After a harrowing week in this country it may feel a little terrifying to be questioning your sexuality.
I remember how scared I was when I started to realize I was attracted to women. I was straight up petrified, but the thing that helped me the most was finding others who were experiencing the same thing. Before I was ready to talk about it out loud with real humans I dove into reading and it helped me break out of my little scared shell and feel proud of who I was. Here are three books to read to make you feel a little less alone (and a whole lot more informed).
Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
I read (devoured) “Buffering” on a train from New York to Boston and the poor woman sitting next to me was definitely worried about how quickly I was switching between cackling and sobbing. This book is an autobiography of New York Times bestselling author and talented content creator, Hannah Hart. Hannah tells the raw, uncensored story of growing up closeted with an absent religious father and a mother living with Schizophrenia.
Hannah’s story is both relatable and uplifting. What I appreciated the most about her stories of coming out and first love and heartbreak is that they were all so human. Hannah doesn’t sugar coat or hide the awkward or uncomfortable, if anything she celebrates the moments that hurt the most as lessons for the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is questioning their sexuality and wants to feel a little less alone. You can find the book here.
The ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell
“The ABC’s of LGBT+” is the perfect book for any questioning teen. It is comprehensive and educational and fun. It looks at the LGBTQ+ community from every angle and really helps questioning people find who they are while also being an incredible resource for straight people to understand the intricacies of queerness. My favorite part of the book is the glossary of terms entitled “Cheat Sheet.” This cheat sheet is a beautiful glossary of every term under the queer umbrella. It includes the terms you’ve heard a hundred times like gay and lesbian, but it also defines aromantic and diamoric and AFAB. This book makes the queer community completely accessible to those are just beginning to learn and question. I recommend this book for everyone, especially those who are questioning their sexuality and those who are looking to be strong and educated allies. You can find the book here.
This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question and Answer Guide to Everyday Life by Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo
Okay so technically this is a book for parents, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a queer person who frequently has to talk to straight relatives about my life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading both Kristin and Dannielle’s coming out stories (and then taking a quick pause to go watch 1000000 coming out videos on YouTube). I also am a huge fan of the question and answer format. It not only acts as a great guide for parents, but also gives questioning people a great way to start conversations with their relatives. It answers questions from “Is this my fault?” to how to talk about safe queer sex to what the difference between gender identity and sexuality is. Also, if you’re trying to find a (not-so-) subtle way to come out to your family maybe accidentally leave the book on their bedside table and see what happens (I kid, maybe don’t do this, or do). You can find this book here.
I hope these books help you in your discovery of who you are. Happy reading!