Visiting NYC can be daunting for folks who aren’t used to using public transportation. Luckily I have a cheat sheet for you guys right here.
Taking a cab in NYC is very convenient if you are traveling in a small a group. While cabs can be expensive they will drop you off exactly where you ask to go and they are accessible from almost any corner in Manhattan. For more information on taking cabs in NYC check out 10 Tips for Getting a Cab Like a Boss.
Subway & Bus
NYC’s subway system is very regular and very consistent. Each way is $2.50 and will take you just about anywhere you’d want to go in the five boroughs. If you are going to be in town for longer than a day or two invest in the unlimited pass it’s worth it if you are going more than two places per day. The pass works for all subway trains and MTA buses. If you’re worried about getting lost, download one of the many transit apps. I like City Mapper but there are a million out there. This $2 investment will save you lots of headaches and help you know exactly where to get on and off.
New Yorkers walk A LOT. Our idea of a short walk is worlds different than most people’s idea. When you visit NYC make sure you’re wearing good walking shoes, you’ll need them. Also, take a stroll down the Highline. It’s an old elevated railroad track turned urban park. It’s gorgeous and a great way to spend a warm afternoon.
Parking is a nightmare and extremely expensive. Plus, traffic is crazy and meter maids are quick to give parking tickets. I’ve known dozens of people who’ve gotten towed. I do not recommend driving in NYC unless you are very familiar with the traffic and parking patterns. If you have no problem driving in city traffic, then rental cars can be picked up at any of the airports.
Visiting NYC can be daunting for folks who aren’t used to using public transportation. Luckily I have a cheat sheet for you guys right here.
As a New Yorker, I’m always being asked for insider tips and tricks to my hometown. NYC is so big that you could spend a year here and never see everything. Have realistic goals for your first trip. Here are 12 of my favorite attractions for first timers in NYC.
The Brooklyn Bridge has the best view of the NYC skyline. Start out on the Brooklyn side and walk over the bridge towards Manhattan. Try to avoid going during the workday rush hour and make sure you wear good walking shoes because the bridge is over a mile long. While you walk across the bridge make sure you stop in the middle to get the iconic center bridge photo.
Statue of Liberty & Elis Island
If you’re a history buff, take the Elis Island tour and spend the day exploring the exhibits at the Elise Island Museum. If you’re not into the museums save some cash and take the Staten Island Ferry. It goes right by the Statue of Liberty for a photo opp and it’s free.
Pro Sports Game
NYC has eight professional sports teams… and the Mets. If you even have a passing interest in sports, there is an event for you. Catch a Brooklyn Nets game, who knows, maybe co-owners Jay-Z and Beyonce will be courtside. If football is more your thing check out Giants Stadium. Don’t forget about the Yankees! They have a brand new stadium up in the Bronx that is a site to see in itself.
Most people who come to NYC will see a Broadway show at some point. An insider trick is to grab your tickets at the TKTS Booth in Time Square, but all locals know there is another TKTS Booth at South Street Seaport that has about ¼ the line. Plus, at South Street Seaport they don’t sell out as quickly and you can enjoy and incredible views of the Brooklyn Bridge while you wait. If you come to NYC for theater, join The Theater Development Fund for huge discounts on last minute shows.
As a New Yorker, I have to admit, I have a bit of a personal bias against Time Square. It’s loud, crowded and full of slow walking tourists. That being said, I have to admit, It’s a pretty incredible sight the first time you see it. The bright lights, giant crowds and comically large retail stores can be a spectacular sight for someone not used to big city living. Pop into the American Eagle store for a chance to get your picture projected on the big screen outside the store. This is the perfect opportunity for an Instagram worthy shot.
The Apollo Theater is located on 125th street in the heart of Harlem. It’s famous for being the place where dozens of famous acts were discovered. Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson both got their start under the bright lights of the Apollo. Go for Amateur night to see undiscovered performers compete for the chance to make it big.
Prospect Park is like Central Park’s edgier younger sister. Sure, Central Park is glamorous and glossy in all the magazines but Prospect Park is just as cool in a more funky downtown way. Grab a blanket to people watch all the hipsters or take a date to the zoo and relive your childhood for an afternoon.
Street Art in Bushwick
Bushwick is a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn that has become a mecca for incredible street art. As artists were forced out of NYC’s historic Fivepointz last year, street art in Bushwick has soared. If you aren’t sure where to go you can book a free tour with Free Tours by Foot.
