A Queer Reading List

From ancient cave paintings to today's story slams, we've always shared stories. The forms of storytelling may vary, but their essence are the same... to tell each other about our thoughts, feelings, experiences, observations, moments, events, and more. Some stories have been pasted down over centuries through performances, art, and writings. They are out there ready to be found. Some stories have yet to be voiced, drawn, or written.

With this in mind, I reached to OutRight advocacy week alumni, fellows, staff, and colleagues to recommend books for this reading list. This is just a starter list, and I hope you will add one to your wish list the next time you're looking for something to read.


They Called Me Queer” is a collection written by Africans who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual. South Africa has become known for its tolerance towards us, the LGBTQIA+ community. However, we live in a devastatingly segregated and unequal society, where sexual identities still heavily impacts every part of our daily lives. This collection of stories is a testimony to who we are. It is an assertion of our struggles, but also our triumphs, our joys.
Watch video about the book »



She Called Me Woman” challenges us to rethink what it means to be a Nigerian ‘woman’, negotiating relationships, money, sexuality and freedom, identifying outside the gender binary, and the difficulties of achieving hopes and dreams in a climate of fear. These stirring and intimate collection brings together 25 first-hand accounts that paint a vivid portrait of what it means to be a queer Nigerian woman. These beautifully told stories of resistance and resilience reveal the realities of a community that will no longer be invisible.
Watch video about the book »



Funny Boy” is a queer coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war. The novel charts a boy’s loss of innocence as he grapples with family conflict, political realities and his sexuality.



Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” is a memoir and the debut book by Janet Mock, an American writer and transgender activist. It was published on 1 February 2014 by Atria Books. The book has been praised by Melissa Harris-Perry, bell hooks, Laverne Cox, and Barbara Smith.



The Other Side of Paradise is a memoir of Stacyann Chin growing up in Jamaica. Told with grace, humor, and courage, Chin plumbs tender and unsettling memories as she writes about drifting from one home to the next, coming out as a lesbian, finding the man she believes to be her father, and ultimately, discovering her voice.



Piece of My Heart: A Lesbian of Colour Anthology” by Makeda Silvera is uncompromising in its honesty, at times humorous, angry, confrontational, and erotic. It celebrates the lives of women both out and coming out.


The Very Inside: An Anthology of Writings by Asian & Pacific Islander Lesbians” is more than fifty contributions of poetry, prose, interviews, articles and artwork make this collection fascinating and important.