by Jarad Johnson
Pride month is almost over, and before it ends Jarad wanted to share some of his favorite LGBTQ+ books! There are many more he could spend pages and pages rambling about (and more still that he wants to read)!
Dancer From the Dance - Andrew Holleran
Often referred to as one of the most important gay books ever written, Dancer From the Dance was one of the first gay themed books I ever read. It showcases New York's emerging gay scene in 1978. This was a time after Stonewall and before the Aids Epidemic ravaged the gay community.
Tell the Wolves I'm Home- Carol Rifka Brunt
One of the sweetest and saddest stories you'll ever read, Tell the Wolves I'm Home is the story of a young girl watching her uncle deteriorate after a long battle with Aids. It explores how we treat people with Aids, and the overall stigma surrounding the gay community. Telling the story from the perspective of a young person removes a lot of that stigma. This is one of the few books to make me cry, and one of fewer still that made me cry in public. It's heartbreaking in a very human way.
Guapa- Saleem Haddad
I read this book a couple of years ago for a literature class, and I'm very glad I did. It was a discussion class, and we really got the opportunity to explore every theme in the book, which lent it a different and deeper perspective as I learned from those around me. The story centers around Rasa, a young gay man coming of age in the Middle East, and what a struggle that is for him, both internally and externally. It really showcases what a long way society, in this case the Middle East, has to go on the road to equality. We actually had the opportunity to speak to a graduate student from the Middle East, and she really gave us an idea of the nuances in Middle Eastern countries in regards to the gay community, and the slow progress that will eventually win out. I can't recommend this one enough.
Captive Prince Series - C.S Pacat
This is a series that I read some time ago, but still remains one of the best series I've read to date. It's a fantasy, political romance between two princes of rival kingdoms. I love anything highly political and calculating, and that's one of the reasons it remains very high on my favorites list, but it also has a happy ending. Many if not all of the books I'm recommending to you have sad endings, tragic endings, and while I found them to be very impactful and meaningful, sometimes I like to read about gay people who live through the entire book. It's a nice change of pace. Anyway, these books are some of the best I've read, and I look forward to rereading it.
Jarad is the co-administrator and writer for Sacred Chickens, attends college at MTSU, loves tea and coffee, and tries to spend every spare second reading. He recently developed an interest (some might say obsession) with gardening. Jarad is an English major with a concentration in literature. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!