The most recommended books about homophobia

Who picked these books? Meet our 34 experts.

34 authors created a book list connected to homophobia, and here are their favorite homophobia books.
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Book cover of Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs: 20 Skills to Build Resilience

Peter Smyth Author Of Working with High-Risk Youth: A Relationship-based Practice Framework

From my list on challenge the status quo and develop a practice framework for working with youth.

Who am I?

I have been a social worker for 32 years, with 24 years focusing on working with the most marginalized and complex population of youth in society. Hearing the voices of youth saying that child welfare was irrelevant and that many had problematic relationships with their work got me researching ways to think differently and shift practice to make our work with youth more meaningful to them and us as workers. With a background in journalism, I was prompted to write, finally resulting in a book on this subject. I teach a course on social work practice with high-risk youth and continue to do consultation, training, and speaking for youth-serving organizations. 

Peter's book list on challenge the status quo and develop a practice framework for working with youth

Peter Smyth Why did Peter love this book?

This is an excellent book on the social-ecological perspective and helping youth “navigate and negotiate the resources they need for their well-being.” Through his many books, Ungar challenges the traditional view of resiliency and something inherent in some people to overcome adversity. We can all have a role in helping build resiliency in youth.

This book helps you understand how to help youth feel empowered and competent, create a positive identity, and learn skills to best get their needs met in constructive and positively reinforcing ways. For workers who think that handholding is enabling, they will learn that spending time with our youth and developing navigation and negotiating skills is fundamentally important and something all youth need, not just youth whose lives have been an ongoing struggle.

Ungar has tabbed guides that can be printed and used to help learn 20 navigation and negotiating skills and to help workers develop…

By Michael Ungar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This new edition of Working with Children and Youth with Complex Needs provides detailed descriptions of techniques, ample case studies, fascinating and easy to understand explanations of research, and rich stories of how social workers, psychologists, counselors, child and youth care workers, and other mental health professionals can help young people become more resilient.

Fully updated and including new discussions of trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), resilience, genetic susceptibility to stress, the impact of migration and natural disasters on families, and much more, Dr. Ungar shows why we need to work just as hard changing the environments that surround children…


Book cover of Barracuda

Michael Burge Author Of Tank Water

From my list on Australian books about conquering homophobia.

Who am I?

A century of prejudice is laid bare in these books, but within their pages are countless subtle and overt ways that gay Australian men have given homophobes the big middle finger. We may not always have thrived, but through resistance, migration, verbal agility, notoriety, and sheer resilience, collectively we have conquered. I stand on enormous shoulders at a time when queer writing is proliferating on an inevitable tide of equality that has risen across my lifetime in this country. My selections encompass first nations and migrant stories, some of the pioneers of our gay literature, and ‘outside’ voices bravely looking in to discern us with dignity.

Michael's book list on Australian books about conquering homophobia

Michael Burge Why did Michael love this book?

Danny Kelly is a living, breathing gay Greek protagonist, and the choices this driven young competitive swimmer faces about loving relationshipswhile he’s in the pursuit of athletic prowessare written with a resounding ring of truth. Tsiolkas’ visceral sex scenes, underpinned by gripping descriptions of the desires behind the mechanics, speak to much more than the act itself. They go to the heart of identity in a novel with so many layers of self-definition: the migrant, the working class hero, the quintessential male, the stereotypical gay, the success story, and the abject failure. That Danny escapes his ambition alive is a miracle, and it has everything to do with digging deep and staring down expectations.

By Christos Tsiolkas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Barracuda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the international bestselling and Booker Prize nominated author of The Slap comes a blazingly brilliant new novel.

Longlisted for the 2014 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

You lose everything. In front of everyone. Where do you go from here?

Daniel Kelly, a talented young swimmer, has one chance to escape his working-class upbringing. His astonishing ability in the pool should drive him to fame and fortune, as well as his revenge on the rich boys at the private school to which he has won a sports scholarship. Everything Danny has ever done, every sacrifice his family has ever made, has…


Book cover of Fairyland

Michael Burge Author Of Tank Water

From my list on Australian books about conquering homophobia.

