Recommended by Jesse Hogan and Lucy Schwalbe, Confab Podcast Interns
Speak No Evil
By Uzodinma Iweala
Who It’s Good For: Anyone who is just beginning to learn about the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the trials and tribulations that come with being a queer teenager.
What It Teaches: That identifying as queer comes in many different shapes and size, such that “coming out” is different for everyone. The path to being able to live openly and freely as a queer person is very difficult, and although it may be easier for some, others have familial and social expectations that make it incredibly hard, even with the support of friends.
By Torrey Peters
Who It’s Good For: Anyone looking to read a nuanced story starring a trans woman, by a trans woman.
What It Teaches: In a society with such immense pressure on trans women to be perfect for the sake of “positive representation,” Peters gives her characters the power to be flawed and multi-dimensional. It adds depth to a community that is so often ignored.
The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde
By Audre Lorde
Who It’s Good For: Anyone looking to know more about an often unsung civil rights, gay rights, and women’s rights activist.
What It Teaches: Lorde explores themes of intersectionality through her own experience of being a queer Black woman. It teaches both historical context of racial injustice, as well as personal struggles and triumphs.
The Stonewall Reader
By the New York Public Library
Who It’s Good For: Anyone looking to learn more about the early gay rights movement through first-hand stories.
What It Teaches: Important background of the Stonewall riots. To understand what was happening in the 1960s is to better understand modern plights of the gay rights movement.
My Autobiography of Carson McCullers
By Jenn Shapland
Who It’s Good For: Those who wish to learn about the similarities and differences of being queer in the 20th versus 21st century.
What It Teaches: The way that queer stories are hidden and how we can begin to uncover and validate them.
In the Dreamhouse
By Carmen Maria Machado
Who It’s Good For: Anyone who might think domestic abuse is only perpetrated by men.
What It Teaches: Machado’s memoir investigates the complexities of domestic violence in a lesbian relationship with an inventive stylistic approach. Machado raises awareness about a subject matter that is often overlooked and dismissed, while simultaneously debunking myths about queer relationships.