The list of LGBTQ+ authors and poets is endless. Here are some of our favorites, and ways of incorporating LGBTQ+ topics in writing prompts. Many popular young adult fiction are highlighting LGBTQ+ characters, so we also suggest asking students what they are reading and facilitating discussions about the LGBTQ+ representation in modern fiction books. 

James Baldwin

Author of Notes of a Native Son (1955), Go Tell It On The Mountain (1953), and If Beale Street Could Talk (1974) explored sexuality, masculinity, racism, and many other topics while being very active in the civil rights and gay liberation movements. He was close friends with Medger Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. 

Audre Lorde

In her own words, Audre Lorde is a ​​“black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” Some of her more famous collections of poems are Coal (1976), Between Our Selves (also in 1976), Hanging Fire (1978), The Black Unicorn (1978), and Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984). 

Jeannette Winterson

Author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (1985), and Sexing the Cherry (1989) whose novels explore gender, sexuality, breaking from societal norms, and imagination.  Winterson came out as a lesbian at age 16. 

Octavia Butler

No one individual has influenced modern science fiction as Butler has with her countless novels and short stories, including the Parable of the Sower (1993),  Kindred (1979) and the Patternist series (1976-2007).  Butler was a lesbian. 

Ocean Vuong

The New York Times bestselling novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019) showed the world that this young, queer, Vietnamese writer would be someone who shattered our ideas of what a novel could be. 

Dorothy Allison

Best-selling author of Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), is a southern, working class lesbian writer and poet. 

Oscar Wilde

Wilde is best known for his plays, such as The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) and the novel The Picture of Dorian Grey (1890). Wilde was convicted and imprisoned for consensual homosexual acts in the first “celebrity trial”in 1895. 

Walt Whitman

One of the most influential American poets, Whitman was most likely homosexual, although it is possible he was bisexual.

Read books with LGBTQ+ characters

See our Book List on our Website. 

Provide writing prompts that explore LGBTQ+ topics

“How would this story be different if it was placed in a time where LGBTQ+ relationships and identities were more accepted?” “I refuse to be invisible. I need you to see me.” “Pick your favorite adult human character from your favorite TV show, switch their gender to any other gender. How would the show be different?”