If you’re reading this, you must likely love to read books. That, or you’re a burgeoning queer person, craving for some representation in the media you consume. Or you’re both things: queer and a book-reader! Whichever one you are, you’re probably looking for some diversity in your books. But you don’t know where to start, or where to look.
Well, look no further, fellow gay or straight person! We’ve got a few queer books for you to read and love. Some of these queer books are manga, some are novels, and others are comic books that we think you’ll love and enjoy. These queer books will usually contain queer characters for you to love and relate to.
If you like queer books with a ton of romance in it, Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. The plot is pretty cookey, and we think you’ll like it if you’re into fake relationships that morph into something more later on.
The plot goes like this. Alex Claremont-Diaz, First Son to his mother, President Ellen Claremont, is just living his life as First Son, along with his sister, and the Veeps’ granddaughter. One day, he has a hostile confrontation with his longtime nemesis, Prince Harry. It leaks to the tabloids, and to fix his and his mom’s reputation, they stage a fake friendship to win everyone back. The prince has a dark past, however, along with a good personality and sense of humor.
Re-election time hits for Alex’ mom, and him and Prince Harry fall into a secret relationship that could change everything for both nations.
There’s a boat load of good reviews for this romance, contemporary novel so we think you’re going to like it a lot.
A dark comedy about a trans woman? Sign us up! This is exactly what Nevada by Imogen Binnie is all about.
Here’s the plot. Maria Griffins, a young trans woman, tries to keep her punk aesthetic while working in retail. Her girlfriend betrays her, and her world is falling apart, so she sets out on a journey that will change her life forever.
The description is definitely a bit vague, but we think that’s the appeal of it. This book does have a lot of sexual content ranging from sex to masturbation to porn, so if you’re not about those themes, this may not be the book for you.
This is one of the most popular queer books in recent times. It’s even got a movie adaptation called Love, Simon!
If you haven’t heard of it or read it before, Simon VS The Homosapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli is a romance book that deals with the difficulties of being gay, as well as finding romance, and being outed.
The plot goes like this. Simon Spier, a closeted gay high schooler, begins chatting with another person who only goes by Blue. One day, he leaves his computer alone and exposed, only for one of his bullies, Martin, gets ahold a private email, leading to Simon being blackmailed by him. Now, he’s gotta be his wingman or else he gets outed to the school, and Blue’s secret identity becomes less secret.
This book incorporates a bit of mystery, and a lot of romance. It’s more fit for teens and young adults, but who says this can’t be for more mature adults too?
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta tells the story of Micheal, a young gay teen from London who’s also mixed race. He learns to love himself, as well as the art of drag.
This book talks at length about sexuality, drag, gender identity, race, racism, internalized homophobia, and homophobia. And also — surprise! It’s a book written in verse. It’s pretty deep, but its heartwarming and lovable, and a lot of people have raved about this book. Give it a try!
Okay, maybe reading pages of words isn’t really your scene, but you want to read queer books. No need to worry! This is what manga and comics are for! We’ve got a few queer books here, and the first one is Our Dreams at Dusk by Shimanami Tasogare.
This manga is about young high schooler, Tasuku Kaname, who fears he’s been outed as gay at his school. He plans to end his life, but not before a strange woman lead him to a drop-in center full of people like him. This manga is about him learning and growing, and becoming comfortable with himself.
For those who are maybe struggling with their sexuality currently, this book is for you. It shows memorable and wholesome depictions of LGBT+ people, and we really think you’ll like it.
More queer books coming your way! Do you like love triangles? What about love quadrangles? Yup, there’s four this time, folks!
Blue Flag by KAITO tells the story of one such quadrangle. Two people — a boy and a girl — fall in love, while their best friends fall in love with them simultaneously. Shy highschooler Taichi Ichinose gets put a joint class with his best friend Touma, along with another girl, Futaba Kuze. One day, Futaba asks Taichi if he can help her out with confessing to him. However, Touma likes someone else…
This is a really sweet book that you should totally give a chance to. Go give it a try!
This heartwarming, adorable manga is about a boy, Nakamura, and his crush on a classmate of his. It’s a short, lighthearted, sweet story that isn’t too deep and doesn’t delve too much into sexuality or anything like that. So If you need a pick-me-up, or just something to make you feel better during a bad day, this manga can definitely make you feel better.
It’s a pretty short story, though, so it’s not very long.
The plot is as follows. Nakamura is a young boy who has a crush on the popular boy from his school, Hirose. The problem is that they’ve technically never met, and Nakamura is too clumsy for his own good.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is a wonderfully romantic book between two boys from two different worlds.
Charlie Spring, grade 10, and Nick Nelson, grade 11, both go to the Truham Grammar School for Boys. Things are going a bit better for Charlie, considering he was outed a few months ago, and Nick is on the rugby team. They soon become friends, but could something more start to develop?
It’s a comic, and it’s even a series! It’s cute, adorable, and you should check it out.
Now, we’ve been talking about and suggesting really wholesome comics and manga. This comic is a bit more deep than the other queer books we’ve been suggesting. It deals with sexuality, mental health, and our place in the modern world. It reflects a lot of personal aspects of the character’s life, leading to an emotional story that many people love.
It’s vulnerable, heartwarming, and you may find that you relate to some of the things in this book.
From hella deep queer books back to wholesome queer books, Bloom is an adorable romance between highschool graduate, Ari, and easy-going baker, Hector.
It goes like this. Ari desperately wants to leave his small town, and doesn’t want to work with in his father’s bakery for the rest of his life. Hector, however, loves baking, which is how Ari meets him. Ari needs a replacement if he’s going to be leaving, so he interviews Hector. The more time they spend together, the more they start to like each other. Will Ari be able to leave Hector behind?
This is another really wholesome comic, and hopefully you like it as much as we do.
Queer books serve as a way to bring representation to the media that people consume. They’re perfect for burgeoning young queer people who just want to see themselves positively. It gives you that sense of belonging, and that you’re not the only one with these kinds of feelings. Hopefully this gives you an idea of what queer books you can start with. We hope you love them as much as us. Happy reading!
Which queer books caught your eye? Which one are you planning on reading? Let us know!
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Hi! My name is Carolina Cisneros, and I am a new intern at Society 19. I’m so glad to have this opportunity! I have an Associates in Studio Art, and I will be heading into university for Cinematic Arts and Technologies. I plan to go into the animation industry, designing characters and bringing more diversity into the world. For now, I’m building my skills. Thank you for reading!