The Essential Reading List Of The Best LGBTQIA+ Books

We have put together the best LGBTQIA+ books if you are looking to understand the history and current discusions within the LGBT community. Shon Faye writes how Transgender lives have turned into the next culture war, Samra Habib writes on how Queer Muslim women have always been there and Jamie Windust discusses being non-binary in In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life. Follow our list and you'll get the opportunity to understand different genders, cultures and sexualities.

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We have put together the best LGBTQIA+ books if you are looking to understand the history and current discusions within the LGBT community. Shon Faye writes how Transgender lives have turned into the next culture war, Samra Habib writes on how Queer Muslim women have always been there and Jamie Windust discusses being non-binary in In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life. Follow our list and you'll get the opportunity to understand different genders, cultures and sexualities.

If you're looking for our picks for the best LGBTQIA+ novels read: Exciting LGBTQIA+ Novels We Think You Need To Read Next

The Trans-gender Issue - Shon Faye

Today's culture war has made transgender people a "issue" in Britain. Although they constitute fewer than 1% of the nation's population, they are the focus of a poisonous and increasingly politicised "discussion" that provides consistent controversy for newspapers and talk shows. The reality is that we are having the wrong discourse; one in which trans people themselves are restricted to talking points in a media frenzy and disallowed a meaningful voice.

Shon Faye reclaims the concept of the "transgender issue" in this striking new book to explore the realities of what it means to be trans in a transphobic culture. She does this by offering an engaging, comprehensive account of trans lives from childhood to old age, including job, relationships, housing, healthcare, the criminal justice system, and trans engagement in the LGBTQ+ and feminist groups in modern Britain and elsewhere.

Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story - Jacob Tobia

Everything went wrong as soon as a doctor in Raleigh, North Carolina, wrote "man" on Jacob Tobia's birth certificate. Along with the word "male," many other, much less neutral words appeared: words like "masculine," "aggressive," "cargo shorts," and "SPORTS," which held assumptions about who Jacob was and should be.

Jacob challenges us to reevaluate our conceptions of gender by going back to our early years and highlighting the stereotypes that everyone of us has experienced. He also presents a visionary plan for a future free of gender-based trauma and brimming with trans-inclusive feminism.

Jacob dispels the long-held belief that humans may be simply categorised as "men" and "women" by writing with the ferocious honesty, outrageously irreverent humour, and searing vulnerability that have made them a media sensation.

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir - Samra Habib

Samra Habib's narrative is one of hope, faith, and love. It begins with their upbringing in Pakistan as a member of a persecuted minority sect, continues with their refugee arrival in Canada, and ends with them escaping an arranged marriage at the age of sixteen. They had an additional sense of alienation when they acknowledged they were LGBT.

So begins a quest that will lead them around the globe to discover a truth that has always been inside of them. It demonstrates how families may accept change and Muslims can welcome LGBT sexuality. We Have Always Been Here is a triumphant message of freedom and forgiveness. 

Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family - Garrard Conley

Garrard Conley, a young man who grew up in a small town in Arkansas and was the son of a Baptist pastor, struggled with his sexuality and felt terrified of it.

Garrard, then a nineteen-year-old college student, was forced to make a life-altering choice after it being revealed to his parents that he was gay: he could either consent to enrol in a programme of conversion therapy supported by the church that vowed to "cure" him of his homosexuality, or he could lose his family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. 

He was expected to emerge from an institutionalised Twelve-Step Program that heavily emphasised Bible study as a heterosexual, ex-gay, cleaned of impure inclinations, and more strengthened in his faith in God as a result of his run-in with sin. Instead, despite being forced to endure a terrifying and horrific trip, Garrard was able to have the courage and wisdom to escape in search of his true self and forgiveness.

In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life - Jamie Windust

Jamie Windust examines everything from fashion, dating, relationships, and families to mental health, careers, and future critical debates while combining light-hearted anecdotes and their own wisdom. Jamie demonstrates how to navigate the world and your developing identity in a variety of situations, covering everything from pronouns to iconic looks, first dates to polyamorous relationships, and everything in between.

