Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Whether you’re celebrating with a loved one, by yourself, or with your friend group today, hopefully your day will be filled with equal amounts of laughter, love, and candy.
I was originally going to write a post today about some of my favorite literary couples of all time, but do we really need another reminder to reread Sense and Sensibility? I didn’t think so either, so instead I’m taking the time to recommend some great books featuring LGBT romances and couples.
Stories that focus on gay and queer relationships that don’t end or revolve around tragedy are extremely hard to find, here are four very different but equally important pieces of LGBT literature that don’t fall victim to the “bury your gays” trope!
If You’re Feeling Poetic
Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments by Sappho is a collection of fragmented poetry that survived the burning of the Library of Alexandria back in 48 BC.
Sappho was a poet who lived on the Greek island of Lesbos, and was so popular in her time that she was regarded as the “Tenth Muse”.
True, she actually did write about a great many things, and was actually married to a man at one point, but the bulk of the poetry that survived through out time focuses on love and romance. It’s a great debate whether or not Sappho truly had relationships with other women or not, but her legacy lives on in the term “Lesbian”, after the island she came from, and the term “Sapphic”, a term for a woman of any sexuality who is attracted to other women.
If You’re Looking For a Classic
Virginia Woolf is considered one of the cornerstones of queer literature, nearly all of her books have a strong lesbian slant to them. Orlando: A Biography doesn’t technically have a same sex relationship in it, but it is considering a landmark book in trans literature.
The novel follows the protagonist Orlando, who begins as a young man and has a series of affairs with women when one night, Orlando inexplicably becomes a woman and lives the rest of her life as such.
It is said that the book is very strongly based off of Woolf’s own relationship with Vita Sackville-West, a fellow writer. One of my favorite passages from the book goes “[…]though she herself was a woman, it was still a woman she loved; and if the consciousness of being of the same sex had any effect at all, it was to quicken and deepen those feelings which she had as a man”.
If You Want a Fun and Easy Read
When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri is like reading a rom-com, only with two female leads. It’s fast paced, takes place in New York with people who only have “cool” jobs, features a classic “enemies to lovers” story, and overall is just fun.
With the endless barrage of tragic gay love stories being the overwhelming majority of what passes as “representation” these days, finding a goofy and fun gay love story feels like a breath of fresh air.
If You Want Your Comics to Be More Gay
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen is a graphic novel following a group of five rad ladies as they head out to “Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types” this summer.
But it quickly becomes clear that things are not as they seem as the group of friends have to band together to fight supernatural entities and go on a series of magical quests.
Good for folks of all ages, and featuring some pretty amazing art and design, this comic series makes for a seriously fun read.
Who are some of your favorite literary couples? Do you ever make an effort to get books by/about people outside of your race/gender/sexual orientation? Because I love classic literature so much, I find myself reading a lot of books by straight white men, so this year I’m making an effort to read outside of that perspective more. Any recommendations are, as always, welcomed.
If you like what I post, help me keep this site running by supporting me on Ko-fi! This helps me keep up with things like domain costs, web support, and computer troubles so that I can keep writing.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. If you make a purchase through one of the provided links, I earn a small commission which helps me run this site, but you don’t pay a penny more!