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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

Pride month may be only limited to the 30 days of June but celebrating the LGBT+ community should be an all-year-round thing, and it can simple as adding a book to your to-be-read pile. These books are for everyone to read – after all reading is a learning opportunity that should never be restricted.

1. I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

This is probably one of my favourite books. Mason Deaver’s “I Wish You All the Best” follows the story of Benjamin De Backer who comes out as non-binary to their parents. They are kicked out of their home and forced to reach out to their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, for help. Struggling with their parents’ harsh rejection and a serious anxiety disorder Ben decides to only come out to Hannah, Thomas, their therapist. All Ben wants is to get through the rest of the school year with as little attention on him as possible but their plan is wrecked by a charming and charismatic student, Nathan Allen, who decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

This was the first book I’d read that centered around non-binary representation – in the author’s note of the book Mason Deaver said they wrote this book out of necessity because it was something they needed growing up and I’m so so happy that they did create this book.

2. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Thomas released his debut novel, Cemetery Boys, back in September of 2020 and gosh it is an amazing book. It follows Yadriel, who is trying to gain his family’s acceptance and prove himself a real brujo by attempting to summon his cousin’s ghost. But instead, he ends up summoning the ghost of his high schools’ resident bad boy, Julian, who refuses to go into death quietly. And the more time the two spend together, the harder it gets to let each other go.

This book had me hooked from page one, I feel like when it comes to Queer YA books a character is either accepted wholeheartedly or shunned completely and that’s not always the situation – here we see Yadriel’s family claim to accept him for who he is but constantly do and say things that prove otherwise and that validation and acceptance from family is something any person, especially LGBTQIA+ individuals but why must we constantly seek permission to be who we are, we shouldn’t have to and I think this book serves as a reminder that we don’t owe anyone our identities and they shouldn’t have the power to invalidate us.

3. Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigidar

Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.

Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.

Now this one is personal for me, it’s the first time I’ve read about characters I can relate to on so many levels, as a queer, Bangladeshi individual who comes from a religious family and is still figuring things out and learning how to be proud of my identity. This book is a reminder that I am not alone, that there are other people who come from communities like mine and families like mine, going through something similar.

Now, this is just a minuscule list of queer books you can add to your bookshelf – with new book releases every month my list just gets longer and longer. But meanwhile, happy reading!

Hi there! I'm Ree, your neighborhood-friendly desi pansexual. I'm a Film and Media student at UCT, hoping to go into Screen Production and Script- Writing and I'm currently a staff writer for Her Campus UCT. My hobbies include reading, watching movies and shows, listening to music and coming up with insane stories in my bedroom.