The Box is one of those places that everyone in New York has heard a story about. Everyone has a friend of a friend who saw the naked guy eating pizza covered in plastic clothespins. Or knows the girl who did the aerial silks act with nothing but pasties on. The box is a nightclub known for its burlesque-circus style freak-show. If you can get past the velvet rope, you’ll be in for a night like no other.
Christopher street is the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement. For the last 50 years, this neighborhood has been a safe haven for the queer community. Stop at Stonewall, Yes, I’m talking about THE Stonewall. Every LGBT person visiting NYC should see the Stonewall as a tourist destination and pillar of our community. But let’s be real, while it does have some fascinating history, it also is a bar. A bar that has a great casual atmosphere with pool tables and an upstairs dancing area. Head upstairs on a Friday night, it’ll be packed with sweaty people breaking it down to a mix of pop and hip-hop.Don’t forget to check out the small memorial in the triangle park out front. After you visit Stonewall make your way down to what remains of the Christopher street pier and send out thoughts of thanks to the folks who fought for our rights before it was popular to do so.
Lips is a delightfully campy and a tiny bit tacky drag restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Honestly, I’d be disappointed if a drag themed restaurant wasn’t camp and tacky. Lips is a one part American restaurant and two parts drag show where all the performers are drag queens. If you’re really in for a treat go on a Sunday when the drag gospel choir takes us to church.
Leslie-Lohman Museum of LGBT Art
I recently wrote a review on the Leslie- Lohman Museum. You can find it here. That being said, I believe that this small museum is one of the most important LGBT cultural landmarks in NYC. The Leslie-Lohman Museum was built out of a need to preserve the history of the LGBT community during the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At the time, many people thought that AIDS was going to wipe out the population of queer people. Go to this museum, support our history and make a donation.
[This Website is offered and available to users who [are 18] years of age or older][,/ and] [reside in the United States or any of its territories or possessions]. By using this Website, you represent and warrant that you [are of legal age to form a binding contract with the Company and] meet all of the foregoing eligibility requirements. If you do not meet all of these requirements, you must not access or use the Website.]
Accessing the Website and Account Security
We reserve the right to withdraw or amend this Website, and any service or material we provide on the Website, in our sole discretion without notice. We will not be liable if for any reason all or any part of the Website is unavailable at any time or for any period. From time to time, we may restrict access to some parts of the Website, or the entire Website, to users, including registered users.
You are responsible for both:
- Making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to the Website.
If you choose, or are provided with, a user name, password, or any other piece of information as part of our security procedures, you must treat such information as confidential, and you must not disclose it to any other person or entity. You also acknowledge that your account is personal to you and agree not to provide any other person with access to this Website or portions of it using your user name, password, or other security information. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized access to or use of your user name or password or any other breach of security. You also agree to ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. You should use particular caution when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others are not able to view or record your password or other personal information.
Intellectual Property Rights
The Website and its entire contents, features, and functionality (including but not limited to all information, software, text, displays, images, video, and audio, and the design, selection, and arrangement thereof) are owned by the Company, its licensors, or other providers of such material and are protected by United States and international copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property or proprietary rights laws.
- Your computer may temporarily store copies of such materials in RAM incidental to your accessing and viewing those materials.
- You may store files that are automatically cached by your Web browser for display enhancement purposes.
- You may print [or download] one copy of a reasonable number of pages of the Website for your own personal, non-commercial use and not for further reproduction, publication, or distribution.
- If we provide desktop, mobile, or other applications for download, you may download a single copy to your computer or mobile device solely for your own personal, non-commercial use, provided you agree to be bound by our end user license agreement for such applications.
- If we provide social media features with certain content, you may take such actions as are enabled by such features.
You must not:
- Modify copies of any materials from this site.
- [Use any illustrations, photographs, video or audio sequences, or any graphics separately from the accompanying text.]
Delete or alter any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary rights notices from copies of materials from this site.
You must not access or use for any commercial purposes any part of the Website or any services or materials available through the Website.
[If you wish to make any use of material on the Website other than that set out in this section, please address your request to: Meg [at] EveryQueer [dot] com.
The Company name, the terms EveryQueer, the Company logo, and all related names, logos, product and service names, designs, and slogans are trademarks of the Company or its affiliates or licensors. You must not use such marks without the prior written permission of the Company. All other names, logos, product and service names, designs, and slogans on this Website are the trademarks of their respective owners.
