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Everyone’s story deserves to be told — and read. So, during Pride Month in June, why not pick up a great LGBTQIA book to learn about the struggles and celebrations of the community? These tomes by LGBTQIA authors and with LGBTQIA characters take us into their world, covering every genre. From thrillers to romance to humor, classics and memoir, this list includes stories that are as diverse as the rainbow. These are the best LGBTQIA books to read this Pride Month.
1. “Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family” by Garrard Conley
Growing up the son of a Baptist minister in a deeply religious family, Conley grapples with his sexuality. But when he is outed, his parents give him an ultimatum of leaving his life behind or going to a conversion therapy program. He opts for the latter and unexpectedly learns more about himself — and love — than he could have imagined. The memoir was made into a lauded film in 2018. $8.99, amazon.com
2. “Rubyfruit Jungle” by Rita Mae Brown
Following a woman who is unabashedly herself, Molly Bolt was adopted by a poor Southern couple. She leaves the South behind to travel the country, finding love and adventure along the way in this coming of age novel. It was controversial when it was published in 1973 and hasn’t lost any of its fire. $12.99, amazon.com
3. “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel
This one probably sounds familiar and that’s because it was adapted into a hit Broadway show, and it’s no wonder why — a story this incredible was made for the stage. The graphic memoir tells the story of a closeted father and his lesbian daughter who comes out. Touching on every emotion, it’ll make you laugh and cry. $10.79, amazon.com
4. “Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman
A love story for the ages, the novel is set in 1988 on the Italian Riviera. Narrated by 17-year-old Elio, it tells the story of his summer tryst with Oliver, a 24-year-old American student who stays with Elio’s family while researching his manuscript. The novel is the source of the Oscar-winning best adapted screenplay, and the film is as deeply moving as the book. $9.99, amazon.com
5. “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith
This novel has been quietly gaining steam (pun intended) ever since it was published in 1952. Now a cult classic, it inspired the 2016 film “Carol,” starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. Based on a true story of the author’s own life, it follows a young woman, Therese, who works in a department store. Her world is turned upside down with a customer, Carol, comes into the store to buy her daughter a Christmas present. They fall deeply in love as Carol upends her life as a stilted suburban housewife and ultimately must choose between her daughter and Therese. $8.73, amazon.com
6. “Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality” by Sarah McBride
Just like the author herself, this memoir is brave and powerful. The book cuts between McBride’s personal story and the journey of trans acceptance. McBride was the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention when she was 26 and she eventually became the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history. $4.99, amazon.com
7. “Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story” by Jacob Tobia
Growing up as a gender-nonconforming kid in North Carolina isn’t easy, but Tobia shares his story with humor, wit and wisdom. Though the memoir will make you laugh out loud, it doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the issues Tobia faces. By calling out gender stereotypes, it’ll make you think about your own childhood. $4.99, amazon.com
8. “City of Night” by John Rechy
When this novel first came out in 1963, it was incredibly controversial, yet it became an international bestseller. The book was compared to works by Jean Genet and Jack Kerouac. Inspired by the author’s own life, it explores a young man looking for love among a backdrop of drag queens, male hustlers, fetishists and closeted cops, taking place everywhere from El Paso to Times Square to the French Quarter. $10.99, amazon.com
9. “When Katie Met Cassidy” by Camille Perri
Sometimes you just want to read a fun, fluffy rom-com. But this novel isn’t the typical girl-meets-boy love story. The queer take on the genre follows Kentucky native Katie who has just been dumped by her fiancé and isn’t over it until she meets New Yorker Cassidy. It’s sure to leave a smile on your face. $12.99, amazon.com
10. “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides
Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this novel by the author of “The Virgin Suicides” spans eight decades, focusing on the life of Calliope Stephanides. As a teenager in 1974, she discovers she’s not actually a girl and becomes a boy that summer. An intersex coming of age tale is too rare, making this novel as unique as its prose. $9.99, amazon.com
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