It’s Pride Month and we reached out to some of our favorite queer influencers to give us some recommendations written by LGBTQ+ authors! Read and support queer authors this June and beyond to celebrate the beautiful, unique myriad experiences of all queer people.
As a queer woman myself, I also wanted to throw in a recommendation: Trans Power: Own Your Gender by Juno Roche. Now, more than ever, uplifting and protecting trans people is necessary and urgently integral to the safety of our community. Trans Power is a beautiful collection of essays, interviews and musings from Juno that expanded my personal perspective of the trans experience and I would highly recommend it.
Megan, she/her | @booksnblazers
Megan is a queer bookstagrammer and young publishing professional, living in New York with her partner and her cat and literally thousands of books crammed into one small Manhattan apartment. She enjoys reading all things gay, including YA, adult, literary, graphic novels, horror and romance.
“I cannot recommend Man O’ War by Cory McCarthy enough. It’s a coming-of-age story about a trans teen athlete where you really see the changes in the main character’s views and feelings in such a genuine and heartfelt way. It’s one of those rare books that I think would hit home with all kinds of readers, cis or trans, queer or straight. It has a message for everyone and no matter who you are, you’ll feel it deeply.”
Cheyanne, they/them | @queer_bookwyrm
Cheyenne has been a bookstagrammer since 2020, and reads mostly YA, fantasy, science-fiction, and queer books. They are Agender and bisexual, and is a self-described Trekkie. “Books are an escape for me. The more dragons and aliens the better!”
“I recommend The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon because Edgmon is trans and nonbinary, and they are excellent at writing messy queer characters. Edgmon allows his characters to make mistakes, be unlikable, and angsty. I think it’s important for queer teens to see that they don’t have to have it all figured out. There is also a ton of great rep, and well-done discussions around oppression, mental health, and trauma.”
Milly, she/they | @itsabookishworld_
“My name is Jimalion but most people on the internet call me Milly or JP for short. My pronouns are she/they and I identify as a lesbian. I live in North Carolina with my beautiful wife and I work in Clinical Research. When I am not working you can catch me reading, shopping for more books I don’t need, working on my first book, or trying a new restaurant. My favorite genres are thriller/mystery, romance and fantasy. Fun fact about me, I love jingles — if there is a jingle….you can probably bet your last dollar that I know it.
“My book recommendation would be The Black Flamingo. This book will forever hold a special place in my heart. As someone who was born and raised in the South, I did not encounter people who identified as queer, so it was an isolating time. I went to my first drag show a few years after I graduated high school and it saved my life. To be embraced by a community that is oftentimes misunderstood, made me feel seen, made me feel less alone. And this book had the same effect; after reading it, it felt like the warmest hug, and I wish I had more of that when I was going through the journey of coming out.”
Sam, he/ they | @sam_youngs_books
“Hi, I’m Sam and I love books. More? Okay, I am a small content creator who wishes to share my love of reading as well as my love of photography through Instagram and YouTube. I spend a lot of my time reading either curled up in bed or on my commute to uni, where I indeed spend more of my life studying books. However, I never expected just how much books could bond a community until I began sharing my bookish opinions online and met a myriad of the most wonderful humans.
“If I was to recommend just one (hard as it is from the countless amazing queer authors) I would have to say, Simon Vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. It’s a book that really helped me out and just a perfect introduction to queer literature. It inspired not only my name on social media but me personally and I would love for it to reach others. It was pretty popular and I’d love to see it come back — also check Albertalli’s other works out as well as her socials where she advocates for queer spaces.”
Adri, they/them | @_perpetualpages_
“I am a queer and trans nonbinary Mexican-American book reviewer, reader, writer and content creator. When it comes to my taste in books, I read widely across all genres, mediums and age ranges, with the goal of connecting people with the stories that are truly going to matter to them!
“The Beautiful Something Else by Ash Van Otterloo. This incredibly tender story of self-discovery has already solidified itself as one of my favorite books of the year. Yes, it’s about Sparrow coming into their nonbinary identity, but it’s also about working through trauma and learning to move towards the kinds of beauty and safety that prevail beyond its confines. This is very much a story about the transition between surviving and living, and how growing into exactly who you are will always be a journey worth taking.”
Greg, they/he | @gregslibrary
“Hey! My name is Greg, I’m 27, I’m from the beautiful island of Curaçao and I love to read!
I am a big hopeless romantic so my shelf is full of contemporary romance, if not that than something Percy Jackson or Greek mythology-related because those three things pretty much some up the bulk of my personality. I love sharing queer books that I find because I know how hard it was/is to find books that make you feel seen, which is the main reason I’m on TikTok so much, but also because I like making people happy.
