the five (awesome) books that introduced me to the lgbtq+ community!

3.16.2018


I've had my fair share of public schools. They each had similar rules, but they all had the same unspoken rule: girls like boys and boys like girls. I remember whispering to my friends about my secret crush and we would all giggle about it. But I always remember feeling uncomfortable after our chats. Why do I need a crush? What if I want to be friends with him? Can't I like girls too? It wasn't until I discovered these books (and other resources) that I thought to myself "holy moly ... i don't think i'm straight". 

I came out bisexual to my mom a few years ago because I had feelings for this girl. To this day, I still regret telling her because I wasn't confident in myself and I felt like I HAD to say something about (why??? i have no idea). So, the girl moved away and my feelings went away. Two years (i think idk) later, I found myself thinking about her. I came to the conclusion that I didn't have sexual feelings for her... scratch that, I haven't had ANY sexual feelings for my crushes. 😳😳*mind blown*😳😳 So I'm kinda in that questioning box now. I might be bi, asexual, or queer. But, this time, I'm not going to rush myself into a label.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. 

ANYWAY, wow I'm sorry I lowkey clickbaited you into my life story. Let's roll out that list! 


Drama by Raina Telgemeier

(Published in 2012, read in 2014)

The first book I read with LGBTQ+ characters was in Drama. Within 100 pages, Callie's (the purple haired mc) friend Justin comes out as gay. Later on, his brother Jesse also comes out as gay. Drama is told rather, well, dramatically but it was easily the most diverse graphic novel I read back then. I remember loving all the characters for being themselves. I was inspired to be more me. Especially after this scene:


I was like "you know what? 💅 if jesse can kiss a boy and wear a dress in front of his whole school THEN i can do *insert something really awesome but not realistic for a young child*" Now, after reading this book, I didn't join the drama club or anything. I actually become more confident in my decisions because of this character Jesse. Stories like this (especially graphic novels) really shaped who I am today.


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

(Published in 2013, read in 2014)

OKAY SO I wouldn't call this a LGBTQ+ book. The main character is a college student (named Cath) and she writes fanfiction. Cath is straight but the fanfiction characters, Baz and Simon, aren't. During the story, the reader only gets snippets of her fanfiction, but yeah ... I kinda fell in love with Baz and Simon.

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 Fangirl was the first book I read that included a queer relationship. Baz and Simon's relationship is so tense at the beginning, but you see the two begin to relate and trust each other. It's definitely an enemies to lovers AU but 🗣 !!! you see Baz and Simon grow into more stable people. The two also develop a steady relationship. Their relationship was so realistic and that's what sold me. And yes, I cried when Carry On (Baz & Simon's very own standalone novel) released. I haven't seen Rainbow Rowell confirm Baz or Simon's sexualities, so I guess all I can tell you is that Baz and Simon aren't straight.


Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson

(Published in 2015, read in 2015)

THE LUMBERJANES ARE AWESOME. They're a group of girls spending their summer at a summer camp. At the camp, they do your average camp activities but then they go on supernatural adventures. I've only read 2-3 books in the 10 book series but I still highly recommend this graphic novel series. There's girl power, LGBTQ+ characters, and light-hearted humor.


Lumberjanes was the first book (and graphic novel) I read that included a lesbian relationship. Throughout the series, Mal (the girl w/ edgy black hair) and Molly ( the girl w/ blond hair), slowly grow closer together and develop a very cute relationship. I was rooting for them the whole time. 💕 To this day, Lumberjanes is the only graphic novel I've read that includes a HAPPY lesbian relationship (which is sad and frustrating). It's very hard to find a book with a happy and positive w/w relationship. The ones I find/read are either very toxic or the two have broken up (usually 4 unknown reasons but the two never move on). It's also very hard to find positive girl FRIENDSHIPS. I mean 😒 ??? come on. Anyway, please read this series.



Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

(Published in 2015, read in 2015)

I would die for Simon Spier okay 🗣 LISTEN UP. To make a long story short, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda changed my life. 1) This book gave me a perspective of someone struggling with their "coming out" moment. 2) This book was narrated by a teenager for teenagers (aka it was written in a very relatable manner)  3) This book gave me a craving for oreos. Simon's story is about his sexuality. He knows he's gay but is struggling to come out. He's also dealing with a blackmailing situation because someone (in his school) found out he's gay by accidentally "logging" into his email and saw Simon's emails to his boy named Blue- IT'S A WHOLE THING.


