Six Nonfiction Books to Celebrate LGBTQ+ Authors

6 Nonfiction books to celebrate LGBTQIA+ authors

The Shifting Tides of Queer Stories in Publishing

There is still a way to go in securing equal rights for LGBTQ+ people across the world, but there have been significant steps made in allowing the gay community to openly celebrate their lives and stories in literature:

  • Early novels featuring gay characters were often published under pseudonyms due to the stigma attached to homosexuality, and rarely gained much attention. Now, the LGBTQ+ publishing landscape is thriving and as diverse as the community that it represents. 
  • A lot has changed in recent years with regards to mainstream publishers supporting LGBTQ+ writers. Large publishing companies such as Penguin compile pride book lists, and Waterstones’ website and stores feature a gallery of LGBTQ+ books across a variety of genres. 
  • There are also awards such as the Lambda Literary Award and Stonewall Book Award, recognising books that explore LGBTQ+ experiences, covering both fiction and non-fiction writing. Even children’s literature has started to more frequently feature queer stories, encouraging acceptance from a young age.

Book Recommendations

Here is a list of non-fiction books by LGBTQIA+ authors that we think you should read:

#1. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson

This Book Is Gay is a guide to LGBTQ+ identities, written by an author who understands what it’s like to experience life as a queer person. It includes perspectives from people across the LGBTQ+ spectrum and aims to be an educational resource for those finding their place in the gay community, as well as those who wish to learn more about it.

#2. How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

This coming-of-age memoir tells the story of Jones as a young, gay, black man in the south of America, finding his place in the world. It tackles issues of race, sexuality and power, with the poet writing in a unique style that mixes poetry and prose. 

#3. Fairest by Meredith Talusan

This memoir follows a boy with albinism from the Philippines, who grows up to become a successful woman in America. The author discusses perceptions of the her race across the different cultures, her gender identity and decision to transition, and finding her place in the gay community.

#4. Stonewall by Martin Duberman

Written by gay historian and activist Martin Duberman, this book recounts the events of the famous Stonewall riots of 1969 through the stories of six people who lived through them. He uses these individuals’ stories to create an image of the oppression that preceded the riots and highlight their motivations to fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

#5. Sex or Ice Cream?: Secrets of an Asexual by Ana Navarro

This unfiltered and candid account of the author’s life gives her perspectives on what it is like to live as an asexual woman in a sexual world. It gives an insight into the often overlooked sexuality that Navarro hopes will allow other asexuals to connect with someone else who understands how they feel. This book contains a fair bit of profanity, so give this a miss if that is not to your taste.

#6. We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

Habib’s memoir is a powerful story of her journey as a queer Muslim, from her childhood in Pakistan through to her family’s immigration to Canada as refugees, grappling with her sexuality and her religion, two identities which are often opposed. 

If you read any of these books or have any suggestions for ones we should read, let us know on Twitter (@thebookshelfltd) or Instagram (! 

For any LGBTQ+ writers who are looking to write their own book, or are looking for editing or self-publishing advice, please get in touch

Six Nonfiction Books to Celebrate LGBTQ+ Authors