TDA Recommends: LGBTQ+ Graphic Novels


Tasnia Shahrin


While we are living in the 21st century, it’s a matter of great disappointment that the members of the LGBTQ+ community are still misunderstood and seen as the “weird ones” by many. Not only they are often brutally ridiculed and bullied, but they are also deprived of their human rights, such as the right to freedom, right to practice desired sexual orientation, etc. Keeping in mind about these inequalities, many artists such as singers, authors, and poets have raised their voices through their art.

As literature is considered to be a powerful medium to revolt and establish equality, this list provides a number of graphic novel recommendations that deals with pivotal matters, such as homosexuality, struggles of coming out, homophobia, etc. 

 

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

This graphic novel is gorgeously illustrated, with some lovely art of space that I THINK that you will definitely end up taking pictures of for Instagram. Walden, a manga-influenced comic artist makes use of a lyrical style to tell a story about Mia, a crew-member, who once fell in love with a girl named Grace. This book shows their struggle to save the society, as well as to recover this lost love.  

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin

This is a tale of two grandmothers who fell in love at a 1963 church bingo night, discontinued the relationship, got their separate ways, and reunite 50 years later. The reason for their separation is really heart-breaking — the suppressive society that demands “straightness” from them. With its clever art-style, this book portrays a lot of diverse representations, which makes it a must-read for all the young-adults.

 

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang 

This adorable story of Prince Sebastian and Frances takes place in late 19th century France, which gives the story a slightly fairytale vibe.  The two characters were lovable and help each other become the best versions of themselves. And, of course, the highlight of the book is how respectfully gender identity is discussed by portraying the hegemonic views of the society.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel 

Fun Home is a clever mixture of autobiography and a mega-engaging graphic novel. It is about a daughter’s efforts to make sense of her father’s life and death, as well as of growing up feeling uncomfortable in her own skin. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. The plot, then, shows the trauma of feeling like you are different because of your sexuality and being afraid of acknowledging it for a fear that everything might change. It’s a beautiful story of coming to terms with who you are, while remembering a man who never really had that luxury.

 

Transposes by Dylan Edwards

In Transposes, Dylan Edwards tells the stories of queer men and the diversity of their lifestyles.  He sheds light on their struggles which always needed an artistic representation in this hegemonic world. He tells their stories with humour, poignancy, and insight that make this book really fun to read.

 

Because the unspoken stories of the LGBTQ community are considered sensitive, but nevertheless extremely important, graphic novels are a captivating medium to shed light on these matters. With amusing illustrations and short yet thought-provoking dialogue, they convey so much for the community that readers all around the world are recommended to give them a read.

 


Tasnia is a proud Slytherin who loves binging on poetry and graphic novels in her free time.

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