I've decided to spend my month focusing on reading literature written by or about LGBTQ+ people, reading The Song of Achilles for the first time, and delving in to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, both of which came well recommended.
After last week's massive Reading List, I figured I'd keep this week's post a little shorter, so I'd love if you shared your favourites with me too.
"He's a wallflower...You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand."
“I believe there is another world waiting for us. A better world. And I'll be waiting for you there.”
“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn't be this big awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I'm just saying.”
“You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I'd wake up every morning and think, 'This will end in flames.”
I recommended this story in our LGBT History Month Reads List, because I really love fantasy stories, and I love the way that LGBTQ+ characters are being represented in them now. I chose Baz as my favourite because I love the drama of his character, how "evil" he is.
“He came. He left. Nothing else had changed. I had not changed. The world hadn't changed. Yet nothing would be the same. All that remains is dreammaking and strange remembrance.”
I won't pretend that this particular choice wasn't swayed by the brilliance of Timothée Chalamet, because it entirely was. Call Me By Your Name is the story of a summer romance, beautiful and poetic. Elio is intelligent, open and loving, and just a really incredible character.
“Meeting your soul mate is like walking into a house you've been in before - you will recognize the furniture, the pictures on the wall, the books on the shelves, the contents of drawers: You could find your way around in the dark if you had to.”
I love books that explore sibling relationships, as it's a dynamic I always find interesting. Noah and Jude are twins, and the story follows their tumultuous relationship and the emotional trauma and struggles they face as they grow, apart and together. This book is about love, in all of its forms: family, romantic, friendship, we face all of these relationships with the two twins. Noah is a complicated character, with a desperate need for love and acceptance. Fortunately, he finds his happy ending with the boy next door.
“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
This story is absolutely fantastic. It explores the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus, a relationship that historians have long questioned. It's moving, dramatic and tragic, every word brilliantly written.
“I wondered what that was like, to hold someone’s hand. I bet you could sometimes find all of the mysteries of the universe in someone’s hand.”
I'm actually only about half way through this, but I'm loving these two characters. They are like no other characters I've read before. The story is beautifully written, too, filled with wonderful words. Having read up on the story beforehand, I know I'm in for a happy ending, thank goodness for that.
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
Dumbledore is an incredibly complex character. Intelligent beyond belief, talented, often kind and thoughtful and open-hearted, but also cruel, selfish and secretive. Creating characters like this is what J K Rowling does so well, you're left wondering just how you ought to feel about them. Dumbledore's sexuality is a topic widely discussed; without the genuine representation of his homosexuality, is it just a token throwaway decision, in response to the lack of any other LGBT characters in her vast universe? However, if we are to trust in JKR, which we'd like to say we do, we'll add him to our list.
Aziraphale and Crowley,
“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”
So there you have it. Many book lovers have also argued that some of our other favourite characters could be LGBT; Emma Woodhouse demisexual, Sirius Black bisexual, Nick Carroway homosexual, Holden Caulfield homosexual, and many more. Moving forward, we hope to find many more LGBT+ characters in our stories, not only in books but in movies, TV shows and all over the place.
Make sure to share with us your favourite LGBTQ+ reads and characters, and have a happy Pride month, however you may be celebrating it.
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