Beyond Pride — A Retrospective Look at the LGBTQ+ Books that Have Touched My Heart

Why did it take so long for so many of them to show up on my radar?

Julie Borden
Coffee Time Reviews

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Photo by Gage Walker on Unsplash

What to write for Pride Month? That was the question. I was originally going to write a review of one book because it happened to be the one I had read most recently (Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, see below).

I puzzled over exactly how to connect it to Pride because it’s a multilayered story that explores themes of culture, class, nationalism, ableism, trauma, loss, and rebuilding of identity, all intersecting with the main character’s identity as a gay man.

Everything I hoped to say about Pride was a lot to put on the shoulders of one book. Thank you, Roo Benjamin, for talking this out with me, and suggesting a list instead.

So, it would be a list of LGBTQ+ books and how they have value and meaning for straight-identifying readers as well. When I tried to put that into words — the how and why of meaning and value — the first answer that came to me was, how could they not? These are all amazing books that would engage anyone.

Then I had to ask myself… why hadn’t I read more of them prior to October of 2020? I swear I wasn’t consciously avoiding them. But I wasn’t seeking them out either. And…

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Julie Borden
Coffee Time Reviews

Social worker, therapist, reader, writer, head-in-the-clouds dreamer, awed by most everything. (She/her) Reach me at JulieBordenLCSW@gmail.com.