LGBT History Month
LGBT History Month was founded in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a Missouri high school history teacher. Each October, the month-long observance celebrates the achievements of 31 LGBT icons, with one being featured each day. More information can be found on the LGBT History Month website.
In observance of LGBT History Month, check out these historical fiction and classic titles, featuring LGBTQ+ characters.
LGBTQ+ Historical fiction
At Swim, Two Boys : A Novel by Jamie O'Neill
In a story set against the backdrop of Dublin in 1915, two boys who meet at the local swimming hole plan to swim to an island in Dublin Bay the following Easter, but their plans coincide with the Easter uprising – a historic rebellion that changes their lives.
The Magician by Colm Toibin
An intimate, astonishingly complex portrait of writer Thomas Mann, a man profoundly flawed and unforgettable, his magnificent and complex wife Katia, and the times in which they lived – the first world war, the rise of Hitler, World War II, the Cold War, and exile.
The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr
Two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation find refuge in each other while transforming a quiet shed into a haven for their fellow slaves, before an enslaved preacher declares their bond sinful.
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Dublin, 1918. Ireland is ravaged by war and disease. Nurse Julia Power works in a quarantined maternity ward. Two outsiders step into her world, who she will connect with in unexpected ways.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo : A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid
When an aging and reclusive Hollywood icon selects an unknown magazine reporter to write her life story, the baffled journalist forges deep ties with the actress during a complicated interview process that exposes their tragic common history.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.
The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry seek refuge on the homestead of George and Isabelle Walker. The brothers plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother. Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Nancy Astley, a fishmonger in Whitstable, becomes smitten by male impersonator Kitty Butler and attends shows until the star notices her, which leads to the two becoming partners in romance and performance until societal pressures drive the two into situations that embrace the ambiguity of sexual preference and gender roles.
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
A young Nigerian girl, displaced during their civil war, begins a powerful love affair with another refugee girl from a different ethnic community until the pair are discovered and must learn the cost of living a lie amidst taboos and prejudices.
White Houses : A Novel by Amy Bloom
A New York Times best-selling author presents a novel inspired by the life of Lorena Hickok, and on her love affair and enduring friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Classic LGBTQ+ fiction
A Single Man : A Novel by Christopher Isherwood
George, the protagonist, is adjusting to life on his own after the sudden death of his partner, and is determined to persist in the routines of his daily life; the course of "A Single Man" spans 24r hours in an ordinary day. An Englishman and a professor living in suburban Southern California, he is an outsider in every way, and his internal reflections and interactions with others reveal a man who loves being alive despite everyday injustices and loneliness.
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
In the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
Maurice: A Novel by E. M. Forster
Set in the elegant Edwardian world of Cambridge undergraduate life, this story by a master novelist introduces us to Maurice Hall when he is 14. We follow him through public school and Cambridge, and into his father's firm. In a highly structured society, Maurice is a conventional young man in almost every way – except he discovers he is attracted to men rather than women.
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
A landmark coming-of-age novel that launched the career of one of this country's most distinctive voices. Rita Mae Brown tells the story of Molly Bolt, the adoptive daughter of a dirt-poor Southern couple who boldly forges her own path in America. With her startling beauty and crackling wit, Molly finds that women are drawn to her wherever she goes-- and she refuses to apologize for loving them back.
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
A naive young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, tawdry, touching, and outrageous.
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Trapped in a boring, dead-end day job in a department store, stage designer Therese Belivet finds her life forever changed when she encounters – and falls in love with – Carol Aird, an alluring suburban housewife in the midst of a divorce.
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