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Rainbow Reading: What Are You Reading This Pride Month?

A book in faded colors of the rainbow is open, and the words RAINBOW READING are on top of it.
illustration by A. Andrews

Hey hi, friends! Yashstreet’s Back (alright!) and I’m here to wish all of you all a profound, powerful, and perfect Pride Month!

I’m recovering from marathoning Our Flag Means Death at the recommendation of Laynie Rose Rizer, and by “recovering” I mean “not recovering, obsessing.” I’m into season two of Gentleman Jack now, catching up, but this new season is so STRESSFUL y’all! So I’m rewatching my favorite bits of OFMD in between. Those are my emotional support gay pirates.

In addition to rereading Rainbow Rainbow for the review I’m writing, I’m also gathering a pile of my favorite queer reads to revisit this month. I love a thematic read, what can I say? In the coming weeks, I want to reread parts of Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold, The Persistent Desire, Dagger: On Butch Women, Patience & Sarah, a fat stack of Bechdel, and the like. I love a thematic read, what can I say? Tell me your favorite Pride reads in the comments!

Alrighty, let’s make like a banana and split. On this week’s Rainbow Reading, we’ve got:

Shelf Care: Reviews, Essays, and other Things of Note

Now That’s What I Call A Gay Book List: vol 28374823748237482374287482

Ultimately, this is a book about being able to integrate one’s trauma in a world where acceptance, while not universal, can be found.

Himani on Solo Dance by Li Kotomi

Autocorrect: Books content from the last couple weeks at Autostraddle!

That’s all she wrote, folks! If you’re a queer writer, particularly an early-career queer writer: I’d love to hear about the cool things you’re up to so that I can share links to your published essays, book reviews, short stories, poems, and longform features on LGBTQ+ topics! Please email me links for consideration at [email protected] with the subject line “Rainbow Reading Submission” — I’m an avid browser-tab-collector, and I especially want to hear from you if you’ve just landed your first publication or first major byline.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Yashwina Canter is a reader, writer, and dyke putting down roots in Portland, Oregon. You can find her online at @yashwinacanter.

Yashwina has written 53 articles for us.


  1. Currently not reading anything LGBT related as I’m going through Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution To Rebuild American Prosperity by Charles Marohn Jr. A book about how the US and Canada have been failing at city design for nearly a century and ideas on how to fix it.

    I accept my status as a weirdo, and have done so for decades.

    • That book sounds like right up my alley, I love learning about urban design, policy, and economics!

      One that’s in my queue to read (more policy/legal system centered) is ‘The Color of the Law’ by Richard Rothstein which shows how local and up laws and regulations shaped racial segregation in US housing/geographic makeup.

  2. Unfortunately (fortunately??) it seems like a lot of sapphic romance writers I like are putting out things in June, so I have my work cut-out for me! First up will be ‘Howl’ by Lucy Bexley, then ‘Down to a Science’ by Haley Cass. There’s another 6 books in the ‘I Heart SapphFic Pride’ collection that I’ll likely spread out over the month, I want to read book 2 in SD Semper’s Fallen Gods series, I have a copy of ‘First Sister’ by Linden A Lewis that I’ve been meaning to read, and I’ll probably start but not finish ‘Patricia Wants to Cuddle’ by Samantha Allen.

    If there’s space in that or if I’m in the mood I might try to fight ‘Rainbow Rainbow’ in there, or see if there are any new trans-centric fiction to check out (if anyone has a strong rec for something, let me know!)

    Will I get through all of that? Probably not, though if I don’t re-read anything or get sucked into another 100k fanfic I might be able to.

    • Of course now that I have had a chance to LOOK at the links you put together I see ‘A Lady for a Duke’ fits my rec request perfectly. Will absolutely take any others but might have to put this one a little higher in my June queue.

    • Have you read For the Love of April French yet? I think it came out last summer. It’s not sapphic but it is queer. M/F kinky romance with a trans bi heroine, written by a trans author.

        • I’d love to hear what you think of it. The structure is kind of unusual for a romance and there’s a big misunderstanding, which I’m not normally a fan of, but I thought it mostly worked.

          Another trans romance that I read recently is The Craft of Love by EE Ottoman. Historical romance set in NY city between a cis bi woman and a trans man (I think he’s straight?). Very low conflict, low angst, slice of life style romance between two skilled artisans – a quilter / seamstress and a silversmith.

          I can’t speak to the trans rep but I really enjoyed the novella.

  3. I have two library holds that are “in transit” – just in time for my vacation next week.

    I’m less enthusiastic about A Lady for a Duke now but am still excited to read You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty.

    I binged on queer YA in the last couple weeks and read She Gets the Girl and I Kissed Shara Wheeler and recommend both of them.

  4. I’m currently reading Matrix by Lauren Groff. That whole book is so completely HOT!!! If that book were made into a TV series, I could see it looking a lot like gentleman Jack!

  5. I’m reading “10 Steps to Nannette” by Hannah Gadsby, and I just finished “Calling Dr. Laura” by Nicole Georges which is a really good graphic novel! Really really good!

  6. Usually keep a couple going at once:

    Right now:

    Corfu Trilogy – Gerald Durrell

    His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

    A guilty pleasure is John D. MacDonald’s – pulp fiction – Travis McGee Detective series – right now reading “Darker than Amber”

    Always like to have one in the series I am reading at any given time. I like the wild ride of the adventures of Travis McGee.

  7. I’m finishing Michelle Tea’s Valencia right now (one on my list for YEARS) and then I’m finally going to read Malinda Lo’s Last Night at the Telegraph Club. I’ve been wanting to read it for awhile and finally found it at a local bookstore last weekend!

  8. Currently reading “Under the Rainbow,” by Celia Laskey. It tells the tell of an “Acceptance Across America” LGBT++ task force who take on the most bigoted and homophobic town in America. It’s fiction, but most queer people can relate to the experiences of one of the first person accounts. Especially if you were born in small town America.

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