Every month is Pride Month, if you have enough queer friends, but In June, many countries around the world OFFICIALLY celebrate Pride Month, with events, initiatives, celebrations (and, unfortunately, rainbow-washing) to honour and celebrate 2SLGBTQI+ history and resistance. As we all know, one of my favourite things to do is to read, so in honour of Pride Month, I have put together a list of great books by 2SLGBTQI+ authors, and/or featuring 2SLGBTQI+ characters, with recommendations for every kind of reader.

Whether you’re looking for a great read for yourself, or to gift to someone else, read on for some excellent books for all kinds of readers, this month, and every month.

For the Swiftie In Your Life

The Last Love Song by Kalie Holford

Kalie Holfords The Last Love Song is a charming young adult coming-of-age love story by a debut author. After graduating from high school, Mia is facing a summer of goodbyes, and songwriting is her only solace. Everyone she knows is moving on, including Britt, her biggest supporter and (kind-of) girlfriend. Britt keeps pushing Mia, believing that she can do big things, but Mia can’t imagine a life beyond their small town. Besides, she refuses to follow in the footsteps of her late mother, a country music star who abandoned her family to pursue her dream. When Mia finds a mysterious letter from the past, addressed to her in her mother’s handwriting, it turns out to be the first of many. One by one, they lead Mia on a wild scavenger hunt, bringing her closer to her mom. As the clock is ticking on Britt’s departure, Mia knows she’s running out of time, and she must decide if she’s willing to face her feelings, and shape her own destiny.

For the One Who Loves A Powerful Story About Faith and Reclamation

Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya H

Lamya Hs Hijab Butch Blues is an intimate and powerful memoir in essays, following a queer hijabi Muslim immigrant who tries to survive her coming-of-age by drawing strength and hope from stories in the Quran. When Lamya was fourteen, she realizes she has a crush on her female teacher, an attraction she can’t yet name, but knows to cover up. One day, in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam (Mary in the bible) who, when she learned she was pregnant, insisted that no man had touched her… Could Maryam, like Lamya, be uninterested in men? Since then, Lamya makes sense of her life by comparing her experiences with famous stories from the Quran, juxtaposing her coming-out with Musa (Moses in the bible) liberating his people from the pharaoh, questioning if Allah is nonbinary, and ultimately owning her own identity as a queer, devout Muslim immigrant. This is a gorgeous and hopeful memoir, telling a story of love, courage, and faith, as Lamya strives to become the architect of their own life.

For the One Who Wishes They Could Watch Moonlight Again for the First Time:

Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh

Chukwuebuka Ibehs Blessings is a gay coming-of-age debut novel set in Nigeria, perfect for fans of Purple Hibiscus and Moonlight. Obiefuna, the sensitive black sheep of his family, develops an intimate connection with a boy from a nearby village. Unfortunately his happiness is fleeting, as his father catches them together, and banishes him to boarding school. Here, simultaneously hiding his truth, Obiefuna also starts to discover who he really is, all the while navigating his new school’s hierarchy and its unpredictable violence. Back home, his mother is grappling with his absence, unknowing of the reasons for his banishment, all the while Nigeria teeters on the brink of criminalizing same-sex relationships. This is a moving and powerful story asking how one can live and love freely in a place that forbids your truest self.

For the One Who Loves Short Stories That Get Under Your Skin:

Wild Failure by Zoe Whittall

Zoe Whittalls Wild Failure is an engrossing and playful short story collection full of outsiders exploring shame, attachment, and disconnection. In “Half Pipe” a teen girl’s heterosexual ambivalence gets her in trouble at a skatepark; In “Wild Failure”, we explore the doomed love story between an agoraphobe and a hiker; In “Murder at the Elm Street Collective House”, a group of bisexual roommates find themselves the subject of a true crime podcast… These stories are funny and charming, and strange and compelling, challenging what it means to live a beautiful life.

For the One Looking To Fill the Everything, Everywhere, All At Once Shaped (Bagel) Hole In Their Heart:

How it Works Out by Myriam Lacroix

Myriam LacroixHow It Works Out is an absurd and innovative debut, exploring a queer love story playing out across many alternate realities, asking the question “What if you had the chance to rewrite the course of your relationship (again and again), in the hopes that it would work out?”. This book follows Myriam and Allison’s relationship, by running it through a series of hypotheticals, running the gamut of weird, tender, wonderful, and grotesque. This is a funny, strange, and brilliant portrayal of love, and all its wonders and perils. 

