Happy Pride month! It’s time to celebrate and recognize the importance of the LGBTQ+ community with a big parade and plenty of rainbows. In YA, more and more authors are including LGBTQ+ leads and characters, giving them a voice and platform to share their important stories with us. Below are 11 novels that focus on the hardships and the achievements of
1) Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Bechdel’s graphic novel is a memoir of her life growing up in rural Pennsylvania, her relationship with her father, and her first relationship with another woman. Fun Home became so popular that it has been turned into a musical, which toured across the United States.
2) Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
When two Mexican-American boys Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza and Dante Quintana meet at their local public pool, they soon learn that they have more in common than just their classical names. In this coming of age novel the boys struggle with identity, sexuality, and family relationships — but they always have each other.
3) The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
After losing her parents, Cameron Post is sent to live with her conservative aunt in Miles City, Montana. After it’s discovered that she and her best friend Coley are in a relationship, she is sent to a camp dedicated to using conversion therapy, which Cameron fights against.
4) Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown
Joanna has been proudly out for years now, but when her family moves to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, her family asks her to lie low. Joanna planned on keeping her promise, that is until she met the perfect girl.
5) How To Repair A Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis
Abel and Brandon set out on a six-week road trip following the fan convention for their favorite sci-fi series Castaway Planet. While on the road they record their many adventures on their fan vlog, including some moments of a budding romance. Is it just their love of Castaway Planet, or are their feelings for each other non-fiction?
6) The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
In Williamson’s novel, two transgender teens are facing obstacles from their family and the kids at school left and right. Together, they form the most unbreakable bond based on support, courage, and the mission to decide for themselves what “normal” really means.
7) None of the Above by I. W. Gergorio
Kristin Lattimer is voted the homecoming queen, receives a full scholarship to college, and is in love with her boyfriend. After their first time doesn’t go as planned, it is discovered that Kristin is intersex. Word travels fast around the entire school, which places a whole new pressure on Kirstin as she comes to terms with who she is.
8) Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
In a gender-rigid futuristic society run by the “Gov,” fifteen-year-old bender Kvali doesn’t know who she is or how she identifies. Things become more interesting when her first friend becomes her first love.
9) Drag Teen by Jeffery Self
JT feels like his life is going nowhere. His parents aren’t supportive of him, he has no money, and his boyfriend’s life looks like it will go perfectly — without him. His only option is clear, he must become Miss Drag Teen. In a race up the east coast with his boyfriend Seth and their friend Heather must make it to New York City so JT has a chance at success.
10) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Miller re-tells the story of the Greek warrior Achilles and his triumphs at the battle of Troy. What is also told is his love story with Patroclus, and in doing so explores the limitations of LGBTQ+ storytelling.
11) They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
On September 5th, Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio both receive a call from Death-Cast that they’re going to die. When the guys meet up using Last Friend, their final adventure on Earth is more than they could have ever thought possible.