11 LGBTQ+ Stories by Queer Authors!

There’s a lot that one could talk about when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. Such things that come to mind are stories about pride, about shame, about various kinds of queer phobias, about hate crimes, or even a prominent disease like HIV/AIDS. I’d like to think that part of Pride Month is about reading the various stories that others have shared to acknowledge and understand those that are non-binary or non-heteronormative. That being said, here are eleven LGBTQ+ stories to get you started!

 

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1. we still leave a legacy by philip robinson

This collection of stories is by a well-known black and gay poet and activist, one who dedicated his stories to all his friends that left this world, either due to HIV/AIDS, cancer, or some other condition. Robinson began writing this book thirty years ago when he volunteered to work with HIV/AIDS patients and became an activist. This particular heart-wrenching book pays tribute to all the people Robinson came across in life that died young.

 

 

 

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2. lord of the butterflies by andrea gibson

This book is written by a queer spoken-word poet, whose captivating collection of writings takes an artistic look at gender, love, heartbreak, and family. Within her prose, Gibson takes on the controversial issues we face as a society.

 

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3. boss broad by meghan volpert

This collection of forty poems was written by an acclaimed queer feminist poet and author, who cleverly utilizes pop-culture references from Bruce Springsteen lyrics to Stephen Colbert. In these poems, she tries to examine interjections of spirituality in progressive politics.

 

 

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4. tell me again how a crush should feel: a novel by sara farizan

Written by a queer author, this fictional story follows protagonist, Leila, who made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without crushing on anyone. As an Iranian-American, she faces enough difficulty with others, but it would be so much harder if anyone found out she liked girls. However, when she meets Saskia, she begins taking risks she never knew she would. After confiding in her friends about her truth, she finds out that others have kept surprising secrets themselves.

 

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5. dearest lenny: letters from japan and the making of the world maestro by mari yoshihara

This collection of letters offers a never-before-seen look on the life of world-renowned classical musician Leonard Bernstein. The letters, between two unknown Japanese individuals, reveal the famous maestro’s personal life and relationships in an intimate way. One of the people who sent him letters was Kazuko Amano, a woman who started sending Bernstein fan letters in 1947. She became a close family friend. The other, Kunihiko Hashimoto, was a young man who fell in love with Bernstein in the late 1970’s and became his business representative.

 

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6. nonbinary memoirs of gender and identity by micah rajunov and scott duane

This book is a collection of first-person narratives that explores the lives of individuals across various gender spectrums. The book is divided into five sections, and they range from trying to define our concepts of gender to greater acceptance in mainstream media. There are stories dealing with self-realization and coming out, creating one’s own person, learning how to stand up, and also stand out.

 

 

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7. “What it’s like to be a native trans woman on thanksgiving” by Arielle Twist

This story, posted on them., is a collection of poems and prose split up into four years. Arielle Twist, a trans femme poet and sex educator, starts off with 2014, and ends her writing in 2017, all the while discussing her emotions, the transphobia she faces from people at work or in the family, to broader issues like gender and romance. It offers a great chance of understanding the struggles of someone who is transgender.

 

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8. disintegrate/dissociate by Arielle Twist

This collection of poetry, from the same author, was originally part of Arsenal Pulp Press’s series of works exclusively written by queer BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). Twist delves into the intricacies of being human. She explores trauma, grief, displacement, and identity–both cultural and sexual. She also navigates what it means to be an Indigenous trans woman in our modern world.

 

 

 

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9. “the poetics of sex” by jeanette winterson

This short story was originally written as a contribution to Granta’s Best Of Young British Novelist issue, published in 1993. Winterson’s “The Poetics of Sex” deals with social stigma around sex, as well as debunking stereotypes associated with homosexuality. It is narrated in first-person by Sappho, and it is filled with graphic details of her same-sex relationship with Picasso. Winterson’s use of allusions, double entendres, and vulgar images gives those who read it a sort of slap in the face, and reinvents a space where lesbians can exist authentically.

 

 

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10. best american gay fiction by brian bouldrey

This book from 1996 is a collection of twenty-one pieces, ranging from excerpts of then-recently published novels, to original short stories, to fictionalized memoir, reflecting the emotional and literary diversity of gay writing. Bouldrey chose work by the already famous such as Andrew Holleran and Dale Peck, cult writers such as Kevin Killian, and up-and-coming authors such as Kolin M. Ohi and Tom House.

 

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11. incomplete short stories and essays by jamie berrout

This book is a collection of short stories and essays that explores themes like experiences of being a trans woman of color or navigating oppressive structures. The short story portion includes over eighty entries written in styles like sci-fi, horror, autobiography, and more. The essay portion features in-depth writing on books by trans authors such as Janet Mock, Dane Figueroa Edidi, or Ryka Aoki.

 

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