Out and About - LGBTQ Books for Teens

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Article in Category:Young Adult Fiction, Category:Young Adult Nonfiction and Category:Diversity categories.

LGBTQ Books for Teens - Including books featuring bisexual, transgendered, and questioning characters


A sweet romance where an anonymous online friendship gradually deepens into something more in spite of the crisis of a classmate threatening to out Simon. Simon may not always make the right choices, but you’ll root for him just the same.
This re-telling of The Odyssey is set in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles after a massive earthquake has unleashed devastating floods. As Pen searches for her family, she must face cloned giants and a madman who wants to see her dead.
Stranded by a plane crash, 13 teen beauty contestants must struggle to survive on a tropical island. Between finding food and combating the dangerous other inhabitants of the island they still find time to practice their dance routines in the hope they might be rescued before the competition date. Audiobook fans shouldn’t miss this one, which is masterfully read by the author.
Charlie struggles to cope with complex world of high school as he deals with the confusions of sex and love, the temptations of drugs, and the pain of losing a close friend and a favorite aunt.
Although they have been friends and neighbors all their lives, straight Naomi and gay Ely find their relationship severely strained during their freshman year at New York University. Other books by Cohn and/or Levithan feature LGBT support/characters.
Gabe is a DJ on the community radio station whose show, "Beautiful Music for Ugly Children," becomes more popular each week. Gabe is ready for his big break. The catch is that everyone knows him as Elizabeth. Coming out and lett his "B side" play won't be easy.
After the death of her parents, Cameron is sent to live with her conservative relatives in Miles City, Montana. She survives by trying to blend in, until perfect cowgirl Corey Taylor arrives. After Cameron is swept up into a friendship with hints of more, her aunt decides it is time to send her off to be cured.
Laura, a seventeen-year-old Cuban American girl, is thrown out of her house when her mother discovers she is a lesbian, but after trying to change her heart and hide from the truth, Laura finally comes to terms with who she is and learns to love and respect herself.
Nate Foster wants nothing more than to star in a Broadway show. With his best friend Libby's help, Nate escapes Jankburg, PAand heads to New York for his chance at a big break - an open audition for a part in E.T.:The Musical.
Boy or girl? The truth is that Riley can't tell you. It depends on the day and Riley's mood. Under intense pressure, Riley starts an anonymous blog to express pent up feelings. After the blog goes viral, a commenter threatens to expose Riley's identity.
Two Chicago area teens, both named Will Grayson, one straight, one gay, cross paths one night. Their individual relationships with Tiny Cooper, the "world's largest person who is really, really gay," bring them deeper into each other's social circles as they struggle to be true to themselves. Don't miss Tiny's story in *Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story
After realizing he isn't the only one at his school who is gay and hiding his identity from the rest of the population, Russel decides to create a boring club to be used as a cover for all the gay and bi kids to come and present their true selves without fear. Try the sequels The Order of the Poison Oak and Split Screen.
Julia is dead, and Cass is trying to deal with that. Julia was her best friend, the girl she could count on to include her and listen to her...and some people whispered Julia was more than that to Cass. Julia was also very talented, and wrote a musical called Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad before she died, and now her theater friends want to stage it as a tribute. Cass has to decide whether to help out with the play, even though she can't stand the new lead, Heather.
Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names. Try Totally Joe by this author.
June is an artist who dreams of fame in the futuristic Brazilian city of Palmares Tres. Enki is the Summer King whom everyone loves, including both June and her best friend Gil. But Enki must die, sacrificed by the Queen. Before that Enki and June will cause an uproar in the city with their provocative and daring art projects.
In Vancouver, British Columbia, two teenage dressage riders, one a spoiled rich girl and the other a closeted gay sixteen-year-old boy, come to terms with their identities and learn to accept themselves.
Astrid hasn't even figured out who she is or what she wants yet, but everyone else in her small town seems to know (and tell) her secrets - whether or not they're true. Her dad is always stoned, her mom loves her sister more, and her two best friends pretend to date each other so no one will find out their biggest own secret. Will she escape the town rumors and figure things out for herself?
As Bobby Framingham, quarterback of his high school football team, finally acknowledges to himself that he is gay, events start to spin out of control when his sexual orientation is revealed in the local papers, and he learns that his father has cancer.
Carson sets out on a road trip with his new friend Aisha to track down family secrets. His search for his grandfather will lead them eventually to san Francisco and possibly an explanation for why his grandfather walked out on his family and disappeared thirty years before.
Every day A wakes up in a different body. He never knows who it will be. His rules for living include avoid being noticed and don't get attached. Then one day he wakes up in Justin's body and meets Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon. Now he's met someone he wants to be with every day.
In the not-too-distant future, when a gay Jewish man is elected president of the United States, sixteen-year-old Duncan examines his feelings for his boyfriend, his political and religious beliefs, and tries to determine his rightful place in the world. Also try How They Met, Boy Meets Boy and The Realm of Possibility by this author.
