If part of your 2023 New Year’s intentions includes reading more, we have curated a list queer books for you to consider!
This list includes everything from LGBTQ+ Irish novels to young adult queer romances to trans biographies to laugh-out-loud comedies and even thought-provoking essays about being on the ace spectrum, so there is definitely something for everyone. All of these books are due to release this year, so keep your eyes peeled for some fresh queer literature coming your way.
Inverted Triangles by Karen Fagan
Inverted Triangles tells the story of four LGBTQ+ strangers whose lives intertwine across Dublin and London in 2006 and 2007. It includes queer themes specific to Ireland and Dublin with Panti Bliss also getting an honourable mention!
My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron
In 1885 London, law clerk Gabriel Utterson returns to the city for the first time since his life was destroyed by a scandal that got him and his closest friend, Henry Jekyll, expelled from the London Medical School. There had always been rumours about their relationship, and even though Gabriel has a chance at a new beginning, he doesn’t want one without Henry. Henry has become cold and distant, but the secret behind his change of heart is part of a deeper mystery.
Saint Juniper’s Folly by Alex Crespo
Alex Crespo’s debut novel is a queer gothic mystery. The spooky tale follows two teenagers who are determined to rescue a Mexican-American boy from a haunted mansion in the woods of a Vermont town. This paranormal tale also tells the story of queer identity and found family.
Pageboy by Elliot Page
One of the most highly anticipated queer books of 2023 is by actor, producer, and activist Elliot Page. His first book – a memoir of his life and career – will include his story of first coming out as gay in 2014, and then as trans in 2020. Page has been an icon and inspiration for a whole generation of LGBTQ+ youth by being so open and visible about his identity. As he wrote in his announcement, “Books have helped me, saved me even, so I hope this can help someone feel less alone, feel seen, no matter who they are or what path they are on.”
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
Nar leaves her non-Armenian boyfriend after a terrible proposal, and her mother suggests that she attends Explore Armenia, a month-long series of events in the city. She ends up meeting Erebuni, a woman passionate about witchy pastimes and preserving her Armenian identity. The more time they spend together, the more prepared Nar feels to come out to her family as bisexual and live authentically as herself for the first time.
The Butcher’s Sons by Scott Alexander Hess
This book is about three young Irish-American brothers whose lives irrevocably change during a heat wave in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen in 1930. The story has roots in Irish LGBTQ+ themes, and has been described as a “gritty, intimate portrait”.
A Girlhood – A Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays
Sadly, some of the most gut-wrenching books written about queer experiences in 2023 are true stories. When her child shared with their family that he was not a boy, but, in fact, a girl, Hays embraced her daughter by shifting pronouns, adopting a nickname, and encouraging her to dress as she felt comfortable. Then, a caseworker from the Department of Children and Families came to investigate an anonymous complaint about raising a transgender child.
Hays ultimately uprooted her family to move to the more trans-accepting Northeast United States, but they still endured hate and fear. A Girlhood has been described as a celebration of difference, a plea for empathy, a hope for a better future, and a love letter to a child who has always known herself and is waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.
Friday I’m in Love by Camryn Garrett
Mahalia Harris realised that although she never got her sweet sixteen birthday celebration, she can give herself the coming out party of her dreams. She imagines a singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness, but this idea will take a lot of effort and money. Will Mahalia’s dream party end before it’s even begun?
Ace & Aro Journeys – A Guide to Embracing Your Asexual or Aromantic Identity by The Ace & Aro Advocacy Project
This book explores identities on the ace spectrum with hundreds of candid and poignant testimonials with the overarching message for everyone who identifies as asexual, aromantic, or demisexual that you are not invisible; you are among friends.
The Celebrants by Steven Rowley
Rowley’s fourth novel is expected to deliver even more lovable characters and comedic, bittersweet moments than his earlier books. After experiencing a significant loss, a group of friends decides to throw “living funerals” for each other as a way to celebrate and appreciate each of their relationships.
Love Letters for Joy by Melissa See
17-year-old Joy is focused on becoming Caldwell Prep’s first disabled valedictorian, and she isn’t interested in dating. But when her friends begin pairing off, Joy starts to wonder if she’s missing out. She’s asexual, but that doesn’t mean she can’t experience romance and love. She writes to her school’s anonymous romance advisor to help her sort out her feelings. Joy begins to fall for the voice behind the letters until she learns that it’s the last person she’d ever expect.
Endpapers by Jennifer Savran Kelly
Kelly’s debut novel follows a New York bookbinder who discovers a love letter scribbled on a page torn from a midcentury lesbian novel while she’s coming to terms with her own genderqueer identity and she becomes obsessed with solving the mystery.
Just As You Are by Camille Kellogg
Calling all Jane Austen lovers! This debut novel inspired by Pride and Prejudice follows Liz Baker, a writer at a queer magazine who begins to catch feelings for a critical investor with a secret soft side. This story is expected to follow the classic storyline with a queer, New York City twist.
Is it Hot in Here? by Zach Zimmerman
Later this year, comedian Zach Zimmerman is releasing his debut essay collection titled Is it Hot in Here, or am I Suffering for all Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth? It will feature original essays on vegetarianism, atheism, and queerness, and each essay promises to be hilarious and entertaining.
When you’re building your reading list, be sure to include some of these books by LGBTQ+ authors. Many of these queer books are being released in early 2023, and are available for pre-order now. Happy reading!
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