I’ve made a pact for June to dedicate my reading list to all queer Asian novels. Here are some of my favorites queer Asian books you need to read for Pride 2021!
Discover these coming-of-age stories for Chinese immigrants. They are broken into categories that represent many of the identities within the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
Fortunately, there are so many amazing queer Asian books that this list could go on forever. I hope you find something that resonates with you on this list.
Happy reading and happy Pride!
1 Lesbian Love Story
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
Want to relive the feeling of falling in love for the first time? This immersive drama takes you into the world of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1950s.
Travel with seventeen-year-old Lily Hu as she faces impending deportation, visits a covert lesbian bar, and finally starts to feel at home in her own skin. Get ready to grip the pages in anticipation as you cheer for Lily’s love story to triumph.
2 Lesbian Love Story
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang
K-Ming Chang's poetic novel tells the tale of three generations of Taiwanese American women. Chang weaves various Taiwanese, Chinese, and Fujianse folktales into the story of a woman translating her grandmother’s letters.
Ming herself has attempted translation. In an article for Electric Literature, Ming reveals the inevitable gaps and misunderstandings between her grandmother’s original letters and her translation.
Leaning into this idea, Chang worked these misunderstandings as a hybrid language between her and her grandmother. The product is Bestiary. Check out the novel here.
3 Gay Love Story
Crystal Boys by Pai Hsien-Yung
This is considered the first gay novel to be written in Chinese. It features a rag-tag group of boys trying to build an accepting family within themselves.
Crystal Boys is a collection of short stories that follow its characters' paths to self-acceptance. The book gives an honest and authentic look into the world of 1970s Taiwan and what gay men had to do to survive.
4 Gay Love Story
Gentlemen Prefer Asians: Tales of Gay Indonesians and Green Card Marriages by Yuska Lutfi Tuanakotta
In these witty personal essays, an Indonesian author delves into his adjustment to America. He explores the flirtatious lifestyle of a gay man living it up in San Francisco while dealing with his past life in Indonesia.
5 Bisexual Love Story
Love Bi the Way by Bhaavana Arora
I haven’t seen much representations of bisexual characters in Asian American books. Therefore I was super excited to find this gem.
It centers around two bi-Indian women trying to juggle their ambitious careers, the string of attractive men at their door, and the care of their golden retriever, Tiger.
Love Bi the Way takes love, fun, and friendship to a whole new level. Check it out here!
6 Bisexual Love Story
Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan
This book deals with the high stakes and drama of immigrating from Pakistan to the U.S. Not only that, it also deals with the trials and tribulations of the casual racism immigrant youth deal with on top of hormonal high school drama.
Zara Hossain is Here takes a look at what it means to be a queer Muslim immigrant that continues to have hope and faith in the face of hate. Check it out here!
7 Transgender Stories
Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith Talusan
This novel chronicles the coming-of-age transgender Filipino woman as she overcomes struggles with albinism, immigration, and the Harvard school system. More than that, she endures her discovery of self-love.
Get yourself a copy!