In the words of the legendary Paris is Burning, reading is fundamental, so this World Book Day we’ve collated a list of some of our fave reads from LGBTQ+ authors and activists.
We urge you to support small bookshops if you can, we love Gay’s The Word and Glasshouse – links included!
OK, let’s get into the books…
This Book Is Gay – Juno Dawson
The perfect book to gift a younger friend or family member in the LGBTQ+ community, the wonderful Juno Dawson guides you through what it’s like to grow up LGBTQ+, and provides the answers to questions they wished they’d had. It’s hilarious, inclusive, and heartwarming – this book is a must read, and a necessary addition to school libraries around the country! And don’t miss Juno’s other Young Adult fiction series Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, if you love mystery, witches and delicious dark humour – this one is for you.
Rosewater – Liv Little
We all know Liv as the inspiring founder of gal-dem, but now she’s branched out and is a whole damn AUTHOR. Rosewater is Liv’s first novel, and explores friendship, family and community in a way that you’ve never seen before. It’s being shouted about from the rooftops as one of 2023’s most impressive debuts [obviously], so make sure this is on your read list!
Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride – Paul Flynn
If you’re looking for a history lesson, then look no further. Paul Flynn compiles over 30 years of queer history in this staple book, covering everything from memories from an AIDs ward in the 1980s, scandalous tales of pop icons hooking up, tabloid drama and more. A great place to start when it comes to swotting up on LGBTQ+ history in the UK.
The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta
Winner of the Stonewall Book Award, The Black Flamingo uses beautiful poetry to discuss identity, confidence and acceptance. It’s bold and powerful, with incredible illustrations complimenting the melodic rhythm of Dean Atta’s writing. This will be one you’ll never forget.
Manifesto for Misfits – Glyn Fussell
We couldn’t have a book list without including our Sink the Pink family, could we? Misfit leader Glyn Fussell has created a manifesto for everyone who’s been told they’re too much, too weird, too strange, too anything, and this book shouts from the rooftops that you are perfect in your own special way, and your quirks are your superheroes. Including snippets from icons including Lily Allen, Yungblud, Lady Phyll and more – Manifesto for Misfits isn’t just a book, it’s a way of life.
Transitional – Munroe Bergdorf
Another contender for book of 2023 is the incredible Munroe Bergdorf’s ‘Transitional’, which takes a look at the ways in which we all transition throughout our lives, and aims to demystify the concept of transitioning in an attempt to unite us all rather than focus on what separates us. It’s compelling, powerful, educational and emotional – basically, a must read.
None of The Above – Travis Alabanza
Performance artist extraordinaire Travis Alabanza’s memoir ‘None of the Above’ dives into statements and words that have been said throughout their life, diving into the meaning of this when you live as a non-binary person in a world that tries to fit you into one box. It’s profound, hilarious, heartbreaking, and told with a candor like no other memoir. A brilliant insight into gender boundaries.
Of course we could go on and on with other excellent books from our fave authors, but here’s a starting point. Let us know what you pick up!