For the One Who Loves Staying Up Late Reading Scary Stories On Reddit:

Bad Dreams in the Night by Adam Ellis

I have been an Adam Ellis fan for a long time, and Bad Dreams in the Night was one of my most anticipated books this year, and boy did it meet my expectations. Equal parts funny and scary, this is a collection of imaginative and eerie comics that will have you tearing through this book in one sitting (then turning it over, and starting it all over again). Whether you’ve followed his horror comics on Instagram for a while, or you’re just discovering his work, there’s something new for everyone in this collection. 

For the One Who Would Definitely Read Someone Else’s Diary If Given the Opportunity:

My Child, The Algorithm by Hannah Silva

Hannah Silva’s My Child, The Algorithm is a fascinating nonfiction book, that’s part memoir, part cultural exploration. In it, Silva examines her life with the input of two unreliable narrators — a toddler, and an algorithm. She explores the undoing and redoing of love and motherhood (specifically queer single motherhood), unravelling everything she has been taught to want, and exploring alternative ways of thinking, loving, and parenting, as she navigates friendship, dating, and life as a single mother in London. This book questions our society, and the people it’s built for, and challenges perceptions of love and family. This is the perfect read for non-fiction readers who love to be challenged and inspired.

For the One Who Loves Paranormal Horror Stories, and Running Up The Stairs After Turning Off The Lights:

Lockjaw by Matteo L. Cerilli

Set in a small town, Matteo L. Cerillis debut novel is a trans young adult ghost story for readers who love their horror to be horrifying. Chuck Warren died tragically at the old abandoned mill, but Paz Espino knows it was no accident — there’s a monster under the town, and she has to kill it before anyone else gets hurt. To do this, she’ll need the help of her crew, her inseparable group of friends, bound together by a childhood pact. With shifting timeframes and multiple perspectives, this is a book about ghosts and monsters, which will have you checking under the bed before you go to sleep… Just in case.

For the One Who Loves the Drama and Ritual of Organized Religion:

Gay Girl Prayers by Emily Austin

Emily Austins Gay Girl Prayers channels prayer and scripture into a queer rhapsody. This collection is full of poems that are largely short and simple, but nonetheless beautiful. Tonally, the poems veer from powerful to snarky, with some really memorable poems. I recommend turning your reading into a dramatic one, with plenty of friends (and maybe a few bottles of The Blood of Christ) as these poems are made to be shared. 

For The One Who Wishes Mean Girls Had A Bit More Murder In It:

Where Sleeping Girls Lie – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

When Sade starts her third year of high school as a new student at the prestigious Alfred Nobel boarding school, she’s not sure what will happen. She’s been home-schooled her whole life, and has always felt like a magnet for disaster and misfortune. This is compounded when her roommate and new friend Elizabeth disappears after Sade’s first night, and people think she may have had something to do with it. I adored Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídés Where Sleeping Girls Lie, it was a deliciously dark, sinister, and tense insight into the lives of the privileged, and the line between the “haves” and the “have nots”, set in a remote private school. With a compelling cast of characters — the heroes, the villains, and everyone in between — this book is brilliant and suspenseful, while also funny and charming, with pockets of romance, joy, and the undercurrent of friendship and found family. This book explores who gets justice and who doesn’t, highlighting the sinister underbelly of racist, misogynistic, and homophobic institutions, in a really powerful way.

For the One who Loves Rom-Coms, but Wishes They Were Gayer:

Experienced by Kate Young

Kate Young’s dazzling rom-com Experienced is a sexy and fun romantic comedy about a newly-out lesbian finding herself, her people, and her partner (in that order). When Bette turned thirty, she realized she liked women, and fell in love for the first time. Then, one day, her partner Mei suggests that they take a break so Bette can explore the queer dating scene she missed out on in her twenties, returning to Mei clearer and more certain about her desires, her choices, and her partner. So, Bette starts her dating journey, reluctantly plunged into a world of dates with hot women, and lots of steamy casual sex, as well as a world of cringy and awkward disasters, and learning about community. This is warm, witty, and charming, the perfect new addition to the “rom-com” cannon.

