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16 LGBT Books That Will Actually Change Your Life

These books showed you that it was more than OK to be gay.

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1. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

"It taught me to push through the silence and pain of living in denial and fear, and to fight for my love, my singularity and my uniqueness with all my power; no matter who or what stands in my way.”

Julia Hegele

“... one of the most beautifully portrayed brutality honest books about growing up as a young lesbian, it got me through my darkest moments so I didn’t feel so alone.”

mckenzieb4acba9fad

“... really helped me be OK with who I am and understand that even though it takes time to understand who you are, you’ll find out one day.”

MLChristine

2. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

“My mother gave me a copy of Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle when I was a kid. It was before I was out and she gave it to me as a way of letting me know it was OK for me to come out to her. It’s one of my favorite books to this day.”

Community User

3. Keeping You A Secret by Julie Anne Peters

Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters. I read it my sophomore or junior year in high school and it made me feel a sense of comfort, as in knowing what I was feeling was OK to feel. After reading the book, I didn’t feel as scared as I did before to be myself. So, it sort of helped me accept myself and no longer be afraid of other people’s opinions.”

Kristina Tassell

“...it absolutely helped me come to terms with my sexuality. It’s been almost eight years since I first discovered it, and even though now I am an out and proud lesbian I still open my old battered copy at least once a year to revisit my roots."

fionam4f19bfc6b

4. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, she is completely able to feel the emotions of a young adult liberated by their coming out as well as the entrapment you can feel when you have to hide who you are. She brilliantly examines her own life in a graphic memoir, allowing you to identify with and re-examine your own experience with discovering who you are. It is truly beautiful.”

Chase Haylon

5. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

“...it showed a wide array of gay people, including trans boys and people of color, and a wide range of experiences, from good to bad. I think it's important for young queer people to read books that have this kind of range and diversity.”

Joey Reisberg

6. Girl Walking Backwards by Bett Williams

“Being a teenager was very confusing and demoralizing. This book was my safe place. Skye struggled like I struggled. For the first time, I fully connected with a book. I still read it every now and then, so many fuzzy nostalgic feelings.”

carolineh4cc8eeac7

7. Ash by Malinda Lo

“The prose was so beautiful and timeless; I entered another realm that was more home than my own — one that turned the world on its head allowing two women to fall in love, and without cliche.”

queeranorAk

8. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronns-Mills

“I read this book while struggling with my gender identity, and I identified with Gabe, the main character who's also FTM, so much! Coming from a small conservative town, I never had anything to compare myself to, so for the longest of times, I just thought I was a major tomboy. At the end of this book though, I knew I was trans, and felt confident saying I was trans.”

Astrophel

9. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

"I was struggling when I read the book, having been obsessed with boys since pre-puberty and now suddenly being 14 and wondering what it would be like to kiss my best friend (now my partner, funny enough). I had only ever seen queer characters who knew exactly who they were, or who were in utter denial. It was really wonderful to see a character who embraced herself without fully knowing who she was, especially since she is still unlabeled and uncertain at the end of the book. It showed me that I didn't need to pin down a label at 14, or any other time, and that not knowing how I identified didn't negate who I was.”

Rome Johnson

10. How to Repair A Mechanical Heart by J.C. Lillis

"It taught me it's OK to be gay and be a fucking nerd and believe there could be a higher power out there that just wants everyone to be happy. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and The Song of Achilles influenced me too, in that they made me want to love.”

Kamir Alexandra Camua Bartolome

11. Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden

“I remember reading it in the library freshman year of high school (before they removed it because some narrow-minded parents called it “immoral”) and crying because it hit home so much for me. Kind of want to re-read it now…”

kiwikimma

“I had to do an essay on any topic I wanted freshman year and my fantastic English teacher purchased and delivered it to my house because my conservative Christian school had no LGBTQ books excluding those saying we were abominations. It made me weep because after I read it I knew for sure this is who I was.”

maggiehicks1999

12. And The Band Played On by Randy Shiltz

“...made me aware of the early struggle with AIDS in San Francisco, LA, and New York. The book is heartbreaking, shows the ugly side of discrimination and in-fighting of the piecemeal LGBT movement in the early '80s. It’s a book every gay man should read to learn how far we’ve come and better understand the path forged by a lost generation.”

kennyw46297aba9

13. Holly’s Secret by Nancy Garden

“Being raised by two women for the last 21 years meant I got bullied for it in high school but I always went back to this book called Holly’s Secret. It’s about a girl who lies about having two moms because she was bullied about it but in the end she understands that love is all that matters and I really connected to that.”

savannahm4c8f366fe

14. Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer By Chely Wright

“When I first heard about her and the book over two years ago I was really struggling with my own identity and reading it absolutely changed my life. While she had to hide for so much longer than I did and with much more at stake, for the first time I felt I was seeing someone who was ‘like me.’ Not only was I finally fully able to come out to myself, but (slowly) to others as well, leading up to today when I came out to my classmates. I can honestly say that this book saved and changed my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. Beautifully written, thought-provoking, and inspiring, and certainly worth the read.”

hogwarts2018

15. Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz showed me that I can still have a life after coming out and that even misfit black girls like me can find supportive friends and family.”

TonyaPenn

16. Am I Blue? Coming Out from the Silence by Marion Dane Bauer

Am I Blue? Which is a compilation of short stories. I read it when I was a Sophomore in high school and it gave me the strength and taught me that the feelings I had were OK. I loved it. I may read it again very soon.”

stephanieb48ebabe52

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