LGBTQIA+ protagonist

Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel – A memoir done in the form of a graphic novel by a cult favorite comic artist offers a darkly funny family portrait that details her relationship with her father – a funeral home director, high-school English teacher, and closeted homosexual.

Dreadnought by April Daniels – Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and dies right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantel to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl. It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in the ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head. She doesn’t ahve time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer -a cyborg named Utopia- still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

Sea, Swallow Me and Other Stories by Craig Laurance Gidney – Ancient folklore and modern myth come together in these stories. Here are found the struggles of a medieval Japanese monk, seduced by a mischievous fairy, and a young slave who finds mystery deep within the briar patch of an antebellum plantation. Gidney offers readers a gay teen obsessed with his patron saint, Lena Horne, and, in the title story, an ailing tourist seeking escape at a distant shore but never reckons on encountering an African sea god. Rich, poetic, dark and disturbing, these are tales not soon forgotten.

The Handsome Girl and Her Beautiful Boy by B. T. Gottfred – Everyone, including Zee’s classmates, gym buddies, and even her so-called best friend assume that she is a lesbian. Everyone who takes a look at Art’s nice clothes and pretty face assume that he is gay. But there is more to Zee and Art than anyone realizes. What develops is a powerful connection between two people who are beautiful in all the ways they’ve been told are strange. As they explore their own complex relationships to gender, sexuality, and identity, they fall for the complexities they find in each other, and learn about love and living authentically.

Less: a Novel by Andrew Greer – Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend’s wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past.

Modern HERstory by Blair Imani – From the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond, this inspiring and radical celebration profiles 70 women who, coming from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally overlooked and under-celebrated, have changed—and are still changing—the world.

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen – Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings–named one of “The 25 most influential teens” of the year by Time–shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.

Luisa Now and Then by Carole Maurel – At 32, Luisa encounters her 15-year-old self in this sensitive, bold story about self-acceptance and sexuality. Single, and having left behind her dream to become a renowned photographer, she is struggling to find out who she is and what she wants. In order to help and guide her younger self, she must finally face herself and her past. When Luisa finds herself attracted to a female neighbor, things become even more complicated… Insightful and funny, this is a feel-good coming-of-age story.

Tomorrow Will be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride -The national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign presents a timely memoir about her struggles with gender identity and relationships against a backdrop of the transgender equality movement.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire – Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things. No matter the cost.

Release by Patrick Ness – Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend and his best friend, Angela. But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.

Little Fish by Casey Plett – Wendy Reimer is a thirty-year-old trans woman in Winnipeg who comes across evidence that her late grandfather, a devout Mennonite farmer, might have been transgender as well. At first she dismisses the revelation, but as she and her friends struggle to cope with the challenges of their increasingly volatile lives Wendy is drawn to the lost pieces of her grandfather’s past.

America (Comic Series) by Gabby Rivera – America Chavez represents infinite hope and the power of taking action. America has always been uncontestably awesome, and as the newly appointed leader of the Ultimates, she’s now officially claimed her place as the preeminent butt-kicker of the Marvel Universe. But while leading a team of heroes and punching out big bads is great and all, it doesn’t really leave much time for self-discovery… So what’s a super-powered teenager do when she’s looking for a little fulfillment? She goes to college! She just has to stop an interdimensional monster or two first, plus shut down a pesky alien cult that’s begun worshiping her exploits…

Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar – Four women, soldier, scholar, poet, and socialite, are caught up on different sides of a violent rebellion. As war erupts and their families are torn apart, they fear they may disappear into the unwritten pages of history. Using the sword and the pen, the body and the voice, they struggle not just to survive, but to make history.

Don’t Call Us Dead by Danez Smith – An awarding-poet presents a collection of works that opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police—a place where suspicion, violence and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love and longevity they deserved here on earth. Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry.

DeadEndia: the Watcher’s Test by Hamish Steele – When Barney gets a job at Dead End, a theme park haunted house, he discovers it is also a portal to hell, and must battle demonic party poopers with help from his best friend Norma and his talking dog Pugsley.

I Felt a Funeral, in my Brain by Will Walton – For most of his young life Avery has dealt with his alcoholic mother with the help of his grandfather Pal–he immerses himself in poetry and popular music, and now that high school is over for the summer, he makes out with his best friend Luca (who understands about alcoholic mothers), but the death of his grandfather creates a hole in his life that he can not seem to crawl out of.

Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson – Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors’ artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight. The two of them are the descendants of the gods who abandoned the Earth for Heaven, and they will need all the gifts those divine ancestors left to them to keep their caravan brothers alive. The one safe road between the northern oasis and southern kingdom is stalked by a necromantic terror. Demane may have to master his wild powers and trade humanity for godhood if he is to keep his brothers and his beloved captain alive.

The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang – Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While Mokoya received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, they saw the sickness at the heart of their mother’s Protectorate. A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue as a pawn in their mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond they share with their twin?

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