- In any way that violates any applicable federal, state, local, or international law or regulation (including, without limitation, any laws regarding the export of data or software to and from the US or other countries).
- For the purpose of exploiting, harming, or attempting to exploit or harm minors in any way by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personally identifiable information, or otherwise.
- To transmit, or procure the sending of, any advertising or promotional material [without our prior written consent], including any “junk mail,” “chain letter,” “spam,” or any other similar solicitation.
- To impersonate or attempt to impersonate the Company, a Company employee, another user, or any other person or entity (including, without limitation, by using email addresses [or screen names] associated with any of the foregoing).
- To engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of the Website, or which, as determined by us, may harm the Company or users of the Website, or expose them to liability.
Additionally, you agree not to:
- Use the Website in any manner that could disable, overburden, damage, or impair the site or interfere with any other party’s use of the Website, including their ability to engage in real-time activities through the Website.
- Use any robot, spider, or another automatic device, process, or means to access the Website for any purpose, including monitoring or copying any of the material on the Website.
- Use any device, software, or routine that interferes with the proper working of the Website.
- Introduce any viruses, Trojan horses, worms, logic bombs, or other material that is malicious or technologically harmful.
- Attempt to gain unauthorized access to, interfere with, damage, or disrupt any parts of the Website, the server on which the Website is stored, or any server, computer, or database connected to the Website.
- Attack the Website via a denial-of-service attack or a distributed denial-of-service attack.
- Otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Website.
The Website may contain message boards, chat rooms, personal web pages or profiles, forums, bulletin boards, and other interactive features (collectively, “Interactive Services“) that allow users to post, submit, publish, display, or transmit to other users or other persons (hereinafter, “post“) content or materials (collectively, “User Contributions“) on or through the Website.
Any User Contribution you post to the site will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary. By providing any User Contribution on the Website, you grant us and [our affiliates and service providers, and each of their and] our [respective] licensees, successors, and assigns the right to use, reproduce, modify, perform, display, distribute, and otherwise disclose to third parties any such material [for any purpose/according to your account settings].
You represent and warrant that:
- You own or control all rights in and to the User Contributions and have the right to grant the license granted above to us and [our affiliates and service providers, and each of their and] our [respective] licensees, successors, and assigns.
You understand and acknowledge that you are responsible for any User Contributions you submit or contribute, and you, not the Company, have full responsibility for such content, including its legality, reliability, accuracy, and appropriateness.
We are not responsible or liable to any third party for the content or accuracy of any User Contributions posted by you or any other user of the Website.
Monitoring and Enforcement; Termination
We have the right to:
- Remove or refuse to post any User Contributions for any or no reason in our sole discretion.
- Disclose your identity or other information about you to any third party who claims that material posted by you violates their rights, including their intellectual property rights or their right to privacy.
- Take appropriate legal action, including without limitation, referral to law enforcement, for any illegal or unauthorized use of the Website.
Without limiting the foregoing, we have the right to cooperate fully with any law enforcement authorities or court order requesting or directing us to disclose the identity or other information of anyone posting any materials on or through the Website. YOU WAIVE AND HOLD HARMLESS THE COMPANY [AND ITS AFFILIATES, LICENSEES, AND SERVICE PROVIDERS] FROM ANY CLAIMS RESULTING FROM ANY ACTION TAKEN BY [THE COMPANY/ANY OF THE FOREGOING PARTIES] DURING, OR TAKEN AS A CONSEQUENCE OF, INVESTIGATIONS BY EITHER [THE COMPANY/SUCH PARTIES] OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES.
However, we [cannot/do not undertake to] review [all] material before it is posted on the Website, and cannot ensure prompt removal of objectionable material after it has been posted. Accordingly, we assume no liability for any action or inaction regarding transmissions, communications, or content provided by any user or third party. We have no liability or responsibility to anyone for performance or nonperformance of the activities described in this section.
These content standards apply to any and all User Contributions and use of Interactive Services. User Contributions must in their entirety comply with all applicable federal, state, local, and international laws and regulations. Without limiting the foregoing, User Contributions must not:
- Contain any material that is defamatory, obscene, indecent, abusive, offensive, harassing, violent, hateful, inflammatory, or otherwise objectionable.
- Promote sexually explicit or pornographic material, violence, or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age.
- Infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other intellectual property or other rights of any other person.
- Be likely to deceive any person.
- Promote any illegal activity, or advocate, promote, or assist any unlawful act.
