June is Month of pride, a time to not only commemorate the Stonewall Revolt that helped launch the LGBTQ + movement in June 1969, but also to celebrate and recognize LGBTQ + communities.
In honor of the month, we have completed 20 books, including new releases and classics, memoirs and fiction, newspaper accounts, and collections of essays. From best-selling memoirs to Pulitzer Prize-winning novels to historical stories, these Pride Month themed selections offer insight into the LGBTQ + experience.
Read on for essential books to add to your list during Pride Month and beyond
“The Prophets” by Roger Jones Jr.
Jones ’best-selling debut novel features the lyrical story of Isaiah and Samuel, two enslaved men on a Mississippi plantation who find refuge in their love for others in the face of unimaginable violence and cruelty.
“Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993” by Sarah Schulman
Written over a 20-year period and with more than 200 interviews, Schulman narrates the successes, conflicts and legacy of ACT UP, New York, a coalition of AIDS activism that faced the AIDS crisis head-on. With nearly 700 pages, it is a historical narrative that offers a direct oral history of the activists involved.
‘Detransition, Baby’ by Torrey Peters
In this best-selling novel that explores the idea of the family, Reese, a trans woman, splits up with Amy, who transforms and becomes Ames. Reese wants a baby and when Ames impregnates her new lover, Katrina, who may not want to keep the child, Ames proposes that the three of them raise the baby together.
‘Fairest’ by Meredith Talusan
In his memoirs about his age, Talusan writes about his extraordinary life: from growing up in the Philippines with albinism to immigration to America, being seen as white, attending Harvard, and passing on to a woman. Gender, race, identity, love, art. No wonder Talusan’s book is a finalist for the Lambda 2021 literary award for non-transgender fiction.
“Redefining Reality: My Path to Women, Identity, Love and More” by Janet Mock
Mock’s 2014 best-selling memoirs offer an honest and inspiring look at his transgender, poor, multiracial history. The advocate, writer and television presenter shares her story of how to deal with a father addicted to drugs, sexual abuse and prostitution, as well as his transition and the family and friends who not only accepted him, but they embraced her and the woman who was becoming.
‘Giovanni’s Room’ by James Baldwin
Set in Paris in the 1950s, Baldwin’s controversial 1956 novel follows the American expatriate David who begins a relationship with Italian waiter Giovanni while his fiancé, Hella, is not there. Sexuality, identity, masculinity and concealment are themes that make this classic gay literature.
“The Stonewall Reader” edited by the New York Public Library
A collection of first-person accounts and journal entries from activists and participants, along with news articles, essays, and more, this work tells the story of events surrounding the 1969 Stonewall riots, largely considered as the beginning of the nation’s LGBT civil rights movement. .
“Call me by your name” by Andre Aciman
The basis of the Oscar-winning film, Aciman’s novel traces the relationship between 17-year-old Elio, a teenage musician, and Oliver, the teacher’s father’s 24-year-old summer house guest. d’Elio. Located along the Italian Riviera, it is exciting, romantic, complicated, tender, painful, erotic, melancholy – everything you want from a beautifully written love story.
‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle
A No. 1 New York Times bestseller, Doyle’s 2020 sincere memories explore divorce, parenting, falling in love with football star Abby Wambach, body image, feminism, and learning to love each other. Do you need a boost from female empowerment? Here it is.
“Fun Home: A Tragicomic Family” by Alison Bechdel
Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoirs surround his relationship with his father, a high school teacher who also runs a funeral home (which his family called a “fun house”) in his rural Pennsylvania town. After going out lesbian in college, she finds that her father is gay too, but he dies of an apparent suicide shortly after he finds out about it, leaving questions unanswered. Adapted to the stage, the Broadway production of “Fun House” won the Tony for Best Musical in 2015.
‘Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag’ by Rob Sanders and Steven Salerno
“Harvey dreamed that everyone, even gays, would have equality. He dreamed that he and his friends would be treated like everyone else. So says this children’s book that tells the story of the rainbow-colored gay pride flag, a symbol created by openly gay social and political activist Harvey Milk who collaborated with designer Gilbert Baker to create the lasting symbol in 1978.
‘The Price of Salt’ by Patricia Highsmith
Highsmith’s 1952 Forbidden Love novel focuses on two women: a 30-year-old suburban housewife and a divorcing mother and a 19-year-old sales clerk. Turned into the Oscar-nominated film “Carol,” the story has endured as a lesbian cult classic.
“The Engagement: The Quarter-Century Struggle of the United States for Gay Marriage” by Sasha Issenberg
A new version of Amazon’s No. 1, journalist Issenberg’s exploration of the history of the conflict and the controversy over same-sex marriage covers the debate that eventually led to two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that went legalize the right to marry gay couples. Part of the political story, the civil rights struggle and legal drama, is a complete narrative about the battle for LGBTQ rights.
“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer
Greer’s clever and funny novel, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, follows Arthur Less, a failed middle-aged author who decides to travel the world to various (and questionable) literary events instead of accepting an invitation to attending her ex-boyfriend’s wedding. What and who you are along the way will make you laugh out loud.
“All In: An Autobiography” by Billie Jean King
One of the most important tennis legends, King’s memoirs not only recount his rise to the world’s best-ranked female player, his defeat in the “battle of the sexes” against Bobby Riggs and the whopping 20 Wimbledon victories. , but also his public recognition of his sexual identity when he was 51 and his activism in the LGBTQ + movement.
‘Boy Erased’ by Garrard Conley
The basis of the film of the same name by Nicole Kidman-Russell Crowe, Conley’s best-selling 2016 memoirs, follows the life of the son of a Baptist preacher who lives in rural Arkansas and is in conflict with the their sexuality. After being sent to his parents at age 19, Conley was forced to attend a conversion therapy program or lose his family and friends. It is a brave story of faith, love and identity that will keep you engaged from start to finish.
“David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music” by Darryl Bullock
The encyclopedic view of music writer and biographer Bullock on LGBTQ musicians covers everyone, from Ma Rainey to Little Richard, to Dusty Springfield and Freddie Mercury to Boy George, of course, to Thin White Duke himself.
‘The Guncle’ by Steven Rowley
After the death of his mother and a health crisis that affected his father, Maise and Grant’s “gay uncle Patrick” suddenly finds himself as the main guardian of two young children. Aside from the “Guncle Rules,” you must learn what it means to be a parent in this fun, heart-warming read.
“The Queer Bible” by Jack Guinness
The founder of QueerBible.com has published this beautiful collection of essays in which queer authors write about their own heroes and inspirations in the LGBTQ + community: Think Elton John on Divine, skier Gus Kenworthy on figure skater Adam Rippon, TV star Tan France in “Queer Eye” or comedian Mae Martin in Tim Curry.
“Tomorrow will be different: love, loss and the fight for trans equality” by Sarah McBride
Before becoming America’s first openly transgender state senator, McBride wrote this powerful 2018 memoir, which explained his struggles to get out and identity, his work as a transgender activist and advocate, to find the love with a trans man and more.