Toronto Pride: LGBTQ Characters

In honour of Canada’s Pride Month, which started on June 1st I have put together a post about LGBTQ representation in literature. The Toronto Pride parade took place today in the downtown core. I along with many of the city’s occupants attended to show support and watch the proceedings.

We have made great strides in the past few years but there is still a lot that has to be done before LGBTQ rights and representation reach a point of satisfaction. And while I am fortunate enough to live in a country where acceptance outweighs prejudice many are not so lucky.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Emily M. Danforth

The-Miseducation-of-Cameron-Post

My review

This is a coming of age story that sees Cameron struggling to come to terms with her sexuality. It is focused almost solely on this exploration which can be both a blessing and a curse.

I’ll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson

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My review

This novel is pure unadulterated sweetness. Noah’s exploration of his sexuality as told by his thirteen year old self is largely due to a childhood friendship which soon blossoms into more. Noah is confused and clumsy in his emotions which comes across quite clearly in the writing, giving this novel power.

More Than This
Patrick Ness

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The protagonist, Seth, finds himself alone in a strange world after death. Seth also happens to be gay but this has absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Something I was glad for, because as much as coming out stories are important they often define the LGBTQ characters and perpetrate this image that being something other than heterosexual is a burden.

Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo

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Of the six main characters two are not heterosexual and while this has little to do with the fast paced plot lines it is exciting to see representation in up and coming young adult fantasy novels.

Paperweight
Meg Haston

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My review

This book does not touch upon the protagonist’s sexuality. The emphasis is solely placed on her eating disorder for which I was thankful. Stevie’s interest in women is not even a consideration given the bigger issues at play. In fact it’s the toxic relationship she’s in, not the gender of the person she’s involved with, that impacts her.

The Raven Cycle
Maggie Stiefvater

My review

I am unashamedly obsessed with this series and it’s no surprise given the carefully executed writing. My favourite character Adam Parrish is of ambiguous sexuality and his significant other, Ronan is gay.

The Art of Being Normal
Lisa Williamson

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This is the only novel I’ve read wherein the protagonist is transgender. This novel was an insight into a gender identifying issue that until recently very few people talked about. I though it was an honest portrayal of some of the hardships which come with being born in the wrong body.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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My review

Be still my heart. This is a fun summer read which will have you sighing happily but also tears at your heart strings. It follows Aristotle and Dante as they fall in love despite numerous obstacles.


Give Me More!

These are only a select few of many novels that contain compelling characters which belong to the LGBTQ community. Other novels such as Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Euphoria, None of the Above etc. also include a fun cast of characters. However, I was disappointed by the lack of non-contemporary novels available.


Carmilla

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In honour of Toronto Pride check out this witty and compelling Toronto based web series which stars Elise Bauman as an optimistic college freshman with a hero complex and Natasha Negovanlis as her dangerous and alluring vampire roommate.

I would love to hear about your favourite reads which involve LGBTQ characters!

And any thoughts on representation not only in literature but in other mediums as well.
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