19 Hot LGBTQ+ Books From The First Half Of 2022

19 Hot LGBTQ+ Books From The First Half Of 2022 thumbnail

Highly anticipated titles from popular LGBTQ+ authors, hot debuts, and some queer history lessons are just a few of the literary offerings we have to look forward to in the first half of 2022.


High-Risk Homosexual by Edgar Gomez

Soft Skull Press / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: January 11

What It’s About:  A hilarious and touching collection of essays centered around Gomez’s journey of becoming comfortable with his identity as queer and Latinx, this book captured me from the Too Wong Foo quote in the dedication all the way to the end. Edgar Gomez’s tone is personal, heartfelt, and introspective, with a healthy dose of humor. Finding self-acceptance can be difficult, and for someone raised in an environment that didn’t always accept them, it can easily lead to bitterness. Thankfully, Gomez made it through, gained perspective, and emerged as his glorious self. 

Get it from Bookshop or your local bookstore via Indiebound here. 


To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

Penguin Random House / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: January 11

What It’s About: Whether you love it, love to hate it, or only know about it through teary #BookTok clips, A Little Life remains a cultural phenomenon since its publication in 2015. Hanya Yanagihara’s highly-anticipated new book is set in New York City in three different time periods: 1893, 1993, and 2093. In a feat of epic storytelling, To Paradise deftly interconnects the three sections of the book by showcasing the common threads that connect humanity no matter what time period you live in: love, loss, connection, and the indomitability of the human spirit. While a departure in form from her earlier books, the writing is excellent as always, and it’s well worth your time.


A Previous Life by Edmund White

MacMillan Publishers / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: January 25

What It’s About: After years of mutually agreeing not to speak of their romantic pasts, married couple Ruggero and Constance suddenly decide to reveal everything with complete transparency. They each agree to write down their respective stories and share once they’re done. Edmund White uses this sly framing device to reveal the couple’s hidden feelings about aging, sexuality, polyamory, and much much more, featuring a fictionalized version of himself as one of Ruggero’s former lovers. This novel is unlike anything I’ve read before, and in White’s signature style, packs a punch while remaining supremely insightful about human nature.


Getting Clean with Stevie Green by Swan Huntley

Simon & Schuster / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: January 25

What It’s About: At 37, and a lifetime of creating messes, Stevie Green moves back home to La Jolla, California, a place she thought she’d never return. She starts a decluttering business and in the process confronts her own issues with addiction, past trauma, and self-acceptance. A charming, fast-paced read, filled with idiosyncratic and unforgettable characters, you’ll fall in love with Stevie and her messes (personal and professional), and maybe even be inspired to cleaning up of your own. 


I Was Better Last Night: A Memoir by Harvey Fierstein

Penguin Random House / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: March 1

What It’s About: As a fan of theater and lover of all things queer, I was thrilled when gravel-voiced icon Harvey Fierstein announced he was writing a memoir. Even if you don’t know him by name, you’re likely familiar with his work on both stage (Torch Song Trilogy, Hairspray, La Cage Aux Folles) and screen (Mrs. Doubtfire) as a performer, writer, and activist. A lifelong New Yorker, he’s been an integral and influential part of the entertainment industry for almost 50 years. He’s ready to tell all his stories, and I for one, can not wait.


Girls Can Kiss Now by Jill Gutowitz

Simon & Schuster / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: March 8

What It’s About: What could the FBI and Game of Thrones possibly have in common? Jill Gutowitz (self-proclaimed “Overlord of Lesbian Twitter”) has the answer. In her collection of irreverent and insightful essays, Girls Can Kiss Now, she’s here to correct the “blind eye that’s been turned to queer female narratives” and prove how pop culture has been vital in helping her discover her true identity. As someone who has also been called a “pop culture junkie” and bristles at the assertion that such interests are trivial, I loved this heartfelt celebration and defense of the importance of pop culture in helping queer people feel seen. 


The Town of Babylon: A Novel by Alejandro Varela

Penguin Random House / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: March 22

What It’s About: While Andrés’ marriage to his husband is falling apart, a family tragedy forces him to return to his hometown. No better time to attend a high school reunion, right? Among the issues that confront Andrés upon his return: fractured family relationships, ex-boyfriends, and struggles with queer, racial, and class identity. The Town of Babylon is a grown up and realistic story that thoughtfully depicts the struggle to find out how to deal with the past when all you want is to move forward.


Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart

Grove Press / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: April 5

What It’s About: The follow up to Booker Prize winning Shuggie Bain tells the story of a coming-of-age romance between two working class young men: Mungo, a Protestant, and James, a Catholic. Exploring themes of religious conflict, family tension, and the ever-present danger of attempting to live an authentic life, Stuart writes with the same power and economy of language he displayed in his debut. With characters that are exquisitely drawn and a story you won’t be able to put down, this love story goes far beyond the conventional romance.


Time Is a Mother by Ocean Vuong

Penguin Random House / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: April 5

What It’s About: Ocean Vuong, poet and bestselling author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?!), is releasing his second poetry collection this spring. Inspired by the grief he experienced after losing his mother, these poems are fresh and visceral. Vuong isn’t afraid to play with language and form, which makes his work refreshing and eye opening. Even if poetry isn’t your go-to, make sure you don’t miss this new work by a major talent.


