Happy Pride Month! I have been reflecting a lot on my reading the last couple of weeks, and I have recognized that I could be reading more diversely in many areas. I also recognize that I could be sharing the diverse books I have read and loved more often! I think anyone that has any sort of platform (no matter how small) should be aware of the influence that they have and the kind of ideals they wish to amplify. I will do better, and I am going to start by sharing some of my favourite LGBTQ reads- both fiction and nonfiction. I will be sharing quotes from each of them as well.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
“You can’t tell whether people are gay by what they look like. And gay or straight aren’t the only two options.”
“There’s this idea that if you’re not straight, you HAVE to tell all your family and friends immediately, like you owe it to them. But you don’t. You don’t have to do anything until you’re ready.”
Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trisha Mateer
“Regardless of whether you desire it, love is what sits at the core of the world. It is stronger than greed and hate and jealousy and pain. What brings us together will always be more powerful than what keeps us apart.”
“My pain has always deserved a voice and I will not deny it that, but I won’t devote my life to it either.”
“I belong to no one. They never wrote that part down.”
Tin Man by Sarah Winman
“I try hard to be liked, I always have. I try hard to lessen people’s pain. I try hard because I can’t face my own.”
“And I remember thinking, how cruel it was that our plans were out there somewhere. Another version of our future, out there somewhere, in perpetual orbit.”
“I haven’t cried. But sometimes I feel as if my veins are leaking, as if my body is overwhelmed, as if I’m drowning from the inside.”
Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
“He felt almost as though he could have planted his feet and become a tree himself, a strong oak reaching up to the sky, brother of the old oak who ruled the wood.”
“No, no, he loves them,” said Tobias. “They distract him, you see. Keep him amused with drink and song and games, and he won’t be any trouble. It’s when he gets bored that the trouble starts.”
Peter Darling by Austin Chant
“That’s the trick of growing up. Nothing stays the same.” Hook sounded oddly sympathetic. “You see the faults in everything. Including yourself.”
“The very world here bends for the sake of your stories, Pan. I see no reason why I, a mere man, should not.”
“Not everything is your truth,” she said tersely. “Some things are just true.”
Disoriental by Negar Djavadi
“That’s the tragedy of exile. Things, as well as people, still exist, but you have to pretend to think of them as dead.”
“We had all hoped that a day would come when the five of us could live together again, free and without fear. But freedom is an illusion. The only thing that changes is the size of your prison.”
“With the passage of time, the flesh of events decomposes, leaving only a skeleton of impressions on which to embroider. Undoubtedly there will come a day when even the impressions will only be a memory. And then there won’t be anything left to tell.”
Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
“She saw the extraordinary in the ordinary, the magic in the mundane.”
“Girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.”
“Hope, she thought, breathing with the tide, was a choice that only those with resolute hearts dared to make.”
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
“All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play.”
“People can do terrible things when they feel safe and powerful.”
“The people we remember are the ones who decided how our maps should be drawn. Nobody remembers who built the roads.”
River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey
“Get used to it, ma’am. We have a saying where I’m from—boys will make you cry, but girls? Girls will make you sweat.”
“Have you ever had anything that you feel like you’d die without?” Houndstooth said it so quietly that it sounded like a prayer. “Something that you’ve put everything into—your whole life, all your heart? Have you ever had anything like that?”
The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller
“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
“In the darkness, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.”
“He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.”
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
“Boredom is the only real tragedy for a writer; everything else is material.”
“He kisses–how do I explain it? Like someone in love. Like he has nothing to lose. Like someone who has just learned a foreign language and can use only the present tense and only the second person. Only now, only you.”
“Where is the real Less? Less the young man terrified of love? The dead-serious Less of twenty-five years ago? Well, he has not packed him at all. After all these years, Less doesn’t even know where he’s stored.”
The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
“I can’t stand on my own in a world where you don’t exist.”
“I close my eyes tightly for a long minute, open them, and start a portrait of you.”
“Maybe it’s not the trauma that sparks your creativity. Maybe it’s you speaking your truth. Remember how you told me once that secrets were safer? Maybe they’re more dangerous than you think.”
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
“As though their daughters loving men and women meant they wanted all of them in the world. There was no way to tell their mothers the truth and make them believe it, that hearts that loved boys and girls were no more reckless or easily won than any other heart. They loved who they loved. They broke how they broke.”
“You took the truth and you made it into flowers”
“Dalia did not wail or sob. She faced the moon with her back and shoulders straight, her jaw held tight, and Fel wondered if this was a sign that maybe Dalia loved Bay a little harder. Not more than the rest of them. Not deeper. Just harder. It had taken such sure root in her that when it pulled away it turned her up like the ground.”
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
“Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story.”
“His soul might be a sun. I’ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.”
“In one split second I saw everything I could be, everything I want to be. And all that I’m not.”
The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I’ve Made About Race, Resistance, and Romance by Matt Ortile
“How could we make small talk of an issue that puts real lives at stake?”
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
“Blessed are those brave enough to make things awkward, for they wake us up and move us forward.”
“It’s not the cruel criticism from folks who hate us that scares us away from our Knowing; it’s the quiet concern of those who love us.”
“Being human is not hard because you’re doing it wrong, it’s hard because you’re doing it right. You will never change the fact that being human is hard, so you must change your idea that it was ever supposed to be easy.”
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
“Places are never just places in a piece of writing. If they are, the author has failed. Setting is not inert. It is activated by point of view.”
“You tried to tell your story to people who didn’t know how to listen.”
