Some Books to Get You Started Reading Queer Authors or Queer Characters
Read with pride.
“I think… if it is true that
there are as many minds as there
are heads, then there are as many
kinds of love as there are hearts.
The rainbow flag looks like one of those glittering jeweled kaleidoscopes you looked through as a child. Held up to the light, the bits and baubles of semi-precious gems and broken glass glittered and twinkled in the light fracturing its beams into 1000 individual rays. Each ray colored differently and made of its unique pieces of light. The rays were beautiful, but held as a community of light; its shine is blinding and breathtaking.
This is how I view the LGBTQIA+ movement.
Early on in my life, I did not know what gay was until I read a book with a gay character in it. I grew up in a fairly conservative environment, or maybe I was just incredibly naive and completely dumbfounded about those around me. Either way I went through life with blinders on. Gay characters – specifically LGTBQIA+ representation is not something that I had been exposed to yet. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I desperately wanted to learn about the world around me, but I had no idea how to go about it.
So I read.
I went in reading, eyes open, mind open, I listened to the words and tried to internalize the ideas. I learned every day about the people I read of all creeds, colors, and orientations. What a vast world we live in that we get to do that. I Lived these lives, poorly written or well written. I took chunks of these character’s experiences and internalized them. I tried to understand and empathize as best as I could.
As people read, we become broader, our minds swell, with adventures and stories. We can make connections and perspectives that weren’t there before. It is a strong power to have.
I am still learning and I still have much to learn. I am much older, and have experienced much more as an adult. I don’t search as much for experiences and knowledge as I once did, because I am blessed to have had quite a few experiences to pull from. But I am always learning and have so much to learn.
I have included some of the best books I have read recently that include a well written and respected LGTBQIA+ character or are written by a person of the community.
Tell me what you think.
The selections below either were written by a queer author or have a queer main character in them.
The Steel Remains (A Land Fit for Heroes #1) by Richard K. Morgan
A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
The graphic novel debut from rising star Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic, which Slate awarded its Cartoonist Studio Prize, calling it “a deadpan epic.”
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones.
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.
But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
Brew By Dane Figueroa Edidi
“Arjana Rambeau, a trans teenager from Baltimore, carries many secrets, one of which is she is a witch. As she makes new friends at a new school, while attempting to maintain her old ones, she must learn how to distinguish who she can trust, because it seems everyone wants a piece of her and her growing powers. Her mom, Bembe Rambeau, is a mystery, infamous amongst the magical community. She has very few friends but a collection of enemies, enemies, who seem to be attempting to remove not only her allies but her daughter as well. Bembe must now combat shifting loyalties while crafting an alliance with an enemy who she once wished dead.”
Every Heart A Doorway – Seanan McGuire
“Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere…else. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The other children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.”
Submerged Vol. 1 by Vita Ayala
On the night of the biggest storm in New York City history, Elysia Puente gets a call from her estranged little brother Angel, terrified, begging for help. When the call cuts out suddenly, despite the bad feelings between them, Ellie rushes into the night. Finding his broken phone in front of a barricaded subway station, Ellie follows echoes of her brother into the sinister darkness of the underground, desperate to find him before it’s too late.
I could have this list go on for quite awhile, but here are some of my more recent favorites! Check them out!