6 LGBTQ+ books to read this Pride Month and forever

Brightly coloured books arranged to look like the rainbow flag

Like so many other artistic mediums, literature too has played an incredibly important role in documenting stories about the LGBTQ+ community.

Queer literature has been hugely important in terms of bringing forth narratives and stories that go largely unnoticed in the mainstream.

Today, we live in an era of social media, where everything is instantly accessible and there is a danger that the essence of books can be forgotten.

This Pride Month, Talking Teesside has collaborated with members of the University’s LGBTQ+ Focus Group and Queer Base Reading Club, Vik Brown and Helen Welford, to bring you a list of 6 key LGBTQ+ books that are essential reading.

Copies of Juno Dawson's 'Her Majesty's Royal Coven' in a flatlay

1. Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson

This book follows a secret coven of witches from their 90s adolescence in Hebden Bridge to present-day civil unrest in the witching community.

It wonderfully weaves together themes of gender identity, friendship, and the corrupting nature of power.

It’s part of a trilogy, and we can’t wait for the next instalment, The Shadow Cabinet, released this month.

Copies of Paul Mendez's 'Rainbow Milk' in a flatlay

2. Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

The powerful coming-of-age novel was a gripping read.

It centres around the character Jesse as he navigates his racial and sexual identities amidst his Jehovah’s Witness upbringing and the enduring legacy of the Windrush generation.

Copies of Roxane Gay's 'Hunger' in a flatlay

3. Hunger by Roxane Gay

This is an extraordinary and intimate memoir that explores the emotional and psychological struggles with desire, denial, food, and body image. 

Copies of Bethan Roberts' 'My Policeman' in a flatlay

4. My Policeman by Bethan Roberts

Set in 1950’s Brighton, this book portrays an intricate romantic triangle, and we loved its movie adaptation too.

Copies of Christopher Isherwood's 'Goodbye to Berlin' in a flatlay

5. Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood

This book captures the decadence and repression of 1930s Berlin at the tense dawn of the Second World War. 

Copies of Laura Kate Dale's 'Gender Euphoria' in a flatlay

6. Gender Euphoria by Laura Kate Dale

Our final book group pick is an anthology that features the experiences of 19 trans, non-binary, agender, gender-fluid and intersex writers.

They share their personal perspectives on Gender Euphoria – a feeling of elation, confidence, pride, and freedom that emerges from coming out. 

Queer Base is a growing social club in Teesside. The group holds monthly book groups and creative writing sessions. Since January 2022, the members of the group have read many fiction and non-fiction books as well as poetry pieces focused on queer identity and experience. Queer Base values developing connections through these activities and offers plenty of social activities, too.

To find out more about the group, visit the Instagram page or contact Emily Downes.

What else should we be reading? Drop your book recommendations in the comments…


Author: Aditya 

Aditya is an award-winning writer and LGBTQ+ rights activist from India. He studied his master’s in journalism from the University of East Anglia and moved to Teesside to join the Communications and Development team. He’s written two poetry collections and been published in a number of outlets – from The Telegraph and PinkNews to the BBC and The Times of India. Connect with him on Instagram at @aprilislush.