LGBT* Reading Challenge

So one of my interests (aside from the obvious) is LGBT* fiction. It’s personal and professional both, for me, but I find I don’t really read as much of it as I should. Partly, it’s because I don’t know where to start. So much of it is either depressing contemporary angst, or “Lookie, lesbians!”. There’s a decided lack of bi/trans/queer lit. So much of what I run across is lesbian and gay that I never felt like I belonged reading it. I’m bi. I realized this in college when, chatting in a writers group with a bunch of friends, I found myself staring at one of the girl’s icons (large boobs in a corset top and a come hither look. Anyone who saw that icon agreed with my lusting, as it turned out.). There was no moment of wangst or Oh noes I don’t fit. I very clearly thought, “She’s hot! …Oh. I like girls too. Ok, bi it is then.”.

I never really felt like I was getting discriminated against. I was a late bloomer in ANY interest in sex, much less sexuality. I had other things (like school and friendships and writing) that I didn’t have the brainspace to spare for things like relationships until I was almost done with college. By the time there was any “issue” around my sexuality, I had enough of a sense of who I was and what I wanted out of my personal life that it was just another way to widen the range of my dating experience.

I know I’m incredibly lucky in that. I threw myself into dating with both genders, and I had experiences I don’t know I would have had the courage to dream of doing if anyone’d told me ahead of time what I was getting into. I don’t regret a single moment of it. I learned what I needed out of those failures and those heartbreaks and those awkward moments after a tentative kiss sitting on the couch next to the woman in the icon and going “So what do we do now?” when there turned out to be no spark in person (though she’s a lovely, sweet person and we’re friends to this day).

Most people who realize their sexuality earlier don’t have that luxury. So instead of just reading a few GLBT books, I want to find good BTQI books. I want to find books where love wins, and where sexuality is only a part of who someone is, instead of the whole plot. Recommendations are very much welcomed. (Comments are screened for approval if you’ve never commented here before, the better to keep out riffraff, but I won’t censor you if you disagree with me. Hateful, obscene, or namecalling comments will be consigned to the trash, though.)

If you want to join me, the signup is here.

5 Comments

  1. January 4, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    i find myself reading quite a lot of LGBT books – almost all YA – from some of my favorite authors. David Levithan not only write fantastic, beautiful characters, but he’s got a sensational sense of humor as well. I’d recommend BOY MEETS BOY, WILL GRAYSON WILL GRAYSON (a title co-written with John Green), and especially one of his most recent titles, EVERY DAY which is the most beautiful book on the human condition I’ve ever read. A.S. King’s ASK THE PASSENGERS is more than just a search for sexual identity. Bent Hartiger’s GEOGRAPHY CLUB is an interesting read as well.

    • Leigh Caroline said,

      January 5, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Ooh, thanks. :) I’ll take a look. I’ve run across David Levithan’s stuff before (When I went to BEA a couple years ago, the booth handing those out for signings had a monster line, so I figured he couldn’t be too bad!), but it’d been languishing on the TBR list. Hadn’t heard of the others, running off to check them out. :D

  2. January 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Welcome to the LGBT Challenge, Leigh! And thanks for sharing your story <3
    Hm. If you want BTQI books, I would recommend:
    Teenage Rewrite by Brandon Williams (it's glbt, but the love interest is bi)
    Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
    Pantomime series by Laura Lam (have yet to read this one, but I think the MC is bi)
    Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman (intersex MC)
    A + E 4ever by ilike merey
    IS by Rokuhana Chiyo (manga about an IS girl, I loved this one)
    Hope you'll find some of these titles interesting :)

    • Leigh Caroline said,

      January 5, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks for the challenge, and the recommendations! I’ll give them a look! :D

  3. K.T. Hanna said,

    January 7, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I really hope you find some good ones, and tell me about them so I can read them too :D


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