Celebrate Pride Month With These Books Highlighting LGBTQIA+ Characters & Themes

June is Pride month! There are numerous ways you can celebrate and honor LGBTQIA+ lives, from displaying your rainbow flags to getting involved to enact laws that protect queer and transgender rights. Like many bookworms out there, I plan to read several books starring characters across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and discussing gender and sexuality from a nonfiction standpoint.

In case you need ideas on what to read, here is a list of numerous books – both fiction and nonfiction – that depict a range of sexualities and gender identities. The first section features books I have personally read; you can click each of them to read my full review. After that, I list out the recent novels on my radar with queer and transgender characters. Next are three memoirs by authors within the LGBTQIA+ community, and finally, some recent nonfiction about sexuality and gender.

Let me know what you’ll be reading this month and if there are any great books this list is missing!

Novels I’ve read with good LGBTQIA+ representation:

Honey Girl

One of the books that was on my radar for February 2021 was Honey Girl, the debut novel by Morgan Rogers. It seemed like it would be a cute story with depth, and I was thrilled when it was a pick on Book of the Month. But did Honey Girl live up to the hype?…

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Last summer is when I first heard about Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis. The paperback had just been published, though the hardcover had come out in September 2019. I was immediately interested in reading it. Not only am I constantly on the hunt for books set in South America (partially because my husband is from…

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The Air You Breathe

After I signed up for Book of the Month in early 2019, I started looking into their back catalogue of offerings, adding many books to my TBR. One novel that particularly caught my eye was The Air Your Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles. Brazil and music in the 1930s? Yes please! First offered in…

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Red, White, & Royal Blue

Okay guys, here’s the deal: I am so tired of politics and the Trump administration at this point. I just want it to end already. Or, better yet, I wish we could turn back time and have a different president right now. Alas, we can’t change the past, only the future (PLEASE VOTE). But thanks…

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The Death of Vivek Oji

Some books hit you differently. That’s absolutely true of Akwaeke Emezi’s latest novel, The Death of Vivek Oji. Their third novel overall – and second for adults – it examines a complex character before and after their death, before and after loved ones really knew who they were. Queer, gender-nonconforming people in 1990s Nigeria take…

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Girl, Serpent, Thorn

I’m ashamed to admit that when I first learned about Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust – upon becoming a July add-on for Book of the Month – it didn’t immediately capture my interest. It looked like it could be good, but I wasn’t sure if I’d take the time to find out. Thankfully, throughout…

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Felix Ever After

A few weeks ago, I fell into a vortex of finding books to recommend to my younger sister. One of those was Felix Ever After, a YA book by Kacen Callender. But though I originally wanted to get the novel for my sister, the story looked too good for me to pass up. I ordered…

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A Burning

One of my selections from June’s Book of the Month options was the debut novel from Megha Majumdar, A Burning. Set in India, this work of literary fiction tackles difficult themes that are all too relevant today. Political and social commentary collide when an act of terrorism leads to an innocent woman’s arrest, and readers…

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The Mercies

I have a goal for myself this year to travel more of the world through the books I read. I’ve read novels set in places as far apart as Ecuador, Nigeria, and Japan, but there are still so many countries I’ve never visited – in real life or even in my books. One day in…

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Under the Udala Trees

I have a long and ever-growing list of books I want, but, like many readers, I must admit that I tend to be drawn to the same three or four genres. So sometimes, it’s nice – and important – to get a fresh perspective thrust into your TBR. For my birthday last May, my sister…

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The Binding

A few months ago, I came across The Binding by Bridget Collins online, and I was immediately enraptured. It wasn’t out yet, but I counted down the days until I could buy it and read it. I’m in something of a historical fantasy mood lately, and The Binding was exactly what I needed in my…

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The Glass Woman

Continuing in my reading journey through history, and following two books set in the early 1600s (The Familiars and The Mercies), my next book took me to Iceland in 1686. I first discovered Caroline Lea’s The Glass Woman when I was perusing Barnes & Noble shortly before the holidays. I’d hoped to get it as…

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Recent fiction I want to read that stars LGBTQIA+ characters:

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

The Guncle by Steven Rowley
Sophie Gonzales - Perfect on Paper
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzalez

Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June

Heather Walter - Malice
Malice by Heather Walter
Bridget Collins - The Betrayals
The Betrayals by Bridget Collins

Eric Nguyen - Things We Lost to the Water
Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

Between Perfect & Real by Ray Stoeve
Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

P. J. Vernon - Bath Haus
Bath Haus by P. J. Vernon

Jonathan Parks-Ramage - Yes, Daddy
Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage
Zak Salih - Let’s Get Back to the Party
Let’s Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih

Robert Jones, Jr. - The Prophets
The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

Torrey Peters - Detransition, Baby
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Catherine Hernandez - Crosshairs
Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez

Alexandria Bellefleur - Written in the Stars
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Zeyn Joukhadar - The Thirty Names of Night
The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar
Aiden Thomas - Cemetery Boys
Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas

Darcie Little Badger - Elatsoe
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Alexis Hall - Boyfriend Material
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
Meryl Wilsner - Something to Talk About
Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

Vivek Shraya - The Subtweet
The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya

Recent memoirs I want to read by LGBTQIA+ authors:

Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi
Brandi Carlile - Broken Horses
Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile

Randa Jarrar - Love is an Ex-Country
Love is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar

Recent nonfiction I want to read highlighting LGBTQIA+ themes:

The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace Perry
Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary by Sasha Geffen

Angela Chen - Ace
Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen

Sasha Issenberg - Engagement
The Engagement: America’s Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage by Sasha Issenberg
Maddy Court - The Ex-Girlfriend of My Ex-Girlfriend is My Girlfriend
The Ex-Girlfriend of My Ex-Girlfriend is My Girlfriend: Advice on Queer Dating, Love, and Friendship by Maddy Court

Chloe O. Davis - The Queens' English
The Queens’ English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases by Chloe O. Davis

What books do you plan to read during Pride month this year? Are there any books this list is missing? Let me know in the comments!

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