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May 31, 2022

LGBTQIA+ Book Recommendations for Pride Month


June is Pride Month for the LGBTQIA+ community, and believe me, we need it. Yes, “we.” I am the A in the acronym, which stands for asexual (not ally, a common misconception that erases asexual people). With heterosexuality celebrated every day of every year for the past two thousand years or more, those of us on the LGBTQ+ spectrum need and deserve a month to be proud of who we are, love ourselves for who we are, celebrate ourselves for who we are, and to be unapologetic about it.

We need this month.

We need community.

We need true allies.

We need books!

Books written by LGBTQ+ authors and/or with LGBTQ+ characters are the most challenged and banned books EVER. That’s not an exaggeration. LGBTQ+ content dominates each year’s list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books curated by the American Library Association, along with books about racism and books about BIPOC people. In 2019, 8 of the 10 titles that made the list had LGBTQ+ content or characters in them. In 2020, the word/phrase most used in censorship reports was “LGBTQIA+.” This is only getting worse, but it won’t stop kids or readers from reading whatever the hell they want to read!

I support the LGBTQIA+ community.

I support LGBTQIA+ authors.

I support LGBTQIA+ books.

Let’s celebrate the freedom to love our way and the freedom to read!

This post is packed with LGBTQIA+ book recommendations for you to add to your TBR list, read, review, recommend to others, gift to loved ones, share with young readers, donate to Little Free Libraries, and request at your local library.

There’s so many books that I didn’t have space for blurbs or short descriptions. I organized the titles into groups based on where they fall on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum and used Bookshop’s widgets that you can scroll through. Then you click on the covers of the titles that catch your eye and read more about them on Bookshop.

***This is not an exhaustive list but rather a starting point.***

Enjoy!


First, I have to shout out this great non-fiction book:


Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride, and Protest in the Fight For Queer Rights

Buy @ BookShop

My Review: This book is fabulous. This is a history of queer rights that was needed and is needed. I learned knew things and expanded my knowledge on others. There’s so much here that’s not readily known, and for a reason, because it was history that had been buried on purpose or it was taboo to discuss.

For instance, we all know about Hitler’s terrifying reign in which Jewish people, Polish people, people of color, people with disabilities, and queer people were targeted. While the fact that queer people were targeted is mentioned (most of the time), it’s never really discussed. Like how 5,000-15,000 men were sent to concentration camps for being gay, and when the war ended and the camps closed, they weren’t often freed but sent straight to prison for being (or assumed) gay. They are “forgotten victims of the Nazis.” 

This book covers a lot including the Stonewall Riots, the AIDS crisis, voguing, the rainbow flag, Pride marches, the LGBTQ+ acronym, prominent figures, and more.


LGBTQIA+ BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:


L (Lesbian):


G (Gay):


B (Bisexual):


T (Transgender):


Q (Queer):


I (Intersex):


A (Asexual):


P (Pansexual):



FREE CLASSROOM EXTRAS from Twinkl.com: 






Let’s fight against the ridiculous laws passing in states that prevent teachers from discussing gender and sexuality or affirming their LGBTQIA+ students!


FOR MORE INFO ON BANNED BOOKS:

Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists - American Library Association

State of America’s Libraries 2020 - American Libraries Magazine

Infograph of Censorship Trends - American Library Association






When I heard this song recently after watching the animated version of Mulan, I had the thought that these lyrics could speak so deeply to the LGBTQIA+ community, especially to transgender people. I am adding it here at the end of my post for trans people and anyone who has ever looked at their reflection and not seen who they are on the inside. 

With love,

Chrys








BOOK BANNING NEWS UPDATE:


I don’t often buy new copies of books. I’m a devoted library patron, and I also love to give used books a new home, but people aggressively going after All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson by filing CRIMINAL COMPLAINTS and threatening legal action put a fire in me. I used part of my June donation money to buy a hardcover copy of All Boys Aren’t Blue from Barnes & Noble. I’ll be getting it in time to read it for the Queer Lit Readathon hosted by @queer_lit on Instagram from June 5 - 11. 

And if you haven’t heard…

A Virginia legislator is suing Barnes & Noble to stop them from selling Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas to minors.

Gender Queer was the #1 most challenged book of 2021 for its LGBTQIA+ content.

