Whether you’re looking for escapism, to feel seen or to learn about experiences outside of your own, there’s something for everyone on this list
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY THOUGHT CATALOG
I spent most of my life as a bookworm never reading books by authors or featuring characters who look or love like me. Little did I know, there were so many books by queer authors of colour out there, and so many more to come. So without further ado, here are some books that I will never stop recommending to people.
Beyond The Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon
This book is pocket-sized and mighty. Alok examines the gender binary and shares moments from their own life in a way that is appropriate for younger readers. The overall message is of the beauty of self-expression and living authentically.
Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power by Lola Olufemi
This was pivotal in my understanding of intersectional feminism. There is a chapter on transphobia within the community which may have saved my life. This book put a fire in my belly and will forever remain a dog-eared book on my shelf.
In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
In this haunting memoir told through creative prose that utilises different conventions of horror, Machado reflects on her own experiences of same-sex domestic abuse. I highly recommend listening to her mesmerising narration for the audiobook.
We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib
This memoir poses the question, “How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don’t exist?” Habib reflects on her childhood in Pakistan, her family’s experiences as refugees in Canada, an arranged marriage and her exploration of her faith, art and sexuality.
The Death Of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Emezi’s work doesn’t tailor trans and queer experiences to be palatable to Western preconceptions. The Death Of Vivek Oji will grip you with its poignant prose and have you reaching for the tissues.
Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Take A Hint, Dani Brown is the second bond in The Brown Sisters Trilogy, and readers will fall head over heels over Dani, a black bisexual babe taking on academia.
The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
Shraya’s second novel explores two women of colour in the music industry and the systemic pressures that pit women against each other. This book also doesn’t mention that one of the women is trans until part-way through the novel which is really refreshing to see in fiction.
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Safi is the queen of writing diverse sapphic fiction. This novel follows Sana Khan, a cheerleader and straight-A student, and Rachel Recht, a wannabe director who’s obsessed with movies. If enemies-to-lovers is one of your fave tropes, definitely check this one out.
You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson
I could tell from the cover that this one would serve up some black queer joy, and it most certainly did. Liz doesn’t care for prom, but as her plans come crashing down, she sets out on a quest for a scholarship that can only be gained if she becomes prom queen.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
This book serves up some much needed asexual rep. Alice is such a lovable protagonist with a heart as big as her belly. When Alice meets Takumi, a love interest sparks and Alice must decide whether she’s willing to risk it all for a love that may not be understood.
DIVA magazine celebrates 27 years in print in 2021. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.