The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, And Other Identities
David Levithan

The Catcher in the Rye JD Salinger

Each year i n late June, LGBT Pride (often known as Gay Pride or simply Pride) kicks off, with festivals, parades, readings and more.  Begun by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered – or Queer - community  to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969,  Pride has evolved into a celebration of diversity in sexual orientation, represented by the rainbow flag.  Stonewall was the first time the LGBT community fought back against a routine police raid on a New York City gay bar on June 28th, 1969.

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The LGBT community has certainly had a diverse impact on literature. In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labor for his sexuality.Without Tennessee Williams there would be no A Streetcar Named Desire. Alice Walker gave us The Color Purple. Walt Whitman, Thornton Wilder, Sarah Waters, Virginia Woolf - all gay or bisexual, all tremendously important writers. And that's just some of the W's.

Like non-fiction? Peter Wildeblood's 1955 Against The Law, a now out-of-print book which played a key role in the decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK, is a true account of Wildblood's arrest for indecent acts (which back then, simply meant being gay and acting on it), trial, imprisonment and release after a year in prison.

The landmark book, published in 1955, argues that sex between consenting adults should not be illegal and claims imprisonment actually encourages homosexuality. It was the first book to explain what it meant to be homosexual to a mass audience of Britons. First editions of Against the Law are collectible and surprisingly affordable.

If biography is your thing, read Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton the British novelist and playwright murdered by his distraught partner in 1967. Or The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, the openly gay politician in San Francisco in the 1970s and the tremendous strides he and his office made toward LGBT representation in politics. For memoirs, try Family Outing by Chastity Bono, about growing up not only gay, but with Sonny and Cher for parents.

Want your funny bone tickled? Naked by David Sedaris is among his best (second only, in my opinion, to Me Talk Pretty One Day) and includes the essay 'I Like Guys'. Also hilarious are My Trip Down the Pink Carpet by Leslie Jordan and Don't Get Me Started by legendary lesbian comedian Kate Clinton.

There are countless books written by LGBT authors, countless books about the LGBT community, and countless ways to celebrate gay pride in literature with a good read.

Here are some of our diverse choices - we hope you enjoy.

Loot by Joe Orton

Joe Orton

All Families Are Psychotic by Douglas Coupland

All Families Are Psychotic
Douglas Coupland

Living By the Word: Selected Writings, 1973-1987

Living by the Word
Alice Walker

A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White

A Boy's Own Story
Edmund White

The Spell by Alan Hollinghurst

The Spell
Alan Hollinghurst

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

Bastard Out of Carolina
Dorothy Allison

The Tail of the Tip-Off by Rita Mae Brown

The Tail of the Tip-Off
Rita Mae Brown

The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant An Adoption Story by Dan Savage

The Kid
Dan Savage

The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince
Oscar Wilde

Hood by Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue

Stone Butch Blues by leslie Feinberg

Stone Butch Blues
Leslie Feinberg

Maurice by E.M. Forster

E.M. Forster

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

The Book of Salt
Monique Truong

Surprising Myself by Christopher Bram

Surprising Myself
Christopher Bram

Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren

Front Runner
Patricia Nell Warren

Curious Wine by Katherine V. Forrest

Curious Wine
Katherine V. Forrest

Poetry and Commitment by Adrienne Rich

Poetry and Commitment
Adrienne Rich

Wild Boys by William S. Burroughs

Wild Boys
William S. Burroughs

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Have you read any LGBT literature? Recommendations?

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