Looking for a new book to add to your reading list? We’ve got you covered
BY ELLA PORTEOUS, IMAGE BY WILSON VITORINO
LGBTQIA books are so important for people both within the community and outside of it. Queer literature allows LGBTQIA people to feel connected and supported, as well as serving as an powerful educational tool. Everyone should be able to see themselves represented within literature, and in honour of Non-Binary Awareness Week we have put together a list of books that feature non-binary stories.
Non-binary rep is still lacking. There aren’t enough books written by non-binary writers or stories with non-binary characters in mainstream media. We hope that with this list you can explore a wider range of non-binary literature. From romance to memoir, young adult fiction to magical realism, there is something for everyone.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
Mason Deaver’s debut novel follows Ben, a non-binary teen who is kicked out of their home after coming out to their parents. Forced to move in with their estranged older sister and her husband, Ben must navigate their identity and rejection from their parents while starting a new school for their senior year. This is where Ben meets Nathan, and what begins as a friendship blossoms into something more. This is a gorgeously queer young adult romance that explores mental health, gender identity, and friendship, and Deaver doesn’t shy away from showing the impact homophobia and transphobia can have. There are a lot of heavy topics in this one so I would check the trigger warnings before you read.
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
Gender Queer is a beautiful graphic novel that explores Maia’s journey with gender identity. Maia, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, shares a deeply intimate account of e experience, from navigating their sexuality, coming out to e friends and family, and living in a homophobic and transphobic society. You get to follow Maia’s journey through stunning illustrations, providing powerful visuals and metaphors as e comes to terms with em identity as non-binary and asexual. This is a stunning book that everyone needs to read.
Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly
Ever wanted to read a spicy queer rom com set on a reality cooking show? Well, Anita Kelly has delivered exactly that. The story follows Dahlia Woodson and London Parker after they are accepted onto the hit competition show, Chef’s Special. Having to deal with transphobia after announcing their pronouns on national television, romance is the last thing on London’s mind. However, as the competition heats up, so does their friendship with Dahlia. This is a very fun cheesy novel with tons of hilarious shenanigans and swoon-worthy moments.
None of the Above: Reflections On Life Beyond The Binary by Travis Alabanza
In this award-winning memoir, Travis Alabanza examines seven sentences people have addressed to them over their life, providing a powerful exploration into the gender binary and what it means to exist as a gender non-conforming person of colour. Alabanza was recently awarded the Somerset Maugham Award for the book and has received copious amounts of praise from readers and critics alike. This is another important book everyone should read.
Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore
This young adult fantasy follows two non-binary teens Bastián Sivano and Lore Garcia who live near a lake that is rumoured to draw people into its magical space underneath the water. As the lines between air and water begin to blur for Bastián and Lore, the pair must reunite after seven years apart. Lake Lore is a tender story that explores friendship, neurodivergence, and identity through beautiful lyrical prose. Also, the cover? STUNNING.
Paul Takes the Form Of A Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
To finish off our list we have Andrea Lawlor’s Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl. Set in the early 1990s, we follow Paul Polydoris who is a shapeshifter and able to transform his body at will. We watch Paul (who sometimes goes by Polly) shift through Riot Grrrl concerts, leather bars in Chicago, and the Womyn’s Music Festival in Michigan. Lawlor, who is non-binary, has stated that at times Paul represents their own journey through gender identity. This is a filthily fun radical romp that examines queer culture in the 90s and is a cult classic you do not want to miss.
DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.