Gay Lit Hall of Fame


Perhaps you fancy a good read but you don’t know what book to pick in our vast ocean of literature. What’s that you say? You need something with humour? We can do that.
Wait, it needs to be humorous and feature gay protagonists?
Well boy, it’s your lucky day.
Everyone loves a funny albeit tragic story, and there’s really nobody who does humour and tragedy better than the gay community. So if you yourself are LGBT and are looking for a good read (or perhaps you’re hetero but just have to admit that gay people are funnier), then let me present to you my list of personal favourite books centred around a gay protagonist or, how I call it, the Gay Lit Hall of Fame! (Woohoo!)
Without further ado, we’ll begin with…

Red, White & Royal Blue casey mcquiston

A truly unique take on diplomatic relationships in our world. In Red, White & Royal Blue, a plot to bring the son of the US President and a British Prince together to be on better terms with one another soon leads to a deep rooted romance between the pair that nobody could have ever predicted. In a surprising turn, the two men have to decide whether they should show the entire world their true colours, and they ain’t just red, white and blue.

Why this book made it into the Hall of Fame

Red, White & Royal Blue has become so popular and so big that you can practically already see the movie adaptation coming together. Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry are both described as young and handsome men, so you can guarantee Hollywood will rustle up its finest chiselled young actors to take on these roles, and why not? Seeing American authority and British royalty get steamy with each other onscreen is probably the best way to bring about world peace.
The story itself ticks all the bestseller boxes; humour, forbidden love, secret romance, characters with loveable chemistry and twists and turns to keep the pages moving. In this novel, author Casey McQuiston takes inspiration from related Chick lit classics and adapts them for a story about same sex love in the modern world. Love them or loathe them, us humans are fixated on royalty and politicians to the point where we’ve turned them into a twisted type of celebrity. The great, as-of-now unanswered twist of this book is, what would become of a world in which two of the greatest superpowers were joined by a love that is still, in some places, taboo? I won’t spoil it for you, but to quote the succinct review from Cosmopolitan, this is “the super specific love story you never knew you needed”.
I mean, do I really need to say more?

Less andrew sean greer

Less is more. At least, that’s the lesson that failed novelist Arthur Less learns as he accepts every invitation to a collection of haphazard literary events across the globe in order to escape the worst invitation of all, his ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Dun-dun-dun.

Why this book made it into the Hall of Fame

Less deserves its spot on here due to its popularity, but most noticeably, as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize (high quality of writing pretty much guaranteed for those of you who aren’t familiar).
The clue is very much in the name regarding this book. Protagonist Arthur “Less” feels just like that; feeling less than what’s he worth. Achieving less than he should in his career. Receiving less love than he’s used to. Feeling outcast as an author, a gay man and a lover, it’s safe to say he’s having a shocker. All he needs is an inciting event and he’s going to tip over the edge—oh wait, there’s an invite to his ex’s wedding.
Author Andrew Sean Greer uses Arthur as a vehicle to explore the struggles that a homosexual author (and an aging one at that) faces in today’s society. Arthur feels a duty to the LGBT community to write about them in a positive and encouraging light whilst he struggles to find any encouragement in his own life. To escape the tragedy of his personal life, Arthur decides to attend these “half-baked” literary events across the globe so he doesn’t have to come face to face with any old flames. This, to put it mildly, backfires in a story that is beautifully crafted by Greer, coming full circle by the conclusion in a way that seeks to find the comedy in the everyday tragedy of midlife crisis, and trying to find something to hold onto when everything in your world has gone tits up. What better way to do all this than by telling it as a story of an American finding his way abroad?

The Last Romeo justin myers

The story follows James, 34, adrift and newly single after his six-year relationship went kaput. Inspired by his best friend to try out online dating, James writes about each of his romantic encounters on his blog under the persona of Romeo. However, while this Romeo is looking to find his male Juliet, he doesn’t know that instead what he’s going to find is himself in a world of bizarre hook ups and viral frenzies. (Haven’t we all been there?)

Why this book made it into the Hall of Fame

Attitude described this book as “Sex and the City meets Bridget Jones’s Diary” and that is exactly what you get. The Last Romeo doesn’t dress up the world of same sex love and online dating as some whimsical, joyous adventure. The awkward encounters and messy situations that we face in reality are more than present in the novel, with James’ one night stand with a closeted Olympian acting as the key event of the story. James is also portrayed as a three dimensional character, full of flaws and bad personality traits that he really needs to work on before becoming the gay Romeo. Most importantly, it’s a story packed with humour, insight and real genuine emotion. In The Last Romeo, author Justin Myers has crafted a fully rounded story with great characters and a resounding message for all of us: being alone in the world is scary. Having everyone in the world know your private business is even scarier.
Also, the book’s author is the founder and writer of The Guyliner, a blog about dating, love and gay news/culture that I routinely follow. Deep Carrie Bradshaw vibes.

I’m Going to Give the Gays Everything They Want tom caval

A gay pop icon at rock bottom, and a gaggle of gay friends (and fans) with their own battles to fight: the perfect recipe for a series of hilarious and over-the-top adventures in London. Harry, a confused writer; Matteo, the hopeless romantic; the delusional Alistair; emotionally unavailable Erik … will they help Paulina get her career back on track, and win her fans back? More importantly, will Paulina be able to return the favour?
This novel about love, friendship and overcoming life’s obstacles is sure to both warm your heart and make you laugh!

Why this book made it into the Hall of Fame

What kind of Gay Lit author would I be if I didn’t include one of my own books in this Hall of Fame? Faux-modesty aside, I wrote I’m Going to Give the Gays Everything They Want with all my favourite Chick lit writers in mind. I’ve even got framed pictures of them by my computer to inspire me as I write—you can check my Instagram for proof! My all time favourite show is Sex and the City, so I thought to myself—what if it was gay? This novel is the answer to that question.
I’ve put glittery pink, sweat blood and tears, combined with my finest gay wit, into this story. If you’re looking for gay Chick Lit, this is the book for you!

Boyfriend Material alexis hall

As his rock-star father makes a comeback, ‘bad boy’ Luc needs a respectable fake boyfriend to clean up his own image. The perfect candidate is Oliver, a successful, handsome and dapper barrister who is also in dire need of a plus one to an important event. Sounds like a good arrangement for both of them, right? As you’ve probably already figured out, as soon as they start ‘fake dating’ things get complicated, quickly. ‘Boyfriend Material’ is fake dating at its finest, an ‘opposites attract’ romance perfect for escapism and a good laugh.

Why this book made it into the Hall of Fame

The last addition to the Hall of Fame is ‘Boyfriend Material’, the bestselling novel from British author Alexis Hill. This novel has followed the steps of the successful ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ making its way to the top of the “best of the year” lists for lovers of the romcom genre. A very well-crafted story with charismatic (and messy) protagonists, slow boiling romance, laugh out loud moments interspersed with hints of good old drama. The chemistry between the characters is so electric and strong that you wish that they will end up together from page one!


There you have it, my current Hall of Fame of books featuring gay protagonists. What are your thoughts about this list? Are some familiar to you, are some new?
Hopefully you get something out of it, as God knows there aren’t enough comedies featuring gay characters that aren’t of the Young Adult genre. Given the current climate where the LGBT community is growing more accepted this can be surprising, but considering the decades of gay characters being “marginalised” then perhaps it’s a market that hasn’t had the chance to spread its glorious wings yet.
Please let me know if you agree with this and what other books you might add! In this tragic world, there’s never enough room for love and laughter.

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