Bookseller Gina kicks it off with some personal thoughts and book recommendations, plus a bingo card for you to download and track your reading!
Happy Pride month! I know it’s difficult to fathom diving into a month of celebration when there is so much pain felt around the world. Yet it’s also an incredible time to learn compassion and empathy for people’s lives and experiences we maybe don’t understand. When I put this bingo board together, I didn’t know what the world would look like this June. If you saw my 5 book series on our Instagram, then you know I love reading fiction that teaches me about the world. Books put you in the shoes of the characters. Books are crash courses in empathy. Books can change people. Books can change hearts.
I chose these boxes while thinking of myself and my queer reader friends who love reading queer books, but always end up wishing there was a character that better represented their identity. These boxes don’t cover everything but it’s a good start if you’re just starting to discover LGBTQ stories! YA books are leading the charge with incredibly diverse representation. It really fills me with hope! I want to encourage readers to notice how much is out there! Now, I don’t think it’s possible to complete the whole board in June (though I know some remarkably fast readers so feel free to go for it!), but I’d love for people to keep track of this board as they continue reading queer books past the month of June. Hopefully you’ll find some new books you wouldn’t have known about otherwise!
Feel free to count books you’ve already read, or completely start fresh. There are no rules, so just have fun with it! Know a book that crosses off a bunch of boxes? A book that will secure one whole row? Tag us on Instagram or Twitter and share your progress! Ask us if you’re stuck on one box, and we’ll give you some recommendations. Good luck!
We’re making it our mission at BookPeople to consistently promote books by BIPOC creators, as the LGBTQ community includes so many different experiences. There’s only one little box there for intersectionality, but it’s definitely possible to read intersectional LGBTQ books with Black main characters and still cross off every box. Today I’m giving a shout-out to these 5 LGBTQ books with Black main characters to get you started. I’ll give you a sneak peak for one of them!
- The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (includes gender non-conforming character, a coming out scene, own voices, m/m relationship, LGBTQ poetry/novel in verse, LGBTQ contemporary fiction, intersectionality, more than one LGBTQ couple, character’s first LGBTQ kiss)
- Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (includes a biromantic asexual Black female main character!!! Okay, a bit of a second sneak peak because that’s so exciting!)
- Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
- All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
- You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
A little glossary for less commonly known terms:
Gender noncomforming character (gnc) – “Gender nonconforming” refers to people who do not follow other people’s ideas or stereotypes about how they should look or act based on the female or male sex they were assigned at birth. (Definition source)
Own voices – is a term coined by the writer Corinne Duyvis, and refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about their own experiences/from their own perspective, rather than someone from an outside perspective writing as a character from an underrepresented group. (Definition source)
m/f – a relationship between a (cis or trans) male character and a (cis or trans) female character
f/f – a relationship between a (cis or trans) female character and a (cis or trans) female character
m/m – a relationship between a (cis or trans) male character and a (cis or trans) male character
Intersectionality – the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. (Definition source)
(for example: Black and queer; or disabled and queer; or Black, queer, and disabled; etc)
We invite you to shop these titles and more through our online storefront at Bookshop while our in-store team works on catching up to existing online orders from your overwhelming support. We’ll be back to taking your orders on Wednesday!