The month of June is all about sunshine and rainbows! This is Pride month and we have 5 LGBT books for you. Although for me there is no special day or month for reading LGBTQ+ books…and if you do I’m judging you so hard… but it’s a good time to acknowledge Queer literature.
1. The Pregnant King by Devdutt Patnaik
You either love him or hate him but you cannot deny that he has a great impact on Indian English mythological literature.
Also, this is among books by Queer authors, his representation makes a mark. The Pregnant King is another of his Mahabharata retelling of the childless King Yuvanashva. King Yuvanashva drank a magic potion by mistake and fell pregnant, gave birth and reared the children as a mother.
The book transcends gender roles and the strict institution of parental duties.
2. Kari by Amruta Patil
Kari by Amruta Patil is an interesting read for two reasons. One, in the desert of Indian LGBT+ literature, this is a hidden gem. Two, it is a graphic novel.
Kari, the protagonist of the novel, works as an advertising copywriter. When she is not working she moves around Mumbai to experience life. This is a story about a woman struggling in her career and trying to find love in a city that is unforgiven to a homosexual woman.
The graphic novel is full of brilliant artwork, complex metaphors and a dreamlike description of Kari’s own thoughts.
The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story by A. Revathi, V.Geetha
The Truth About Me by A. Revathi is a famous read among transgender literature in India. Revathi was born as a boy. But deep down he felt like a woman. She describes the dysphoria of being in the wrong body and her desperate wish to change. She became a Hijra or a eunuch. This book is her story of fighting the ridicules of society and family and coming out as a transgender person.
The Boyfriend by R. Raja Rao
The Boyfriend by R. Raja Rao is set in 1992. A middle-aged gay journalist Yudi lives a single life. Occasionally pulling up strangers and doing one-night stands with them. One day he finds a young Dalit boy. After the intimacy, he gets rids of him as soon as possible. But this time was a bit different. The boy was different. And Yudi finds out he is indeed in love. But he lost the boy and it is a monumental task to find him in a city like Mumbai.
While the huge age gap between the protagonist and his love interest is disturbing the love story is not. In fact, the yearning for the lost love is very well portrayed. The Boyfriend marks a significant position on homosexuality in Indian English Literature.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
Humaira Hani Khan comes out to her friends as a bisexual. But her friends don’t believe her because Hani never dated a girl. In the moment of heat, Hani blurts out that she is dating Ishita Dey or Ishu. Ishu is the polar opposite of Hani and her friends totally hate her. Fun fact, Hani and Ishu are not actually dating (yet). They have a deal Ishu will help Hani keep the facade while Hani will help Ishu to become a popular girl in school.
OKAY! Let me tell you that Adiba Jaigirdar is not an Indian author. She is Bangladeshi and currently living in Ireland. But guess what? I could not find a good bisexual representation in Indian literature. This book is a new release, promising blurb and South Asian representation. Be sure to give it a read.
And there you have it. Some of my favourite Pride month recommendations for you to spend the month on rainbow goodness.
Let us know in the comments which LGBT+ book has your heart. Happy reading.