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6 LGBT Books You Should Read for Pride Month

No matter who you love, you'll surely love these books!
IMAGE Dutton Books, Dutton Books for Young Readers

In case you don't know, June isn't just the sixth month of the year—it's also Pride Month! So if you've been seeing rainbow reacts on Facebook, or colorful captions on Instagram—well, you now know why. This is a significant period of time as it celebrates LGBT+ rights. Although people are more accepting nowadays, there's still a stigma that surrounds people who aren't straight—all the reason for us to promote Pride Month.

Pride Month is not just about attending gay pride marches or protesting for same-sex marriage (though you can do those, if you want). What really matters to the LGBT+ community is your awareness and knowledge in this issue—especially with the lack of representation for gay people. So here are 6 books perfect for you to understand Pride Month and the LGBT+ movement.

  1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

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Two of our favorite authors take turns in writing alternating chapters. Odd number chapters are told by quiet heterosexual Will Grayson 1, and even number chapters are narrated by depressed homosexual will grayson 2. Featuring both LGBT+ protagonists and supporting characters, this book soon meshes into a cohesive storyline that shows us all we need in this world is love and unity—no matter what sexuality you are.

  1. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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When Griffin's ex-boyfriend Theo dies in an accident, his world ends. Sure, Theo moved away and started dating some guy named Jackson, but Theo was still his first love. What's infinitely worse is that the only person who understands his heartbreak is Jackson. But the more they open up to each other, the more Griffin plummets into an OCD-induced depression. Can Griffin put his heart back together again?

  1. We Are Okay by Nina Lacour

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Marin left everything in her old life in California behind—and she hasn't spoken to a single soul from her past ever since. No one knows the truth about what happened—not even her best friend, Mabel. But even on the other side of the country in an empty New York college dorm, Marin still cannot let go of her past. With Mabel coming to visit for winter break, Marin must face all the pain she's been struggling to hide in her heart.

  1. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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This novel (which, ICYDK, is being turned into a movie starring Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford) focuses on gay Simon Spier, a sixteen-year-old who has yet to come out to any of his family or friends. As he strikes up an online relationship with another anonymous gay in school, he forgets to log out of his account and is blackmailed by his classmate Martin. Can Simon accept who he really is, and can he find his mystery man?

  1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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This tearjerking and critically-acclaimed book focuses on two boys: Aristotle, an angry teenager whose brother is in jail, and Dante, a know-it-all who has a unique way of viewing the world. From their first meeting, it seems like they have nothing in common. But as the two loners start spending more time together, they learn that it is only the power of their friendship that allows them to finally true to themselves.

  1. Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

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Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for the longest time—that is, until her religious radio evangelist of a father remarries, and they move from openminded Atlanta to conservative Rome, Georgia. To save his reputation, her dad asks her to keep her sexuality to herself. Though pretending to be straight makes the adjustment easier, Georgia finds herself falling for the oh-so-tempting Mary Carlson, the sister of a schoolmate. Can Jo find love while staying true to herself?

Planning on reading any of these, Candy Girls? Enlighten a fellow bookworm who you think would enjoy these books, or sound off in the comments!

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Caitlin Anne Young
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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