LGBTQ+ Book List for Pride Month for Teens

Each year in June, Pride is celebrated in commemoration of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn on June 28,1969. The uprising and subsequent protests mark the beginning of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement in the United States. Today, Pride remains both a celebration of LGBTQ+ identities and a protest for more equal rights and inclusion. During June, and all year, reading the voices of folks from intersectional LGBTQ+ identities fosters empathy and builds momentum in the ongoing work of earning equal rights and inclusion.

For more LGBTQ+ Pride resources and events taking place at DPL, visit: denverlibrary.org/pride

Book Cover
Atta, Dean

Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he's navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican--but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough. As he gets older, Michael's coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs--and the Black Flamingo is born. Told with raw honesty, insight, and lyricism, this debut explores the layers of identity that make us who we are--and allow us to shine.

Book Cover
Bourne, Shakirah and Dana Alison Levy (editors)

From raw stories of racism and invisible disability to powerful moments of passing the mic, these authors share their truths. They invite you to think about your own experiences and choices and how to be a better ally. There are no easy answers, but this book helps you ask better questions. Self-reflection prompts, resources, journaling ideas, and further reading suggestions help you find out what you can do. Because we’re all in this together. And we all need allies. 

Book Cover
Bronski, Michael

Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers, of all identities, to feel pride at the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future.The stories he shares include those of: Thomas Morton, who celebrated same-sex love in Boston's Puritan community in the 1620s; Albert D.J. Cashier, an Irish immigrant and Civil War hero, who was born in the body of a woman but lived as a man for over a half century; Gladys Bentley, an African American blues singer who challenged cross-dressing laws in 1920s Harlem; Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr.'s close friend, civil rights organizer, and an openly gay man; Sylvia Rivera, who along with Marsha P. Johnson, founded the first transgender political group in the United States in 1970; Harvey Milk, a community organizer and the first openly gay politician to win an election in California; Jamie Nabozny, a teen who brought national attention to the issue of LGBTQ bullying by bringing his case to the Supreme Court in the 1990s.

Book Cover
Chomiak, Stacey

An artist's captivating and quirky illustrated coming-of-age memoir of surprising first love, coming out, and coming to embrace her queer Christian identity.

Book Cover
Cooper, Brittney C.

Hip-hop and feminism combine in this empowering guide with attitude, from best-selling author Brittney Cooper and founding members of the Crunk Feminist Collective. Loud and rowdy girls, quiet and nerdy girls, girls who rock naturals, girls who wear weave, outspoken and opinionated girls, girls still finding their voice, queer girls, trans girls, and gender nonbinary young people who want to make the world better: Feminist AF uses the insights of feminism to address issues relevant to today's young women. What do you do when you feel like your natural hair is ugly, or when classmates keep touching it? How do you handle your self-confidence if your family or culture prizes fair-skinned womxn over darker-skinned ones? How do you balance your identities if you're an immigrant or the child of immigrants? How do you dress and present yourself in ways that feel good when society condemns anything outside of the norm? Covering colorism and politics, romance and pleasure, code switching, and sexual violence, Feminist AF is the empowering guide to living your feminism out loud.

Book Cover
Criswell, Shelby

Follow the daily life of one queer artist from Texas as they introduce us to the lives of ten extraordinary people. The author shares their life as a genderqueer person, living in the American South, revealing their own personal struggle for acceptance and how they were inspired by these historical LGBTQIA+ people to live their own truth. Featuring biographies of Mary Jones, We'wha, Magnus Hirschfeld, Dr. Pauli Murray, Wilmer 'Little Axe' M. Broadnax, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Carlett Brown, Nancy Cardenas, Ifti Nasim, and Simon Nkoli.

Book Cover
England, Remi K.

Up and coming fanfic author Kaylee Beaumont is internally screaming at the chance to finally meet her fandom friends and spend a weekend at GreatCon. She also has a side quest for the weekend: try out they/them pronouns to see how it feels, wear more masculine-presenting cosplay, kiss a girl for the first time. It's...a lot, and Kay mostly wants to lie face down on the hotel floor. Especially when her hometown bully, Miss North Carolina, shows up in the very same hotel. But there's this con-sponsored publishing contest, and the chance to meet her fandom idols...and then, there's Tegan. Pageant queen Teagan Miller (Miss Virginia) has her eye on the much-needed prize:the $25,000 scholarship awarded to the winner of the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant.

Book Cover
Ewing, Rhea

Graphic artist Rhea Ewing celebrates the incredible diversity of experiences within the transgender community with this vibrant and revealing debut. For fans of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Meg-John Barker's Queer, Fine is an essential graphic memoir about the intricacies of gender identity and expression. As Rhea Ewing neared college graduation in 2012, they became consumed by the question: What is gender? This obsession sparked a quest in their quiet Midwest town, where they anxiously approached both friends and strangers for interviews to turn into comics. A decade later, their project has exploded into a fantastical and informative portrait of a surprisingly vast community spread across the country. Questions such as How do you identify? invited deep and honest accounts of adolescence, taking hormones, changing pronouns-and how these experiences can differ depending on culture, race, and religion. 

Book Cover
Finke, Leigh (editor)

Are you LGBTQ+? Not sure? Whether you're queer or questioning, understanding sexuality and gender identity can be confusing. And if you're a Christian, questions of identity can be even scarier. Is there something wrong with you? Will your friends accept you? When should you tell your family? What about church? Queerfully and Wonderfully Made: A Guide for LGBTQ+ Christian Teens has answers to all these questions and more. You'll get insight and support from an amazing group of LGBTQ+ professionals, as well as testimonies from young adult queer Christian who've recently been exactly where you are. You'll walk away with a lot of answers, prepared with tools to help. But most importantly, you'll hear the good news: God loves you exactly as you are. No matter your identity or where in your journey of self-discovery you find yourself, you got this.

