With the days getting longer, I often find myself using the extra daylight to catch up on my reading list, and somehow, it always ends up being filled with memoirs written by LGBTQ+ people. As you settle into warmer days, here are seven new queer memoirs to add to your to-read list.
If you’re a lesbian on Twitter, you’ve likely encountered the hilarious commentary of writer Jill Gutowitz, who is often talking about whether or not Taylor Swift is queer. Earlier this spring, her debut essay collection Girls Can Kiss Now was released and quickly became one of the funniest and most relatable books I’ve ever read.
Perhaps best known for her Emmy Award-winning Netflix comedy special Nanette, Australian lesbian comedian Hannah Gadsby debuted her very own work of nonfiction that she aptly calls a “memoir situation.” With her signature sense of humor, Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation explores Gadsby’s queerness, her relationship with comedy, and her diagnoses of autism and ADHD.
Transgender actress Alexandra Billings has made a name for herself with her roles in popular television shows including Transparent, How to Get Away with Murder, The Conners, and Never Have I Ever. Now her art goes from the screen to the page with This Time for Me: A Memoir, a captivating memoir that demonstrates just how far the LGBTQ+ community has come in the last five decades.
In their debut memoir, trans/non-binary butch R/B Mertz tells the story of what it’s like to realize you’re queer when you are being homeschooled in a conservative Catholic household. Rather than distance themself from Catholicism, Mertz clung to the religion, finding themself on a quest to figure out who they are and whether there is a place for them in the Catholic church.
For the last four years, we have all fallen in love with non-binary icon Jonathan Van Ness as he has given expert advice on hair, personal hygiene, and makeup on Netflix’s Queer Eye. In the candid memoir Love That Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life, Van Ness explores prominent moments in his life: from being diagnosed with HIV to landing a role on Queer Eye.
Danica Roem has achieved many things, including the honor of being the nation’s first openly transgender person ever elected to a U.S. state legislature. Now Roem adds to her list of accolades the accomplishment of book author, with the release of her comedic and heartfelt memoir-meets-manifesto: Burn The Page: A True Story of Torching Doubts, Blazing Trails, and Igniting Change.
Raquel Gutiérrez’s debut essay collection is described as “part butch memoir, part ekphrastic travel diary, [and] part queer family tree,” and honestly, I could not be more excited. An arts critic/writer, poet, and educator, Gutiérrez is now delving into prose for the first time, writing about what it was like to be a Latinx artist during the Trump era while exploring complicated questions of gender, class, identity, and citizenship.
Iraqi and British drag queen, author, and screenwriter Amrou Al-Kadhi first knew they were gay when they saw Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone at age 10. This formative experience and many others are chronicled in Life as a Unicorn: A Journey from Shame to Pride and Everything In Between as Al-Kadhi finds themself through drag after being raised in a strict Iraqi Muslim household.
Whether you’re lounging in bed or reading at the park, we hope you enjoy these incredible queer memoirs this summer!