Burning Butch by R/B Mertz

The Unnamed Press / Via unnamedpress.com

Release Date: April 5

What It’s About: This blistering memoir by genderqueer, nonbinary poet, and artist R/B Mertz is the book I didn’t know I needed. Their story revolves around the experience of being raised as a fundamentalist Catholic and trying to discover their own identity in an environment obsessed with “traditional” gender roles. This is perfect book for anyone who wonders what roles queer people can occupy in “traditional” religious structures. I’m so grateful they had the courage to share their experience in such a transparent, authentic way. 


Burn The Page by Danica Roem

Penguin Random House / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: April 26

What It’s About: In 2017, Danica Roem became the first out transgender person to be elected to the Virginia General Assembly, while unseating her vocally anti- LGBTQ+ opponent. In her memoir, she sets the record straight about the negative attacks various opponents have thrown her way. With transparent prose, utmost honesty, and a sense of humor, Roem makes it clear that while she is far from perfect, she owns her story and is ready to help others do the same. Her memoir serves as an inspiration for anyone who feels they can’t achieve their goals because they don’t have the “right” qualifications. Integrity and accountability matter more than any of that, and Roem is here to prove it. 


Acts of Service by Lillian Fishman

Penguin Random House / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: May 3

What It’s About: Eve is a twentysomething queer New Yorker. Her impulsive decision to post nudes online anonymously leads to her involvement with a couple: Olivia and Nathan. What happens from there is anything but simple. Acts of Service is a brash, smart, and sexy novel that examines modern sexual dynamics with a frankness I rarely see. As Olivia becomes more and more sexually liberated, she begins to wrestle with ideas of what society tells her she should want vs. what she actually wants. In this book as in life, the answers are never easy. 


Bad Girls: A Novel by Camila Sosa Villada

The Other Press / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: May 3

What It’s About: If Queer magical realism is your thing, this is a book you’re going to want to read. Centering around a group of trans sex workers lead by 178-year-old Auntie Encarna, this fantastical story about the power of chosen family is entrancing. Playing with ideas of gender, sexuality, and the inherent strangeness of physical bodies, this is a twist on the typical coming-of-age story. For anyone who wishes their life could be just a little more magical, spend some time with the Bad Girls


We Do What We Do In The Dark by Michelle Hart

Penguin Random House / Via images.randomhouse.com

Release Date: May 3

What It’s About: Mallory is a college freshman dealing with a recent loss when she becomes obsessed with a character known as “the woman.” As the story unfolds, a secret relationship develops between them. But Mallory soon finds herself wondering if it’s a relationship she wants, or if she actually wants to become the woman. In Michelle Hart’s debut novel, she tackles vulnerability, attachment, and the purpose relationships serve in our increasingly isolated lives.  


Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of A Forgotten Prison by Hugh Ryan

Hachette / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: May 10

What It’s About: The Women’s House of Detention stood in Greenwich Village from 1929 to 1974. Most people there were imprisoned primarily for being low income and “improperly feminine.” Thousands of women, transgender men, and gender nonconforming people came through the doors of the Women’s House of Detention over the years, and Hugh Ryan (When Brooklyn Was Queer) is ready to tell their stories. By using queer history as a framework, Ryan makes the case for prison abolition stronger than ever. Part history text, part call to activism, this book is compelling from start to finish. 


All The Things We Don’t Talk About by Amy Feltman

Hachette / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: May 24

What It’s About: Are you tired of cookie-cutter family dramas? You don’t have to worry about that with All The Things We Don’t Talk About. The novel centers around non-binary teenager Morgan, who was raised by their single neurodivergent father ever since their mother, Zoe, left the family when Morgan was a baby. Their world is upended when Zoe suddenly reappears due to the end of her most recent relationship. Redefining the concept of a “modern family,” Feltman’s portrait of complex familial relationships is deeply absorbing and emblematic of the complicated nature of love.


Just By Looking At Him by Ryan O’Connell

Simon & Schuster / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: May 31

What It’s About: Eliot is a struggling writer trying to make it in LA. He seems to have the perfect life, with a wonderful boyfriend and a job on a hit TV show. But behind all that, he’s grappling with addiction, infidelity, and low self-esteem because of his cerebral palsy. With his debut novel Ryan O’Connell, star and writer of Netflix’s Special, proves that he can write fiction with the same wit and candor that made him a force on TV. You won’t be able to put down this darkly comic look at gay Hollywood. 


The Kingdom of Sand by Andrew Holleran

MacMillan Publishers / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: June 7

What It’s About: Andrew Holleran, author of the seminal gay classic Dancer From the Dance, returns to fiction with his first novel in 13 years. The Kingdom of Sand follows an unnamed narrator who survived the death of loved ones during the AIDS epidemic, and the loss of his elderly parents. At the prospect of yet more loss, he struggles to find ways to cope, seeking refuge in anonymous sex and Old Hollywood movies, among other vices. Haunting, dryly funny, and familiar to anyone who’s ever been lonely, this book cements Holleran’s position as one of our most prolific gay authors. 


Exalted by Anna Dorn

The Unnamed Press / Via edel-images.azureedge.net

Release Date: June 7

What It’s About: Exalted follows the concurrent journeys of two women searching for new directions in life. Emily runs a popular instagram astrology account, @Exalted, but doesn’t know if she actually believes in astrology. Dawn is middle aged, newly single, and desperate for something to anchor her life. When a chance encounter leads Dawn to track down a former romantic partner, she thinks she may have found an answer to her problems. Satirically taking on internet culture and our (sometimes desperate) desire to connect, Exalted is sardonic and thought-provoking. But how are Emily and Dawn connected? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Alright, tell us which of these books you’re most excited to read?

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