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  • Writer's pictureHannah Zunic

Happy Pride: Five Books I Plan to Read During Pride

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

Happy Pride, y’all!

Current pride flag.
Shout out to everyone in the LGBTQA+ community!

Today, I bring you a nice list of books I want and plan to read or re-read this month. I have nothing else to say other than I’m waiting on some of them to come in so I can finally read them, I can’t offer many thoughts on those yet, but I can say that all these books be gay.

Time for what I'll be reading this month.

5. Drama by Raina Telgemeier. This middle school lit graphic novel starts this list out at number five. It follows a young girl named Callie, a theatre lover and tech crew veteran at her middle school, as she and her friends strive to put on the best musical the middle school has seen. The best part of the story is Jesse, one of the new kids in school who becomes part of the stage crew and one of Callie’s best friends. He is a quiet, shy type who ends up taking on the musical’s leading lady role on the final night of the musical. Most importantly, his story in Drama is all about figuring out his sexuality as over the course of the school year he not only opens up but also reveals he’s gay. I was a massive theatre kid in high school and middle school so this brought me right back to my musical days. This is such a good book to give to young kids to talk about the LGBTQA+ community, and I love it even more because it pisses off homophobic adults when Telgemeir shows two boys kissing onstage.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier book cover.

4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This may not be the first book to pop into your head when thinking of LGBTQA+ literature, but the protagonist Celie finds love with the jazz singer Shug Avery. It is because of Shug that Celie learns what romantic love truly is. As I stated in my Top 5 Favorite Classics post, The Color Purple is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story that I cannot get enough of. In fact, I’m gonna re-read this one the minute this post is done. Seriously, if you have never read this book then go get yourself a copy and read it! You won’t be disappointed.

Book cover of The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

3. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Another graphic novel makes the list. I read this one for the first time after seeing the 2015 Tony performance of the musical of the same name. So far all the books on this list are somehow related to theatre and I love that for us. This memoir focuses on Alison growing up in a funeral home, dealing with her father Bruce’s occasional abuse, Alison’s exploration of her sexuality, the realization that Bruce was closeted in his life, and his death which Alison believes to have been suicide. This book is heavy to say the least, but it has its comedic moments that balance the book out nicely.

Book cover of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel.

2. Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens. Finally, we’re at the books that I haven’t read yet. I’m putting the two I haven’t read yet at the top because I’m looking forward to them the most. Up first is Dress Codes for Small Towns. Since I haven’t read this one yet, it’s on its way, I can’t offer any funny anecdote about my opinions on the book, but I can offer you the summary. Billie McCaffrey is the tomboy daughter of the preacher in a small town in Kentucky. She’s struggles with fitting the mold of what her town wants her to be as she would rather build furniture and hang out with her friends: Wood, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee. One day, Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she is in love with Woods. Billie comes to the realization that she may be in love with both Woods and Janie Lee. She keeps her feelings to herself before anyone can label her sexuality before she understands it herself, and to keep the dynamic of her friend group together. This is a story about defining love and finding it on one’s own terms.

Book cover of Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens.

1. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender. I am super excited for this one based on the cover alone. It’s so bright and vibrant, and you can see the scars on the main character from his top surgery! Like the one above, I haven’t read this book yet; it’s on the way. So again, I can only offer you a plot synopsis for this book. Felix Love has never been in love but he wants to know what it’s like. On top of that, Felix fears that because he identifies as black, queer, and transgender he won’t find his happily ever after. It doesn’t help matters when an anonymous student sends transphobic messages to Felix along with posting Felix’s dead name and photos of him before he transitioned online. Felix comes up with a plan for revenge; although it doesn’t work out correctly as he ends up in a love triangle. This is a story of self-discovery for Felix as he journeys to redefine his relationship with himself.

Book cover of Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender.


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