“It’s not being radical to point out that people on the fringe have to be better than people in the mainstream, that they have twice as much to prove. In trying to get people to see your humanity, you reveal just that: your humanity. Your fundamentally problematic nature. All the unique and terrible ways in which people can, and do, fail.”
How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones
“I made myself a promise: Even if it meant becoming a stranger to my loved ones, even if it meant keeping secrets, I would have a life of my own.”
“Being black can get you killed. Being gay can get you killed. Being a black gay boy is a death wish. And one day, if you’re lucky, your life and death will become some artist’s new “project.”
“It was if I wanted credit for rescuing my mother from a fire that I had set and couldn’t put out. I wasn’t the man of the house; I was the kid who’d finally lit his first match.”
We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib
“The joy of discovery is one of the biggest pleasures you’ll ever know.”
“As a woman in this world, it is important to take up space and make yourself heard even if it intimidates and offends powerful men.”
“Grown-ups, who are supposed to protect their children, are limited by what “best” has felt like to them, based on the circumstances they grew in and the privilege they did or did not have. The lines between grown-up and child were often blurred between me and my mom. Her “best” did not look like mine; in fact, it looked like danger. It felt like surrender.”
Over the Top: A Raw Journey of Self Love by Jonathan Van Ness
“Imperfection is beautiful. To anyone who has ever felt broken beyond repair, this is for you. If you’ve ever been excluded, or told you were not enough, know that you are enough, and beautifully complete.”
“Because when you have this much personality, there’s a fear lurking just below the surface: If you knew all of me, you wouldn’t love me anymore.”
“Being normal is being completely unique, because nobody’s the same. Normal, honey? Who is she, anyway?”
Naturally Tan by Tan France
“All I can say is speak up; ask questions. Explain your concerns. It’s the first step in feeling empowered to push forward with your own agenda. There is no reason to stifle yourself! Because as a wise man once told me: the best moments are the ones where you’re you.”
“Almost every woman I know has talked about equality in the workplace, about women supporting women, and about women championing other women. But I’ve also seen that women knock each other down and say mean things about other women more than I’ve ever seen from my male counterparts. Women: Stop knocking each other down, and let’s start building each other up. Men are already there to stomp on you; the last thing we need is for women to join in on the act.”
“There are two things a brown person cannot do, and those are to scream or run through an airport with a backpack on. We struggle to catch flights, too. But we’re not allowed to run, because that would alarm all the white people.”
Me by Elton John
“There’s really no point in asking what if? The only question worth asking is: what’s next?”
“That was just the mindset of the times: that happiness was somehow less important than keeping up appearances.”
“And it really taught me something important. Sometimes, you just have to step up to the plate, even if the plate is miles outside your comfort zone. It’s like going deep inside yourself, forgetting about whatever emotions you may have and thinking: no, I’m a performer. This is what I do. Get on with it.”
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
“What my mother didn’t yet know about being gay in the South was that you never ran out of material, that being secretly gay your whole life, averting your eyes every time you saw a handsome man, praying on your knees every time a sexual thought entered your mind or every time you’d acted even remotely feminine—this gave you an embarrassment of sins for which you constantly felt the need to apologize, repent, beg forgiveness.”
“But love was always moving, always pushing us forward—always in action—and we often had no choice but to submit to where it lead us.”
“What did it feel like to not have to think about your every move, to not be scrutinized for everything you did, to not have to lie every day?”
There are some holes in my reading that I am committed to filling. I am going to focus on reading more own voices novels. I also realized that all of my nonfiction recommendations are memoirs, which makes sense because memoirs are my favourite genre; however, I would love to read more LGBTQ historical nonfiction. The one that has been recommended to me most is Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler, so I will start there. I am putting together a more comprehensive list that I will share with you soon!
Please leave any recommendations in the comments!
21 thoughts on “Happy Pride Month- My Recommendations + Quotes”
I’ll Give You the Sun is so good! And I’ve heard great things about Less. Thanks for sharing these!
I’ll Give You the Sun will always be a favourite!
There are all suck beautiful quotes 😊
There are so many more quotes I wish I could share. Maybe in a seperate post!
Yes! That would be awesome
Good post! Less was a fun book–I read/reviewed it. I skimmed Elton John’s book because I love him and have since i was about 12 when he first made it big.
Thank you! I’ve always loved Elton John’s music, but there was so much about him that I didn’t know!
Love your recommendation and the quotes!
So glad you enjoyed the quotes!
What a list! I’ve only actually read I’ll Give You The Sun (adored it, obviously) so there’s plenty here for my TBR.
Yay! That makes me happy!
Always love diverse recommendations and educating myself more in that direction, thanks for keeping the conversation going 🙂
Ah thank you Sandra. Glad you enjoyed it!
Song of Achilles made me cry. You might also check out Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
I love Aristotle and Dante! It has been many years since I read it though. Might be a book worth revisiting!
This is such an incredible list. Heartstopper has been on my TBR for so long- I definitely need to get around to reading it ASAP! I absolutely adored Aphrodite Made Me Do It, such a great collection of poetry 🙂
Thank you! Heartstopper will make you so happy! I am not someone who is often drawn to poetry, but Aphrodite Made Me Do It is special!
Great recommendations here! I’m thinking of posting a review soon of a LGBTQ+ book, seeing as it’s Pride month! I’ll have to check some of these out 🙂
So glad you enjoyed the recommendations! I look forward to your review!
Ahh thank you :))