Last updated: August 12, 2021

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If you are an avid reader or want to start this adventure in literature and are looking for LGBT books, you've come to the right place.

Nowadays, physical and online bookstores are full of great literary works with an LGBT theme, be they fact-based, based on true stories, fiction, romance, among many other themes.

To help you, in this article we'll show you how to choose the best LGBTS books of the moment among so many titles available.




Summary

  • LGBT books are increasingly diverse in terms of subject matter and play a fundamental role in necessary representativeness.
  • So much so that the most celebrated LGBT books are now being featured in successful feature films around the world.
  • In this article, we will show you which are the classics and what to consider when buying the best LGBT books.

The Best LGBT Book: Our Picks

Buying Guide

With works of such different themes, it's always a challenge to choose the next book to read. You need to take into account not only personal taste, but also factors specific to the works and their authors.

That's why we've created this Buying Guide with the most relevant information to help you choose the best LGBT books.

Homem lendo apoiado em árvore.

There is a wide variety in the subject of LGBT books (Source: Mehrad G.Vosoughi / Pexels)

What are LGBT books?

Before the final decades of the 20th century, LGBT books were spread from hand to hand, or were only available in non-specialised outlets.

Over time, however, LGBT books have gained prominent sections in major bookstores and libraries around the world.

An acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transvestite, Transsexual and Transgender, LGBT books encompass all major genres such as narrative, poetry, drama and essay and subgenres of literature.

In Brazil, for example, it is possible to find passages about homo and transgender people in very old books, such as those by Gregório de Matos, for example.

However, LGBT books with positive messages and happy endings only began to appear in the 20th century. Furthermore, because of prejudice, it was common to see LGBT characters in secondary plots or treated through humour.

These works contribute for the readers to identify themselves in these stories.

Today it's a different story. With the importance of representativity, this has been changing over the decades. So much so that publishers have invested heavily in LGBT books. Not to mention that many works have become the inspiration for highly successful films.

Hence the great importance of LGBT books. Besides the obvious literary contribution and critical construction, these works contribute for readers to identify and see their reality in the stories and characters.

Which LGBT books and authors are considered classics in Brazil?

Even though there are many more LGBT book options available today, the theme can be found in very old Brazilian classics.

And the fact is that, until today, many of these works still have current narratives, making them indispensable reading.

For this reason, we selected the main LGBT books considered classics, written by Brazilian authors. Check them out below:

The Moths, by Cassandra Rios

Published in 1975, this novel portrays the love between two women: Andreia and her teacher Berenice.

The characters develop concepts of self-discovery not only about their sexual orientation, but mainly about the role of women.

Julieta e Julieta, by Fátima Mesquita

This is the first Brazilian book to deal with lesbians in a positive way, with a happy ending. Published in 1998, it contains several short stories on the theme of love between women.

The Good Countryman, by Adolfo Caminha

Despite containing several racist references (including the title), it was one of the pioneering LGBT books for its time.

Released in 1895, the work shows a homosexual and interracial narrative, with the story of a former runaway slave who becomes a sailor and falls in love with a white cabin boy.

Where Will Dulce Veiga Walk? by Caio F. Abreu

The author released this book in 1990, which tells the story of a frustrated journalist who finds himself involved in the mystery of the disappearance of a famous singer.

Nicola: a transgender novel, by Danilo Angrimani

Considered the first Brazilian novel about gender fluidity, released in 1999, "Nicola" tells the story of a university professor, married with children, but who, when he looks in the mirror, sees himself as a woman.

My Name is Amanda, by Mandy Candy

Released in 2016, "My Name is Amanda" is the autobiography of YouTuber Mandy Candy, a transgender woman who, with the support of her mother, had her surgery in Thailand at the age of 19. In the book, she recounts her pains and joys about living in such a transphobic country.

What are the 5 best films adapted from LGBT books?

What you may not yet know is that many of the world's most successful films were inspired by LGBT books. Some are even winners of major film awards.

So, we have listed below, the five best movies that were based on or adapted from LGBT books. Check out:

Carol (2016)

It is considered the best LGBT film in history by the British Film Institute, with six Oscar nominations, one of them for actress Cate Blanchett.

It is an adaptation of the book "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith, released in 1952, which was one of the first popular lesbian novels to have a happy ending.

It tells the love story between Carol, a wealthy, mature woman, and 20-year-old Therese in 1950s New York.

Right to Love (2009)

The film marks the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford and stars actor Colin Firth. Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by British author Christopher Isherwood, it was released in 1964.

The synopsis traverses a day of a university professor, a homosexual, who spends all his time digesting the death of his partner, with whom he lived for 16 years.

Mãos folheando livro.

Classic LGBT books have become huge hits on the silver screen. (Source: Free-Photos / Pixabay)

The Color Purple (1985)

Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel by award-winning African-American author Alice Walker, the film features Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.