SO YEAH. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was the first book I read that included a gay relationship. Watching Simon grow into a more confident person was amazing. His relationship with Blue was the cutest thing ever and I just kinda fell in love. I mean, this book dealt with a lot of stuff... Simon's coming out moment, blackmail- BIG AND IMPORTANT TOPICS YOU KNOW? But it's all told in a light-hearted manner. It's cute, awkward, funny, and so so so wonderful. 10/10 would recommend this book w/ oreos. OH AND U.S FRIENDS, GO SEE LOVE, SIMON MARCH 16TH (i swear !! i'm not getting paid to promote love, simon 😏)


I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

(Published in 2014, read in 2015)

I was sorta hesitant about adding I'll Give You the Sun to my list because it wasn't a "first" book. Technically, this was the second book I read that included a gay relationship. But it was much different from Simon's story. The book is told by twins, Jude and Noah. I haven't read this book in a long time butttttt I think Jude narrates the present and Noah narrates the past. Anyway, this book is absolutely extraordinary but oh so heartbreaking. The twins are suffering from a terrible incident and the two are drifting apart. Jude meets a mysterious boy, Noah meets Brian. AND WOW MY HEART BROKE. 😩


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Noah and Brian are gay, but Brian hasn't come out. Their relationship is hidden and complex. They run into many problems in their relationship and it's so hard to watch. The two boys are struggling with their own lives so, at the beginning, their relationship is tense. I adored both boys individually and only wanted the best for them. I won't go into details about Noah and Brian's relationship because there's A LOT that happens outside their relationship that does affect their relationship. So I'll stop talking and cry because I loved this book so much.


Happy Friday bookaholics! I'm constantly looking for more LGBTQ+ books, so if you have any recommendations, please comment them down below. I recently discovered this site called 'Queer Books for Teens' and they have hundreds of LGBTQ+ books listed on their site. The site is extremely helpful if you're looking for a specific LGBTQ+ book. <3

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12 comments:

  1. I’m glad you don’t find the need to label yourself, Anna! Just keep living your life, liking whoever you like, and don’t worry about what anyone says. In terms of LGBTQ recommendations, I recently read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and it was really good!

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    1. Aww thank you Emily! I wish I had more of your confidence haha. :,) OH I loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue! I can't wait for the sequel 💗

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  2. DID SOMEONE SAY CARRY ON -- *flips a table and demands for cherry scones and Basilton Grimm Pitch*

    I am so happy for you, Anna. I'm happy because you are discovering who you are. I am happy that these books have taken part in this journey and have helped you along the way. Personally, I don't like labels. I mean, I get how people want to be part of something but it's kind of pressuring. In the end, we're all human. So, I'm glad to hear that you aren't in any rush to label yourself. Take your time. Enjoy your life. You deserve it. <3

    YES, I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE SIMON. This movie is going to be amazing. I'm not even afraid to say that. (I'm definitely going to be sneaking oreos into the theater. ;)) I've been wanting to read The Sun is Also a Star for such a LONG time. I've heard nothing but good things about it. Actually, I've never known much about the book. All I knew was "ASDFGHJKL THIS BOOK IS AMAZING". I didn't even know it was a LGBTQ+! Now I want to read it even more.

    I loved this post, Anna! <3

    xx Kenzie

    p.s. Abby sent me this fanmade video of Snowbaz and I died. I thought I'd share it with you considering we love Simon and Baz THAT much. ;) https://youtu.be/jueWbwYiS40
    It's of my fancast for them. I swear, if Troye Sivan and Ezra Miller aren't Simon and Baz then my whole life has been a lie. o-o

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    1. me tbh

      Omg thank you so much Kenzie. :,) It's been a rough journey you know, trying to discover who I am, but it's totally worth it. 💞

      I SAW LOVE, SIMON YESTERDAY AND ASDFGHJKL IT WAS SO GOOD. YES bring Oreos !! it makes the experience so much better. ;) Oh I didn't know that either! I'll definitely check it out now.

      Thank uuuuu 💓💕💖💗💘💞💝

      p.s. I watched the video and holy moly !!!!! I miss Baz and Simon so much. :,) Ikr?! Ezra is the PERFECT Baz.

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    2. *blushes a deep shade of red* Heh, heh. I just now realized that I accidentally said "the sun is also a star" instead of "I'LL GIVE YOU THE SUN". Whoops. That was awkward... o-o

      There's no need to thank me! <3 I bet and I am so proud of you.

      YESSSS, THANK YOU FOR AGREEING WITH ME. Especially young Ezra. You should totally re-read Carry On. I enjoyed it even more the second time around. ;) <3

      xx Kenzie

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    3. Ohhh okay! That does make more sense hehe.

      Np!! I really should...

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    4. Wow. I'm really spamming your comment section here. Hehe, I hope you don't mind! But I saw your comment on my blog and you mentioned Carry On fanfics and I was wondering if you had any recommendations for me to read? I can't get enough of my #snowbaz. o-o

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    5. Nah you're cool! I've only read one Snowbaz fanfic, but it was SO good! The fanfic is called 'Sour Cherry Scones' and it's basically Baz stealing Simon's scones. The fanfic is super short but so funny! Here's the link. Enjoy <3

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  3. I'll give you the sun was such a good book. the way it was written was just stunning. it made me think so hard and feel a completely different way, but I could never put my finger on why. it was just a great book to get lost in.

    also I cant wait to see Love, Simon!

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    1. IKR?! The overall tone of the book is just breathtaking. ✨

      I hope you enjoy Love, Simon! 💕

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  4. I've read all of these except for Lumberjanes and Fangirl but I really want to read them!! Loved this list. :)

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    1. Oh man you gotta read Fangirl! Thank u 💖

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