Spending your summer visiting the best cities to celebrate gay pride? A few things to do before embarking on your trip: First off, bookmark our guide to the best gay clubs in America. Secondly, grab a copy of each one of these 10 LGBT books everybody should read to get even more educated on the subject. In case your summer solely involves laying out on the best beaches in the USA, worry not: These picks work as perfect beach reads as well.
LGBT books to read
A novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Michael Cunningham, A Home at the End of the World depicts the lives of childhood friends Bobby and Jonathan. After college, Bobby moves in with Jonathan, who is gay, and his roommate Clare. Once Clare and Bobby fall in love and have a child, they move upstate with Jonathan to raise their kid together.
Expect a powerful memoir by the Cuban writer, who recounts his childhood in a poverty-stricken part of rural Cuba, his years fighting for Fidel Castro, his time in jail given his homosexuality and his eventually move to New York. After reading, check out the eponymous film starring Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp.
Mehta’s debut novel focuses on Kiran Shah, a gay Indian-American boy navigating life in the 1980s and 1990s. Born in Western New York to Indian immigrants, Shah eventually travels to India, where he meets a teenage member of “India’s ancient transgender community” that helps him discover himself in new and unexpected ways.
This collection of essays by a group of community leaders, scholars and activists—a follow-up to 2005’s Black Queer Studies—explores the black queer experience across its many facets, also touching upon themes of gentrification, pornography, the carceral state and more.
Graphic novel fans will appreciate this daring work about gentrification in Toronto, Canada—a topic seen through the eyes of two surreal, demon-like characters. The cartoonist's debut autobiographical work, Hungry Bottom Comics, was nominated for the Doug Wright Spotlight Award back in 2013.
Lazi, the book’s anonymous lesbian narrator, draws readers into her secluded life while a student at one of Taiwan’s most prestigious universities. After falling in love with Shui Ling, an older female classmate, Lazi battles with the guilt she feels while also establishing a unique set of friendships. The classic Taiwanese book is told through Lazi’s own notebooks.
The inspiration behind the eponymous 1992 movie starring Tilda Swinton, Orlando: A Biography was first published in 1928 and has steadfastly remained one of the author's most popular novels. It tells the story of Orlando—a poet who changes sex and lives for centuries while meeting some of literature's most famous personalities—in satirical form.
A seminal novel that still defines the genre over 50 years since its first publication, City of Night chronicles the adventures of an unnamed narrator based on Rechy, himself at the time a male prostitute, as he travels through New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans.
The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World, Second Edition by Alan Downs
Psychologist Alan Downs pens a survival guide of sorts, focusing on gay pride, discussing his own journey and outlining the “three stages to emotional well-being for gay men.” This second edition includes portions about gay marriage and more.
The reader is catapulted into the life of George, a middle-aged professor who has to come to terms with the tragic death of his young partner, for a single day. Set in Southern California in 1962, the novel was turned into a film by fashion designer and director Tom Ford in 2009.