“Nonfiction is not usually my thing, but if I had to recommend one book that everyone should read it is definitely All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson because it made me feel so seen in a way I’ve never felt before, and I need everyone to know its brilliance.”
Tre, she/they | @treofpaperbacks
“Hi! I’m Tre and I love cozy games, kpop and of course books! Some of my favorite genres include monster romance, fantasy and horror. You can catch me on TikTok making silly videos about my favorite books or updating my kpop collection (BTS ARMY). I started a book club last year on the Fable app titled: Paperback Besties, feel free to stop by and join us on our reading adventures!
“The Creature Cafe Series by Clio Evans! I cannot rave about the cozy,yet spicy, brilliance that Clio Evans has graced us with. This series covers a vast range of identities and backgrounds and monsters. I would consider this series to be cozy fantasy. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in monster romance.”
Alex, she/her | @thebookadvocate
“My name is Alex and I live in Florida with my fiancé and our basset hound Penelope! During the week, I work as a therapist providing queer and gender-affirming care to youth and adults. Weeknights and weekends you can find me drinking coffee and reading any LGBTQ+ book I can get my hands on!
“I also have to recommend How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (and every other book she writes). As someone who came out later on in life, this book and the stories that Blake writes resonate with me and provided such a safe place to explore my identity and what it means to me. For this book in particular — think “coming of age with tough topics” meets “sweet first romance.” One of her earlier books that still packs a punch and holds up to her recent releases!”
JG, they/them | @theroguerecommender
JG is a midwesterner by birth and New Yorker by trade. They’re an indie bookseller who loves talking about the last great book they read, the collective they live in, the Great Lakes and the wonders of the Trader Joe’s frozen food aisle. Please ask them to wax poetic about any of the above! Some of their favorite genres include fantasy, romance, YA and social science nonfiction.
“My current queer rec is Horse Barbie, which I will definitely be shoving at everyone I know until they all read it! Horse Barbie is a memoir by Geena Rocero and it chronicles her childhood in the Philippines, where Rocero rose to stardom in the trans pageant scene, and her subsequent move to the United States and her life and modeling career there. I loved Rocero’s storytelling, as she takes us through the many versions of herself she’s inhabited, and I think in particular this book stands out to me because of its portrayal of how the trans experience changes within and is informed by different cultures/societies. A groundbreaking memoir and a must read for all!”
Caro, they/she | @sanjariti
Caro is a Mexican-American nonbinary bookworm living in Chicago. They have spent over four years in the book community as an inclusive book influencer, focusing on Latinx and BIPOC authors and literature. They are a huge fan of iced coffee, anime, Squishmallows, and pretty flowers. When they’re not busy reading, you can find Caro watching their favorite anime, My Hero Academia, or jamming out to early 2000s hits.
“I highly recommend Something Wild & Wonderful by Anita Kelly. Not only is it a love letter to hiking and nature, but it’s a beautiful reminder to embrace who you truly are, from head to toe, and that kindness will persist amongst the hate in the world. Alexei and Ben are two wonderful individuals that, while struggling through some deeply painful things in their own lives, come together and find joy in the world around them. This story resonates deeply with me, and I am so grateful that it exists!”
Cristina, she/her | @2bookornot2book
Cristina is an archivist and librarian living in NYC. She’s proud of being bisexual and Puerto Rican and enjoys prioritizing books by queer authors of color. Her favorite kind of queer stories are the ones where being queer is an intrinsic part of the characters but the plot doesn’t revolve around it. When she’s not reading, she’s fostering cats, cooking and watching TV (she recommends Black Sails for pride month watching).
“I recommend Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez. If you want a sweeping and lyrical science fiction novel with multiple queer characters of color, family by choice, critiques on capitalism, and music as a plot device, then this book is for you. I cried my eyes out reading the last chapter and consider this one of my favorite books of all time. And Jimenez has a more recent fantasy novel out called The Spear Cuts Through The Water that is just as good as well!
A literary omnivore and influential Bookstagrammer, Layne applies her vivid creativity for every title we promote by deftly coordinating news coverage and events for authors, writing and editing diverse content for social media, and assisting with Books Forward’s social media engagement initiatives.
As a former special education teacher, Layne firmly believes in the importance of literature and accessibility. This unique point of view is an asset in her publicity efforts as she works to reach readers across various platforms and demographics.
Layne received her Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing and Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and her Masters of Art in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education. She lives in New Orleans with her loyal, but sadly illiterate cat, Macaroni.