  • YA Lo, Malinda, Ash
In this fantastical retelling of Cinderella, Aisling “Ash” is trapped in servitude under the cruel treatment of her stepfamily. She finds escape in her secret trips to the fairy realm, where she becomes enchanted with male fairy Sidhean. Ash learns all magic comes with a price as she uses fairy help to pursue an unlikely relationship with the Royal Huntress, Kaisa, and must make a difficult choice between love and salvation.
Theater-mad teens Sadye and her best friend Demi find their bond of friendship sorely tested when they encounter love, rivalry, and a vast array of unforgettable characters while spending the summer at drama camp.
  • YA PB Moore, Perry, Hero
Thom Creed, the gay son of a disowned superhero, finds that he, too, has special powers and is asked to join the very League that rejected his father, and it is there that Thom finds other misfits whom he can finally trust.
Sixteen-year-old Lissa's relationship with her best friend changes after they kiss at a party and Lissa does not know what to do, until she gets help from an unexpected new friend.
This is the story of twins Jude and Noah. Once they were incredibly close, until tragedy struck and they reacted by growing in completely different directions. Noah tells the story of their early teenage years. Jude describes the later years. But they need each other to get the whole story and have a chance to rebuild their family.
In a small Kansas town, sixteen-year-old Mary-Elizabeth "Mike" Szabo tries to come to terms with her father's suicide and her own homosexuality. Peters has also written Luna and Between Mom and Jo.
Gabi Hernandez' senior year involves more than graduation as she experiences one friend's coming out and another's pregnancy, while dealing with her dad's addiction and her own struggles with weight and relationships. At the same time, her interest in poetry gives her a means of expression.
Ari and Dante appear to have nothing in common other than both being loners. But as they spend time together, a deep and special friendship grows between them. A story of first love and discovering who you are and who you want to be.
Being gay and a drag queen, Billy Bloom finds fitting in to his new conservative high school in Florida a challenge like none he's ever faced before and now must decide whether to adjust to the masses and fit in or stand-out and be true to himself despite the hardships he knows he will have to endure.
When openly gay Manuel transfers to Paul's high school, Paul, a born-again Christian, begins to question his own sexuality. Sanchez writes many other books with GBLT characters, including Getting It and So Hard To Say.
Three high school seniors, a jock with a girlfriend and an alcoholic father, a closeted gay, and a flamboyant gay rights advocate, struggle with family issues, gay bashers, first sex, and conflicting feelings about each other. The story continues in Rainbow High and Rainbow Road.
The world is ending with an invasion of six-foot tall praying mantises. But sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba's hormones won't stop raging. To make matters worse, he's torn between his love of his girlfriend and his attraction to his best friend Robby. By turns snarky and rauncy, this book is science fiction with a strong dose of weird.
  • YA PB Telgemeier, Raina, Drama
Ollie, who is allergic to electricity, lives in an isolated cabin in the U.S. Moritz, born blind and with a heart defect, lives in Germany. If they ever meet, his pacemaker would cause Ollie to have life-threatening seizures. Their only contact is through letters where they share their struggles as they face the challenges of their physical limitation, bullies, friendships, and romances.
Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic and hasn't left his house in three years. Enter Lisa, who with her boyfriend's assistance wants to help him rejoin the world, while also intending to use his experience as the subject of an essay she's writing for a college scholarship.
  • YA Wilkinson, Lili, Pink
After starting to publish a zine in which he writes his secret feelings about his lonely life and his parents' divorce, sixteen-year-old John meets an unusual girl and begins to develop a healthier personality. John’s friend Marisol has her own book Love & Lies: Marisol's Story.
Grady, a transgendered high school student, yearns for acceptance by his classmates and family as he struggles to adjust to his new identity as a male. Wittlinger has also written What's In a Name and Razzle.


In this memoir, Arin Andrews shares his experiences with the challenges of growing up as a boy trapped in a girl's body and the emotional and physical changes he faced once he began the process of gender reassignment.
In the 1960s, members of the LGBTQ community faced social and legal discrimination that was much more severe than it is today. Read about what happened at New York's Stonewall Inn in 1969, regarded as the key event that launched the movement for gay rights in modern times.
A collection of original poems, essays, and stories by young adults in their teens and early twenties explores many sexual issues, including coming out, first kisses, break-ups, religion/faith, and friendship.
The stories of six trans-gender or gender-neutral teens as told in interviews and photos. These honest discussions bring to life their sometimes joyful, sometimes heartbreaking, physical and emotional journeys.

Classic choices that still have appeal'

Liza puts aside her feelings for Annie after the disaster at school, but eventually she allows love to triumph over the ignorance of people. Garden also wrote Hear us out!, which discusses the social and political issues faced by GLBT youth from 1950 to the present, and adds two stories about gay young people from each decade.
Fourteen-year-old Melanin Sun's comfortable, quiet life is shattered when his mother reveals she has fallen in love with a woman. Also try The House You Pass on the Way or others by the same author.

For more ideas, check out these sites: