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LGBTQ+ fiction books I recommend

For years, I struggled to find any kind of queer representation in contemporary books. So for Pride Month, I’m highlighting all of the LGBTQ+ fiction books I recommend to people and that I’ve read between 2021 and 2024.

Every Pride, I’ll update this post with more books I recommend, all with LGBTQ+ representation.

Here, you’ll find a collection of queer romance, children’s and YA (as I catch up on books I wish I’d had when I was younger), and other LGBTQ+ lit. These are far from all of the LGBTQ+ books I’ve read, but they’re certainly the most insightful.

Disclosure: If you buy books linked below, I may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookshops.

I recommend selecting an LGBTQ+-owned or local bookshop when ordering on, which will support them even more.

Image by Edoardo Botez on Unsplash

Recommended LGBTQ+ romance books

LGBTQ+ romance is perhaps my favourite genre of LGBTQ+ fiction. There’s nothing else that feels so positive and affirming as queer people falling in love.

In 2023, I fell in love with the genre when I read If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So. Ever since, I’ve been searching for books that give me the same feelings as that book did.

So here are my recommended LGBTQ+ romance books.

Cover for If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So
If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So

Read reviews on Goodreads or purchase on

If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So

This book called out to me the moment I saw it. If You Still Recognise Me resonated me as a queer reader and someone who’s had powerful platonic relationships as the main character, Elsie, has had.

Falling within the sapphic YA sub-genre, If You Still Recognise Me follows Elsie as she makes a major decision: how does she tell her crush, Ada, how she feels, when they live an ocean apart? Then, when her long-lost best friend Joan returns, things get complicated.

I love how Cynthia So writes, and this book really resonated with me.

Representation: lesbian/sapphic protagonist, butch lesbian love interest, asexual supporting character, queer community.

The Pairing by Casey McQuiston

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The Pairing by Casey McQuiston

I was lucky enough to read The Pairing thanks to NetGalley, and while I wasn’t as invested in it as other books, I’m recommending it for one very special reason.

This is the first romance book I read with a non-binary love interest.

The book follows Theo-and-Kit as they tour Europe on a trip they were meant to take four years ago, but a sudden break-up meant they both put it off. By chance, they finally cash in their tickets in the same summer, and meet again, where lust and romance take over.

If you enjoy European culture, alcohol, and pastry, you’re going to love this book.

Representation: queer protagonists, mlnb relationship, queer community, polyamorous relationships, sex positivity.

Recommended children’s and YA LGBTQ+ fiction books

Growing up, I didn’t read any books with queer characters, let alone protagonists. I’ve been playing catch-up for the past few years to satisfy by inner child and see what’s out there for children and teenagers now.

Here are my recommended children’s and YA LGBTQ+ fiction books, and what they might have meant to me if I’d read them sooner.

Jamie by L.D. Lapinski

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Jamie by L.D. Lapinski

Jamie is about change, mainly the change from primary school to secondary school. We’re introduced to Jamie, a non-binary child, and his best friends, Daisy and Ash. With Year 7 approaching, they’re shocked to find out that there’s no option for the three of them to attend the same school. They only have two options: a school for boys and a school for girls.

This book deals with non-binary erasure and transphobia in a child-friendly way. It considers the impact of activism as well as the futility of activism, especially when you’re the only one it affects – or seems to.

I wish I’d had Jamie when I was this age. While I didn’t have the same choice, I did go to a school with gendered uniforms, and Jamie would have helped educate me on what it means to be non-binary. This would have explained so much, and I can’t overstate how important this book is for kids to develop their understanding and acceptance of non-binary people.

Representation: non-binary protagonist, transphobia and non-binary erasure, activism.

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

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Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

In 2022, this is the first YA LGBTQ+ book I borrowed from my friend, who later came out as non-binary. Symptoms of Being Human isn’t the perfect book, but it’s a good story, and it’s a good way to expand your horizons.

Riley deals with transphobia and all manner of teenage trauma as they navigate their gender fluidity and try to live as their authentic self. It’s a difficult book to read, but it has many important insights into what life is like for people who are non-binary or genderfluid.

Symptoms of Being Human needs a content warning for sexual assault and depression at the very least. It’s not a book you read to feel upbeat or positive about being queer, and I’d class it more as LGBTQ+ horror in some respects.

But I still recommend it, if you can stomach the contents, because it’s important to remember that stories like Riley’s happen too often. Riley is forced to live in the closet for their family’s sake, and they have little access to the queer community (though this is rectified). Symptoms of Being Human also deals with something rarely touched on in fiction: the power of being anonymous on the internet, and how that can help you reach your true self.

Representation: genderfluid protagonist, transphobia, queer community.

LGBTQ+ fiction books I want to see more of

I still have a lot of LGBTQ+ fiction books that I need to get through, and I request plenty of books to review from NetGalley as well. But there’s no such thing as too much queer representation, so here are some of the books I want to see more of.

More feel-good queer romance

It’s so difficult to find really positive queer representation, and we deserve more stories about happy couples. I don’t mind whether the story is focused on being queer or if it’s just a relationship that happens to be queer. Give me more feel-good LGBTQ+ romance!

More 30+ year old queer protagonists

As someone who, at the time of writing, is approaching 30, it’s so important that we see more queer protagonists over the age of 30. Most LGBTQ+ fiction is focused on under-30s, whether it’s protagonists in their 20s or teens for YA.

More non-binary and trans representation

Most queer fiction still focuses on cis characters having gay, sapphic, or otherwise queer relationships, relegating non-binary and trans characters to the background or in supporting roles. Since reading The Pairing, I’m desperate for more non-binary and trans protagonists having queer relationships.

When I see non-binary or trans representation, they’re usually not in a romantic or sexual relationship, and they seem more commonplace in speculative fiction where these relationships wouldn’t be the focus anyway.

I think it’s especially important that we have more trans women in romantic relationships, especially with cis people. Books have power, and we need more depictions of trans people in loving relationships, getting married, having families, and more.

More found family dynamics

Found family – where someone chooses who their family is based on strong platonic feelings rather than blood or adopted relations – is something the queer community is incredibly familiar with.

I’d love to see more depictions of found family dynamics, including the build-up to choosing that family as well as the family already being established.

More queer-platonic relationships

Queer-platonic relationships aren’t depicted much, if at all, but they’re important to me personally. A queer-platonic relationship is a committed relationship which aren’t romantic – and may not be sexual either. People in queer-platonic relationships are most well-known in aromantic and asexual (aroace) spaces.

I haven’t seen any books with explicit queer-platonic relationships yet, but I think it’s important we see more types of relationships outside of explicitly romantic and sexual couples. Polyamorous couples are another want of mine, but queer-platonic relationships also mean more explicit aromantic and asexual representation.

Are you a queer writer in the UK?

If you’re a writer in the UK who identifies as LGBTQ+, please consider joining the Facebook group Queerly Written UK. We’re a network for LGBTQ+ writers supporting one another, holding each other accountable, and more. You can even promote your own books in our featured posts.

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