In June, as it was Pride Month, I thought I’d read all LGBT+ themed books as a form of celebrating Pride myself! Literature is such a great way to express the most profound feelings and messages that one may want to get across, and the four books which I read in celebration of Pride, I feel, have truly reflected this.
Apologies that this post was a little late – I didn’t finish my last book until just now (but I still wanted to include it, as I still started it in June 😜)!
So, without further ado, here are the Pride books I read in June:
#20: The ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ashley Hardell
Let me just start this off by saying that this book is for anyone, whether or not they identify as LGBT+, who would like to learn more about this topic – I thoroughly recommend it. It is written by American YouTuber, Ashley Hardell, who has opened the eyes of millions of people on LGBT+, especially with her video series of the same name as this book. The ABC’s of LGBT+ for me has been so insightful, and an invaluable resource which I have used extensively to broaden my knowledge and understanding of LGBT+. If I had to sum it up in a couple of points, they would be:
- Most things on this world, including identity traits, are rarely black and white – things like sexuality, gender and gender expression can be placed on a spectrum, which can be expressed in many different ways, from a simple line, to a colour wheel to a galaxy diagram – it all depends on which method you feel best using!
- Only you know exactly who you are, and society must respect however you choose to express yourself. You don’t even owe any expression or explanation to society about your identity, it’s entirely up to you. It’s also okay if you’re not sure how exactly to identify – finding your true self really is a lifelong journey.
#21: This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Another highly-informative, insightful book about LGBT+. Written by Juno Dawson, a transgender woman who has much experience in YA writing and work with young people, this book has a lovely, light-hearted and friendly tone to it, which I think can be really important when covering such an important topic. This Book Is Gay contains many case studies and different opinions of people on issues surrounding LGBT+, and definitely does a good job of distinguishing many myths and realities surrounding people’s perceptions on such matters, including those on the grounds of religion, which I really appreciated!
Again, I’d say this book is for anyone wanting to learn more about LGBT+, including a brief history of it, the current progression that has been made towards LGBT+ equality, a list of inspirational celebrity LGBT+ advocates and a list of useful websites/contact details of charities and organisations set up to support the LGBT Community.
#22: Girl ❤️ Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe
This is such a heart-warming story about discovering your true self and keeping loyal to it, no matter what. It’s by an awesome YouTuber I watch who’s British (she’s from Oxford) but lives in the US now. Although since this book was published, Lucy and her then girlfriend, Kaelyn have broken up, this is nonetheless an invaluable book, that to me says that every relationship you have happens for a reason, and whether or not it will last, there will always be something to learn from it. I really respect Lucy for writing this and again, I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read on what it’s like to be a part of the LGBT+ community, as this is essentially an autobiography, with this as the main focus. I also found Girl ❤️ Girl really easy to read too – I only read it in about 3 sittings which is rather unusual for me!
#23: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
I must confess, it took a while to get into this book, but once I really got into it, I enjoyed it increasingly more. It has a slightly bizarre storyline, as it’s about breaking the world record for the longest kiss (which is over 32 hours)! The book is, however, loosely based on a true story, and closely follows all of both the physical aches and pains that come for the two characters, Craig and Harry, during the kiss, and also the struggles of self- and societal acceptance that other LGBT+ characters in the story had faced since their coming out. Another thing I found unusual was how the whole book is narrated in third person, almost in a retrospective manner. I didn’t like it at first, as I was more concerned with the thoughts and feelings of Craig and Harry first hand, but as the story unfolded, I could see why Levithan chose a third person, as the relationships of several couples were narrated, and so this gave it more sense.
Therefore, I would say that this book is great to read, again for more insight into the experiences that the LGBT+ community have in relation to society as a whole, as well as to perhaps become enlightened into how it feels to have a kiss for as long as almost 1.5 days!
I’ve loved reading all of these books, for Pride Month, and I feel so much more educated and enlightened than I did before on issues surrounding the LGBT+ Community. I feel as though a thorough understanding, respect, love and acceptance of LGBT+ people is so essential for everyone to embrace if we want to become the best society we can be, where people can be their true, authentic selves without judgement, so that everyone can have the best chance possible of true happiness. ❤️
Yes, I’m a dreamer, but there’s me right there expressing my true, authentic self! 💁