Our Queerest Shelves

Queer Autistic Teens Take On the World

Happy Pageboy: A Memoir by Elliot Page release day! Fittingly for the first week of Pride month, there are lots of exciting new releases out today. Also, as usual, June means a whole lot more links!

Speaking of Pride, today, I wanted to highlight the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which fights for the rights of Black trans people. You can find out more on their website, and you can help at their donation page.

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Bookish Goods

a picture of a cartoon figure reclining with the text Autistic, Queer and Here all Year  on a wooden pin

Autistic, Queer and Here all Year Wooden Pin by NeuroDivers

Today’s theme is books about queer autistic teens, so this pin was the perfect fit! $12

New Releases

the cover of And Then He Sang a Lullaby

And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode (Queer Fiction)

This is the first book to come out of the new Roxane Gay imprint, which is reason enough for me to want to pick it up! This is about a Nigerian man in his 20s, August, who falls for Segun, an openly gay university student. Their relationship is complicated already, with August still in the closet, but when new anti-gay legislation passes in Nigeria, they have to survive in a violently homophobic environment.

cover of boys weekend by mattie lubchansky

Boys Weekend by Mattie Lubchansky (Transfemme Horror Graphic Novel)

Sammie has been out as trans for a year when they get an invitation from an old friend to be his “best man” and join the bachelor party at El Campo, a hedonistic island retreat. Against their better judgment, they accept — and endure misgendering from the other guests. Sammie also seems to be the only who notices the bloodthirsty cult sacrificing people at their hotel…

the cover of Moby Dyke

Moby Dyke: An Obsessive Quest To Hunt Down The Last Remaining Lesbian Bars In America by Krista Burton (Lesbian Nonfiction)

There are only about 20 lesbian bars across the U.S., down from 200 in the ’80s. So Krista Burton makes it her mission to visit and write about every one of them. I loved this! Krista Burton’s writing style feels like a friend recounting her adventures, and the discussion of maintaining queer (and specifically lesbian) spaces was fascinating. You can hear my full thoughts on today’s All the Books episode.

The Road to Dalton by Shannon Bowring (Queer Fiction)

Countries of Origin by Javier Fuentes (M/M Fiction)

the cover of Happy Stories, Mostly

Brother Alive by Zain Khalid, narrated by Fajer Al-Kaisi (Queer Fiction) (Audiobook Rerelease)

BeatNikki’s Café by Renee James (Trans Woman Fiction)

Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao (Queer Short Stories)

All the Right Notes by Dominic Lim (M/M Romance)

Dreaming Home by Lucian Childs (Queer Fiction)

Open Throat by Henry Hoke (Queer Fiction)

the cover of Mortal Follies

Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style by Paul Rudnick (Queer Fiction)

The Last Drop of Hemlock by Katharine Schellman (Sapphic Historical Mystery)

Killingly by Katharine Beutner (Queer Historical Suspense Novel)

We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian (Gay Historical Romance)

Mortal Follies by Alexis Hall (F/F Historical Fantasy Romance)

Shadows of the Lost by Maxym M. Martineau (M/M Fantasy Romance)

the cover of Pageboy

Indigiqueerness: A Conversation about Storytelling by Joshua Whitehead and Angie Abdou (Indigiqueer Essays)

TransElectric: My Life as a Cosmic Rock Star by Cidny Bullens (Trans Memoir)

Pageboy: A Memoir by Elliot Page (Trans Memoir)

Transpoethicalbody: A Book of Black Trans* Erotic Poetry by Tiely Santos (Trans Poetry)

Freedom House by KB Brookins (Queer and Trans Poetry)

Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (Queer Poetry) (Paperback Rerelease)

the cover of And Don't F&%k It Up

And Don’t F&%k It Up: An Oral History of RuPaul’s Drag Race (The First Ten Years) by Maria Elena Fernandez (Drag Nonfiction)

Critical Role: The Mighty Nein Origins–Mollymauk Tealeaf by Jody Houser, Taliesin Jaffe, Matthew Mercer, Hunter Severn Bonyun, Cathy Le, and Ariana Maher (Queer Fantasy Graphic Novel)

Turning Japanese: Expanded Edition by MariNaomi (Bisexual Graphic Memoir)

The Two of Them Are Pretty Much Like This, Vol. 3 by Takashi Ikeda (F/F Manga)

Futari Escape, Vol. 3 by Shouichi Taguchi (F/F Manga)

I’m Kinda Chubby and I’m Your Hero, Vol. 2 by Nore (M/M Manga)

For more new releases, check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

I’ve noticed a few different queer middle grade and YA books out this year with autistic main characters! This is an intersection that’s sorely underrepresented in books, especially as ableism and homophobia/transphobia combine in toxic ways, making it difficult to access gender-affirming care for trans autistic people and isolating and closeting queer autistic people.

This isn’t a complete list! Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl by Sara Waxelbaum and Brianna R. Shrum is another 2023 YA release with a queer autistic main character, for one.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any fiction (regardless of age category or release date) with an autistic and trans main character, though there are some nonfiction books on the subject. If you know of any, please pass them along to me, and I’d love to feature them next time!

the cover of Izzy at the End of the World

Izzy at the End of the World by K.A. Reynolds

Izzy is a bisexual autistic 14 year old whose mom just died, and it feels like the end of the world. Then, everyone else disappears over night, and it might literally be the end of the world — just Izzy and her dog against the grey monsters taking over. She’s also getting cryptic messages that seem to be from her mother, somehow.

cover of The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

Ari is autistic and has selective mutism. Her silence means people project a lot onto her — including, in Luis Ortega’s case, consent. When she’s pressured into sex at a party, she isn’t sure how to feel. That’s when the Luis Ortega Survival Club reaches out, who are determined to stop him from hurting anyone else. But Ari wasn’t expecting to fall for one of the girls in the club.

All the Links Fit to Click

As Predicted, Anti-Drag Laws Are Being Weaponized to Silence Trans People

Recent LGBTQ Parenting Books: Which Ones Are Right for You?

9 LGBTQ+ Manga You Should Read

20 Sapphic Books to Read for Pride Month (and all year round)

Goodreads: New and Upcoming Books to Discover This Pride Month

Goodreads: New and Upcoming 2023 LGBTQ+ Romance Reads for Pride Month (and Beyond!)

Ten LGBTQ+ Authors on the Books That Taught Them

What Banned Books Can Teach Us: Building an LGBTQ Picture Book Library for Pride

90 Years On: The Destruction of the Institute of Sexual Science

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Helped Me Stop Being Ashamed Of Being Bisexual

Author Adiba Jaigirdar on embracing queer Muslim stories: “I’m writing books I wish I had”

Taylor Jenkins Reid interviewed Hayley Kiyoko on Turning Girls Like Girls into a Swoony YA Novel

That’s it for me this week! Until next time, you can find me at my sapphic book blog the Lesbrary and (sigh) Twitter. You can also hear me on All the Books or you can read my Book Riot posts.

Happy reading!