Top 10 Books to Read During Pride Month

With Pride month here, this is a great time to read some inclusive books that uplift the LGBTQ+ community. This list of LGBTQ+ books, many of them targeted to young adults (YA), is a great place to begin your Pride month. This list is a mixture of books I have personally enjoyed, and books that my friends have enjoyed.

In no particular order:

1. “Last Night at the Telegraph Club” by Malinda Lo – “Last Night at the Telegraph Club” is about a teenage girl named Lily who is in her senior year of high school in the 1950s. Lily lives in Chinatown in San Francisco and begins to secretly sneak out to a lesbian bar after meeting a girl in her math class named Kath. As the book goes on, Lily learns more about herself, her family, and the world around her. 

2. “The Black Flamingo” by Dean Atta – “The Black Flamingo” is a story told in verse about a mixed-race teenager who becomes a drag artist known as The Black Flamingo. It is a coming-of-age story told against the backdrop of London. “The Black Flamingo” was the winner of the 2020 Stonewall Book Award.

3. “Loveless” by Alice Oseman – “Loveless” is a novel about a girl named Georgia as she realizes she is asexual and aromantic. “Loveless” is set in the same universe as other Alice Oseman books such as “Heartstopper,” “Radio Silence,” and “Solitaire.” This book has become very popular on TikTok.

4. “We are Lost and Found” by Helene Dunbar – This book takes place in New York in the early 1980s. It follows the main character Michael and his best friends James and Becky as they live their lives in the early stages of the AIDS crisis. Michael’s brother had been kicked out for being gay before the story began, and Michael knows his parents will do the same thing to him. This book gives a great look into the past of the LGBTQ+ community.

5. “Heartstopper” by Alice Oseman – “Heartstopper” is a graphic novel/webtoon that has recently become a Netflix show. “Heartstopper” is a slice-of-life story about two boys named Nick and Charlie. The story is still ongoing and follows their romantic relationship and how the two of them navigate high school.

6. “Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This historical fiction novel follows fake Hollywood star, Evelyn Hugo, as she dictates her memoir to a journalist. She describes her life through her seven marriages. She reveals how many of her marriages were used as disguises to hide her real true love, a woman she had co-starred with in “Little Women.”

7. “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson – This debut novel follows a high school senior named Liz who wants nothing more than to leave her hometown and go to college. In order to go to her dream school, she needs to win Prom Queen because, in her prom-obsessed hometown, prom royalties are given college scholarships. Liz finds herself falling in love with her prom queen rival. 

8. “Felix Ever After” by Kacen Callender – “Felix Ever After” is about a trans man in art school who does not believe he deserves love. When someone starts sharing old pictures of him around campus and sharing his dead name, Felix begins to hunt to find the transphobe that started it. This book has also won a Stonewall Honor Book award. 

9. “Cemetery Boys” by Aiden Thomas – When Yadriel’s family does not accept that he is transgender, he tries to prove himself as a Brujo (a sorcerer). While trying to do that, he summons a ghost named Julian, who does not want to return to the dead. Forced to follow him, Yadriel helps Julian with his unfinished business. 

10. “Like a Love Story” by Adbi Nazemian – This story takes place in New York in 1989 and follows three teenagers, Reza, Judy, and Art. Reza is a gay Iranian boy who just moved to New York City and is out to no one. Judy is a future fashion designer, and Art is the only person out in their school and who will never be accepted by their parents. With a backdrop of the AIDS crisis and activism work with ACT UP, Reza has to work himself out of a lie that could ruin his new friendship with Judy and Art.