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The 13 Best LGBT Graphic Novels You Should Have Read Already By Now!

The 13 Best LGBT Graphic Novels You Should Have Read Already By Now!

The best LGBT graphic novels offer a unique and powerful way to explore themes related to sexuality, gender, and identity. These stories can be both deeply personal and broadly universal, providing readers with a window into the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. They often tackle important issues and provide a platform for marginalized voices in mainstream media.

Many LGBTQ+ graphic novels are considered some of the best in the genre. Some popular examples include “Love Is Love,” edited by Marc Andreyko, which is a tribute to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida; “Mooncakes” by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, which is a story of love and magic set in a supernatural world; and “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel, which is a memoir about the author’s relationship with her father and her journey of self-discovery.

Graphic novels have given readers of all ages a chance to experience LGBTQ+ stories. Some of us didn’t have the opportunity to see ourselves represented in our favorite movies, tv shows, or novels. Now there are fairy tales and love stories between LGBTQI+ characters on big and small screens, in video games, and in novels.

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The allure of the best LGBT graphic novels lies in their immersive illustrations and masterful storytelling. Within a few hours, these novels draw you deeply into their worlds, making you fall in love with characters and the ideals they embody.

What sets these graphic novels apart is their nuanced discussion of gender, family, identity, and other themes that resonate deeply within the LGBTQ+ community. These narratives skillfully address the challenges and struggles faced from an early age, presenting them in ways that even younger readers can grasp. This approach sheds light on the societal pressures that often hinder personal happiness and true self-expression.

Each graphic novel, whether it delves into romance, action, memoir, or fantasy, offers a captivating and inspiring glimpse into the LGBTQ+ experience. They not only entertain but also educate, providing a kaleidoscope of LGBTQ+ life and struggles.

In this article, we highlight an array of LGBTQI+ graphic novels, including those that daringly explore more adult themes. Among these are lesbian erotica books that delve into the depths of desire and intimacy, gay BDSM books that explore the more intricate and intense dynamics of queer relationships, and references to sex toys for guys, acknowledging the role of physical pleasure in self-exploration and expression.

Additionally, we intersperse these narratives with playful and symbolic items like gay shot glasses, which serve as tokens of queer culture and community. For the traveling enthusiast, we also include recommendations for the best gay hotels worldwide, ensuring that readers can find welcoming spaces wherever their journey takes them.

These novels are the representation our community has long deserved, suitable for readers of all ages and providing a rich, diverse portrayal of LGBTQ+ experiences and identities.

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Don't have time to read them all? Why not try listening to them? Audible is a great platform for listening to audiobooks because it offers a wide selection of books, including bestsellers and exclusive content. With Audible, you can listen to your favorite books on-the-go, whether you're commuting, working out, or doing household chores.

The Audible app also has features like adjustable narration speed, a sleep timer, and the ability to create bookmarks, making it easy to customize your listening experience. Additionally, Audible offers a membership program that gives members access to a certain number of audiobooks per month, making it a cost-effective option for avid listeners. 

A great resource for people who want to maximize their time and make the most out of their daily activities. Try a free 30-day trial from Audible today, and you'll get access to a selection of Audible Originals and audiobooks, along with a credit to purchase any title in their premium selection, regardless of price (including many of the books on this list!) 

For ebook lovers, we also recommend Scribd, basically the Netflix for Books and the best and most convenient subscription for online reading. While they have a catalog comprising over half a million books including from many bestselling authors, for some of the books on this list, you'll still have to purchase individually - either as a paperback or eBook to load on your Kindle - due to publishing house restrictions. 

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Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

No pages: 243 pages

Genres: Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance. 

“Mooncakes” is a graphic novel written by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu. It tells the story of a young witch named Nova, who is tasked with delivering mooncakes to the ghostly inhabitants of her small town. Along the way, she meets Tam, a wolf demon, and the two embark on an unexpected journey filled with magic, adventure, and self-discovery.

This is a charming and heartfelt story, plus the illustrations are so detailed oriented and beautiful that it takes you through their journey together. Well represented, this graphic novel is a must-read for any fan of diverse and inclusive storytelling. 

Why we love it: This is a funny, pretty heartwarming story of the magic that takes you into a self-discovery adventure. Not only is it a graphic novel with good diversity in it, it’s full of representation from Chinese-American characters to a lovely two-grandma couple and hearing aids, but it portrays a good sight of white witches and an appreciation of nature. 

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

The Backstagers Vol 1 by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh, and Walter Baiamonte

No pages: 112 pages
Genres: Graphic Novels, comics, Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, Queer, Fiction. 

“The Backstagers” is a graphic novel series written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Rian Sygh and Walter Baiamonte. The series starts when Jory is transferred to an all-boys school and is accepted by the only group of kids who don’t treat him like an outsider, the Backstagers.

The story focuses on the group and their adventures behind the scenes of their school’s theatrical productions. With each play, they discover a magical world that lies just beyond the stage, filled with fantastical creatures and strange adventures.

It’s a masterpiece with creative and imaginative world creation. It talks about friendship, working as a team and adventure. With diverse characters. It’s a warming story to which many theater kids, writers, and cinephiles will feel connected.

It talks about those who are beyond the curtains or behind the camera, who put all their creativity, passion, and hard work into the final product. 

Why we love it: It’s a perfect story for anyone who was a theater kid; it’s filled with magic, music, and the importance of teamwork and how every member is as important as everyone else, and only together can you accomplish anything. 

The Backstagers Vol 1 by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh, and Walter Baiamonte - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag 

No pages: 256 pages
Genres:  LGBT, Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Lesbian. 

“The Girl from the Sea” is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Molly Knox Ostertag. It’s about a young woman who doesn’t fit in on the perfect island where she lives, wanting to escape her family and friends who don’t understand her because of her many secrets, including the desire to kiss another girl.

But everything changes when a mysterious girl saves her. They become friends, and Morgan starts seeing life on the island differently than before Keltie saved her. Both girls, with many secrets, soon fall in love, but all their secrets start coming afloat, changing their lives once again. 

Why we love it: Although it’s a graphic novel, it’s a very relatable story from dysfunctional families, fear of coming out, and not fitting in with your group of friends; it adapts modern experiences portraying them in such a unique way through the story. They have undeniable chemistry, and it’s a nice story overall.

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical | Audiobook

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

No pages: 288 pages.

Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Fiction, Gay. 

“Heartstopper” is a graphic novel series written and illustrated by Alice Oseman. The series follows the blossoming romance between two high school students, Nick and Charlie, as they navigate the challenges and joys of first love. The series is notable for its representation of LGBTQ+ characters and themes and its realistic and heartfelt portrayal of teenage relationships and experiences.

It’s a story that shows all the ups and downs and insecurities of first love and how hard coming out is for many people around the globe. It’s a lovely, heartwarming story; it’s hard not to get excited and love all the characters and the amazing friends Charlie has. 

Why we love it: It shows how friends stick out for you no matter what, and it’s a nice coming out story for all of them, but it also shows the ugly sides of how to come out. It has all kinds of representation and love, totally worth reading for anyone who is into sweet love stories with happy endings. 

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

Wynd by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas

No pages: 256 pages
Genres:  Fantasy, young adult, magic, fiction, adventure. 

“Wynd” is a graphic novel by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Michael Dialynas. The story takes place in a magical world where people with special powers are hunted, and magic is banned. And as Wynd ages, his pointed ears threaten to betray him by being too big to hide and revealing he has magical blood. 

He starts a quest with Oakley, his best friend, and Thorn, the groundskeeper’s son. This graphic novel is full of world-building, unique magical creatures, and a lot of magic. It’s a self-discovering novel, where we go with Wynd as he learns about all the magic that surrounds their world and all the magic within him. 

Why we love it: Queerness is expressed naturally in this world, despite magic being banned on the other hand, so it’s a nice metaphor for how some things that don’t affect who you are and don’t harm others are accepted, but magic and power which could harm or affect others are hunted. Plus, the characters and the whole illustrations are straightforward to love, and it’s a fun story to read with many new creatures we learn about.

Wynd by James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen 

No pages: 256 pages
Genres: LGBT, Young Adult, Queer, Fantasy, Fiction, Fairy Tales,

“The Magic Fish” is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Trung Le Nguyen. The story is a retelling of the classic fairy tale “The Fisherman and His Wife,” set in a Vietnamese-American community. A  coming out story follows a young boy named Tiến as he tries to find the right words to explain what he is going through. 

It shows how humans are connected through stories and how not even language can be a barrier when there is an intention and will. The illustrator and writer compacted the way the fairy tales Tiến reads are showcased in his real life and how they are connected with what happens in the characters in the stories to what happens to him, taking us into this journey of fairy tales. At the same time, we discover about him and the other characters’ struggles. 

Why we love it: It’s a well-illustrated story that, without many words, tells us everything we need to know about what Tiến and his family are going through and how these stories serve as a consolation for their problems but bring them together; it shows how powerful stories and doing things with love can change anything. And it beautifully represents Vietnamese-American culture and themes of identity and family.

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

No pages: 368 pages
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Gay. 

“Bloom” is a graphic novel by Kevin Panetta and illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau. The story follows Ari, a high school student who feels trapped and unfulfilled in his small-town life. When he takes a job at his family’s bakery, he meets Hector, a new worker who introduces him to the world of baking and starts to open his eyes to the beauty and excitement of life.

As they work together, Ari and Hector explore their feelings for each other and navigate the complexities of first love.

The illustrations, with bursting young love and baking scenes, take us on Ari’s journey as he struggles to leave the thing that Hector loves. It’s a story about family friendship and love. How we find passion in the things we love, and how our actions sometimes affect the course of our lives and those around us. 

Why we love it: It’s a summer love romance and passion, and it’s a great love story between two different but yet connected boys. 

Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer

No pages: 216 pages Genres: Science fiction, Fantasy, Lesbian. 

“Cosmoknights” is a graphic novel series written and illustrated by Hannah Templer. The series takes place in a futuristic world where women are oppressed and forced to live under the rule of a patriarchal society.

The story follows two warriors, Pan and Tara, as they fight to liberate their world and end the reign of the tyrannical ruler, the Star King. Along the way, they discover their feelings for each other and navigate the challenges and joys of first love.

An imaginary world created in this graphic novel that will get you hooked from the beginning, this is a fun-to-read story, from epic battle royale competitions, butch rep, and lots of sapphics, the kind of book to get your mind into futuristic fighting for what’s right kind of world. 

Why we love it: It’s a story about friendship and a group of people who unite to fight the patriarchy set by royals and many men of their universe. And what better group to fight the patriarchy than gay gladiators in space? 

Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

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“Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel

No pages: 232 pages
Genres: Memoir, Adult, Biography, Queer, Nonfiction. 

This autobiographical graphic novel explores the author’s coming-of-age story, her relationship with her father, and her realization of her sexuality.

“Fun Home” is a graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. It is a memoir that explores the author’s relationship with her father, a high school English teacher and funeral director who lived a secret life as a closeted gay man. Through flashbacks and reflections, the author reflects on her father’s life and death, as well as her own experiences coming of age and discovering her sexuality.

This is an interesting novel as it explores the roles that society has forced into genders without thinking that not everyone necessarily has to behave, act, and love as their biological gender.

And how sometimes you can’t be yourself without others in your same household and everyone around without giving their opinion, judging, or simply acting, talking about why you behave differently than you are supposed to. 

Why we love it: It’s an interesting satire of how gender doesn’t define your personality, what you like to do or who you love. And how society influences our own beliefs and struggles. 

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks

No pages: 232 pages
Genres: Young adults, romance, comics, Halloween, fiction. 

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, it’s a story about two friends, Deja and Josiah, who only work in Autumn for Pumpkin season, they have been doing that for a couple of years now, every September 1st, but this year it’s different as it’s their senior year and last time working together, but instead of going all sad and melancholy Deja thinks they should leave with a bang. 

It’s a work of art; the illustrations will make you want to live in this forever autumn fantasy; they do things differently and let you get lost in the maze; it has a beautiful setting, the characters you will fall in love with both of them, it’s like every Rainbow Rowell novel you will want to live in it and love everything in it. 

Why we love it: It’s cute and fun to read a novel full of love, the fear of letting go, and the pursuit of love or what we think of it. It’s full of color, and the characters are full of life. It will leave you craving pumpkin pie or a pumpkin late. It’s the dream world of any fall lover. 

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

No pages: 232 pages
Genres: Romance, Historical, Fiction, Queer, Young Adult. 

The Prince and the Dressmaker, it’s a modern fairy tale, a prince looking for a bride, well his family is looking for him for one, but this prince is not an ordinary prince, but a price with a big secret, he likes to wear dresses from time to time, and all thanks to his best friend and dressmaker Frances, one of the two confidant of his secret and desires. 

This is a heart-warming fairy tale about friendship, family and self-identity, and discovery, how sometimes we find ourselves in the simplest things, and we see this friendship who share one common secret as Prince Sebastian dashes through Paris at night dressed as Lady Crystallia. 

Why we love it: It’s a fun spin on our common fairy tales, one about self-discovery, fighting for what you believe and finding who you are, and owning that,  a non-orthodox prince meets a dressmaker who not only becomes his confidant, but his friend, and then his lover, it’s a funny and warming story a fairy tale for all ages. 

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ortestag

No pages: 232 pages
Genres: Middle-Grade Comic, Queer, Fantasy, magic, children.

The witch boy by Molly Knox it’s a lovable middle-grade graphic novel about family identity and self-discovery.  When gender has specific roles in complying with in Aster’s family, boys grow to be shapeshifters, while all girls are taught to be witches. But our little Aster is fascinated by magic, and as he hasn’t shifted yet when his family is in danger, he knows he can help them with magic. 

We go through Aster’s journey and his non-magical friend Charlie as they learn about his skills, and he learns about how to be a witch while saving his family in the process and finding out who he is. 

Why we love it:  It’s a story that portrays the roles of gender in a magical and fun way, and how sometimes we don’t have to stick to those roles but find our own and what we love; it just takes a little courage to be who we want to be.

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ortestag - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

No pages: 232 pages
Genres: Science fiction, Romance, Lesbian, fantasy. 

In this warming graphic novel, one of the best LGBT graphic novels there is, we see a restoration group that works on rebuilding and restoring broken structures to put the past of it together. Mia, a new member, joins the crew because of her reasons, is ripped from a past love, and is unable to find her reason in this world. She works with them, trying to assemble the pieces of her past.

Set in different timelines so we can understand how things came to be in their current present, we relive the past through Mia’s eyes and other perspectives to get the whole picture and understand our characters and everything happening. Filled with lively characters and raw emotions, this is a journey worth taking. 

Why we love it: It focuses on character development, worldbuilding, and great action scenes. This is a well-crafted graphic novel Tillie Walden is an award-winning artist, and you can tell that in this novel. 

We encourage you to continue discovering new stories. Remember, representation matters and every reader can make a difference by reading and sharing these stories; that way, we can increase the visibility of LGBTQI+ characters and narratives.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden - Best LGBT Graphic Novels

eBook | Physical

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