An Updated Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA Literature for Pride Month

Nearly two years ago, I made this graphic guide to LGBTQ titles in order to give an overview of the variety of YA literature that features queer characters, from coming out stories to sci-fi adventures. Campaigns like We Need Diverse Books have brought even more attention to the need for diversity in children’s publishing, as well as called for more books that feature characters with intersecting identities.

I’m happy to say all of this means that the graphic was in need of an update. There have been lots of new titles published, and I wanted to make it more comprehensive (though by all means, still not exhaustive).

These books aren’t necessarily right for every reader, and don’t constitute the best, or the only, LGBTQIA+ fiction for young adults available. But it is a good starting off point for those interested in exploring the way these identities are portrayed in YA fiction. In some, the LGBTQ characters are the narrators, and in others, they are more supporting characters. 

Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA literature | The Hub

I’ve tried to include a variety in each category, and also to best situate a book in a genre (though, because of blurring and mixing of genres, some are of course debatable). Again, these are meant to be a broad sample, rather than a definitive list.

For further resources on LGBTQIA+ or QUILTBAG fiction (whichever acronym you prefer), check out the following websites and booklists:

Please share your favorite titles or comments below!

– Molly Wetta, currently reading Wake by Lisa McMann

4 thoughts on “An Updated Graphic Guide to LGBTQ YA Literature for Pride Month”

  1. Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran is an amazing YA Historical Fiction book with a couple gay characters, I’d love to see it in the list.

  2. A couple of recent Aussie additions…

    Liar by Justine Larbalestier – Fantasy, POC and Bisexuality
    Pink by Lili Wilkinson – Queer sexuality
    F2M: the boy within by Hazel Edwards – Transgender

  3. This is a really great resource!
    Quicksilver has a Korean Canadian guy as the love interest, but he’s straight.
    Otherbound has Mexican, Mexican American and black characters.
    Ask the Passengers has a girl of color as the love interest.
    The Miseducation of Cameron Post has a side twospirit character.
    Drama has gay Filipino American characters.
    Some other suggestions:
    Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner – dystopian, MM
    The Shattering by Karen Healey – paranormal fantasy/murder mystery, lesbian who’s mixed Maōri/white
    Moon at Nine by Deborah Ellis – historical fiction, Iranian lesbians
    Lies my Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters – contemporary, lesbian, love interest is Mexican American
    She Loves You, She Loves You Not by Julie Anne Peters – contemporary, lesbian, love interest is half Inuit
    The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson – urban fantasy short stories, bisexual guy who’s mixed Indonesian/white
    Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters – classic, contemporary, lesbian
    Replica by Jack Heath – science fiction with clones, FF
    Fat Angie by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo – contemporary, lesbian
    One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva – contemporary, gay Armenian American guy
    Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block – dystopian fantasy retelling of the Odyssey, bi/pan/poly girl
    Tessa Masterson Will Go to Prom by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin – contemporary, lesbian
    Boyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez – contemporary, four protagonists including a gay guy, a bi guy (Mexican American) , a lesbian (Japanese American) and a questioning girl
    Always Mackenzie by Kate Constable – contemporary, FF
    Beauty Queens by Libba Bray – retelling of Lord of the Flies with girls who are beauty pageant contestants, eight protagonists including a lesbian, a bi/pan/poly girl and a trans girl
    Fire by Kristin Cashore – high fantasy, bi/pan/poly black woman, but her past relationship with a girl is only mentioned twice and ethnicity is mentioned until the next book
    Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – high fantasy, major side MM relationship where one is gay and the other is unspecified, lots of straight POC including the protagonist
    Liar by Justine Larbaliester – urban fantasy with werewolves, bi/pan/poly girl who’s mixed African American/white but her relationship with a girl is barely mentioned
    Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman – high fantasy with dragons, trans woman as major side character and all characters are Chinese, the way East Asian future was used is problematic though
    When We Wake and While We Run by Karen Healey – near future dystopian, major side characters are a bi/pan/poly Middle Eastern Australian girl and a trans lesbian
    The Montmaray Journals trilogy by Michelle Cooper – historical fiction, major side characters are a gay guy and bi/pan/poly guy
    Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson – contemporary, story centres around the protagonist’s gay guy best friend
    Hold Still by Nina LaCour – contemporary, lesbian best friend
    Undone by Cat Clarke – contemporary, protagonist deals with her gay guy best friend’s suicide due to homophobia
    Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray – historical fiction/paranormal fantasy, protagonist’s best friends are in an FF relationship but it’s not revealed until the third book, major straight Indian character
    The Young Elites by Marie Lu – high fantasy – two major side bi/pan/poly guys, all POC
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor – fantasy with chimaera and angels, major side asexual and grey-aromantic woman (revealed in second book) , major straight black and Egyptian characters (especially in the third book)
    If You Come Softly and Behind You by Jacqueline Woodson – contemporary, major side gay guy who’s mixed African American/white (hinted in first book, confirmed in second) all characters are POC (black or Jewish)
    The Plain Janes and Janes in Love by Cecil Castelucci and Jim Rugg – contemporary graphic novels, major side gay guy
    The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater – urban fantasy, major side gay guy and implied bi/pan/poly guy
    Luna by Julie Anne Peters – contemporary, focuses on the protagonist’s trans sister, but very transphobic unfortunately

  4. you put Ash by Malinda Lo on there but that is less gay than the prequel that she wrote called Huntress. Ash is about a love triangle and Huntress is about 2 girls saving the world and falling in love.

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