Whether you’re an avid reader or someone who hasn’t touched a book since you entered the workforce, these books are a must-read for those who like to indulge in LGBTQ+ stories and will perhaps get you back on the reading horse if you need the push.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the story of the titular character's life as a Hollywood starlet and sex symbol throughout the 1950s to present day. Evelyn recounts the entanglement of her marginalised identities and her relationship with men and fame, offering an empathetic lens for people who identify as bisexual and gay at a time when being either of those can incinerate one’s life up in flames. The novel provides a nuanced understanding behind certain people’s reservations with coming out and an outstanding representation of strong bisexual women. As Evelyn Hugo says, “I’m bisexual. Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box”.
After bingeing the comic book to Netflix series adaptation of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper, you might be left yearning for more of their wholesome creations. Loveless has been one of the most recent cornerstones for contemporary aromantic and asexual representation, a label often forgotten in the fluid spectrum of sexualities. One of my favourite quotes from the book is “It was so easy to romanticise romance because it was everywhere… I could see it all, all the time, all around, but when I got closer, I found that nothing was there. A mirage. ”
Many people’s first introduction to drag is often through the Emmy Award-winning reality TV show, Rupaul’s Drag Race. Amongst the glitz and glam of big drag persona, we sometimes forget that drag is not the most glamorous or safest career to pursue. Based on his rollercoaster of a life, Josh Kilmer-Purcell takes you through his routine of restless nights performing as Aquadisiac, his gimmicky drag persona, all while struggling with drug addiction, maintaining a romantic connection, and keeping his financial situation afloat.
Do you have a fear of big books? This one is only 64 pages. When asked about the concept of gender binary, artist, activist and, author Alok Vaid-Menon explains, “There’s this phrase that people hear: 'men are from Mars, women are from Venus.' And I always love that phrase because that means all the other planets are reserved for us, we non-binary people.” Through a blend of personal anecdotes, historical facts, and counter arguments against non-binary characters, the book serves as a quick read for those dipping their toes into the world of gender fluidity and creative self-expression.
“It is quite true that I have worshipped you with far more romance than a man should ever give to a friend. Somehow I have never loved a woman… I quite admit that I adored you madly, extravagantly, absurdly.” If you can get your hands on this iconic uncensored piece of queer literature, this is what you will discover. At its core, the gothic novella captures the essence of an aristocratic man making a deal with the devil to maintain his beauty. But the underlying homoerotic messages, whilst criticised in the past, deserves all the celebration today.