One way to show support for the LGBTQ+ community this month (and always) is to make sure their stories are heard. So to help you pick the right book, here are some Pride month themed book recommendations.
Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
A sweet, slow-burn romance that shows the beauty of the romantic relationship between Jo and Emma. Jo is renowned in Hollywood since she became a TV star early in her life. Emma is her assistant. The two are proclaimed a couple by the media when a picture circulates of Jo making Emma laugh. It’s supposedly a scandal, but that gives rise to their sweet bond defying every stigma attached to same-sex relationships.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
This is a beautiful story with a powerful transgender representation. It is a story of Felix who is black and queer-transgender. People tend to forget that queer-trans people of colour have it the hardest, because they receive way more hate than others in the community. Now, that’s not to say that white LGBTQ+ people don’t have it tough, of course they do, but they still have privileges that people of colour don’t have. The fact that this was covered in the book makes it a perfect read for a month that has both the essence of Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
This young adult book is about Nishat, a Bengali girl who lives in Ireland and who enjoys creating henna designs. She has an insta-crush on Flávia, a Brazilian girl who attends Nishat’s school. The relationship between the two girls was described with such honesty which is hard to find in YA books. You will be able to clearly understand both girls’ struggles in regard to their relationship, and truly feel for the community through them.
Storytelling at its rawest, All Boys Aren’t Blue is a powerful book that discusses varieties of important topics from sexual discovery to family dynamics to internalised homophobia through short essays and anecdotes. Johnson shares stories from his childhood and his own experiences, then explores and relates them to issues others might be struggling with. The storytelling style is unembellished and blunt. No words are wasted and the message hits home, making it a perfect read for Pride month.
Cal is a successful social media journalist with over half a million followers. But he doesn’t just make discussion over any topic, rather he really uses social media to make a difference. But his whole life is about to be turned upside down when Cal’s father has just been selected as an astronaut for a possible NASA mission to Mars, so the agency is relocating all of the astronauts and their families to Houston. There he meets Leon, the son of another astronaut, and they fall for each other quickly and intensely. But Leon has his own struggles to deal with, and when Cal realises he needs to use his online fame to right some wrongs, he doesn’t realise how that might put other things at risk, including his relationship with Leon.
This book provides with the flush of first love between two boys, the emotional struggles many have to deal with, and the excitement of getting to explore unknown territory – which shows how diverse the books related to the theme of Pride month can be.
We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia
This novel is not a romance, despite what its gorgeous cover may indicate, neither is it a typical contemporary YA coming-of-age story either. Of course, it encompasses both of these elements, but there is one big aspect that sets it apart from the rest of these genres—this book remembers how to be a teenager. This book speaks for every socially anxious, over-analytic, self-conscious, bisexual thought any teenager would ever go through.
The story revolves around Nandan who is dealing with intricate and fraught social dynamics. And his sexuality is something that he’s equally confused about. While you read the book, you will find yourself wanting to see him grow and become better. You will also sense an image of the struggles faced by the teens of the LGBT community – which makes it a perfect read for Pride month.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
This re-telling follows Sophia, a girl born into a post-Cinderella nightmare, in which Prince Charming transforms the country into a misogynist’s fantasy. She is forced to attend the annual ball, where a man may claim her as his bride. But what can she do to prevent this forced marriage when she wants to marry Erin, her childhood best friend?
With a stunning re-telling of our classic Cinderella story, this book also captures the essence of Pride month effortlessly.
Tasnia is a proud Slytherin who loves binging on poetry and graphic novels in her free time.