What Was the First LGBTQ+ Book You Read?

What Was the First LGBTQ+ Book You Read?

Story is a powerful thing. It has the ability to cut through the rhetoric, disarm our prejudices, and reveal our common humanity. Whether it is a memoir, a crime thriller, or a romance, stories connect us to each other. 

The first LGBTQ+ novel I read was Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden, a sweet teenage coming-out story. Not long after that, I read Rita Mae Brown's Rubyfruit Jungle and Katherine V. Forrest's Murder at the Nightwood Bar

This was 30 years ago and early into my new life as a transgender woman. 

More than anything, these books made me feel seen. They helped me see that being queer is normal. At the same time, they reflected the world as hostile to anything that challenges the straight, white patriarchy. 

What was the first book you read with an LGBTQ+ main character? How did it make you feel? What did you enjoy about it? 

 I will draw a name from those who leave legit comments (spammers and haters excluded) and the winner will get one of my ebooks free.

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Definitely Ruby Fruit Jungle. I was amazed that lesbian characters were in any books at all who did not die in the end


Berrigan by Gingerlox: Left me wanting the happier ending we all crave. Then came Rita Mae Brown, Katherine Forrest & Ellen Hart with the evolution revolution from all Queer characters must die to one of hope. From my young Butch self to wondering about a transitioned life, I’m old now and like Harvey Fierstein, have become somewhat comfortable in my skin.

A. J.

I am an avid reader and to be honest I don’t know if it was the first but Chaser, by you, is the one I remember. I hadn’t been out very long and reading a book where the main character was like me was fantastic.

Clare Clark

It was Mercedes Lackey’s Herald Mage trilogy for me. Made me a fan of hers for life.

Bob Milne

Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner, a sumptuous and moving novel of manners

Elaine Isaak

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