Great LGBTQ Literature

We are only new (2019). Sorry. So that means we are starting off by linking to the BEST LGBTQ books already out there. As time goes by, we hope to fill this list with YOUR books. But for now, to get an idea of the kind of thing WE LOVE, why not take a look at some of the following and maybe even buy one or two of them and have a good read. These are must read books for everyone who loves serious literature whether you, as reader, are LGBTQ or not. (Authors: This is the kind of stuff we want more of!)

Buy. Read. Enjoy!


'Some new books'

(2018) 'Blonde boy, red lipstick' - reflecting back on a romance set in the 1980s. This book is unique as far as we know. Why? Because this is written by a straight guy and tells the story of a relationship he had with a transfem boy. That makes this the first book of it's kind, ever. EVER. Is it any good? YES! This is a book you just cannot put down, wonderful stuff. Gotta be the Trans book of the decade yet still, incredibly, without a publisher - which just goes to show what a crazy world we all live in. As for us? We can't wait for the sequel!

(2012) 'Being Emily' - we had to include a book about TRANSITION, there are quite a few out there and, normally, it's not the kind of book we read. Why? Because being LGBTQ is not just about being a victim or about hurt and suffering, it is also very very much about living a 'normal' life and doing all the things people do. How-ever, having said all that, if you want to read a story about transition then THIS is the one to read Why? Firstly because it IS optimistic and not at all doom and gloom. Second, because it's so beautifully written and so wonderfully well-paced.

'Older books'

(1982) 'Annie on my mind' - according to Wikipedia this is a book which has never been out of print. And rightly so. The subject of book burning in Kansas, Annie is a major Young Adult work which portrays LGBTQ as something wholly normal - which, of course, it is. The story is about two teenage girls, in love and living in New York. There is much more to the story than that, however, as there is also a brilliant depiction of the difference between the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS, as one girl is from uptown and one is (very much) from downtown. We don't want to tell you how things pan out, because that would spoil the book, but this is a MUST read for teens, for parents, for anyone really who loves a GREAT BOOK!

(1979) 'The Twyborn Affair' - gender fluidity at it's most fluid. This hugely important book starts with a boy, Eddie. He thens goes on, as a different persona, to marry a man. It doesn't stop there. As a man, once more, he fights in the war.. before finding himself in a VERY masculine world. A little later, and he is a she again. Only now she is a madam running a brothel. It might sounds a bit far-fetched - actually it isn't! - but the way it explores gender and how gender affects our lives is a masterpiece. ONE person can have very many sides. A landmark in gender fluid literature.

(1963) 'City of Night' - ooh, the Beat generation LGBTQ classic. It's of it's time, so if you don't like the Jack Kerouacs and Alan Ginsbergs of this world, this might not be for you. But I LOVE those, and I LOVE this. Shows the dark side of city life which never seems to change or get any lighter and features the (in)famous Do-Nuts 'riot' - where the LGBTQ community said 'enough is enough'. Helped launch the gay rights movement. A book to read at night. Why? Because you need to feel it as you read it. So go and sit in a diner or cafe at night and feel a bit low... then read this. See?

(1943) 'Our Lady of the flowers' - haven't read it? Like challenging literature? Then you simply have to read this. Jean Genet's style far from easy but it is more than worth it. The range of characters - as others have put it "a coterie of homosexuals and drag queens" - who are often thieves, murderers, prostitutes provides quite a shocking wake-up to the currently reactionary modern mind; no, voila, none of this is NEW. LGBTQ folk have been here forever, darlings. And are not going to go away anytime soon. More than any of that, we love the whole DIVINE story, and the way Genet (for who knows quite what reasons) is soooo sympathetic to his often rather nasty misfits, waifs and strays. Read it. Make up your own minds.

(1928) 'The Well of Loneliness' - hmmm, nothing ever changes, does it? When this wonderful book came out the right wing press were up in arms - "better to feed your children ACID than let them read this". Needless to say, the courts banned the book too. A Lesbian classic, Stephen is a woman who lives a man's life and loves women. You can imagine how isolation and rejection are not far away...

(1914) 'Maurice' - written in 1914 but not published for many years due to (yes, again) the homophobic establishment. E M Forster's book is now a gay literary classic. Turned into a film in the 80s, starring Hugh Grant, the story tells about a man who realises he is gay, and tries to 'cure' himself of that whilst all the time, falling more in love with another man. This is also about class and stuff like blackmail. Hidden for years, it is a very worthwhile read.

(1835) 'Mademoiselle de Maupin' - read this classic at college and was I shocked! This (like all our other book choices) is not about oiled-up bodies and rippling muscles - you can find that stuff elsewhere. This is a well-written tale about the French opera star of the same name who lived her life disguised as a man... The authour may have toned things down a little but YES this is an early LGBTQ classic, Make no mistake about that!