Who am I?

A century of prejudice is laid bare in these books, but within their pages are countless subtle and overt ways that gay Australian men have given homophobes the big middle finger. We may not always have thrived, but through resistance, migration, verbal agility, notoriety, and sheer resilience, collectively we have conquered. I stand on enormous shoulders at a time when queer writing is proliferating on an inevitable tide of equality that has risen across my lifetime in this country. My selections encompass first nations and migrant stories, some of the pioneers of our gay literature, and ‘outside’ voices bravely looking in to discern us with dignity.

Michael's book list on Australian books about conquering homophobia

Michael Burge Why did Michael love this book?

Elliott came out to his fans with this beautiful novel charting the life and times of Seaton Ross, a protagonist in the author’s image. Despite the terrible series of obstacles placed in Seaton’s way, from overbearing or absent family, deeply closeted and self-centred lovers to furious fag hags, he manages to escape Australia—just as Elliott didwithout developing a lasting hatred in his exile. Rendered with the author’s signature wit (he took a leaf from E. M. Forster), the homophobia of Australia’s working classes becomes a source of this novel’s pathos, so that when Seaton encounters the most shocking consequences a gay man can face, we are ill-prepared. A wry, sexy, heartfelt swan song from the Australian who made it big in the American broadcasting industry.

By Sumner Locke Elliott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fairyland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The final book by Sumner Locke Elliott, the award-winning author of Careful, He Might Hear You.

Drawing heavily on Locke Elliott's own experiences, Fairyland charts the life of Seaton Daly, an aspiring writer coming to terms with his homosexuality in the repressive atmosphere of inner-city Sydney during the 1930s and '40s. Lonely and naive, Daly dreams of escaping to the 'promised land' of the United States.

Fairyland is an intimate, affecting, sometimes harrowing portrayal of a lifelong search for love. Sumner Locke Elliott's 'coming out' novel, it was first published in 1990, the year before his death.

This new edition…


Book cover of Twinkle Twinkle

Redfern Jon Barrett Author Of The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights

From my list on exploring polyamory and non-traditional love.

Who am I?

My life has never been very conventional. As a 6’6 nonbinary queer writer who’s been polyamorous for over a decade, I’m very fortunate to live with my two loving partners here in Berlin. My writing focuses on nontraditional and nonmonogamous forms of love, from novels to articles and short stories which have been published in The Sun Magazine, Passages North, Booth, and Guernica. I’ve served on the review committee for the Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy at UC Berkeley, publicly debated the issue at UCL, and my campaign work for LGBTQ+ and polyamory rights has been referenced in The Mirror, Buzzfeed, and BBC News.

Redfern's book list on exploring polyamory and non-traditional love

Redfern Jon Barrett Why did Redfern love this book?

An immensely sweet novel with a focus on Japanese homophobia, Twinkle Twinkle follows the gay male Mutsuki and straight woman Shoko as they enter into a sham marriage. Though it shares some themes with An Excess Male, the novel isn’t speculative, instead providing insights into contemporary Japanese society and social customs — particularly the stifling sense of conformity. Yet despite cultural pressures, the fascinating three-way dynamic between Mutsuki, Shoko, and Mutsuki’s boyfriend carries the tale and will leave a lasting impression.

By Kaori Ekuni, Emi Shimokawa (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twinkle Twinkle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They got married ten days ago. They haven't had sex yet and they don't intend to.

As it turned out, the only way to make their parents get off their backs about trying to "find someone" was actually finding somone--with whom to put marriage for show. Mutsuki is stictly gay and has a boyfriend, while Shoko is a clinical case of emotional instability who's in no shape for a relationship. They've each found in the other a perfect partner for a sham marriage. Since the conspirators' parents know of their own child's undesirability, but not the spouse's, the union manages…


Book cover of Shattered

Molly J. Bragg Author Of Scatter

From my list on sapphic superhero.

Who am I?

