LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

While realistic depictions and representations of the LGBTQIA+ community still have a long way to go, graphic novels have provided them with an outlet that combines wonderful writing with exciting visuals. People have made excellent use of this art form to express their sexuality, feelings and ways of adapting to the world. This Pride month, let’s open up our minds to the possibilities of new and exciting stories of people from the LGBTQIA+ community. From memoirs to love stories, these compelling LGBTQIA+ graphic novels will certainly put a hole in your pocket.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

01

Fun Home

Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel has been very open about her sexuality as a lesbian, a decision made in reaction to her closeted father. In her funny yet heart-breaking graphic memoir Fun Home (a short form of the words funeral home, which her father managed), Bechdel weaves her story with that of her father’s – a homosexual who had been involved with men during his lifetime. She talks about her life as a lesbian, why her father insisted she wear more feminine clothes, and how her coming out led to a closer relationship with her father. A memoir of a dysfunctional family, Bechdel’s honest and unapologetic graphic novel is a must read.

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

02

Blue Is The Warmest Color

Julie Maroh

This French graphic novel is the tragic love story of two girls – the rebellious, blue-haired Emma and the docile Clementine. After Clementine’s untimely passing, Emma finds Clementine’s diaries and the story is told through her journal entries. Emma reads how Clementine, in her younger days, dated a boy as she thought she should be ‘normal’, and how she had to deal with homophobia from her classmates once they knew she was a lesbian. The novel touches upon multiple themes such as coming out, cheating, addiction, and most importantly, love.

Buy it here.

 

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

03

Honor Girl

Maggie Thrash

Maggie Thrash had spent every year of her life at Camp Bellflower for Girls, a conservative summer camp. She’s like every other teenage girl – she likes Backstreet Boys and has never kissed a guy – when all of a sudden, one unexpected second of physical contact, with an older female counsellor named Erin, leaves her with more questions than answers. But the conservative camp is no place to fall in love, let alone with a person of the same sex, and when Maggie discovers that Erin might feel the same way, it becomes too much for Maggie to handle. Thrash’s graphic memoir is all sorts of beautiful, and is an important read for anyone who might be feeling confused.

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

04

Stage Dreams

Melanie Gillman

Melanie Gillman thought of a Western LGBTQIA+ friendly adventure graphic novel (with cowboy hats and all), and Stage Dreams was born. Grace, a trans woman, is captured by Flor, a queer Latina outlaw. They eventually become friends, and decide to steal important documents from the Confederates. All the while, they have no idea that their friendship will soon blossom into a romance. A feminist, educational and fun graphic novel, it showcases the truth – that members of the LGBTQ community have always existed.

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

05

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Emil Ferris

10-year-old Karen Reyes loves horror movies and detective comics. Ever so curious, she sets out to solve the murder case of her neighbour, a Holocaust survivor. Along the way, Karen tries to find her identity, and draws herself as a werewolf, because the author wanted to portray the protagonist as she saw herself, someone who didn’t want to be a woman or a man. This has been illustrated beautifully in My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. This graphic novel works as the diary of a young girl trying to find her identity in a world which would rather she bury it.

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

06

Gender Queer: A Memoir

Maia Kobabe

Maia Kobabe’s graphic memoir is a valuable addition to LGBTQIA+ literature, as e not only chronicles eir life and the moments which led to eir journey of self-identity, but is also a useful guide on gender identity, and what they mean. In Gender Queer, we learn about Kobabe’s confusion over crushes, eir internal debate about coming out, and how to explain to eir family that e is asexual and nonbinary, and what it means. A challenging story that needed to be shared with the world, this graphic novel also serves as a friend to those who are going through similar problems.

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

07

A Quick & Easy Guide To Queer & Trans Identities

Mady G. & J.R. Zuckerberg 

While wanting to use correct pronouns while addressing members of the LGBTQIA+ community, many of us generally lack the knowledge to do it right. This informative and fun guide is here to solve our problem. This graphic novel covers the basics of the LGBTQIA+ world, including sexuality, gender identity, coming out, and other essential information. With interviews, worksheets and examples, this guide is a handy one to understand queer and trans people better.

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

08

Kari

Amruta Patil

What better way to understand society than to see a glimpse of it in a beautifully-depicted and stunning graphic novel? In Kari, two young lesbian lovers are driven to attempt suicide. They survive, but are forced to go their separate ways, and this graphic novel focusses on the story of the eponymous Kari. It tells of her struggles in establishing her own identity in a typical modern city, primarily inhabited by heterosexuals and where lesbianism is still considered abnormal. This book is a great way to understand the issues with heteronormativity. 

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

09

Bloom

Kevin Panetta, Savanna Ganucheau (Illus.)

Ari is desperate to move to the big city, but finds himself tied down by his job at his family’s bakery. Desperate, he places an ad to hire someone to take his place. Enter Hector who loves baking as much as Ari wants to get away from it, and soon they become unlikely friends. But when feelings start to blossom between the two, it is up to Ari to not ruin it. Complete with stunning illustrations and a cutesy love story, Bloom manages to charm us completely.

Buy it here.

LGBTQIA+ Graphic Novels

10

Dates! An Anthology Of Queer Historical Fiction Stories (Vol #2)

Zora Gilbert & Cat Parra (Eds.) 

After the success of Vol 1, the creators of this graphic novel returned with a Kickstarter campaign featuring another anthology of queer historical fiction stories. With stunning illustrations and stories from various eras and locations, we see the lives of various members of the LGBTQIA+ community and how they navigate the world. The characters in these stories strive to change the world, and find acceptance during their journey. Comprising of 17 comics, 16 full-colour illustrations, and 2 short prose stories, this is a must have.

Buy it here.

Prasanna is a human (probably) who makes stuff up for a living. When she's not sleeping or eating, you'll find her in the quietest corner of the library, devouring yet another hardbound book. She vastly prefers the imaginary world to the real one, but grudgingly emerges from her writing cave on occasion. If you do see her, it's best not to approach her before she's had her coffee.

She writes at The Curious Reader. You can read her articles here