This Sunday tag is created and run by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. There are some very interesting and fun prompts coming up this autumn so check it out. Today’s topic is to recommend some LGBT books.
Let’s dive into the list of my 6 most recommended LGBT books.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
This is a picture book and it made me cry!! I don’t cry easily, but it just hits the right spot. Just right there.
In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.
While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a periwinkle curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes—and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.
The Well of Lonliness by Radclyff Hall
A lesbian classic!
But its so much more. It’s a story of strong women. A story of society moving from horse and cart to cars. About women during the first world war, on the front lines! It’s a story about Paris during the interwar period. It’s a social history with a melancholy love story on top. It’s a semi-autobiography of the author and was banned before published in 1928 after an obscure trail. Radclyff Hall almost ended up in jail over the gay content and almost ended up the same way as Oscar Wild.
BTW, this book is almost going out of print due to people not knowing about it! Read it!!
New to Penguin Modern Classics, the seminal work of gay literature that sparked an infamous legal trial for obscenity and went on to become a bestseller. The Well of Loneliness tells the story of tomboyish Stephen (yes, she is a woman), who hunts, wears trousers and cuts her hair short – and who gradually comes to realise that she is attracted to women. Charting her romantic and professional adventures during the First World War and beyond, the novel provoked a furore on first publication in 1928 for its lesbian heroine and led to a notorious legal trial for obscenity. Hall herself, however, saw the book as a pioneer work and today it is recognised as a landmark work of gay fiction. This Penguin edition includes a new introduction by Maureen Duffy.
‘The archetypal lesbian novel’ – Times Literary Supplement
‘One of the first and most influential contributions of gay and lesbian literature’ – New Statesman
Radclyffe Hall was born in 1880. After an unhappy childhood, she inherited her father’s estate and from then on was free to travel and live as she chose. She fell in love and lived with an older woman before settling down with Una Troubridge, a married sculptor. Hall wrote many books but is best known for The Well of Loneliness, first published in 1928. She died in 1943 and is buried in Highgate Cemetery in London.
Me by Elton John
I read this after watching Rocketman which I think is the right order. Taron Egerton who plays Elton John in the movie, narrated his audiobook too which made it feel more streamlined. Elton’s work with the Aids foundation is amazing and his fight for queer rights in Russia is somehow never fought against. On top of that he has an hilarious relationship with Rod Stewart. Taron Egerton, in several location, tries not to laugh but fails to let the giggle come through his narration at the funniest parts.
In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the upcoming film Rocketman . The result is Me – the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time.
Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was on his first tour of America, facing an astonished audience in his tight silver hotpants, bare legs and a T-shirt with ROCK AND ROLL emblazoned across it in sequins. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again.
His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade.
In Me Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.
Quick and Easy Guide to Queer & Trans Identities by Mady G and J. R. Zuckerberg
This graphic novel covers everything is a cute and easy way. I learned something myself and I loved the part about my own sexual orientation. The entire book is shouting tolerance and acceptance!
In this quick and easy guide to queer and trans identities, cartoonists Mady G and JR Zuckerberg guide you through the basics of the LGBT+ world! Covering essential topics like sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and navigating relationships, this guide explains the spectrum of human experience through informative comics, interviews, worksheets, and imaginative examples. A great starting point for anyone curious about queer and trans life, and helpful for those already on their own journeys!
I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya
This super short non-fiction book packs a bunch. Vivek Shraya has an amazing ability to find the perfect words to describe feelings and events that just blows my mind! It’s so worth a read!!! and did I mention it’s super short? like 96 pages…. Why haven’t you read this yet?!?
A trans artist explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a boy and continues to haunt her as a girl–and how we might re-imagine gender for the twenty-first century.
Vivek Shraya has reason to be afraid. Throughout her life she’s endured acts of cruelty and aggression for being too feminine as a boy and not feminine enough as a girl. In order to survive childhood, she had to learn to convincingly perform masculinity. As an adult, she makes daily compromises to steel herself against everything from verbal attacks to heartbreak.
With raw honesty, Shraya delivers an important record of the cumulative damage caused by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia, releasing trauma from a body that has always refused to assimilate. I’m Afraid of Men is a journey from camouflage to a riot of color and a blueprint for how we might cherish all that makes us different and conquer all that makes us afraid.
Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness
I love this human! I love his Instagram, his cats, his way of being, and I love Queer Eye (anyone seen the newest season????). But this book is so much more. It’s a story about a queer child and teen in a world where he was not wanted and needed. About the struggles of being a queer young adult trying to figure out where they fit into society and how they can removed themselves from it, but also why they shouldn’t.
It’s narrated by JVN himself and in the most difficult part of his story you can hear his voice crack and hear him struggle to say things out loud. He has not had an easy life but he doesn’t let that define him. He carries on and uses his platform the learn and teach others.
‘Over The Top [is] a lightning bolt – devastating and stirring … generous and frank.’ The Guardian
Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to be the radiant human he is today? No one, honey.
The truth is, it hasn’t always been gorgeous for this beacon of positivity and joy.
Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye , Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so…over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma – yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.
Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there’s much more to him than meets the Queer Eye.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, you’re strong, and you’ve got this.
What do you think?
Let me know!