I’m a trans woman who writes sapphic science fiction, fantasy, superhero novels, and contemporary romance. I’m been a huge fan of superheroes my whole life, and Supergirl has been my favorite superhero since I saw the original Helen Slater movie back in the 80s. In addition to being a fan, I’m currently writing a series of sapphic superhero novels called Hearts of Heroes.

Molly's book list on sapphic superhero

Molly J. Bragg Why did Molly love this book?

Lena Martin is given the job of tracking down Shattergirl, a black lesbian superhero who has dropped out of sight. I love this book because it’s not your usual superhero story. 

It takes a dive into how public perception affects who we are willing to accept as heroes, how other people’s preconceptions care wear down marginalized people, and how having to hide parts of yourself can distance you from those around you.

Book cover of The Dwarves

Baiculescu Ovidiu Nicolae Author Of Winterhorn

From my list on adventure fantasy that inspire my work.

Who am I?

Being of Eastern European origins, and also a child of the 80s, definitely had a say in what my likings and my character would become growing up. From the cold long winters and the white landscapes, Fantasy genre, and everything Might and Magic have shaped my childhood, my studies, my art (traditional oil painting and clay sculpting) and lingered until now (and definitely beyond).

Baiculescu's book list on adventure fantasy that inspire my work

Baiculescu Ovidiu Nicolae Why did Baiculescu love this book?

The Dwarves series (especially the first two books) bring the readers back in time and sets them up, straight from the beginning, on a simpler way of seeing things and also a simpler way of writing, while also being able to convey the true values of the fantasy genre with class.

By Markus Heitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dwarves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For countless millennia, no man or beast has ever succeeded in breaching the stone gateway into Girdlegard. Until now . . .

Abandoned as a child, Tungdil the blacksmith is the only dwarf in a kingdom of men. But when he is sent out into the world to deliver a message and reacquaint himself with his people, the young foundling finds himself thrust into a battle for which he has not been trained. Not only his own safety, but the life of every man, woman and child in Girdlegard depends upon his ability to embrace his heritage.

Although he has…


Book cover of Stone Butch Blues

Allan Hunter Author Of GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet

From my list on LGBTQIA+ YA on coming out and coming of age.

Who am I?

Allan D. Hunter came out as genderqueer in 1980, more than 20 years before “genderqueer” was trending. His story is autobiographical: the story of a different kind of male hero, a genderqueer person's tale. It follows the author from his debut as an eighth grader in Los Alamos, New Mexico until his unorthodox coming out at the age of twenty-one on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque. 

Allan's book list on LGBTQIA+ YA on coming out and coming of age

Allan Hunter Why did Allan love this book?

Leslie Feinberg’s story is a powerful response to the notion that simply discarding sexist gender expectations ought to be enough. Feinberg’s main character Jess was still a young adult when modern feminism exploded onto the scene in the 1970s but Jess isn’t merely androgynous or resisting sexist limitations. She’s butch.  

By Leslie Feinberg,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Stone Butch Blues as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published in 1993, this brave, original novel is considered to be the finest account ever written of the complexities of a transgendered existence.

Woman or man? That’s the question that rages like a storm around Jess Goldberg, clouding her life and her identity. Growing up differently gendered in a blue--collar town in the 1950’s, coming out as a butch in the bars and factories of the prefeminist ’60s, deciding to pass as a man in order to survive when she is left without work or a community in the early ’70s. This powerful, provocative and deeply moving novel sees Jess…


Book cover of The Devil's Grip: A true story of shame, sheep and shotguns

Michael Burge Author Of Tank Water

From my list on Australian books about conquering homophobia.

Who am I?

A century of prejudice is laid bare in these books, but within their pages are countless subtle and overt ways that gay Australian men have given homophobes the big middle finger. We may not always have thrived, but through resistance, migration, verbal agility, notoriety, and sheer resilience, collectively we have conquered. I stand on enormous shoulders at a time when queer writing is proliferating on an inevitable tide of equality that has risen across my lifetime in this country. My selections encompass first nations and migrant stories, some of the pioneers of our gay literature, and ‘outside’ voices bravely looking in to discern us with dignity.