From what I understand, a judge has tentatively decided that the books are “obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors” and has requested more evidence to make a final decision on whether or not the books may be sold or possessed in Virginia, by either minors or adults. 

If the judge decides these books are “obscene,” you’ll risk criminal prosecution if you sell or possess these books. If successful, more books with queer characters WILL face the same action in VA. But not just there… If successful, this will ripple out to other states. Well, I got one thing to say to that…CHARGE ME.

I don’t live in VA, but I do live in Florida where a woman was the first to file criminal complaints and wanted All Boys Aren’t Blue to be investigated as a CRIME to be in high school libraries.

These books are not harming children. You know what is? GUNS. You know what else is? RACISM. AND TRANSPHOBIA. AND HOMOPHOBIA.



QUESTIONS: Have you read any of these books? Are you adding any of these books to your TBR list? What LGBTQIA+ books have you read and enjoyed? Do you identify as LGBTQIA+? (You don’t have to answer the last question if you’re not ready to share that yet, if you haven’t come out online or elsewhere.❤️)



13 comments:

  1. That's quite the list. Wow.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Liz! It took quite a bit of work.

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  3. That's an impressive list of books you've made, Chrys. I live in Idaho and have to shake my head at the parents who try to ban LGBTQIA+ books from schools. I find it ridiculous and intolerant. I've talked to my kids about the meaning of the different letters, and openly talk about the people in our lives--like how Laura is now Brian and goes by He, and yes, he is still married to Amber and Amber still loves him. I tell them about my old church youth pastor who stepped down from his role the day he came out as gay, and the way my parents were horrified because "He's supposed to be a Christian!" I've explained being gay isn't a choice. I explain that Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who likes both men and women, human or not. I've talked to my age-appropriate daughter about safe sex and precautions, and how it's perfectly okay not to want sex at all, because some people don't.

    I try to do my part so that hopefully the next generation is more accepting than the one that came before me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is amazing, Loni. I applaud you. If I ever have or care for children, I hope to have the same conversations with them as you have with your kids. You’re doing amazing. ❤️

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  5. It sure is, Damyanti. A well-deserved festive month. 🥳

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another fantastic compilation of books!

    I really enjoyed Red, White & Royal Blue. It's been a while since I read it, but I remember having a hard time putting it down.

    Quite a few of these other titles are sitting on my bookshelves, waiting very patiently for me to pick them up.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Quite the extensive list. I actually have a few of these. I’m not for censorship, and that’s what this is.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @M.J., Red, White, & Royal Blue is a book I plan/hope to read soon.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Toi, thank you for your comment. I agree. Book banning is a kind of censorship, which should be illegal. No one, not a government official or politician or school or judge, should be allowed to ban books.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Chrys - apologies for taking quite so long getting here ... I'm really grateful for this list and your brief overview summaries, also I enjoyed the comments and other thoughts.

    We've just introduced a 50p coin here - that was going to be for collectors, but the Royal Mint has decided to bring it into legal tender ...

    If you're interested and would like to look it is here:

    https: //www.ianvisits.co.uk/articles/five-million-commemorative-pride-50p-coins-going-into-general-circulation- 55293/

    I've de-linked it ... but means you can look if you'd like to ...

    I do hope all is peaceful for you both ... take care and all the best to you and your mother - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  11. The people who censor/ban books still don't get that preventing kids and teens from reading these books often just makes them want to read those books even more. I remember when I was a kid, Judy Blume's books were often banned, which is why I read as many of them as I could find.

    I recently read a teen horror novel called My Dearest Darkest, and it focuses on two teenage girls who go to a boarding school and end up falling for each other. It was a really good book, not only because of how the author, Kayla Cottingham, depicted their relationship but also because the plot seriously scared me. (It wasn't the romantic relationship that scared me; it was all the scary things that happened to the teens and their friends in this book that freaked me out.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm not sure if the comment I wrote on here went through, so if you get two comments from me on this post, feel free to delete one of them. I wrote in my other comment that I recently read the teen horror novel My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham, which is about two teenage girls who meet at boarding school and fall for each other. For one of them in particular it helps her realize that she is gay because she hadn't fully realized it before. Also, the book was really good not just because of the way it depicted the relationship but also because of all the scary things that happened to the teens in the book.

    ReplyDelete

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