Books have provided comfort during the pandemic. While people were stuck at home, books were read for knowledge and entertainment. A range of books on same-sex relationships and same-sex love became popular around this time. Here is a list. If this genre interests you, here are 10 you must read.
1. Holapapi by Jean-Paul Brammer
Named after a prominent column of LGBTQ advice, in this book, author John Paul Brammer recounts his hilarious journey from being gay to a mixed race kid in the heart of America battling the ups and downs that he had to confront with the Christian community. The book is said to be aimed at anyone – gay, straight, and everything in between – who has already taken stock of their unique place in the world.
2. Balance advice by Joy Huang-Iris
The Balance Tips is about multiracial Fay Wu Goodson, videographer and daughter of Jia Wu, a Taiwanese immigrant to the United States where he delves deep into the intricacies of the intersecting identities of other New Yorkers. Fay, who identifies as pansexual in the novel, simultaneously explores the challenges of her own life and keeps relationships at bay.
3. Blue-skinned Gods by SJ Sindu
An Indian boy born with blue skin in Tamil Nadu is considered the reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu. The protagonist Kalki is uplifted in a divine way. The novel explores the family dynamic that Kalki shares with his mother, his father, his uncle, his cousin, who one by one begins to fall apart. Traveling from India to the underground rock scenes of New York, Kalki begins to explore race, sexuality, gender across continents and countries. The book takes you on a journey that explores the interconnections of the world races.
4. “Broken horses” by Brandi Carlile
A gay teenager, Brandi is suddenly torn between her sexuality and her faith when the pastor refuses to baptize her. Through her novel, Brandi takes readers on her journey of events that have shaped her art brut. Broken Horses tells the story of a person abandoned by church basics and incidents of isolation that built a person for who they are today – a five-time Grammy-winning artist Awards.
5. “Patricia Highsmith: her diaries and notebooks”
Highsmith’s euphoric writing explores the nooks and crannies of gender and sexuality in the mid-twentieth century. Patricia Highsmith is now recognized as one of the “greatest modernist writers”, Highsmith’s second novel had to be published under a pseudonym, to “save” her reputation. The novel provides a deeper insight into the psychological turmoil that witnesses his prose.
6. The one you want to marry (and the other identities that I had) by Sophie Santos
The title of her new memoirs suggests that Sophie, an actress, has lived through several identities. Growing up with a fleeting childhood, Santos was through a lot before deciding to be a lesbian aloud comedian. Sophie’s “mess” in the novel is all that readers love.
7. Kink edited by RO Kwon and Garth Greenwell
The anthology deals with a plethora of queer stories. The novel isn’t a quintessential queer book, but the selections from its stories are pretty much cheerful. From celebrating a middle-aged couple having sex with a young man to exploring the dynamics of sexual power, this is smart queer read.
8. The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
The novel explores the queer love between two estranged slaves, Isaiah and Samuel, and how their affair is increasingly becoming a source of controversy for their immediate community. The story has often been said to recall the writings of Toni Morrison, and the story has been told from different angles. The story reconstructs the refuge that lovers find in each other’s company and how their existence is vetoed by society.
9. We are played by Jen Silverman
Cass, a young writer flees to the West Coast following a humiliating scandal. It was then that she was drawn to teenage girls and the ambiguous orbit of a filmmaker. Often hailed as “a fierce new voice” and “queer, feminist and ready to spill tea,” Cass’ journey is marked by acts of escape and possibly the reinvention of her identities as she explores the realm of success in the cinema.
10. 100 Boyfriends of Brontez Purnell
Transgressive and terribly funny, the book traces the journey of homosexuals in their quest to choose their own families and identities. The characters in the story often fight to claim their heritage while being pushed to their limits by white supremacists and a heteronormative society.