Pride is a celebration that reminds us to honor the experiences and contributions of people in the LGBTQIA+ community. Our Pride reading list offers entertainment and insight in a wide range of genres.
This June, we wanted to use Pride Month as inspiration to read more about queer lives, stories, and insights. We’ve gathered a reading list of great books to give you a place to start, but there are so many more out there! We hope this list will be a springboard to some new favorite reads for you.
The Memoir: Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
With unflinching honesty and moving prose, Janet Mock relays her experiences of growing up young, multiracial, poor, and trans in America.
The Graphic Novel: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
The groundbreaking, bestselling graphic memoir that charts the fraught relationship between cartoonist Alison Bechdel and her late father. So brilliant that it became a Broadway musical of the same name!
The Recovery Trailblazer: Out From Under: Sober Dykes and Our Friends by Jean Swallow
This book remains the first and only book specifically about lesbian recovery and Jean Swallow was a visionary ahead of her time.
The Historian: We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown
There are lots of history books out there, but very few honor that truth that black trans women were front and center in the queer liberation movement. Through the lenses of protest, power, and pride, We Are Everywhere is an essential and empowering introduction to the history of the fight for queer liberation.
The Women Studies Minor: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change.
The Slam Poets: Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson and Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith
Gibson provides artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, while Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power.
The Pioneer: Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
Published in 1993, this brave, original novel is considered to be the finest account ever written of the complexities of a transgendered existence.
The Cult Classic: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Read the book that became the movie, Carol! A chance encounter between two lonely women leads to a passionate romance in this lesbian cult classic.
The Binary Buster: Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color.
The Poet Turned Novelist: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
With stunning urgency and grace, Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are.
YA Powerhouse: All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia.
The Classic: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
In the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality.
The Love Stories: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman and Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Aciman tells the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera (which has since been made into a popular film), and Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married woman.
The Personal is Political: And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts
Shilts’ expose revealed why AIDS was allowed to spread unchecked during the early 80’s while the most trusted institutions ignored or denied the threat. One of the few true modern classics, it changed and framed how AIDS was discussed in the following years.