This article showcases our top picks for the Books For Gay Youth. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below).
We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.
This product was recommended by Tate, a poet most recently published by Tealight Press
As queer history unfolds on a daily basis, I suggest modern memoirs for gay youth. Books such as Starving in Search of Me by Marissa LaRocca not only have more relatable language but also have specific coming-of-age experiences that reflect the times. Starving in Search of Me is a consciously told story that shows important interrelationships (ex. how gender identity and performance may relate to some cases of eating disorders), and even includes new-age formatting that will warm the hearts and minds of our forever evolving younger communities.
This product was recommended by Nikita Verma from PurpleCrest Management Consulting
It’s a classic boy-meets-boy story. A story about the universe, of things that may or may not work out, of an age of rapidly increasing technology, and yet believing in destiny, fate, and knowing that you met for a reason. The story is light-hearted & adorable. This kind of comfort that love and companionship are possible amongst two boys or men was unknown to me. What If It’s Us is a book that is real, kinda bittersweet, and mostly full of possibilities. It was soothing and showed the love as it is, no adulteration. The authors tap into a universal feeling of uncertainty and insecurity around the burgeoning relationships so honestly and realistically that it’s immediately recognizable to anyone. You can also relate to it for the time you’ve looked at a stranger you randomly bumped into and thought: What if?
This product was recommended by Emily Bond from PR by the Book, LLC
This is the empowering message parenting author and podcaster Cindy Wang Brandt wants every child to hear and embrace. In this inspiring picture book she speaks to every child who sees injustice in the world, revealing that they already have inside themselves everything they need to make big, transformative change in the world–just as they are. Every kid is a revolutionary! You don’t need to wait until you grow up. You don’t even need any special skills. Kids who are loud, kids who are quiet, kids who make art, kids who are good at math, kids with lots of energy, kids who are good listeners–all kids have what it takes to make a difference. Lynnor Bontigao’s vibrant illustrations feature a diverse group of children taking up a call to action and using their individual gifts to change the world.
This product was recommended by Emma Williams from EmmaWilliams
It is a humorous novel set in England. I think it would appeal to gay youth because it is funny, irreverent and most importantly the gay characters are characters who just happen to be gay. Their sexuality is not the reason for them being in the story so their being gay is understated and natural. The gay Detective Inspector John Appleton experiences ‘everyday’ heteronormative challenges including homophobic comments from his boss and misunderstandings from a female character who is attracted to him and assumes that he is heterosexual. The main protagonist Dr Clara Astrell, has a gay son who again is not written as a ‘gay storyline’ but as an interesting character. There is also an older female character who has never married whom the aware reader can assume is gay. It is a lighthearted novel which normalises and celebrates gayness.
This product was recommended by Stephen Curry from CocoSign
A kind and gentle book about the loneliness of a young boy trying to wander between a riotous Armenian family and a school of violent gangs. It is a lovely, inspiring, funny story about what happens when a significant person lets you see the world and helps you see everything, and teaches you to love yourself as you have never loved before.