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8 Incredible Books to Read this Pride Month

Posted:
08 June 2022   |   by Explore Careers
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Cats out the bag: we’re a bunch of nerdy bookworms here at Explore Careers HQ!

Joking aside, books are a great doorway into other perspectives, ideas, and experiences, but they’re also essential to help marginalised individuals in our communities feel seen and understood. There’s something compelling about ‘seeing’ yourself and the challenges you face represented in cultural media – whether that’s books, movies or TV shows.

A good book is a great reminder to stay open, curious and empathetic about those around us – and about ourselves. And we thought there would be no better occasion to highlight some great books to get stuck into than Pride month.

Enjoy!

4 Fiction Books to Read this Pride

From stories that whisk us away to exotic lands and showcase budding LGBTQIA+ positive romances to narratives that reshape the challenges of carving out your identity no matter what that looks like – fiction is great for escapism and finding ourselves.

1. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first, each feigns indifference. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a short but powerful romance and an experience that marks them for a lifetime.

2. Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard

Invisible Boys is a multi-award winning debut novel that tackles homosexuality, masculinity, anger and suicide from a unique perspective. Set in regional Western Australia, the novel follows three sixteen-year-old boys in the throes of coming to terms with their homosexuality in a town where it is invisible – and so are they. Invisible Boys perfectly depicts the complexities and trauma of rural gay identity with its consequences, but also with hope.

3. All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sneha has graduated from university and moved to Milwaukee for an entry-level corporate job that, gruelling as it may be, is the key that unlocks every door: she can pick up the tab at dinner and send money to her parents back in India. As secrets rear their heads before long, trouble arrives, jobs go off the rails, and evictions loom. All This Could Be Different showcases the challenges of young people embracing their identity and what it takes to create a life on your own.

4. Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin

A delightful debut collection of short stories in which queer, gender-nonconforming, and trans characters struggle to find love and forgiveness, despite their sometimes comic, sometimes tragic mistakes. With insight and compassion, Conklin takes their readers to a meeting of a queer feminist book club and a convention for trans teenagers, revealing both the dark and lovable sides of their characters. The stories in Rainbow Rainbow will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time!

4 Non-Fiction Books to Read this Pride

Whether it’s a good essay exploring a collection of themes or a memoir of personal experience, non-fiction can help challenge us and show us we’re not as alone in our experiences as we might sometimes feel.

1. A Visible Man by Edward Enninful

When Edward Enninful became the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue, few in the fashion world wanted to confront how it failed to represent the world we live in. But Edward, a champion of inclusion throughout his life, rapidly changed that. Edward shares an empowering perspective on how, as a Black, gay, working-class refugee, he found in fashion not only a home but the freedom to share with people the world as he saw it.

2. Girls Can Kiss Now: Essays by Jill Gutowitz

Girls Can Kiss Now is a fresh blend of personal stories and laugh-out-loud humour. Gutowitz’s essays help us make sense of past and present pop culture and points toward a joyous—and very queer—future. In these honest examinations of identity, desire, and self-worth, Jill explores her traumas and examines how pop culture acts as a fun house mirror reflecting and refracting our values, always teaching, distracting, disappointing, and revealing us.

3. We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

A memoir of hope, faith, and love, Samra Habib’s story starts with growing up as part of a threatened minority sect in Pakistan and follows their arrival in Canada as a refugee before escaping an arranged marriage at sixteen. When they realised they were queer, it became yet another way they felt like an outsider. We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one’s most authentic self.

4. We Can Do Better Than This Edited by Amelia Abraham

In this fantastic anthology of essays and memoirs, thirty-five extraordinary LGBTQ+ voices share their experience and visions for the future. Through deeply moving stories and provocative new arguments on safety and visibility, dating and gender, care and community, they map new frontiers in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. A must-have for any bookshelf!

Any Others?

We’d love to hear from you on this; what have we missed, and what other LGBTQIA+ narratives have you enjoyed reading lately?

And don’t stop at books – whether it’s a podcast, movie, TV show, or even a TikTok! Let us know in the comments, and let’s build a positive, inclusive collection of media we can all enjoy this Pride and beyond!

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