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Queer Non-Fiction: Graphic Novels

Vince Zalkind, Messenger Clerk, North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library,
collage of 5 graphic memoirs

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Unfortunately, there is much of gay history that has been forgotten because queer authors and artists weren’t offered publishing opportunities. Fortunately the publishing landscape, and society at large is very different today. Here are some of the queer authors and artists writing their stories, providing their history, and making things better for the next generation the way Marsha P. Johnson and so many others did for us.

Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and illustrated by Julia Scheele explores everything from pop-culture, activism, and academia to explain “Queer Theory”. The book begins with an examination of the word “queer” and its history, along with important moments like the creation of the Kinsey Scale and the Stonewall Riots, before diving into subjects like heteronormativity, coming out, and exploring what queer is outside of gender and sexuality. This book is rich with history and knowledge but extremely readable and accessible.

If you’re looking for more info on LGBTQIA identities and how to use someone’s pronouns, you can’t miss A Quick and Easy Guide To Queer and Trans Identities by cartoonists Mady G and JR Zuckerberg. It may be short but this book is full to bursting with easy to read info on subjects such as gender identity and navigating relationships. Presented through comics, worksheets, interviews, and more this graphic novel is a great read for everyone! Don’t miss out on its companion volume from the same publisher, A Quick and Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson which has a great overview of gender-neutral pronouns.

On the lighter side of LGBTQIA graphic novels is the funny and delightful Gumballs by Erin Nations. Gumballs is a visual diary of the author’s life as a transgender man, full of great one-page gag cartoons and horror stories from his time working in retail. Equal parts funny and personal, Gumballs is sure to please teens and adults alike.

Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash chronicles the author’s time at Camp Bellflower for Girls and the moment that turned her world upside down. The art style is rough, like that of a sketchbook adding to the personality and vulnerability of the story. Maggie’s struggles with the camp's ideals of “Southern Womanhood”, the mastery of her rifle skills, and her first crush all come together to form a compelling read.

There is no wrong way to celebrate your queer identity, whether it’s marching in a pride parade or curled up with a good book. These are just a few of the great LGBTQIA non-fiction books we have in our library. You can find more great reads and pride programming on our LGBTQIA page.





Nations, Erin



 

 

 

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