5 Authors Every LGBTQ+ Person And Ally Should Know

5 Authors Every LGBTQ+ Person And Ally Should Know

Though the list of LGBTQ+ authors is constantly expanding, and new iconic and groundbreaking literary works are being published every year, here are five classic writers every LGBTQ+ person and ally should be aware of.

Virginia Wolfe

Not only was Woolfe an incredible literary talent, penning bestsellers that included Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, and Orlando, she also was an advocate for women’s rights and mental health visibility. She published many works that are still studied today, and in 1922, Woolfe met and began a romantic relationship with Vita Sackville-West. Both Woolfe and Sackville-West were married to men while their relationship endured. The couple’s love letters have since been published. Themes of gender, sex and feminism echo throughout Woolfe’s writings.

Carmen Maria Machado

No LGBTQ+ person or ally should miss the work of Carmen Maria Machado. Best known for her short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, which won the Shirley Jackson Award and became a finalist for the National Book Award. Another groundbreaking work from Machado, her memoir In the Dream House explores nuances of domestic abuse and emotional manipulation, and won the 2021 Folio Prize. Her essays and criticism have appeared in various renowned publications. 

James Baldwin

Baldwin was a revolutionary writer responsible for some of the most prolific works of the last century, including Giovanni’s Room, The Fire Next Time, Go Tell it on the Mountain, and If Beale Street Could Talk. Many of these are considered educational essentials, and If Beale Street Could Talk, has even seen screen adaptation. Baldwin most often explores themes of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, and delves into racial and sexual oppression in the U.S. 

Alice Walker

Alice Walker is the author of the iconic The Color Purple, considered essential reading for the LGBTQ+ community and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Her writing contributions span race and gender struggles and incorporate Walker’s perspective as a bisexual woman. Walker was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement and was involved in several anti-war protests with the group Code Pink. Eventually marrying a civil rights lawyer, Walker and her husband were the first married interracial couple in Mississippi. 

Patricia Highsmith

Highsmith, who is most well-known for literary works like The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Price of Salt, and Strangers on a Train, has crafted scintillating psychological thrillers. Her work has led to around two dozen film adaptations. Highsmith primarily had relationships with women throughout her life, and considered herself a Democrat and atheist. Her hit novel The Price of Salt, explores a relationship between two women and was published under a pen name before Highsmith claimed it as her own later on in her career. 

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