Mardi Gras season is upon us, friends. And whether or not you’re attending a festival this year, there are loads of ways you can be celebrating pride now and always. One of the best ways to do that is to support queer voices by investing in their work and educating yourself on the LGBTQIA+ experience where possible.
You can do both by getting yourself a copy of one of these rich and inspiring audiobooks that have been written and curated by queer creators.
All synopses and images have been shared by our pals at audible.
Queer audiobooks to get around this year:
A funny and heartwarming coming-of-age story, set in a rural Australian community, about 17-year-old Jackson finding the courage to explore who he is, even if it scares him. Compelling, honest and beautifully written, The Boy from the Mish is about first love, identity and the superpower of self-belief.
Gary Lonesborough is a Yuin man, who grew up on the Far South Coast of NSW as part of a large and proud Aboriginal family. Growing up a massive Kylie Minogue and North Queensland Cowboys fan, Gary was always writing as a child and continued his creative journey when he moved to Sydney to study at film school. Gary has experience working in Aboriginal health, the disability sector (including experience working in the Youth Justice System) and the film industry. He was Bega Valley Shire Council Young Citizen of the Year, won the Patrick White Young Indigenous Writers’ Award and has received a Copyright Agency First Nations Fellowship.
Compiled by Benjamin Law
Compiled by celebrated author and journalist Benjamin Law, Growing Up Queer in Australia assembles voices from across the spectrum of LGBTIQA+ identity. Spanning diverse places, eras, genders, ethnicities and experiences, these are the stories of growing up queer in Australia.
For better or worse, sooner or later, life conspires to reveal you to yourself, and this is growing up. With contributions from David Marr, Fiona Wright, Nayuka Gorrie, Steve Dow, Holly Throsby, Sally Rugg, Tony Ayres, Nic Holas, Rebecca Shaw, Kerryn Phelps and many more.
In this extraordinary memoir, Magda Szubanski describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family.
With courage and compassion, she addresses her own frailties and fears and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.
In this poignant audio piece, Samantha Allen takes listeners along for the wild ride of her own transition: The good, the bad, but mostly, the funny. Because once she began this life-changing journey in earnest, Samantha realized that while the emotional trials of gender dysphoria and self-discovery could be harrowing, there were so many laugh-out-loud moments along this winding road.
Think about it: While her 20- and 30-something peers were settling into the people they were going to be for the rest of their lives, Samantha was going through puberty all over again, taking the whole womanhood thing step by glamorous step – from learning the differences between men’s and women’s public restrooms to figuring out how to take off a bra without taking her shirt off first. Recognizing these moments of humour brought her joy in times she needed it most – and sharing them, she learned, could be revelatory.
In this heartfelt, funny, touching memoir, Tan France, star of Netflix’s Emmy award-winning Queer Eye, tells his origin story for the first time. With his trademark wit, humour and radical compassion, Tan reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional South Asian family, as one of the few people of colour in South Yorkshire. He illuminates his winding journey of coming of age, finding his voice (and style!) and happily marrying the love of his life – a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City.
Humorous and poignant personal essays are peppered with style advice, funny lists and the truisms that Tan has accumulated in his journey from South Yorkshire to Netflix.
In 2000, Rebekah Robertson gave birth to twin boys, George and Harry. But as they grew older, their preferences began to show, and by the age of three, it was clear Georgie was drawn to anything that was pretty or had a skirt that could swirl.
Before long Georgie began to insist that she was a girl and became distressed that she had to hide who she really was when she started school. Soon the bullying started, and she would come home in floods of tears, begging her mother to help her.
Rebekah and her husband, conflicted about how to proceed and overwhelmed by fear, united in their determination to help her live freely and fearlessly. To ensure Georgie had access to medical support they sought permission for her to begin puberty-blocking medication. Their case, Re: Jamie, was the start of the long road to justice for transgender children in Australia and became the basis of the 2013 landmark decision to remove the Family Court’s jurisdiction.
Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson’s a Black daycare teacher, and they’ve been together for a few years – good years – but now they’re not sure why they’re still a couple. There’s the sex, sure and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other.
But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike’s immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realising he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.
Emily M. Danforth
Brookhants School for Girls: infamous site of a series of tragic deaths more than a hundred years ago. Soon to be the subject of a controversial horror movie about the rumoured ‘Brookhants curse’: in the early 1900s, Brookhants students Flo and Clara fell madly in love, brought together by their obsession for a scandalous memoir. A few months later they were found dead in the woods, after a horrific wasp attack, the book lying next to their intertwined bodies. Three more grisly deaths followed before the school was forced to close. Now, the school’s doors are open once more. But as the crew of glamorous young actresses assemble to start filming, past and present begin to blur. And soon it’s impossible to tell quite where the curse ends and Hollywood begins….
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jump-start her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late ’80s and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds – revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love – Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Staring down the barrel of her 40th year, Samantha Irby is confronting the ways her life has changed since the days she could work a full 11-hour shift on 4 hours of sleep, change her shoes and put mascara on in the back of a moving cab and go from drinks to dinner to the club without a second thought. Recently, things are more ‘Girls Gone Mild.’
In Wow, No Thank You. Irby discusses the actual nightmare of living in a rural idyll, weighs in on body negativity (loving yourself is a full-time job with shitty benefits) and poses the essential question: sure sex is fun but have you ever googled a popular meme?
Got another queer book or resource you think people should be checking out right now? Pop it in the comments section below!