Michael's book list on Australian books about conquering homophobia

Michael Burge Why did Michael love this book?

A page-turning journey through the motivations, passions, and secrets that led to a shocking crime; but also a long-overdue look at the elements of Brokeback Mountain that have always existed in Australia's rural heartlands. Assisted by a key survivor of the Wettenhall family drama—Bob Perry—Drinnan takes a very personalised look back at a rural dynasty’s fortunes, but also the social, legal, and cultural restrictions for same-sex-attracted men in Australia from the 1970s to the present day. Australia is a nation said to have been built on the sheep's back, yet the truth about gays in this nation's bush culture is only just emerging. Drinnan's book sharply spearheaded the discussion into the mainstream while documenting Perry’s journey from the closet to liberation.  

By Neal Drinnan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Devil's Grip as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seven shots ring out in the silence of Victoria’s rolling Barrabool Hills. As the final recoil echoes through the paddocks, a revered sheep-breeding dynasty comes to a bloody and inglorious end.

No one could have anticipated the orgy of violence that wiped out three generations of the Wettenhall family, much less the lurid scandals about Darcy Wettenhall, the man behind the world famous Stanbury sheep stud, that would emerge from the aftermath.
 
Almost three decades later, the web of secrets and lies that led to this bizarre and seemingly motiveless murder spree are unravelled with the help of Bob Perry,…


Book cover of The Music of What Happens

Heather DiAngelis Author Of Speech and Debacles

From my list on queer YA exploring mental health.

Who am I?

I’ve struggled with mental health for most of my life, as have family members and friends I love. It’s extremely important to me that we normalize discussions of mental health so that we can find the best solutions. Anxiety and depression have been major themes in all of the young adult novels I’ve written; it’s my little way of furthering these conversations with the people who need them. I hope you’ll find these suggestions relatable, enjoyable, and question-inducing!

Heather's book list on queer YA exploring mental health

Heather DiAngelis Why did Heather love this book?

Author Bill Konigsberg has always pulled me in with his entertaining, well-written, and deep stories. In The Music of What Happens, Max and Jordan bond over their effort to save a 1980s-era food truck to help Jordan’s family stay afloat. Jordan’s secret, though, is that his mom’s mental health is spiraling out of control, and he carries the burden of being the only person able to hold everything together—financially and emotionally. I fell hard for Max and Jordan’s chemistry as well as for Jordan’s struggle of helping his mother through her mental health struggles. 

By Bill Konigsberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Music of What Happens as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

From the award-winning author of Openly Straight, a story about two teens falling in love over a summer that throws everything possible to keep them apart.

* "Konigsberg demonstrates once again why he is one of the major voices in LGBTQ literature." -- Booklist, starred reviewMax: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn't want to think about, ever.Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His "wives" and the…


Book cover of Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington

John Copenhaver Author Of Hall of Mirrors

From John's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Mystery lover LGBTQ+ advocate Writing teacher Horror fan Film noir buff

John's 3 favorite reads in 2023

John Copenhaver Why did John love this book?

I write historical mysteries about it set in Washington, DC, during the post-WWII period involving gay and lesbian characters, so I initially came to this book as research.

As I read Kirchick's well-researched and gripping writing, I felt moved by the rich interplay between LGBTQ lives and the halls of political power.

Although there are many tragic stories about gays and lesbians during the 20th century, I was surprised by how empowering I found this book as a gay man. We've not only always been here, but we've been here at the side of the most influential leaders of our time. A remarkable and important book!

By James Kirchick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secret City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For decades, the spectre of homosexuality haunted Washington. The mere suggestion that a person might be gay destroyed reputations, ended careers, and ruined lives. At the height of the Cold War, fear of homosexuality became intertwined with the growing threat of international communism, leading to a purge of gay men and lesbians from the federal government. In the fevered atmosphere of political Washington, the secret "too loathsome to mention" held enormous, terrifying power.

Utilizing thousands of pages of declassified documents, interviews with over one hundred people, and material unearthed from presidential libraries and archives around the country, Secret City is…