In honour of LGBT history month five months ago, I’ve decided to put together a list of the ten best novels with an LGBT protagonist. By diversifying literature with characters from all across the sexual spectrum, it becomes one of the leading forces of initiating a change in attitudes and developing an inclusive society. And these novels are some of the leading examples of the genre.
1. Jeanette from ‘Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit’
We begin with a classic LGBT character, Jeanette, in Jeanette Winterson’s semi-autobiographical ‘Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit’. Jeanette’s journey, from her Pentecostal upbringing, and her conviction that she will be a missionary, to her persecution at the hands of that community when she begins a relationship with another girl, is a powerful rendition of LGBT experience and the power of love against the oppressive power of societal norms.
2. …uh oh.
Shit. I was sure I’d be able to think of ten LGBT protagonists off the top of my head. Or, you know, more than one. Shit. Shiiiit. This doesn’t reflect well on me. I’m a good ally! I swear! I just, can’t really think right now…. Is Doctor Jekyll gay? Or is that just something I wrote on an essay that I thought would shock people but didn’t at all? Shit. Fuck. Shiiiiiiit.
3. Sometimes my enthusiasm outstrips my knowledge.
You know, I was sure I’d be able to think of more than one, because I have gay friends. Like, you know. I HAVE to know more than one LGBT protagonist. Oh God. Do I only read hetero books? Do I actually know any LGBT protagonists? Am I a bad ally!? Arrrrrggghhhh!
4. I never really go into the LGBT literature section at my local bookshop
I have a huge crush on the checkout girl that I’ve never acted on, and I’m worried that she might assume I’m gay if I go into the LGBT section and then nothing will ever happen.
5. Carol in Carol?
I’ve never read Carol, but I saw the movie… I didn’t see the movie. But I saw a review of the movie, and it said it was about lesbians! So Carol. Yeah, Carol is a best protagonist.
6. Hold on… I’m not looking on Wikipedia right now
7. Fuck you Wikipedia! I can’t read that many summaries!
8. Errrrr. Pippi Longstocking is gay right?
9. What about Chuck Tingle? I’ve heard his books have…… T-REX SEX? Nope. Nope nope nope.
10. Oh God. This attempt to show how progressive I am did not go well. Maybe I can salvage it with my list of ten novels that have a migrant protagonist. You know, novels like……… FUCK!