For the Young Reader Looking to Shatter Binary Thinking:

Batcat by Meggie Ramm

Meggie Ramms Batcat, Vol. 1: The Ghostly Guest is the beginning of a delightful graphic novel series for young readers (ages 6+), about accepting yourself and shucking binary thinking. Batcat loves being all alone in their home on Spooky Island, but when they suddenly find themselves being haunted by an annoying, ice cream stealing ghost, they decide to visit the local island witch for a spell to remove their ghostly guest permanently. Alongside their spell, Batcat also needs to gather ingredients from all over Spooky Island, leading to encounters with bats who tell them they’re too round to be a bat, and cats who will only help them commit to being a true cat… But Batcat is neither (and also both), and that’s what makes them special, right?

For the Romantasy Reader Looking to Bend Time and Genre:

The Emperor and the Endless Palace by Justinian Huang

Justinian Huangs The Emperor and the Endless Palace is a triumphant, genre-bending romantasy that challenges everything we think we know about love. Set across multiple timelines, woven together by twists and turns of fate, this book follows two men, who are reborn lifetime after lifetime. From within the walls of an ancient palace to the forests of the Asian wilderness to underground rave scenes in present-day L.A., our lovers continue to be drawn to each other, over and over again, intertwining their lives, and demonstrating a love that transcends time itself. 

For the One Who Loves a Beautiful Metaphor:

The Jellyfish by Boum

Boum, also known as Samantha Leriche-Gionet, is an illustrator and author, and The Jellyfish is her compelling graphic novel about facing our fears and finding our guiding lights. Odette is a hip, young, twenty-something with her own place, a steady job, and a crush on a cute girl in her neighbourhood. But Odette is also haunted by something only she can see… a jellyfish. One that floats in her eye, blocking her vision. A minor annoyance… until one day when there are TWO jellyfish. This is a touching and beautiful story, full of heart.

For Fans of Shadow and Bone who Wished It Was a Bit Darker And More Devastating

The Sins on Their Bones By Laura R. Samotin

Laura R. Samotin’s The Sins on Their Bones is a queer, Jewish Folklore-inspired fantasy romance debut. Dimitri was once the Tzar of Novo-Svitsevo, now, he’s merely a broken man, living in exile, after losing a devastating civil war instigated by his estranged husband Alexey. Living in hiding with what remains of his court, Dmitri and his spymaster Vasily engineer a dangerous ruse. Vasily will sneak into Alexey’s court under a false identity, in order to gather information and plot the usurper’s downfall (and death). But stopping Alexey isn’t so easy, as he has already died, and resurrected himself as an immortal, in an indestructible body. Able to summon forth demons, he seeks to build an army, and turn Novo-Svitsevo into the greatest empire in history. Dmitri is determined not to let Alexei corrupt his country, but saving his empire and his people will mean forfeiting the soul of the husband he can’t bring himself to let go of, or the spymaster he’s come to love.

For Your Friend Who Would Really Fit In In L.A. (Derogatory):

Open Throat By Henry Hoke

I absolutely loved Henry Hoke’s weird little book, Open Throat. It’s short, but immediately engaging, pulling you into the narrative of a queer mountain lion who lives near the Hollywood sign. Constantly surrounded by humans, our nameless mountain lion slowly learns more and more about them, and what it means to be human. The narrative voice is so compelling, and so weird, and I loved being taken through our mountain lion’s thoughts, as he reflected upon the world around him. This book is stylistically compelling, and takes big risks with tender prose, fascinating characters, and surreal fantasy, and the risk pans out, leading to an incomparable and unputdownable read… this is one of my favourites of the year so far.

For The One Who Loves To Be Thrilled:

Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezis Little Rot (out in a few weeks) is a thrilling new novel about sex, power, and deviance, following five friends trying to outrun a powerful, underground world. Aima and Kalu have just broken up after dating for a long time. Reeling from his loss, Kalu visits a sex party hosted by his best friend, making a decision that will plunge all of them into chaos, and turn their lives upside down. Along with Ola and Souraya, two Nigerian sex workers, these three old friends get sucked into the city’s corrupt underworld, leading to a breathless and thrilling novel you won’t be able to put down.

Ameema Saeed (@ameemabackwards) is a storyteller, a Capricorn, an avid bookworm, and a curator of very specific playlists and customized book recommendations. She’s a book reviewer, a Sensitivity Reader, a book buyer at Indigo Books & Music, and the Books Editor for She Does the City, where she writes and curates bookish content, and book recommendations. She enjoys bad puns, good food, dancing, and talking about feelings. She writes about books, big feelings, unruly bodies, and her lived experiences, and hopes to write your next favourite book one day. When she’s not reading books, she likes to talk about books (especially diverse books, and books by diverse authors) on her bookstagram: @ReadWithMeemz