LGBTQI+

Finding Nevo

Nevo Zisin


memoir
trans and gender diverse
young adult

Lemons in the Chicken Wire

Alison Whittaker


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
poetry
queer
trans and gender diverse

‘Fuckability: Exploring My Disability and Queer Sexuality’ (in Doing It, edited by Karen Pickering)

Jax Jacki Brown


disability
memoir
non-fiction
queer
sexuality

Queens of Geek

Jen Wilde


autism
fiction
young adult

Welcome to Orphancorp

Marlee Jane Ward


Australian
dystopian
fiction
novella
sci-fi
speculative fiction

Honor Girl

Maggie Thrash


comics
identity
memoir
queer
sexuality

Golden Boy

Abigail Tarttelin


fiction
intersex

Skim

Mariko & Jillian Tamaki


comics
identity
queer
sexuality

Lumberjanes, Volume 1: Beware The Kitten Holy

Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke A Allen


comics
feminism
fiction

Moral Panic 101: Equality, Acceptance and the Safe Schools Scandal

Benjamin Law


essays
queer
trans and gender diverse

Beyond Magenta

Susan Kuklin


memoir
photography
trans and gender diverse

The Sidekicks

Will Kostakis


fiction
friendship
grief
queer
sexuality
young adult

Sometimes difference can make us the target, particularly when it comes to gender and sexual identity. The books on this list challenge rigid gender binaries and the assumption of heterosexuality, offering a range of stories that explore diverse genders and sexualities, creating a safe space where love is love, and gender and sexuality can be fluid. Encompassing memoir and fiction, these texts experiment with language, character and identity to explore what it means to be queer.

Most of these texts are ‘Own Voices’, meaning they are authored by people from LGBTQI+ backgrounds whose personal experience informs their work or whose central protagonist/s share their identity. Tags relate to the characters in the story.

Resources

  • Intersex Australia
    Promotes human rights and bodily autonomy for intersex people
  • Lambda Literary
    LGBT book reviews, author interviews, opinion and news
  • Minus 18
    Australia’s largest youth-led network for gay, bi, lesbian and trans teens
  • QLife
    A national telephone and web counselling service for LGBTQI+ people, families and friends
  • Switchboard
    Support to the gender diverse, sex diverse and same-sex attracted communities and their supporters
  • Twenty10
    Space to be ourselves, where we can be welcomed, supported and celebrated

Thinking Points

  • What examples of LGBTQI+ characters celebrating or being supported as their authentic selves have you come across in these texts?
  • How are diverse genders and sexualities represented in the majority of books you read, films you watch or other media you encounter?
  • In what ways do these books challenge the conventional gender binary and write against stereotypes to create safe spaces for LGBTQI+ characters?
  • How do characters experience and express gender? Do people who identify as trans or non-binary struggle in their relationships with the people they love? Where or how do they find comfort and support?
  • How can making assumptions about people’s sexuality and gender be harmful? Are there examples in the text of characters making assumptions about someone based on initial impressions? Can you think of a time when an assumption about you did not feel okay?
  • What does binary mean? How does this term relate to gender and sexuality?
  • How do binary representations harm those who exist outside of those definitions? What are the limitations of binaries?
  • What do you think makes a safe space for people of diverse genders and sexualities?
  • How do the people or characters in these books react when they discover that someone’s sexuality or gender doesn’t meet their expectations? Are these reactions positive or negative? Are these sorts of reactions familiar to you?
  • How has reading any of these books changed the way you view the people around you?
  • How important is it to you to read books where the author is writing from their own experience? What is the impact of this on your understanding of the book?
  • How is fear explored in these texts? Does fear contribute to the way characters behave towards those around them? In what ways is fear overcome?
  • What examples of support and acceptance resonated with you in these texts? Are there any characters who you think did a particularly good job of creating a loving and safe space for the gender and sexually diverse?
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