LGBTQIA Reading List
Being the curious cat (or mouse) that I am, my mind has ingested its fair share of books, ranging from theories of cultural evolutionary psychology to the neuroscience behind 3D depth perception, to the complexities of P=NP and and infinite dimensional vector spaces, to troubled teens questioning their sexuality and their gender. Yes, I am an addict, and YA Queer literature is my drug.
Here’s the list of books read so far, or on the radar. If you have a suggestion, please add it to the comments.
(Note: most links go to Amazon, so you can read the description and reviews.)
Update: Now in (mostly) alphabetical order!
- (YA) I Am J by Cris Beam (recommended)
- (YA) Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kritin Cronn-Mills (recommended)
- (YA) Being Emily by Rachel Gold
- (YA) Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
- (YA) Pantomime and Shadowplay by Laura Lam (recommended)
- (YA) Luna by Julie Anne Peters
- (YA) Jumpstart the World by Catherine Ryan Hyde
- (YA) Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
- (YA) How Beautiful the Ordinary by various (collection of short stories)
- The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
- Holding Still for as Long as Possible by Zoe Whittall
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, etc
- Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (with a movie too!)
- Fun Home by Alison Bechdel [graphic novel]
- The Well of Loneliness by Radcylffe Hall
- Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
- Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey
- Miss Timmins’ School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy
- (YA) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
- (YA) The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
- (YA) Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
- (YA) Map of Ireland by Stephanie Grant
- (YA) Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
- (YA) Ash by Malinda Lo
- (YA) Huntress by Malinda Lo
- (YA) Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea
- Running with Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs (with a movie too!) [to read]
- Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown [to read]
- Saints Astray by Jacqueline Carey
- The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
- A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood (with a movie too!) [to read]
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
- Pembroke Park by Michelle Martin
- Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller
- The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif (with a movie too!)
- I Can’t Think Straight by Shamim Sarif (with a movie too!)
- Despite the Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif
- Blue Boy by Rakesh Satyal
- Sword of the Guardian by Merry Shannon
- The Princess Affair by Nell Stark
- The Night Watch by Sarah Waters
- Affinity by Sarah Waters (with a movie too!) [to read]
- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (with a movie too!) [to read]
- Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
- Roses and Thorns by Chris Anne Wolfe
- (YA) My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman
- (YA) Dare, Truth or Promise by Paula Boock
- (YA) Morning Rising (Guardian of Morning) by Samantha Boyette
- (YA) Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
- (YA) Brooklyn Burning by Steve Brezenoff [to read]
- (YA) Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
- (YA) Good Moon Rising by Nancy Garden
- (YA) The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
- (YA) Sister Mischief by Laura Goode [to read]
- (YA) Eon by Alison Goodman
- (YA) Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
- (YA) Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin
- (YA) The You Know Who Girls by Annameekee Hesik
- (YA) Down To the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole
- (YA) Adaptation by Malinda Lo
- (YA) Inheritance by Mailnda Lo
- (YA) Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle
- (YA) Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
- (YA) Between Mom and Jo by Julie Anne Peters
- (YA) RAGE: a Love Story by Julie Anne Peters
- (YA) Alanna by Tamora Pierce
- (YA) Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
- (YA) Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez [to read]
- (YA) When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M. Wilson
- (YA) How Beautiful the Ordinary by various (collection of short stories)
- (YA) The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves by many authors
Intersex, Crossdressing, Gender-Bending, and other Queer tales
- (YA) Debbie Harry Sings in French by Meagan Brothers [my thoughts here]
- (YA) Pantomime by Laura Lam
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- Annabel by Kathleen Winter [to read]
- The Transgender Child by Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper
- Gender Born, Gender Made by Diane Ehrensaft (recommended) [my thoughts here]
- Becoming a Visible Man by Jamison Green (recommended)
- Second Son by Ryan Sallans (recommended)
- Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron (recommended)
- Just Add Hormones by Matt Kailey [my review here]
- Nina Here Nor There by Nick Krieger
- Evolution’s Rainbow by Joan Roughgarden (recommended)
- As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto
- Transgender Rights by Paisley Currah and Shannon Price Minter
- Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon
- Love, Ellen by Betty Degeneres
- Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children edited by Rachel Pepper
- Balancing on the Mechitza edited by Noach Dzmura
- My Child is Transgender: 10 Tips for Parents of Adult Trans Children by Matt Kailey
- Butch is a Noun by S. Bear Bergman
- The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You by S. Bear Bergman
- Letters for My Brothers edited by Zander Keig, Trangress Press
Send me your suggestions or others you know about!