This must-read book is a rallying cry for non-binary self-acceptance, self-appreciation, and celebration. It is candid, humorous, and beautifully headstrong.

What It Feels Like for a Girl - Paris Lees

Byron, a thirteen-year-old, must escape and doesn't care how. Sick of getting beaten up by boys after school.  Sick of their weightlifting, womanising dad, Gaz, and their irritable mother, Shirley Valentine to Turkey. They are tired of all the people in Hucknall who shuffle around like the walking dead and complain about how they can't afford to renovate their kitchens or leave their marriages because they're too afraid to do so.

There is an entire world to discover in the new millennium, Madonna's song "Music" is at the top of the charts, and Byron is prepared to beg, steal, and skank his way onto a hedonistic rollercoaster. When Byron slips into Nottingham's dynamic underbelly and finds Lady Die, the best podium dancer in the East Midlands, life bursts like an ecstasy surge. But when the comedown finally sets in, Byron has a life-altering meeting that shocks them.

Girlhood - Melissa Febos

Author Melissa Febos, whose work has received widespread recognition, investigates the stories women are given about what it means to be a woman and what it takes to break free from those stories in her compelling new book.

When Febos' physique started to change at age eleven, she knew right once that her significance to other people had also changed. By her teen years, she had come to identify herself by these views and the passionate relationships she put herself into. After years of attempting to live up to others' expectations, Febos began to examine the stories she had been taught about herself as well as the habits and defences she had formed. She set out to redefine such values and beliefs because they did not prioritise her own safety, happiness, or independence, unlike the ideals that so many other women had received as girls.

Girlhood is a philosophical dissertation, a manifesto for women, and a piercing examination of the transitions into and out of girlhood, toward a chosen self, written with Febos' signature clarity, lyricism, and insight.

Black Girl, Call Home - Jasmine Mans

A remarkable poetry anthology about race, feminism, and queer identity is the work of spoken word artist Jasmine Mans.

Mans writes to refer to herself—and us—as home, with overtones of Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez. Each poem examines what it means to be an American and a daughter of Newark, as well as the challenging and rewarding journey toward adulthood for a young, queer Black woman.

“Nothing short of sublime, and the territory Mans explores...couldn’t be more necessary.” - Vogue

We Are Everywhere: A Visual Guide to the History of Queer Liberation, So Far - Leighton Brown, Matthew Riemer

We Are Everywhere is a crucial and uplifting introduction to the history of the struggle for queer liberation through the lenses of protest, power, and pride. The book explores LGBT activism from its origins in late nineteenth-century Europe—long before the crucial Stonewall Riots of 1969—to the gender warriors leading the struggle today. It combines an exhaustively researched narrative with painstakingly edited photos. 

This inclusive and intersectional book, with more than 300 images from more than 70 photographers and 20 archives, gives us a chance to see queer history unlike anything else before, with snippets of activism in the decades before and after Stonewall, family life, marches, protests, celebrations, mourning, and Pride. 

We Are Everywhere demonstrates to readers how they can—and should—challenge many of the presumptions that dominate mainstream LGBTQ+ history.

On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual - Merle Miller

On Being Different by Merle Miller, which was first released in 1971, is a ground-breaking and daring book about homosexuality in America. 

In response to a bigoted piece that appeared in Harper's Magazine just two years after the Stonewall riots, Miller penned a moving essay for the New York Times Magazine titled "What It Means To Be a Homosexual." The article was transformed into the remarkable short book On Being Different, which has been called "the most extensively read and discussed essay of the decade" and is one of the first autobiographies to emphasise the significance of coming out.

Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times - Carolina De Robertis

A collection of letters from authors expressing hope, passion, and courage in the wake of Trump's Presidential win.

These uplifting letters were sent in response to Trump's victory to ancestors, future generations, strangers in grocery lines, and anybody else who feels disappointed by modern politics. 

The letters were written by renowned novelists, poets, political analysts, and activists including letters from Celeste Ng, Boris Fishman, Alicia Garza, Aya de Leon, Achy Obejas, and Carolina De Robertis.

Best LGBTQIA+ Books - The Essential Reading List Of The Best LGBTQIA+ Books

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