The film, however, was not faithful to the book and failed to portray the homo-affective romance and main characters who were bisexual.

Maurice (1987)

Based on the novel by E. M. Forster, written in 1913 but only published in 1971, the film Maurice is the story of the slow self-discovery and acceptance of sexuality by a young English aristocrat. The film stars Hugh Grant and is directed by James Ivory.

The Secret of Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams, the drama portrays the complex romantic involvement of two cowboys in the western United States between the years 1963 and 1981.

Winner of 3 Oscars, the fact is that the film was based on the short story written by Annie Proulx.

What are the benefits of LGBT books?

As with all literary works, there are numerous advantages of reading LGBT books. But in fact the greatest importance of LGBT books is that they contain a strong presence of LGBT characters, especially the protagonists.

For those who are part of these communities, these references are fundamental for a necessary and natural identification and inspiration to live similar stories and overcome obstacles.

This is valid for young people and adults, as well as for parents, friends and family members.

Mulher lendo livro na beiro de rio.

LGBT books help to bring themes of representativity. (Source: pixel2013 / Pixabay)

After all, just like any book, LGBT books not only entertain and amuse, but also teach, educate and broaden horizons and concepts.

Another advantage is that, nowadays, the themes of LGBT books are increasingly diverse. On the other hand, just like any product, LGBT books also have disadvantages.

The main one is that, although great works are easily accessible, the vast majority of books are still only available in ebook format.

Below, you check out the main advantages and disadvantages of LGBT books:

Advantages
  • Varied themes
  • Broadens concepts
  • For adults and young people
  • Increases identification and representation
Disadvantages
  • Greater diversity Only available in ebook format

How much does an LGBT book cost?

Factors such as size, number of pages, cover material and, of course, the quality of paper and printing, greatly influence the price of books. Therefore, you will find LGBT books costing between £2 and £500.

Of course, the cheapest are the books in ebook format, which have a lower production cost. The most expensive ones are usually academic books or hardback editions.

Buying criteria: Factors to observe when buying the best LGBT books

Now that you are more familiar with the authors, the classics and, of course, the importance and advantages that LGBT books provide it is time to choose the best title amidst so much variety.

For this, you should take into account your current moment of life and of course your personal taste. But it's also recommended that you observe other points that may influence the price of the book and your pleasure while reading.

To help you, we have listed here the main factors you should check before buying LGBT books. See:

  • Genre and thematic
  • How it's read
  • Who writes
  • Adult or juvenile

See below, a detailed explanation of each of these factors so you can choose the best LGBT books.

Genre and theme

Analysing these two factors is crucial so that you avoid buying the wrong book and ending up putting it aside early on in your reading.

As we've seen, it's possible to find LGBT books in all genres, such as narrative, where the author takes the lead role in telling the story; or lyrical, where the writer reveals their emotions through verse.

Here we can also consider as genre the biographies, which portray true facts of common or famous people. To give you an overview, check out the table about the main genres of LGBT books:

Narrative Lyrical Biographies
Characteristics There is the presence of a narrator The poet expresses his feelings He tells a real story
Examples Fable, novella, short story, chronicle, essay, novel
Poetry, sonnet, satire
Biographies of common and/or famous people and Autobiographies -

In addition, within each genre there are various themes of LGBT books. The choice of this factor is quite personal.

For example, you may choose lesbian romance themed, LGBT mystery, Comedy, Queer Horror, LGBT science fiction and of course stories based on true facts.

A tip: Amazon Brazil allows you to read the first few pages of some books. This way, you can get an idea if the book is for you or not.

How to read

Another factor we recommend you to take into consideration before buying LGBT books is the way of reading. In this regard, you can opt for books in both printed format and in digital format, the famous ebooks.

Some people prefer to read printed books, as the screen of a kindle or tablet can often strain the eyes of those who read for long periods.

In addition, the printed version also allows you to flip through the pages and then display the LGBT books on the shelves at home.

On the other hand, fans of digital books prefer this format mainly for the convenience of transportation. As the kindle is light and small, you can read the books anytime, anywhere.

Who writes

Also analyse the author's history and CV. After all, it is important that the writer has mastery over the subject he or she writes about. More than that, it is an incentive to read authors who also have expertise in the Portuguese language.

With so many LGBT books on offer, unfortunately, it's not uncommon for you to come across books that are unsubstantiated or even poorly written.

In any case, check the publisher as well. The best ones are usually dedicated to the physical and content quality as well.

Adult or juvenile

Finally, take into account that there are LGBT books for adults and also for young people. In children's literature, the LGBT theme is treated in an uncomplicated and natural way, promoting respect for difference and self-acceptance, without being explicit.

Some are also a reference for fathers and mothers who want to better understand the particular universe of their children.

(Source of the highlighted image: LubosHouska / Pixabay)

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