Pride Month 2021: Queer reading recommendations

Published: Posted on
Pride Month 2021 - LBGTQ activist holds a big rainbow flag
“Pride Month 2021 – LGBTQ+ activist holds a big rainbow flag” by Marco Verch <> Licensed under CC BY 2.0 <>

28 June is Pride Day – marking the date of the Stonewall Riots, which occurred on 28 June 1969 and sparked a series of protests and parades across the world, campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights. The whole month of June is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community – but also a chance to shine a light on current issues affecting the community.

Let’s educate ourselves for equality

In recognition of Pride Month, we’ve pulled together some queer reading recommendations. We challenge you to read at least one of these books, whether that’s this month or this year!

Choose from fiction, memoirs or non-fiction, depending on what type of book you prefer to read.


Rainbow Milk – Paul Mendez

Rainbow Milk follows nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of his Jehovah’s Witness upbringing in the Black Country. 

Plain Bad Heroines – emily m. danforth

A gothic horror set across two time periods with Sapphic romances and cursed objects. 

The House in the Cerulean Sea – T.J. Klune 

A delightfully cosy fantasy, where magical persons exist, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. 

The Black Tides of Heaven – Neon Yang (originally published as JY Yang) 

A standalone fantasy novella that introduces the Tensorate series following twin siblings who take different paths between rebellion and their mother’s Protectorate. 

Loveless – Alice Oseman 

A wise, warm and witty story of identity and self-acceptance following Georgia to university as she comes to understand herself with new terms of reference in asexual and aromantic. 


A Year Without a Name – Cyrus Grace Dunham 

Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs, A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved queer coming of age story. 

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness – Kabi Nagata 

An honest and heartfelt look at one young woman’s exploration of her sexuality, mental well-being, and growing up in our modern age. 

Gender Queer – Maia Kobabe 

Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity. 

Sissy – Jacob Tobia 

A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it’s like to grow up not sure if you’re (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above. 

In the Dream House – Carmen Maria Machado 

For years Carmen Maria Machado has struggled to articulate her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship. In this extraordinarily candid and radically inventive memoir, Machado tackles a dark and difficult subject with wit, inventiveness and an inquiring spirit. 


We Are Everywhere – Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown 

A rich and sweeping photographic history of the queer liberation movement from the creators of the massively popular Instagram account @lgbt_history. 

The Stonewall Reader – ed. The New York Public Library 

For the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an anthology chronicling the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ rights in the 1960s and the activists who spearheaded it, with a foreword by Edmund White. 

Stonewall – Martin Duberman 

Stonewall unfolds through the stories of six lives, and those individual lives broaden out into the larger historical canvas. 

Sister, Outsider – Audre Lorde 

A collection of 15 essays exploring race, sex, feminism, economic status, homophobia and more from the iconic Lorde.    

Queer Love in Color – Jamal Jordan 

A photographic celebration of the love and relationships of queer people of colour by a New York Times multimedia journalist. 

More recommendations

For even more recommendations, check out this list of 40 suggestions from publisher Penguin Random House (features some of the above recommendations). 

Pride Month events

Keep an eye out on the University’s Rainbow Network calendar for socials and events throughout June and the rest of the year.