Although the publishing industry is slowly starting to become more diverse, women of color are still underrepresented in both mainstream and lesbian fiction. March 1 is Women of Color Day, so I thought it would be great to talk about our favorite titles featuring LGBTQ+ characters of color.
If you need to brush up on the rules of Lesbian Book Bingo, check out the rules post.
15 GREAT LGBTQ+ BOOKS WITH CHARACTERS OF COLOR
I’ve put together a list of 15 novels featuring lesbian, bi, pansexual, and queer women of color as main characters. I hope you’ll enjoy them.
Anika takes the long way home up soul mountain by Eliza Andrews
When her mother is diagnosed with cancer, Anika Singh reluctantly returns home to Marcine, Ohio. She hopes she won’t run into Jenny, her high school sweetheart-turned-ex-wife.
Then there’s Amy, a dark-haired beauty who happens to be in Marcine for a friend’s wedding. Nothing serious can happen with Amy; she’s only going to be in town for a week. Which means that falling for her would be stupid, especially given the fact that Jenny might be available again.
Breaking Jaie by S. Renée Bess
Twenty-eight-year-old Ph.D. candidate Jaie Baxter is supremely confident about three things: She will become a noted writer. She’ll win the prestigious Adamson Prize. And she can have any woman who grabs her attention. But Jaie’s arrogance begins to slip away the day she meets Terez Overton, a woman whose ethnicity matches hers, but whose background is the exact opposite.
Homecoming by Celeste Castro
An author and sought-after Native American rights expert is invited to keynote at a conference set in her hometown. A place she’d like to continue to avoid, but she can’t turn it down; the issues are too near and dear. Along the way she meets a bartender-slash-professor-slash-advocate-slash—you get the picture. After several misunderstandings between them and three days stranded together following a natural disaster, home doesn’t feel like such a bad place after all.
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual.
The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez
Before Buffy, before Twilight, before Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, there was The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez’s sexy vampire novel. In 1850s Louisiana, Gilda escapes slavery and learns about freedom while working in a brothel. After being initiated into eternal life as one who “shares the blood” by two women there, Gilda spends the next two hundred years searching for a place to call home.
A Return to Arms by Sheree L. Greer
When Toya meets Folami and joins the activist collective RiseUP!, she thinks she’s found her life’s purpose. Folami’s sensuality and her passion for social justice leave Toya feeling that, at last, she’s met someone she can share all parts of her life with. But when a controversial police shooting blurs the lines between the personal and the political, Toya is forced to examine her identity, her passions, and her allegiances.
Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, book 1) by CB Lee
Meet Jess Tran, who really wants to live up to her superhero parents’ expectations, but doesn’t seem to have any powers of her own. When she takes an internship with tech firm Monroe Industries, she has a chance to prove herself and also work with her crush, Abby, but soon they uncover a plot that’s bigger than heroes and villains altogether.
Keeping Secrets (Mimi Patterson/Gianna Maglione Mystery, book 1) by Penny Mickelbury
Someone is killing closeted gay people in Washington, D.C. Police Lieutenant Gianna Maglione has a month to find the killer–or she’ll find body #6.But she has another problem in ace newspaper reporter Mimi Patterson, who thinks the public has a right to know a serial killer is on the prowl. They clash…but only in public. Their private attraction is as dangerous to them as, well, a serial killer.
Falling into Place by Sheryn Munir
Romance isn’t for Tara. After a college fling, she vows to never love again—especially since it feels like there’s no future for same-sex love in India. Then, one rain-soaked night, a mad decision brings Sameen into her life. She’s cute, full of life…and straight. In an instant, everything changes.
An Outsider Inside by R J Samuel
For Irish-Indian lesbian activist, JAYA DILLON, an outsider who craves belonging over all else, survival depends on hiding the truth of who she is and who she loves – from herself. She discovers a manuscript, written by an Indian woman, Lana, who disappeared in worrying circumstances. Jaya is drawn into a fictional world that may be truer than reality.
Available at: Amazon
Sacred Fire by Tanai Walker
Tinsley Swann is cursed to change into a beast for seven days, every seven years. She keeps her distance from the world, and has more of a relationship with the antique erotic postcards she collects. With the time of her transformation approaching, she finds herself torn between two women. One woman is Sandra, Tinsley’s new boss, and the two are having an affair.
Keile’s Chance by Dillon Watson
One fateful day in the park, Keile Griffin falls for a pair of big brown eyes. Sure the eyes are attached to a toddler, but when she meets his mother, Hayden Davenport, she realizes what has been missing in her life. Will she and Hayden be able to set aside past baggage to forge a future together?
Pink by KD Williamson
Shawnna Green is heartbroken, lost, and broke. Starting over fresh in New Orleans, she takes a job at Stumpy’s Sex Emporium. There she experiences every slice of life imaginable while also discovering that women, dating, and sex aren’t what they used to be. Can Shawnna pick herself up, reach out, and connect with those around her? A smoldering look at the things we hide from ourselves.
The Power of Mercy (Superheroine Collection) by Fiona Zedde
To her family, Mai Redstone is weak. When she becomes Mercy, a rooftop-climbing chameleon with at least nine lives, she finds her power. But when Mercy is called in by police to a murder case, her whole world threatens to crumble. The dead man made her childhood a hell. She is torn between giving the murderer a medal and finding the killer for her family. Mercy is a blade that can cut both ways.
If you haven’t done so already, download your bingo card, pick the book you want to read for the women of color square, and start reading! Remember that you can either read one of the 15 books listed above or pick another novel featuring an LGBTQ+ woman of color.
Leave a comment to win a book
In addition to winning books by completing a line on the bingo card, there’ll also be a giveaway for each post. This time, you can win one of two paperback books. One lucky winner will win a copy of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan, and a second winner will win Homecoming by Celeste Castro.
To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment and let us know which book you’re going to read for the women of color square or if you can think of other lesbian books that fit this category.
I’ll announce the winners of the giveaway on Thursday, March 8.
The reading list for the next bingo square—celebrity romance novels— will be posted on March 15. There’ll be another giveaway too!
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