Pride Month Roundup: LGBTQIA+ Authors and Books to Love
Pride Month Roundup: LGBTQIA+ Authors and Books to Love
What better way for book lovers to celebrate Pride Month than to show love to our favourite LGBTQIA+ authors? This June, be intentional about adding books by LGBTQIA+ authors to your to-be-read list. Whether you prefer a gritty and raw memoir, sweet poetry, or fantastical fiction, LGBTQIA+ authors have got you covered!
Doyle could go by several titles but after reading her third memoir, Untamed, a “god damn cheetah” feels like the most appropriate description. Confused? Pick up the aforementioned masterpiece, and it’ll become clear why Doyle reserves the right to self-prescribe any title she feels best represents herself. Dive into her three memoirs to get an up-close look at the trials and joys that have made Doyle who she is today.
I actually picked up Doyle’s third memoir first and instantly fell in love with the way she invited readers so cozily into her personal life. From stories about therapy with her now ex-husband to first laying eyes on her would-be wife, Doyle touches on feelings, fears, and hopes we all experience no matter our gender or sexual identity. Every page turn leaves you feeling more empowered, and with the turn of the last page, you’ll find yourself identifying as a “god damn cheetah,” too.
Feel free to read out of order, but definitely don’t leave behind her first and second memoirs, Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior.
I tend to read deep versus wide, which means when I find a book I enjoy, I hunt down as many others by the same author as I can. In the case of memoirs, I become overly intrigued by the author’s life – I follow them on Instagram, imagine coffee dates with them at the one cafe they’re always tagging, swoon over their grossly cute family photos, then stalk the Instagrams of family members pictured in said grossly cute photos. If you know, you know.
This is precisely how I learned of Forward and Wolfpack by Abby Wambach, wife of Glennon Doyle. While it was special to read about the dynamics of Wambach and Doyle’s relationship from each of their perspectives, Wambach’s books also stand alone as she tackles a variety of topics outside of her relationship with Doyle. From stories about her first girlfriend in high school to navigating fame and sexism as a professional soccer player to the spirals of addiction in later years, Wambach takes readers on a journey of becoming. You’ll be cheering her on throughout the memoir only to realize you feel equally encouraged and supported by her telling of trials and eventual triumphs.
(You’ll also discover a newfound interest in women’s professional soccer.)
Not interested in a memoir? Try one of TJ Klune’s reads for a whirlwind experience of whimsical storytelling, universal truths, and sweet love that toes the line between romance and friendship. I picked up his Under the Whispering Door and The House in the Cerulean Sea around the same time, and both proved to be stories that stayed with me long after I closed the back covers.
Under the Whispering Door tells a queer love story beginning with the death of Wallace Price, a grumpy man even grumpier about having to pass on to the next life. He meets Hugo, the ferryman tasked with helping him cross over. As a ghost developing feelings for Hugo and a deeper appreciation for life, Wallace comes to the terrible realization that he never took the chance to fully live while alive. Through his death and in-between adventures with Hugo, Wallace reveals to readers what makes a life worth living.
The House in the Cerulean Sea reminded me of a childhood favourite, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. That in itself was enough to make me love it, let alone the fact that Klune is a brilliant writer and out-of-the-box story shaper.
Linus Baker is a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. After receiving a highly classified assignment, he travels to Marsyas Island Orphanage where he meets six dangerous children and their protective caretaker, Arthur Parnassus. Linus must decide if the world is safe while these children exist, and the choice he makes will determine the fate of this makeshift family and the world at large.
With these two novels, Klune helps redefine what love and family look like and will have you reevaluating what and who is worth fighting for in our very real world today.
I follow a handful of poetry accounts on Instagram. If I’m about to lose you because I mentioned the word “poetry,” please stick around. I never used to enjoy reading poetry until a stranger-turned-friend who writes it helped me develop a better appreciation. Now, it’s safe to say I’m obsessed.
Based on some of the other accounts I follow, a post from Peppernell popped up as a suggestion on my Instagram feed. I checked out her page to discover that I loved her words: I now own five of her ten poetry books. I began by reading her Pillow Thoughts collection, a series of poetry and prose about heartache, love, and the general experience of human emotion. Much of her work features personal details and tidbits about the life and love she shares with her wife, but you’ll find that so many of her words ring true, no matter who you are or who you love.
Give her a follow on Instagram: I suspect you’ll be ordering a book from her soon after.
Which LGBTQIA+ authors will you be celebrating Pride Month with this June? Let us know what you think about the suggestions above, and share some of your favourite LGBTQIA+ authors and reads with us here!
Taylor Stawecki is a 20-something Michigander with a love for the great outdoors and written word. She spends her weekdays working for a digital marketing company and as a freelance copywriter. In her free time, you can find her reading, writing poetry, running, watching a Grey’s Anatomy rerun, or spending time with her family and friends. As an old soul, she enjoys collecting salt and pepper shakers and cuddling up in oversized sweaters.