Alternative Mainstream: The Best GLBT Books to Read

Growing up as a minority on the multicultural island of O’ahu left me with a personal history of being treated differently. I am familiar with enduring social stigma because of the color of my skin. Throughout the years, this inevitable birthright of judgment subconsciously produced my unwavering and blatant compassion for the GLBT community, even long after living off the island. Although my sexual orientation is considered mainstream, I feel very connected to people born under the proverbial flashing neon pink sign of Alternative. Being a creative person lends itself to certain
ways of thinking; having an open mind is just one. GLBT (Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, Transgender) writing has always been considered alternative,
yet some of the most infamous works of fiction are underlined with this
very thing.

Guest blogger Christine Macdonald‘s article, “The
is Always Trite,” earned her a cover
spot and

Editor’s Pick on Open Salon and gives a snapshot
into her
current writing project: the memoir

Tales from an Ex-Stripper: The
Chronicles of

Stripperocity. Christine founded Another Way
To Say It Greetings®, a greeting card company
launching in spring 2010 that caters to her friends
of the GLBT community. See her blog here.

For great books to start with, we can turn to The Publishing Triangle, an online resource featuring GLBT writers. The following is a list of just 10 of the Top 100 best lesbian and gay novels:

     1. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
     2. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
     3. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues by Tom Robbins
     4. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
     5. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
     6. Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
     7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
     8. Maurice by E. M. Forster
     9. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
     10. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Omit the subject matter in which it’s served, and this above-mentioned list becomes a literary feast. Whether it is your first of 50th time reading these picks, you will undoubtedly satiate on each unique and masterful story. Characters run the gamut from vampire to vixen but the common ingredient remains: Every protagonist is a survivor in the face of adversity. As writers, isn’t this what we all aim to do?

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About Ben Sobieck

Benjamin Sobieck is a Wattpad Star and 2016 Watty Award winner. He’s best known on Wattpad for Glass Eye: Confessions of a Fake Psychic Detective, the Watty Award–winning sequel Black Eye, and When the Black-Eyed Children Knock & Other Stories. Four of his titles have appeared on Wattpad Top 100 Hot Lists, all at the same time.

2 thoughts on “Alternative Mainstream: The Best GLBT Books to Read

  1. Lee Rowan

    Little Women? Interesting notion–though that seems to suggest that because Jo March is independent and assertive, she is automatically a lesbian, which is hardly definitive. Interesting lists, too. Thank you.

    Re the "’flashing pink sign of ‘alternative’"… with all respect, you might want to think about that.

    The term "alternative lifestyle" was, I’m sure, intended to be nonjudgmental and PC. But please consider: An alternative is an option, a matter of choice. Being born gay, lesbian, or any of the orientations that are not strictly heterosexual is not an "alternative." This is who we are. Is being heterosexual an "alternative?"

    As for ‘lifestyle…’ No. Surfing, mountaineering, being a sports or opera buff, living retro or green–those are lifestyles, the results of individual choice.

    Gay, lesbian, bi, trans… these are not "lifestyle." These are our lives.


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