18 thoughts on “LGBTQIA Reading List”
I loved Annabel. The focus is on Wayne, and other characters, not so much on Wayne’s condition (he’s a true hermaphrodite), but of course that condition is always part of his story.
I’ve also got Huntress to read, it’s on my bookshelf. But I told myself I can’t start it until I write my paper due next week 😛 Did you get to read I Am J yet? Would it be worth buying it? (Since I’ve no idea when my library will process it.)
I plan to make posts on more of the books I’ve been reading for my YA queer lit survey, but to jump the gun, I looooved James St. James’ Freak Show. It has some triggery content (the main character is beaten into a coma and almost raped) and is yet the single most upbeat book I’ve read for my entire project. Billy (the narrator) is amazingly engaging, charming, and spirited. The book uses some typographical stuff like ALL CAPS, but it never felt gimmicky to me. And it had a happy ending!
Also, Middlesex made me remember that a while back (I hope that link works) Intersex Unicorn on Tumblr was taking questions about Middlesex and linking to reviews and stuff that said it was awful: that the character’s being intersex was used as a plot device, and that the author did zero research on being intersex and did not talk to anyone in the intersex community. I’ve since seen it referred to as using being intersex as a “cash cow”.
Don’t forget S. Bear Burgman’s second book, “The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You”. SO good! I have yet to read the first book, though. Also, have you read “I Am J”? I just finished it, and I loved it.
Thanks for all the suggestions! I’ll be sure to check them out and add them to my list. And maybe make this a sticky post for reference.
Yep, just finished ‘I Am J’ and will post a review soon. (Along with the 3 other books I finished this week… eek.) In sum: buy it. Or buy a Kindle and buy all of them.
I can also recommend the following books, which are all excellent:
– The Testosterone Files by Max Wolf Valerio
– Body Alchemy by Loren Cameron
– Dear Sir or Madam by Mark Rees
– In From the Wilderness by David E Weekly
GAY AND LESBIAN FICTION
– Silent Goodbyes by CC Saint-Claire
And just a note on Stone Butch Blues – strictly speaking it should be listed as literature not non-fiction. The author has stated and maintained that the book is not an autobiography but a work of fiction. It’s was the book that changed my life because I transitioned in the days before internet when books about transgender people were limited and the word ‘transgender’ was not even in the mainstream vocabulary yet. In those days I still had to order all my books about transgender topics from the UK and US because there was nothing available in bookshops in Australia.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have a backlog of books I need to add to the list as well.
Since I haven’t read all of them, sometimes I’m not sure what to classify it as, so thanks for pointing out “Stone Butch Blues” as fiction (Readers: If there are any other inconsistencies please let me know).
Along with a few others, it is definitely considered a “classic” as it allowed people to find and connect with their identity pre-internet information age. I don’t know if it would have as much of an impact on me today (or whether I would even like it) compared to the meaning it carried for other people back then, but a handful of books like those are of huge historical importance and still worth reading, regardless. For instance, I absolutely loved “The Well of Loneliness” and was even more astounded to learn about its historical context.
hey, pretty great list, but you’re missing ‘How to Say Goodbye in Robot’ for an asexual list xx
Thanks, I will check this one out. I think I’ve heard of it before.
‘Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You’ by Peter Cameron for grey-a/gay
Thanks for compiling this resource!
Ah, I’ve heard of this one. Did not know it was relevant to Gray-A’s, will check it out!
I know I wrote it, but Bumbling into Body Hair is my humorous memoir about my transition. There are so many memoirs out there, especially FTM ones, that purport to represent the entire trans narrative. My book was an attempt to deconstruct that narrative. While laughing at the ludicrousness of gender tropes.
so, this isn’t queer, but it’s such amazing YA fiction, i had to share: Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher.