🌈 As we celebrate Pride Month this June, it’s the perfect time to explore the vibrant world of LGBTQ+ literature. 

Today’s LGBTQ+ authors are dropping some of the most captivating and heartfelt stories out there, redefining what it means to tell a powerful story. These stories aren’t just entertaining—they’re essential, as they break down barriers and smash stereotypes with every word. Their books let us see the world through fresh, diverse lenses, and honestly, who doesn’t want that? 🥰 

Curious why you need these LGBTQ+ authors on your bookshelf? Let’s dive into our list of 10 LGBTQ+ authors for Pride Month and beyond! ✨

10 LGBTQ+ Authors to Celebrate This Pride Month

🌈 James Baldwin 

When we talk about the influential figures in queer literature, we cannot not mention James Baldwin. 😌 He is one of the first African American writers to openly explore homosexuality and bisexuality, and his work is significant in American and queer literature.

Why is their work important? His novels, essays, and plays explore complex themes of race, sexuality, and identity with exceptional depth and full of insight. In a nutshell, he helped to humanize LGBTQ+ people in literature at a time when they were often marginalized and misunderstood. 🫡

Top Book: Giovanni’s Room. No doubt, Giovanni’s Room is Baldwin’s most significant contribution to queer literature. The story was groundbreaking because it showed the challenges faced by a gay man in a society that rejected him. The characters in this book are complex, fully realized individuals whose struggles and desires are deeply human, so they’re easy to relate to. This book is a must-read if you’re in for a crème de la crème of LGBTQ+ authors and books. 😌

🌈 Ocean Vuong

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, Ocean Vuong is a writer, professor, and photographer best known for his lyrical poetry and prose. His talent made him rise as one of the100 Leading Global Thinkers, and his writings have been featured in many prestigious publications in America. 📖 But what’s more rewarding than receiving the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets and the T.S. Eliot Prize later on for his Night Sky with Exit Wounds poetry collection

Why is their work important? Vuong’s works provide a deeply personal look at the intersection of queer identity and immigrant experience that for sure will resonate with readers across diverse backgrounds. He often features his experiences as a queer Vietnamese-American and puts in a beautiful lyrical exploration of identity, love, and trauma. Inspiring, right? 😌

Top Book: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. This is Vuong’s debut novel, which shortly won the American Book Award, The Mark Twain Award, and The New England Book Award. This semi-autobiographical story is well-deserved as a letter from a son to his illiterate mother and explores themes of race, class, and identity. A must-read for everyone looking for a powerful story with lyrical prose and emotional depth. 📖

🌈 Casey McQuiston

I live at the intersection of fun, escapist romantic adventure, and smart-mouthed characters with bad manners and big hearts.” —Casey McQuiston.

Born and raised in the Deep South, now living and working in New York City with her dog, Pepper, Casey McQuiston is your go-to LGBTQ+ author if you’re looking for feel-good, heart-pounding romance with a dash of political intrigue and a whole lot of LGBTQ+ rep. 

Why is their work important? Casey McQuiston is not just writing books—they’re creating a more inclusive and joyful world in literature. You’ll definitely fall in love with the vibrant, diverse, and incredibly relatable characters, showcasing the beauty and complexity of LGBTQ+ identities in an authentic and joyful way. A feeling we all want in our hearts when reading books, right? 😌

Top Book: Red, White & Royal Blue. McQuiston’s debut and most rewarded novel, which shortly won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance in 2019. With Red, White & Royal Blue, prepare to delve into a romance between the First Son of the United States and a British prince, filled with humor, heart, and much love. We leave you with “True love isn’t always diplomatic”, and let you discover the rest. 🥰

🌈 Brandon Taylor

An American LGBTQ+ author known for his sharp and intimate exploration of race, class, and sexuality. You might recognize him from all the essays and short fiction stories he has all over the internet. All the online presence and contributions allowed Taylor’s works to receive fellowships from Lambda Literary Foundation, Kimbilio Fiction, and the Tin House Summer Writer’s Workshop—any aspiring writer’s dream and more! 🤧 

Why is their work important? Taylor’s writing dives into the gritty, real aspects of queer life, exploring themes like loneliness, desire, and the search for belonging. His characters are flawed, deeply human, and totally relatable. What we like the most is that Brandon Taylor truly redefines what queer literature can be with his honest, heartfelt, and deeply human stories. 

Top Book: A Real Life. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2020 and National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, A Real Life is a novel of rare emotional power. The story follows an African American, gay graduate student navigating the complexities of life, love, and friendship in a predominantly white Midwestern university. If you’re into deep, thought-provoking reads that tackle the complexities of identity, love, and human connection, then this and all of Taylor’s works are a must-read! 

🌈 Akwaeke Emezi

Born in Umuahia, Nigeria, Emezi is a non-binary LGBTQ+ author and video artist who graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. The artistic nature played its part in all of Emezi’s writing, transforming it into a beautiful blend of genres, elements of fantasy, autobiography, and cultural mythology. 😌

Why is their work important? As a non-binary and trans author, Emezi makes waves in queer literature. Their stories explore themes of gender, identity, and belonging with a fresh, fearless voice. Emezi draws inspiration from their Igbo heritage in their works, which brings unique, rich cultural and spiritual elements for more depth and meaning.

Top Book: Freshwater. This debut novel was a groundbreaking success, winning the 2019 Otherwise Award and being a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, which is an exceptional merit for a debut novel. It’s a raw, lyrical story about a young Nigerian woman with multiple selves, exploring identity and mental health themes. So if you’re in for a story that’s both unusual and original, definitely have a look at Emezi’s stories soon! 

🌈 Carmen Maria Machado 

Carmen Maria Machado is an American short story LGBTQ+ author, essayist, and critic. As a graduate of the well-quoted Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she had the chance to be published in The New Yorker, Granta, and some other outstanding publications. 🤩 She’s revolutionizing queer literature with stories that often explore themes of gender, power, and sexuality to challenge societal norms with compassion and understanding.

Why is their work important? Right off the bat, Machado’s work features strong, complex queer characters, bringing much-needed visibility to LGBTQ+ experiences. In their literary journey, Machado seamlessly blends horror, fantasy, and memoirs, creating unique narratives you won’t forget about too soon. 

Top Book: Her Body and Other Parties. A collection of short stories that blend horror, fantasy, and realism, focusing on women’s lives and experiences. Her Body and Other Parties was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and won the Shirley Jackson Award – a well-known outstanding achievement in horror, psychological suspense, and dark fantasy fiction. So, if you love stories that are haunting, innovative, and totally captivating, Carmen Maria Machado is the LGBTQ+ author for you! 🤩

🌈 Alison Bechdel 

A celebrated cartoonist, Bechdel is best known for her long-running comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. She came out as a lesbian at 19 and explores LGBTQ+ themes in her work, with a unique blend of graphic art and memoir that brings a fresh perspective to storytelling. ✨

Why is their work important? Alison Bechdel fights for queer visibility, and her works feature authentic, relatable queer characters, providing much-needed representation. In Bechdel’s stories, you can usually find complex family dynamics and societal issues, with insightful commentaries that make it worth the drama. 

Top Book: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. A graphic memoir that explores Bechdel’s relationship with her father, her coming out as a lesbian, and the nature of family secrets. Fun Home won the Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work, and what’s even more amazing is that it was adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. Looking for a reading experience that’s both thought-provoking and visually stunning? Add Alison Bechdel to your TBR list and thank us later! 😌

🌈  Torrey Peters 

Torrey Peters is an American writer redefining trans narratives with her groundbreaking work. She writes primarily about transgender women and their experiences and all modern-day challenges portraying the transgender community. 

Why is their work important? If you’re looking for fresh, compelling narratives that explore trans experiences with honesty and humor, Torrey Peters is the LGBTQ+ author you need to read! 🥰 Peters’ work has sparked meaningful conversations about gender and identity, impacting readers and the literary world as we know it today. 

Top Book: Detransition, Baby. This debut novel has received mainstream and critical success. It explores the lives of three women, two transgender and one cisgender, whose paths intersect in unexpected ways, challenging traditional notions of gender and family. The book was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, making Peters the first trans woman nominated for this award. 🤩

🌈  Garrard Conley 

Garrard Conley is an American author and LGBTQ+ activist who grew up in Arkansas and is the son of a Baptist minister. Conley graduated from Brooklyn College’s MFA program, where he was a Truman Capote Fellow specializing in fiction—a meaningful fellowship awarded to emerging writers. His work primarily deals with LGBTQ+ issues and conversion therapy, making his contributions to queer literature both moving and insightful. 

Why is their work important? His writing marks both a critical examination of how society looks at queer people as well as the impact of religious conservatism on personal freedom. All the courage and insights into the complexities of queer identity make his works a must-read! 🤩

Top Book: Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family. This is a powerful memoir about Conley’s experience with conversion therapy and his struggle to reconcile his faith and sexual identity. Boy Erased was also adapted into a critically acclaimed film starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe. So, if you’re drawn to powerful memoirs that explore identity and resilience, Garrard Conley is an author you won’t want to miss! 👀

🌈 Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Greer is a San Francisco-based novelist and short story writer. He received outstanding recognition fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer’s novels focus on LGBTQ+ characters navigating relationships and self-discovery with wit and charm. His contributions to queer literature are heartfelt and thought-provoking, making all his work deserving of all the praise. 🫡

Why is their work important? Greer’s novels offer a refreshing perspective on queer life and relationships, for which he draws on his own life as a gay male writer to create his protagonists. He makes the best of the unexpected, arresting, and life-affirming life events and transfers them to his brilliant books. 😌

Top Book: Less. A humorous and heartwarming novel about a failed novelist who embarks on a worldwide journey to avoid the wedding of his former lover. Less won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2018. Looking for beautifully written novels that explore love, identity, and life’s quirks? Andrew Sean Greer is a must-read author! 

From Ocean Vuong’s poetic vibes to Casey McQuiston’s hilarious rom-coms, LGBTQ+ authors are truly making waves and changing the literary scene. These writers are living proof of how important it is to see ourselves and others represented in the books we read.

But don’t take our word for it. Expand your TBR choices with this list of LGBTQ+ authors, and discover all their stories that make our world so vibrant on your own! 💖

Let’s celebrate diversity, discover new perspectives, and get lost in some truly fantastic books! 📚🌈

Happy reading, Bookly Readers! 💙

Here Are Some More Author Recs To Lighten Up Your Shelves 

Discover even more impactful LGBTQ+ books for your TBR pile and pick your favorite unique story. 👀 Curious about how women writers have influenced literature over the years? Take a look at our diverse selection of books by female authors and their stories, which will make you feel all the feels. 🌸

Also, please…

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