Whether it’s a young boy trying to figure out his identity or a lesbian defying the expectations of the society, there is something about LGBT Literature that could change the way you feel about yourself or the people around you. The first time I was exposed to LGBT books, it felt really magical. For this week’s Top Lists, I am going to recommend my top 3 favorite LGBT Books to share that magic with you all.
TWO BOYS KISSING by David Levithan
“We do not start as dust. We do not end as dust. We make more than dust. That’s all we ask of you. Make more than dust.”
– David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing
Two Boys Kissing is a book about gay teenagers narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men who died of AIDS. Levithan’s writing style for this novel is so unique that it presented an overall intricate story.
The novel features seven gay teenagers in various situations. Peter and Neil have been together for a year. Ryan and Avery met at a gay prom that lead them to the development of a romantic relationship. Cooper sent himself out into the real world, clueless on how to deal with being gay, after his parents accidentally found out. And the focal point of the story, Harry and Craig who are hoping to set the world record for the longest kiss.
The novel helped me deal with a long distance relationship back when I read it, and it gave me an entirely new perspective on my own sexuality and a better understanding on true courage. I cried multiple times while I was reading it, and I don’t cry on books unless they have a really remarkable impact that could shift my views or give me a new one.
People who are still coming to terms with their sexuality should read this book because it provides a wide range of situations that could help them deal with the situation that they’re currently in. Most importantly, it has a simple, yet very powerful message – that every gay people are deserving of love.
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST by Emily M. Danforth
“When you run into yourself, you run into feelings you never thought you had.”
– Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a novel about a 12-year-old girl named Cameron whose parents died in a car crash as she is still in the process of discovering her homosexuality. She is sent to a camp called Promise that practices conversion therapy and teaches “appropriate gender roles.”
Along the story, you’ll experience the great deal of consequences and rewards that Cameron faced at Promise, and her driving force will help you understand her motivations. It is emotionally and visually detailed that it will help you recognize your own power.
The best part of the novel is the friendship that Cameron has with Jane and Adam, and through that, Danforth gave us the feeling of appreciation towards having friends who help you deal with whatever it is that we’re going through.
When I read this, it really opened up my mind about the way the society sees us, and the way we defy the roles and expectations that they force feed us. For mature readers, I think this book is really brilliant, but I wouldn’t recommend it to kids because I find the language and some of themes used in the book a little too explicit for the younger audience.
ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
“Something happened inside me as I looked out into the vast universe. Through that telescope, the world was closer and larger than I’d ever imagined. And it was all so beautiful and overwhelming and—I don’t know—it made me aware that there was something inside of me that mattered.”
– Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
A coming-of-age novel about two Mexican-American boys who discover a special friendship after meeting at a swimming pool. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe won numerous awards such as Lambda Literary Award and Stonewall Book Award for LGBT fiction, and the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award honor for Young Adult fiction.
The story was set in El Paso, Texas in 1987. It is narrated by Aristotle, who has a unique and straightforward delivery that makes him a sympathetic character that any reader would root for. It offers an introspective – filled with Aristotle’s sense of humor and dejection – on expectations, roles, family relationships, and discovering the most important truths about self-identity.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz has proven that the book didn’t need to point out the special friendship between Aristotle and Dante as he made it known through the way they acknowledge each other.
In my opinion, the book is perfect, because I honestly can’t find anything in it that makes me agree less about the truth of self-discovery. Although there are a lot of sad moments in the story, it also gives away a sense of heartwarming comfort that it would make you want to know someone like Aristotle, or have a story like his.
That’s it for this week’s Top Lists. Every Tuesday, I’ll be posting Top Lists about a wide variety of topics. Got any suggestions? Click here.