A book is a friend, and when there are characters you can relate to, it’s reassuring. You know you’re not alone and that there are stories that remind you of your own life, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the right book can help you answer a question you’ve been afraid to ask, or show you a different perspective on something you’ve always wondered.
Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee
In a world where gender is whatever you choose and sexuality is a fluid concept, how do you define yourself? What drives you to form your own identity? Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee, an award-winning British fantasy author, offers a story that follows a driven, spirited protagonist through the search for self in a world where that alone is what makes one unique.
Dancer From the Dance by Andrew Holleran
Published in 1978, this novel focuses on the gay nightlife in the late ‘60s and into the ‘70s, focusing on the pre-AIDS epidemic life experience of a gay man named Malone. Looking back at a world that changed due to events like Stonewall, this novel offers a glimpse into a different time where people struggled with similar desires: security, love, acceptance and self.
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
The first young adult novel to explicitly feature a transgender character, Luna by Julie Anne Peters addresses the process of transition and how it affects both the transgender person and those around them. Although the main character is transgender character’s younger sister, it is Liam/Luna’s transition that provides the progression for the story.
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
Finding love, acceptance and comfort is part of the human experience, and Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block follows the main character and her expanding family—some adopted, some related by blood—as they all seek that love, acceptance and comfort. Touching on everything from the AIDS epidemic to loss, the story continues in three following books but the first novel stands alone for those who want a single read.