Book Cover
Gao, Laura

Seamlessly toggling between past and present, this funny graphic memoir follows a queer Chinese American's immigration to Texas where she just wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why she is attracted to girls.

Book Cover
Gould, Courtney

When Logan, the adopted daugther of reality television ghosthunters, teams up with Ashley to search for missing teens in Snakebite, Oregon, they find themselves falling for each other as they uncover a hidden evil.

Book Cover
Heard, Wendy

Desperate to escape suffocating expectations and menacing families, seventeen-year-old Maude and her step-cousin Frankie fake their own deaths while on a family vacation in Hawaii, with deadly consequences.

Book Cover
Johnson, George M.

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Book Cover
Johnson, George M.

This is a memoir of George's boyhood in New Jersey, growing up q with their brother and two cousins, all under the supervision of their larger-than-life grandmother.

Book Cover
Kanbe, Gorou

It began with a mistake. When Tanaka and Nakata are given each other's papers back, they come to a horrible realization...They have almost identical names. And test results. And body types. And taste in fashion. And sports scores. And hobbies. The list goes on, and as annoying as it is, at least they know they always have each other. And maybe, just maybe, their similarities run even deeper.

Book Cover
Klune, TJ

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right? After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City's mightiest hero (and Nick's biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he'll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick's best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

Book Cover
Kobabe, Maia

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Book Cover
Lee, Emery

Theo Mori and Gabriel Moreno have always been at odds. Their parents own rival businesses-an Asian American café and a Puerto Rican bakery-and Gabi's lack of coordination has cost their soccer team too many games to count. Stuck in the closet and scared to pursue his own dreams, Gabi sees his parents' shop as his future. Stuck under the weight of his parents' expectations, Theo's best shot at leaving Vermont means first ensuring his parents' livelihood is secure. So when a new fusion café threatens both shops, Theo and Gabi realize an unfortunate truth-they can only achieve their goals by working together to cook up an underground bakery operation and win back their customers. But can they put aside their differences long enough to save their parents' shops or will the new feelings between them boil over?

Book Cover
Madden, Tobias

Luca Mason knows exactly who he is and what he wants: In six months, he's going to be accepted into the Australian Ballet School, leave his fancy private high school, and live his life as a star of the stage--at least that's the plan until he falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his foot in a way he can never recover from. With his dancing dreams dead on their feet, Luca loses his performing arts scholarship and transfers to the local public school, leaving behind all his ballet friends and his whole future on stage. The only bright side is that he strikes up unlikely friendships with the nicest (and nerdiest) girl at his new school, Amina, and the gorgeous, popular, and (reportedly) straight school captain, Jordan Tanaka-Jones. As Luca's bond with Jordan grows stronger, he starts to wonder: who is he without ballet? And is he setting himself up for another heartbreak?

Book Cover
Moreland, Miel

Eva, Celeste, Gina, and Steph used to think their friendship was unbreakable. After all, they've been though a lot together, including the astronomical rise of Moonlight Overthrow, the world-famous queer pop band they formed in middle school. But after a sudden falling out leads to the dissolution of the teens' band, their friendship, and Eva and Celeste's starry-eyed romance, nothing is the same.

Book Cover
Nazemian, Abdi

Beth Kramer is a "townie" who returns to her sophomore year after having endured a year of tension with her roommate, Sarah. But Sarah Brunson knows there's more to that story. Amanda Priya "Spence" Spencer is the privileged daughter of NYC elites, who is reeling from the realization that her family name shielded her from the same fate as Sarah. Ramin Golafshar arrives at Chandler as a transfer student to escape the dangers of being gay in Iran, only to suffer brutal hazing under the guise of tradition in the boys' dorms. And Freddy Bello is the senior who's no longer sure of his future but knows he has to stand up to his friends after what happened to Ramin. At Chandler, the elite boarding school, these five teens are brought together in the Circle, a coveted writing group where life-changing friendships are born -- and secrets are revealed. Their professor tells them to write their truths. But is the truth enough to change the long-standing culture of abuse at Chandler? And can their friendship survive the fallout?

Book Cover
Peyo

Taiga dreams of becoming an actor, so the first thing he does upon entering high school is join the drama club. There, he meets the beautiful, enigmatic Maria and immediately falls in love with her. Not long after, Taiga is told that she is actually a boy--but is that all there is to Maria's story? The late PEYO debuted with this beautifully illustrated, single-volume tale exploring the nature of personal expression and the fluidity of the power of love.

Book Cover
Podos, Rebecca

On her seventeenth birthday, Hannah Williams begins exhibiting impossible, temporary mutations--gills one day and horns the next--that are the consequences of a desperate bargain her mother made with a sheyd decades ago, and to break the family curse, Hannah and her brother track down their mother's estranged family and discover a legacy that traces back to the Golem of Prague.

Book Cover
Reyes, Sonora

Sixteen-year-old Mexican American Yami Flores starts Catholic school, determined to keep her brother out of trouble and keep herself closeted, but her priorities shift when Yami discovers that her openly gay classmate Bo is also annoyingly cute.

Book Cover
Rijckeghem, Jean-Claude van

In 1808 Ghent, eighteen-year-old Constance runs away from an arranged marriage to a much older man and by stealing his clothes, sneaking out of the house disguised as a man, and joining Napoleon's army.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.