HAPPY FUCKING PRIDE, Y’ALL!
Will I be shouting about Sense8 all month? DUH. Are Erin & I watching only LGBTQIA+ movies for our weekly movie nights? ABSOLUTELY. Am I going to read a single straight book at all? Okay, maybe, like, two because Utopia Avenue is releasing, and ya girl is going to WEEP. I’m hella ready for an entire month of queer books, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that you can always read queer books; in fact, if you wanted to only read queer books, I’d buy some gold star stickers just to give to you because that’s incredible, you’re doing the Dark Lord’s work.
I’ve got a lot of plans this month. Books. Movies. Virtual parade. Bi pride so fierce and unapologetic, I’ll probably end up using a lot of caps. And so, to get the ball rolling, here is my totally unrealistic pride TBR! It’s way too many books (like holy hell who do I think I am), and I rage bought six of them after I had several unfortunate heteronormative conversations that made me want to dig a grave and hide in it, and then bought another three while I was procrastinating writing my own queer af book, but you know what? I don’t care, I’m stoked.
Since Boy Erased by Garrad Conley (G) shows up in my movie TBR, as well, I’m really going to try to read it first. I’m so happy to have a few nonfictions on this list, too, because I feel like I get so hyped about YA contemporaries and never really pay attention to anything else. This definitely promises to be the heaviest book, in terms of topic, for the month, so I’m also hoping whatever comes after will lift me right back up.
Y’all, I had a list of almost entirely gay & lesbian books with one tiny bit of ace rep, and it occurred to me while I was procrastinating writing my own queer af book that I had no trans or nonbinary rep on my TBR, so that has been rectified! Not only does Felix Ever After (T) by Kacen Callender have the most gorgeous cover ever, I have seen amazing reviews for this, and I’m so hyped.
I’ve also seen equally incredible reviews for I Wish You All the Best (NB) by Mason Deaver, and I honestly have no idea why I haven’t read it before now? Honestly, I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that I haven’t been in a bookstore in OVER SIX MONTHS, so like. I literally haven’t shopped for books in so long, or I would have grabbed this. Pride is for buying queer books before the month even starts, right???
I totally forgot that I already owned We are Lost and Found (G) by Helene Dunbar until I started taking these books off my shelves, and it was the greatest surprise ever. Almost like a sudden glitter shower of HI WE’RE GAYER THAN YOU THOUGHT! Jfc, this list is so long, I’m so stoked. I’m also very happy to have at least one queer book set during the AIDs pandemic since I think I’ve only watched movies set during that time?
Look, season five of Queer Eye is coming out in June, too, so of course I’m going to read Naturally Tan by Tan France (G) to just go full scale sobbing. I remember when I started QE, and I was, like, nah it’ll be fine, it’s just a lifestyle show, WOW HOW WRONG. If Tan’s memoir doesn’t do the same thing to me, then, well, what’s the point?
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales (G) is pitched as as Love, Simon spin on Grease, and I just? This was one of the six books that I rage bought, but I was going to buy it no matter what because that is just my JAM. I am so hyped for this queer summer teen love story.
We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra (G) is one of those books that I’ve picked up and put down in the store so many times that it’s finally gotten to the point where I had to buy it. I’ve wanted to read it for ages, and I only ever put it back because I usually choose fantasy over contemporary, so I’m happy I finally just bit the bullet and bought it so that it’ll look at me longingly until I finally pick it up.
I don’t have a lot of sapphic books on my list, but I have way more than I normally would, and I’m actively working on changing that. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (L) looks absolutely delightful, and I honestly only read about a sentence of it before I decided that I needed to read it. I mean, enemies to lovers? Competing small businesses? Yup and yup!
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson (G) is definitely partially a cover buy. I mean, look at it, it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s the third of my nonfictions, and I’m so excited to see how different all of them are, particularly because I think this one has an interesting format!
I currently own a few Anna-Marie McLemore books, so I texted Alex and told her to pick based on title alone, so we’re going with Blanca & Roja (NB & T) even though I should be reading McLemore’s latest release, but shhhhh, don’t tell my guilty conscience that.
Erin handed me By Any Means Necessary by Candace Montgomery (G) and said, “It’s got bees, and it looks gay, tell me if it’s good.” Plus, the cover is gorgeous and summery, and I am hyped for the possibility of a sweet bee farm romance.
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (L) is another book that I’ve picked up and put down multiple times, as well as put in my cart several times, so it was kind of a book I had to buy no matter what. It sounds so interesting, and I’m excited to finally have it on my shelf!
I picked up The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (G) because it sounded like it would help fill the hole in my heart that the Amberlough Dossier by Lara Elena Donnelly left in my heart. Those are some really huge shoes to fill, but I’m feeling pretty hopeful based on the opening pages and the vibe, so uh? Stay tuned, I may be weeping stupidly pretty soon.
This queer friends help queer friends find love in Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlen (L & G) sounds absolutely adorable, and I really hope that the friendship shine as much as the eventual romance. We need more friendships in books in general, but especially more queer friendships.
I literally had no idea what Camp (B) by L.C. Rosen was about other than Cori McCarthy was super excited about it on Instagram, which is honestly good enough for me, so I bought it, found out it’s about smashing toxic masculinity, and now I’m even more excited.
Gosh, I really wanted to save Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (L) for pride, and, let me tell you, it has been a struggle and a half to not read it for the last couple of months. I’ll definitely be picking this one up as my first fiction.
Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland (A) hooked me with a recommendation from Lisa Maxwell, but then it actively didn’t try to hide its queerness in the summary? ACE REP IN A FANTASY BOOK! Erin & I keep talking about how all we want is a tiny little rainbow flag on the dust jacket somewhere, and it just aggravates me to no end that we keep hiding our stories. Love is not a plot twist.
HAHAHAHAHAHA I THINK I’M GOING TO READ 17 BOOKS
I’ll admit that I have no idea what But I’m a Cheerleader (L) is about, but Erin’s been clamoring about it, so I’m excited to see what the fuss is all about. I saw a trailer for The Half of It (L) on Netflix while we were browsing their LGBTQIA+ section to see if there was anything new we’d missed, and this looks right up my alley. And all of Tumblr was screaming about The Handmaiden (L) for the longest time, so it was definitely one of the first ones that came to mind for me.
I’ve had Loving Annabelle (L) on my list for a long time, so I’m super excited to finally see it. I Love You Phillip Morris (G) is another one that I don’t really know what it’s about, but Erin has yet to lead me astray, so I’m trusting her on this one. And I truly can’t remember if Handsome Devil (G) is actually queer, or if we just pretended it was? Either way, I remember flailing over it a lot, so I’m hyped to do that again.
I’m glad that we have a couple nonfictions on our movie list, and I’ve been wanting to see the film adaptation of Boy Erased (G) for a while now. I’ve also had Moonlight (G) on my list for a while, and I can’t wait to finally see why so many people absolutely adore it. Erin hasn’t seen The Normal Heart (G), and it is going to ruin her, I absolutely cannot wait. (Yes, I am awful.) Kill Your Darlings (G) is one of our favorite movies, and I can still vividly remember the way we paused the scene in the library and just turned to each other. “Write this into your story right now,” Erin said, and well, I did just that. And I’m so happy that we have Transamerica (T) on our list! It’s turned into a super diverse-looking month, and I can’t wait.
And those are my plans for pride! I can’t wait to kick off the month next week and let it be queer every single damn day. If I play my cards right, I get to write a sapphic wedding at the end of my book, too, so.