Indie Books to Read During Pride Month

BookBaby Bookshop is a fair trade, independent bookstore that proudly supports the LGBTQ+ author community. From memoirs to novels, you’ll find heartfelt stories expressing themes of courage, inclusivity, acceptance, and self-love. This list shares some of our favorite Pride picks that we recommend you read this month!

My Life as a Black Gay Man by Anthony Randall

(Personal Memoir)

My Life As A Black Gay Man is a memoir of Randall’s struggle with acceptance. His family abandoned him when he came out as a black gay man at the age of nineteen. He was bullied and made fun of, and he had no mentor for guidance. Mistakes were made along the way and hard lessons were learned, which has made him the happily openly gay man he is today.

Erase Her: A Survivor’s Story by Cassandra Langer

(Personal Memoir)

As a nice Jewish girl raised in an upwardly mobile, status-seeking family, Cassandra Langer never conformed to her mother’s gender expectations. When her mother fell prey to a cult leader representing himself as a child behavior expert, Langer was incarcerated for two years as a teenager and barely escaped a lobotomy. The author hopes that those who feel helpless might find some skills to survive and thrive in this book. Her story of surviving 20th-century conversion therapy is set in 1950s Miami and upstate New York. She aims to put secular conversion torture in a historical context to understand the development of homophobic policies and systems active now in red states such as Florida with its “Don’t Say Gay” laws.

A Golden Retriever & His Two Dads by Dan Perdios

(Romance / Travelogue)

When a Golden Retriever plays matchmaker, anything is possible. A Golden Retriever named Willy introduces two guys who become his Dads. Together they take off to Cape Cod to make a film. The drama of the movie mirrors the story of their lives. Part travelogue, part romance, part Hollywood, this is a thoroughly entertaining dog adventure you won’t want to miss.

The Rightful Wrongdoer by Kika Salgo

(Fiction / LGTBQ+)

The Rightful Wrongdoer takes readers back to the 1950’s in America, a time when who you loved and how you loved was harshly judged and scrutinized. Living in this world, Tessa finds herself immensely attracted to a female coworker. Now, she must summon up the courage to explore a lesbian relationship that she knows is dangerous, and one that she believes her father will find shockingly wrong.

Coming Out from Behind the Badge by Greg Miraglia

(Self-Help / LGBTQ+)

Coming Out from Behind the Badge is a book intended to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) law enforcement and other professional first responders who are seeking a way to “come out” and be successful on the job. It is also intended to educate heterosexuals (persons attracted to the opposite sex) and cisgender people (persons who identify their gender in a way that is consistent with their birth sex) to better understand differences in sexual orientation and gender identity and how to support their colleagues.

Lately Lesbian by J.D. Simmons

(Personal Memoir)

Good Southern girls follow the rules and walk down predictable paths. Jenna predictably married Paul and believed in happily ever after. Although Jenna played by all the rules, she had no idea the tragic turns that her life would take. She needed the support of her husband, his sympathetic shoulder to cry on, and strong arms to hold her, but he cast an absentee ballot most of the time. Then out of the blue, Jenna crossed paths with a young woman and her life changed in ways that she never could have imagined. For too long Jenna drifted through life searching for answers to understand her desires and uncover her truths. Denial of Jenna’s attraction and longing for the woman reigned supreme until one phone call changed everything.

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life by Lewis Kempfer

(Personal Memoir)

Recipient of a 2021 Gold Medal from Literary Titan; the 2020 Silver Medal for Autobiography from the Reader’s Favorite International Book Contest. Lewis Kempfer’s memoir is a rapid-fire narrative full of self-deprecating humor, surprising grace, and unbelievable situations that, as his friends would say, could “only happen to Lewis.” Through this powerful story of redemption and recovery, he offers hope for anyone struggling with issues of self-worth, rejection by the Christian faith, and life-shattering addiction.

Out: Being Myself by Chris Madison

(Personal Memoir)

Out: Being Myself is a touching memoir that depicts the life of a man who came out as gay after living in a heterosexual marriage for 34 years. With humor and honesty, the book describes his searing childhood, his closeted teenage and college years, then takes the reader into middle age, when the writer struggles to adjust to his new life in the gay community. The memoir ends with his move to Philadelphia, where he builds a new life and finds peace as a single, older, gay man.

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