welcomes the newbies with open arms, while her daughter is just trying to fit in at her new school and fly under the radar. This sweet story about community, grief and finding common ground to get along does a beautiful job shedding light into some of those dark spaces that just need a little love to shine.
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Lara has spent the better part of her high school days dreaming of Chase Harding. He might possibly be the hottest guy in school and has actually started to notice Lara, too. As they start to get closer, Lara can’t believe her luck. She’s got the best friends a girl could ask for, a great job, and having the attention of her school’s football star is the icing on the already delicious cake. There’s just one thing…Lara can’t stop thinking about her summer romance with Jasmine, and when she ends up at the same school, things get complicated. This is a story of what happens when girl meets boy then girl meets girl again.
Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
Even though Rachel was born Jewish, the only thing she does religiously is monitor her food intake. She’s got everything down to a science, from counting calories to burning them off. Although she seems to have it all together at twenty-four, the truth is that she’s still very much influenced by her mom, who was the one to teach her all about calorie control to begin with. When Rachel’s therapist recommends that she take a break from communicating with her mother, she ends up meeting Miriam, an Orthodox Jew who turns her life around with shared faith, physical affection and even her favorite frozen yogurt.
Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan
Even though Morgan is a valued member of the track team, her strict Catholic high school has decided to turn her away for being gay. Switching high schools in the middle of senior year seems like a real bummer, but when Morgan spots beauty queen Ruby tuning up her vintage car, she knows she’s in the right place after all. It doesn’t take long before these two hit it off, but while Morgan is out in the open about being queer, Ruby wants their relationship to stay a secret. Can this romance work with each girl being pulled in a different direction while their hearts are still longing for each other?
Tomorrow Will Be Different by Sarah McBride
Sarah McBride knew from an early age that she was a girl, but it wasn’t always easy for her to speak her truth. During her last week as the student body president of American University, she bravely came out as a transgender woman. When her announcement went viral, she realized that it was her duty to continue sharing, encouraging others to live life in a truly authentic way. This set Sarah onto a path of professional success, becoming the first transgender person invited to speak during a national political convention. As Sarah has moved through tragedy and triumph, her story is one that is truly inspiring.
The Chosen and the Beautiful by NGHI Vo (June 1, 2021)
A 2021 Most Anticipated Pick for Oprah Magazine and USA Today (among many others!), this book has been described by R.F. Kuang as “Gatsby the way it should have been written―dark, dazzling, fantastical.” Protagonist Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920’s American society with money, education and invitations to the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But Jordan has a secret talent in connecting with lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. This coming of age story is full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Alex Claremont-Diaz is the picture-perfect representation for the all-American boy and the White House is loving it. With his mother serving as the newly elected president, Alex finds himself living the dream and thriving in his upgraded lifestyle. The only issue is that he can’t stand England’s Prince Henry, and has no hesitation in letting the whole world know. When the tabloids expose the feud, both sides try to clean up the mess—but little do they know that Alex and Henry are starting to find that there’s a very thin line between love and hate. They say all is fair in love and war, and these two are about to find out!
Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle by Robin Stevenson
This new edition covers even more ground than the first one, continuing to celebrate the last 50 years of the LGBTQ+ community with pride. With more focus on activism, the author emphasizes how much work there is still do when it comes to freedom and equal rights, putting the younger generation at center stage. Included in this book are stories of teen activists, a trans dad, and how to be an ally. Packed with Proud Moments and Queer Facts, this book is bursting with important information on how critical it is to continue to support this beautiful community with a full heart and an open mind.
íHola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer (June 8, 2021)
You might be familiar with the column now substack íHola Papi! or you might not. Either way, you need John Paul Brammer in your life and íHola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons will tell you exactly why. Through short essays prompted from questions asking for advice, you learn more about John Paul Brammer and how he got through tough periods of his life as a queer mixed-race guy—like bullying in middle school, dealing with imposter syndrome, or coming out in, you guessed it, a Walmart parking lot! This memoir-in-essays is one of my favorite books ever. Hot tip: you can totally use the chapter prompt questions for your own journaling and to tap into your own story.
Want more books that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community? Here are 5 books that honor International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia>>