Fight the gay book ban by loving these 11 new LGBTQ+ reads


Republicans don’t care to tell you, there’s never a bad time to get lost in a queer book. But now happens to be a really good time to do so, as parents are lobbying administrators to ban books with LGBTQ+ content from classrooms and libraries. You can take action against these conservative groups that relentlessly push their troubling censorship efforts. One way? To simply exercise your reading rights by supporting these LGBTQ+ stories and authors.

“I was better last night”, Harvey Fierstein

Harvey Fierstein is a true gay legend on every level, from his illustrious career on stage and screen (among his greatest movie hits: ‘Torch Song Trilogy’, ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’) to to “Kinky Boots,” the Tony Award-winning musical for which he wrote the book. Of course, there’s everything in between and everything that came before, and in his early memoirs”I was better last nightFierstein reflects on all of the above. The book covers aspects of his life as a prominent figure in the LGBTQ+ community, including his community theater roots in Brooklyn, his non-conforming childhood, and two defining moments in queer history – the beginning of the rights movement. homosexuals in the 1970s and the AIDS crisis the following decade. . In a interview 2015 with Pride Source, Fierstein said, “I don’t believe in life after death, so anyone who remembers me is definitely not looking at me. I won’t know. With these memoirs, surely, but perhaps unwittingly, he gave us another reason not to let him slip into oblivion.

“Just by looking at it”, Ryan O’Connell

Ryan O’Connell currently plays a gay pop culture nerd on Peacock’s”Queer as Folkreinvent, while also serving as writer and executive producer. And before that, he created “Special,” the Emmy-nominated comedy-drama loosely based on O’Connell’s life as a gay man living with cerebral palsy which ran for two seasons on Netflix. Now you can add an author to their ever-expanding resume with their first foray into fiction. “Just looking at ittells the story of Elliott, who masks his alcohol addiction with a career of smoke and mirrors as a television writer. He cheats on his boyfriend, however, and things don’t go so well in All the while, he suffers from cerebral palsy, which makes him feel like a ‘gay Shrek.’ O’Connell’s story is about the struggle to overcome addiction while seeking acceptance in an ableist world.

“You made a fool of death with your name”, Akwaeke Emezi

Nigerian fiction writer and videographer Akwaeke Emezi, who identifies as non-binary transgender, has been a famous queer voice – a “once in a generation”, according to Vulture – since “Freshwater”, their 2018 debut novel which is currently being adapted into a television series for FX. Since then, Emezi has achieved major prestige, including being named a “5 Under 35” winner by the National Book Foundation that same year. Their 2019 book, “Pet,” which explored identity and justice, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. And their latest book,You made a fool of death with your beautythe story of Feyi Adekola grappling with the aftermath of her lover’s death, has been described by The New York Times Book Review as “a shameless ode to living with and in spite of pain and mortality.”

“A Past Life”, Edmund White

National Book Award-winning author Edmund White explores polyamory, bisexuality, aging and love in “A past lifea book about Sicilian aristocrat and musician Ruggero and the decision of his young American wife Constance to break their promise to refrain from sharing intimate details of their past relationships. Their transparency leads to revealing revelations about each other: Constance was married to several older men, and Ruggero loved not only women, but men as well. And White, whose book experiments with writing himself into the story as a supporting character, happens to be one of them.

“Rainbow Rainbow”, Lydia Conklin

Visiting Professor of Fiction at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Lydia Conklin’s “Rainbow Rainbow” is inspired by various aspects of queer, gender-nonconforming and trans life for this collection of stories: a young lesbian and her lover attempt to have a baby with an unprofessional sperm donor, a fifth-grade student dresses as an ox for an “Oregon Trail” course reenactment, and a non-binary person lives in an open relationship alongside her surgery at the height of the pandemic.

‘My and Me’, Putsata Reang

Described as “a layered story of queerness, assimilation and displacement” to the press, author Putsata Reang’s memoir sheds light on the experience of gay refugees in America as she – born in Cambodia, raised in rural Oregon – tells her own story of intergenerational trauma and her complicated relationship with her mother, which she describes as “painful”. In “Ma and Mewhich is based on her modern love essay in The New York Times, Reang recalled how, in her twenties, after doing everything she could to be the kind of Cambodian girl that would make her mother proud, she came out. His mother tells him it’s just a phase, but then, in his 40s, Reang marries a woman, forever changing his relationship with Ma. of Reang’s early memoirs.

‘Miss Memory Lane’, Colton Haynes

Described as the story of ‘a man stepping into the light like no one but himself’, Colton Haynes shares his thoughts on fame, addiction and life as an openly gay man in Hollywood in his early memoir . The star of TV shows like “Arrow,” “Teen Wolf” and “American Horror Story,” Haynes writes about a fear of death in his twenties that drove him to sobriety. He recounts this galvanizing episode in the book, when he woke up in a hospital after having two seizures, lost sight in one eye, ruptured a kidney and was placed in involuntary psychiatric detention. Its candid storytelling and emotional transparency moved Elton John and her husband David Furnish; they called the book a “brutally honest memoir that puts you in your stomach with its candor”, adding that “Miss Memory Laneis an example of “how conquering our demons in life is an endless journey.”

‘Stumble of Arcadia’, Kit Mayquist

If you’ve ever been desperate for a job, you might understand Lena’s situation – earning money, in this case to support her financially struggling parents, even though the job is unusual. And working for one of Boston’s most elite families is… weird. Stranger, too, the more Lena, a medical school dropout, learns about the family; there’s that mysterious resident doctor and Jonathan, the poetic, drunk heir to the family empire. The author is Kit Mayquist, a trans writer, and “Traveling to Arcadia», his first novel is a Mexican gothic soap opera, where the champagne flows as freely as revenge and greed.

‘Young Mungo’, Douglas Stuart

The second novel by author Douglas Stuart, winner of the Booker Prize for “Shuggie bathis, at its tender heart, a story of queer love and working-class families. Stuart, of course, is no stranger to imbuing his literary work with queerness: in “Shuggie Bain,” his first coming-of-age novel, he wrote about Hugh, a young gay boy who grew up in the 1980s with an alcoholic mother. Now in “Young Mungowe meet Mungo and James, who are growing up together in a Glasgow housing estate. A world seeks to divide them, but their friendship against all odds that, over time, blossoms into a romance that pushes against the violent and dangerous forces they, like many queer people, must face together.

“Time is a mother”, Ocean Vuong

“I was in mourning, the world was in mourning, and the only thing I really had was to go back to the poems,” Vuong wrote, “On Earth, we are briefly beautifulsaid TIME magazine earlier this year. At the time, he expressed how his mother’s death, coupled with the pandemic, led to his latest work, “time is a mother.” The openly gay Vietnamese-American essayist and novelist, whose mother died of breast cancer in 2019, recounts how he survived that loss in the collection, his second book of poetry after 2016’s “Night sky with exit wounds.”

“Girls can kiss now”, Jill Gutowitz

Author and comedian Jill Gutowitz has been writing about her gay relationship with pop culture (fortunately a lot about Taylor Swift) for 15 years, in magazines including the New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vulture. Now, in his first book of essays, “Girls can kiss now», the journalist and essayist develops, with her characteristic irony, the tricks of pop culture that make her vibrate. And then, of course, there’s, as the back of the book promises, “the time the FBI showed up on her doorstep because of something she tweeted about ‘Game of Thrones.’ ”


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