When I look back on my life, some of my most important moments of identity formation took place while I was reading books for English class. I had no concept of what it meant to be “gay” – let alone what the word itself meant. I fed on the subtle and more overt undertones of gay relationships found in books such as A Separate Peace, The Catcher in the Rye and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
These books were assigned to the class for their literary merit – there was rarely a discussion in the class of the queer themes that I thought were so blatantly obvious. I saw myself reflected in these pages, their emotions, their confusion and struggle. As a frightened young boy, I can tell you there is nothing more magical than knowing you are not alone. I had no idea where to find books by queer authors – too afraid to go to the local library and search. How would I even know which ones I would enjoy and want to read over and over again?
Once I entered college, my boyfriend told me about Christopher Rice, the gay son and author of Ann Rice (that woman we have to thank for all those vampire books). There’s nothing remotely Twilight-esqe about Christopher’s books, but they all contain gay characters in leading roles. His first book, A Density of Souls was written when he was younger than I am now and captures the emotions of a youth struggling to come out in an oppressive environment perfectly.
I’ll be the first to admit, my knowledge about all the queer books out there is extremely limited to those containing gay characters, which is why I wanted to share this resource that not only names modern LGBT authors that represent every letter of the acronym, but also gives each of their top five picks of must-read LGBT books.
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