Pride Month Reading List

June has arrived, and with it comes the vibrant celebrations of Pride Month! It’s the perfect time to dive into some incredible LGBTQ+ literature that captures the joys, struggles, and triumphs of the community. Check out our reading list for recommendations.

Read with Pride!

Like Water Like Sea by Olumide Popoola

As the ten-year anniversary of her sister’s passing approaches, Nia finds herself engulfed in grief while navigating complex relationships. Alongside her relationships, Nia confronts the weight of her mother SuSu’s battle with bipolar disorder. Like Water Like Sea weaves a compelling narrative that immerses readers in a world of palpable emotions. Through Nia’s story, the novel explores themes of sisterhood, sexuality, and mother-daughter relationships, and what it means to fall apart to becoming whole.

When We Speak of Nothing by Olumide Popoola

Set against the backdrop of the 2011 London riots, this coming-of-age novel follows two teenage boys, Karl and Abu navigating their identities, racial tensions, friendships, and the tumultuous world around them. When We Speak of Nothing explores youth, blackness, and queerness in London.

Love Offers No Safety edited by Olumide F. Makanjuola and Jude Dibia

This powerful anthology features narratives from Nigeria’s Queer men, offering raw and honest perspectives on love, identity, and the resilience of these individuals in the face of adversity. Additionally, the collection delves into the complexities of masculinity, addressing how societal norms can foster toxic behaviours and hinder genuine understanding among men.

She Called Me Woman edited by Chitra Nagarajan, Azeenarh Mohammed and Rafeeat Aliyu

This ground-breaking collection features narratives from Nigerian queer women, providing a diverse and intimate look into their lives, challenges, and triumphs. From the excitement of first love to the pain of betrayal, from navigating spirituality to confronting societal expectations, these stories cover a wide range of emotions and challenges. Through intimate accounts, the collection challenges conventional notions of Nigerian womanhood. These tales of resistance and resilience highlight the courage of a community refusing to be silenced any longer.

And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu

And The He Sang a Lullaby follows the journey of August and Segun, two remarkable gay men determined to defy all odds in the name of love. In this timely and thought-provoking narrative, we unravel the complex dynamics of navigating the treacherous waters of visibility and invisibility, fear, and courage, all within a society steeped in prejudice and fervent religiosity.

On Ajayi Crowther Street by Elnathan John

Set in Lagos, On Ajayi Crowther Street unveils the hidden turmoil beneath the surface of a seemingly ordinary Lagos neighborhood. Amidst gossip and church gatherings, clandestine love affairs, concealed pregnancies, and hypocrisy threatening to unravel the community, this graphic novel depicts everyday life in the buslting city.

Walking with Shadows by Jude Dibia

The story revolves around Adrian, a successful young man who grapples with his sexuality in both personal and public contexts. Formerly known as Ebele Njoko, he endured a troubled childhood, longing for parental acceptance. A compelling narrative about a Nigerian man forced to confront his past and his true self, highlighting the intersections of culture, identity, and acceptance.

Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

Set in Birmingham, this debut novel follows Jesse McCarthy, a young Black gay man as he confronts his racial and sexual identities against his Jehovah’s Witness upbringing. Facing illness, racism, and family struggles, Jesse seeks self-discovery in London.

Girl, Women, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Winner of the Booker Prize, this novel interweaves the lives of twelve characters, mostly Black British women, exploring themes of gender, sexuality, and social change. Through the lives of twelve diverse characters—mostly black British women—the novel traverses time and geography, weaving together the tales of their families, friendships, and romances.

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr

A stirring historical novel about the forbidden love between Isaiah and Samuel, two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation. Their barn becomes a sanctuary of intimacy and hope amid brutal conditions. However, their bond is threatened when an older slave, seeking favor, preaches the master’s gospel, turning others against them. With lyrical prose, Robert Jones, Jr. captures the voices of both the enslaved and the enslavers, revealing the plantation’s complex dynamics.

Vagabonds by Eloghosa Osunde

A mesmerizing short story collection set in Lagos, where marginalized characters—queer, poor, displaced, and rogue spirits—navigate danger, demons, and love to lead authentic lives. The collection follows diverse individuals, including a politician’s driver, a legendary fashion designer, a lesbian couple involved in underground sex work, and a mother attending a secret spiritual gathering. Vagabonds depicts lives of its queer inhabitants through a series of interconnected stories that celebrate defiance, community, and the magic of survival.

These Letter End in Tears by Musih Tedji Xaviere

Set in Cameroon, where same-sex relationships are illegal, this story follows the forbidden love story between Bessem, a Christian girl with a rebellious spirit, and Fatima, a Muslim girl living a double life. Their romance begins on a soccer field but is soon threatened by societal and familial opposition. After Fatima’s brother discovers their relationship, he assaults them, and a police raid on a local gay bar leads to Fatima’s disappearance. Thirteen years later, Bessem, now a university professor, still haunted by Fatima’s memory, embarks on a quest to find her lost love after encountering a mutual friend who might hold clues to Fatima’s fate.