BIPOC Voices

5 cult Queer books to read this Pride

Read up on some historical classics.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Jun 21, 2022

In 2000, June was officially established as Pride Month. And while the festivities abound, pride is not all about parties and glitter and rainbows. Getting acquainted with the history requires some reading. So, here, we’ve compiled a list of cult queer books that you should pick from this Pride Month (and even the rest of the year).


Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles

If you haven’t read anything by Eileen Myles yet, do yourself a favor and get a copy of Chelsea Girls. Myles’ career spans decades, and they’ve basically seen it all. The ideal book to start reading Myles’ writing is Chelsea Girls. Myles, a working-class lesbian poet who was raised in a Catholic Massachusetts village in the 1960s, and later moved to New York City’s East Village in the 1970s and 1980s, transforms their life into art in the autobiographical novel they published in 1994. Do we need to say more?


Buy Chelsea Girls from Amazon for $15


chelsea girl


Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

James Baldwin’s novel is all about love and the fear of it, with the backdrop of nightlife in Paris in the 1950s. Giovanni’s Room is a novel that relays the complexities of love in all its forms, and it is done with a mastery that only Baldwin can achieve.


Buy Giovanni’s Room from Penguin for $22


giovanni's room


Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby

By now you’ve all seen Nanette hopefully, Hannah Gadsby’s groundbreaking Netflix stand-up special. This book takes us through the defining moments of her life that lead to the inception of Nanette, and it’s a moving journey.


Buy 10 Steps to Nanette from Penguin for $28


10 steps


In the Dream House: A Memoir by Carmen Maria Machado

Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir is not only innovative in style, but also revolutionary in content. It is often impossible to find books centered on queer relationships that have gone bad. In the book, the author wittingly remarks that abusive relationships are usually reserved for heteronormative couples, but in this story, this filters into this queer relationship. If you want a page-turner, this is it. However, you must be warned that the content can get heavy at times.


Buy In the Dream House from Amazon for $17


dream house


The Stonewall Reader by New York Public Library and Jason Baumann

The Stonewall Riots, which are regarded as the most important event in the gay liberation movement, became the impetus for the contemporary fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in the United States. The Stonewall Reader is a compilation of firsthand experiences, diaries, periodicals, and articles from LGBTQIA+ magazines and newspapers that chronicled both the years prior to and the years following the riots. It draws on the collections of the New York Public Library and is definitely one of the most important compilations on the history of the movement.


Buy The Stonewall Reader from Penguin for $18


stonewall reader


In related content, here are 7 Queer Marvel and DC characters you may not have known about.


Photos via Diana Davies/New York Public Library, Amazon