If you’ve ever searched for young adult books with gay protagonists, you’ve probably noticed a trend - a lot of them aren’t very happy. Even books with happy endings love to put you through an emotional wringer until the very last second. Don’t get me wrong, conflict is what drives a story. But how conflict is presented makes a hell of a difference. Sometimes you just want to laugh. So I present to you some of my favorite lighter gay/lesbian YA books.

I’m just so sick of straight people who can’t get their shit together.

1) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, soon to be a movie. Simon’s humor is more on the cynical side but this is still a light book.

Perhaps in thirty or forty years, when both my parents were in nursing homes and I was living hundreds of miles away from Beaver Lake, I might possibly be ready to tell another person that I was gay.

2) Absolutely Positively Not by David LaRochelle, an older book but still relevant and painfully hilarious. The only one on this list that isn’t really a romance.

Straight people have it so much easier. They don’t understand. They can’t. There’s no such thing as openly straight.

3) Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, which I avoided for a long time because the title is terrible. That was a mistake on my part because this book (series actually) is brilliant.

God, stop that! She’s probably straight. I wish I had gaydar. I wish it were something you could pick up in a store.

4) Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan, another “don’t judge a book by its cover” situation. For a long time I avoided it because the cover looked overly dramatic and serious. It’s not. At all.

Mary Carlson chooses the same moment to lift her pinky, and ever so slightly touch mine. I can’t breathe. This is the weirdest fucking moment in my life, but I want to die in it. Like if God above decided this was it, I’d say, Take me.

5) Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown, a story that features generally serious tropes (a rural town! a secret relationship! religion!) but isn’t doom and gloom about them.

He would marry a nice girl, maybe Sophie, maybe have a couple of kids one day, and not get divorced, or go AWOL. They would have money and a nice house. Neither he nor his wife would do a Beyoncé tribute act.

6) Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green, a novel that had me in stitches.  Noah is a beautifully naive narrator.

Bonus, not pictured:

- Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg, a sequel to Openly Straight. The tone is a bit more serious though.
- M or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts, hilarious but there are dual protagonists, one female (straight) and one male (gay) which makes it technically not a perfect fit for this list but is still so funny I have to mention it.

Quick Queer book reclist

So a couple of months back I asked… or more accurately complained about the overabundance of hetero-teen-love-triangles 

So since then I’ve hunted through goodreads and my library for books with a little more variety, So here’s a few of the books I’ve come across, some I’ve read others are still on my to-read shelve, a few are recs from other people, but I think we could all use a few more books with queer characters

Gay/bi characters:

Song of Achilles-Madeline Miller

Zero at the Bone-Jane Seville

Cut and  Run series - Abigail Roux and Madeline Urban*

Scrap Metal -Harper Fox

The Culling - Steven dos Santos

Boy meets Boy- David Levithan

Social Skills - Sara Alva

A Midwinter Prince - Harper Fox

Warrior’s Cross - Abigail Roux and Madeline Urban

The Bane Chronicles - Cassandra Clare  (an extension of the Mortal Instruments universe)

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Havemercy - Jaida Jones

Getting It - Alex Sanchez

UnNatural -Michael Griffo

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan 

One Man Guy - Michael Barakiva

Proxy - Alex London

Hero - Perry Moore 

Openly Straight - Bill Konigsberg

Lesbian/Bi characters ( sorry there’s less of these! I’ll try to add more soon)

Ash - Malinda Lo

Pantomime - Laura Lam

The Miseducation of Cameron Post - Emily M. Danforth

Adaptation - Malinda Lo 

Silhouette of a Sparrow - Molly Beth Griffin 

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend - Emily Horner

Bi/Pansexual characters:

Very leFreak - Rachel Cohn

Shadow Play - Laura Lam (sequel to Pantomime)

Far From You - Tess Sharpe

Ace characters:

Guardian of the Dead - Karen Healey 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Lanin Taylor 

Clariel - Garth Nix 

The Heart of Aces - multiple stories/authors

Trans Characters:

Parrotfish - Ellen Wittlinger

Luna - Julie Anne Peters

I am J - Cris Beam 

M or F Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts

Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children - Kristin Cronn-Mills 

* do yourself a favor and read all their books they exist in the same universe and they’re pretty good