5 LGBTQIA+ books to read this Mardi Gras

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi
Tell Me How You Really Feel follows the blooming love hate relationship between Sana, a typical high school cheerleader and Rachel, an edgy film buff. Written from both girls’ perspectives, author Aminah Mae Safi is able to showcase both how strong-willed and obstinate as well as endearing and lovable these characters are. I chose this book because I love the romantic comedy vibe it has, feeling both familiar and delightfully modern. Adorable and tormenting, this teen romance will have you silently smiling to yourself all afternoon.

My Shadow is Pink by Scott Stuart
This was an authentic and compelling story. My Shadow is Pink is written from the perspective of a young boy who doesn’t seem to fit in with his family and school mates. Unlike his dad who’s shadow is blue, the young boy’s shadow “loves wearing dresses and dancing around”. I found this Picture book to be thoroughly enjoyable, with a poignant and pertinent topic and a catchy and rhythmic rhyme scheme, parents and children will be able to appreciate it together. This book will cause readers to question the conventions of gender while making them empathise with children who don’t fit in but instead stand out.

Growing Up Queer in Australia edited by Benjamin Law
“My own gender varies depending on the day, my mood, my hormones, my feelings. Sometimes I am male or female, sometimes I am both, and sometimes I am neither. Sometimes what I am is undefinable, but when I hear the words ‘genderqueer’ and ‘gender non-binary’, I feel a sense of peace. They fit. They make me feel less alone.”
– Roz Bellamy, “Binary School” in
Growing Up Queer in Australia.

If you’re interested in learning about sexuality, gender and the LGBTQIA+ experience, then Growing Up Queer in Australia is a great place to start. In this collection of essays from a wide range of writers across Australia, come some very personal and honest descriptions of the Queer identity. If you usually enjoy biographies and short stories, this collection is like a mixture of the two, with dynamic and concise pieces of writing that leave the reader eager for more.

Find Me by André Aciman
If you loved André Aciman’s critically acclaimed bestseller Call Me by Your Name or enjoyed the recent film adaptation, then you simply have to read this powerful sequel Find Me. In this book, Aciman revisits the characters you fell in love with years after their initial romance took place, to explore the everlasting impact of young love and unfulfilled desire. I loved this book because after the melancholy and disheartening end to the first novel, Find Me acts as a heart-warming reconciliation as characters Elio and Oliver are brought back together again to finally resolve the feelings of longing and heartbreak, brought up so long ago.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Fun Home is a graphic memoir written from the perspective of a young Alison Bechdel, detailing her coming-out experience alongside the discovery that her late father was gay. Thoroughly entertaining and bitter-sweet, this graphic novel is deeply reflective covering themes of identity, family relationships and loss, exploring just how much you can learn about a person after they’re gone. I love this book because at its heart it is a story about family. If you have ever felt the distress and disappointment within a dysfunctional family dynamic, as well as the shared bond and appreciation for these relationships, you will enjoy this just as much as I did.