- Cause annoyance, inconvenience, or needless anxiety or be likely to upset, embarrass, alarm, or annoy any other person.
- Impersonate any person or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person or organization.
- Involve commercial activities or sales, such as contests, sweepstakes, and other sales promotions, barter, or advertising.
- Give the impression that they emanate from or are endorsed by us or any other person or entity, if this is not the case.
If you believe that any User Contributions violate your copyright, please see our Copyright Policy for instructions on sending us a notice of copyright infringement. It is the policy of the Company to terminate the user accounts of repeat infringers.
Reliance on Information Posted
The information presented on or through the Website is made available solely for general information purposes. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this information. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such materials by you or any other visitor to the Website, or by anyone who may be informed of any of its contents.
This Website [may include/includes] content provided by third parties, including materials provided by other users, bloggers, and third-party licensors, syndicators, aggregators, and/or reporting services. All statements and/or opinions expressed in these materials, and all articles and responses to questions and other content, other than the content provided by the Company, are solely the opinions and the responsibility of the person or entity providing those materials. These materials do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Company. We are not responsible, or liable to you or any third party, for the content or accuracy of any materials provided by any third parties.
Changes to the Website
We may update the content on this Website from time to time, but its content is not necessarily complete or up-to-date. Any of the material on the Website may be out of date at any given time, and we are under no obligation to update such material.
Information About You and Your Visits to the Website
Online Purchases and Other Terms and Conditions
Linking to the Website and Social Media Features
You may link to our homepage, provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage our reputation or take advantage of it, but you must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval, or endorsement on our part[ without our express [written] consent]. This Website may provide certain social media features that enable you to:
- Link from your own or certain third-party websites to certain content on this Website.
- Send emails or other communications with certain content, or links to certain content, on this Website.
- Cause limited portions of content on this Website to be displayed or appear to be displayed on your own or certain third-party websites.
You may use these features solely as they are provided by us [,/ and] solely with respect to the content they are displayed with[,] [and otherwise in accordance with any additional terms and conditions we provide with respect to such features]. Subject to the foregoing, you must not:
- Establish a link from any website that is not owned by you.
- Cause the Website or portions of it to be displayed on, or appear to be displayed by, any other site, for example, framing, deep linking, or in-line linking.
- Link to any part of the Website other than the homepage.
You agree to cooperate with us in causing any unauthorized framing or linking immediately to stop. We reserve the right to withdraw linking permission without notice.
We may disable all or any social media features and any links at any time without notice in our discretion.
Links from the Website
If the Website contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your convenience only. This includes links contained in advertisements, including banner advertisements and sponsored links. We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources, and accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them. If you decide to access any of the third-party websites linked to this Website, you do so entirely at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such websites.
The owner of the Website is based in the State of New York in the United States. We provide this Website for use only by persons located in the United States. We make no claims that the Website or any of its content is accessible or appropriate outside of the United States. Access to the Website may not be legal by certain persons or in certain countries. If you access the Website from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.
Disclaimer of Warranties
You understand that we cannot and do not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading from the internet or the Website will be free of viruses or other destructive code. You are responsible for implementing sufficient procedures and checkpoints to satisfy your particular requirements for anti-virus protection and accuracy of data input and output, and for maintaining a means external to our site for any reconstruction of any lost data. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PROVIDED BY LAW, WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE CAUSED BY A DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE ATTACK, VIRUSES, OR OTHER TECHNOLOGICALLY HARMFUL MATERIAL THAT MAY INFECT YOUR COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, COMPUTER PROGRAMS, DATA, OR OTHER PROPRIETARY MATERIAL DUE TO YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR ANY SERVICES OR ITEMS OBTAINED THROUGH THE WEBSITE OR TO YOUR DOWNLOADING OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON IT, OR ON ANY WEBSITE LINKED TO IT.
YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE, ITS CONTENT, AND ANY SERVICES OR ITEMS OBTAINED THROUGH THE WEBSITE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE WEBSITE, ITS CONTENT, AND ANY SERVICES OR ITEMS OBTAINED THROUGH THE WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS, WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. NEITHER THE COMPANY NOR ANY PERSON ASSOCIATED WITH THE COMPANY MAKES ANY WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION WITH RESPECT TO THE COMPLETENESS, SECURITY, RELIABILITY, QUALITY, ACCURACY, OR AVAILABILITY OF THE WEBSITE. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, NEITHER THE COMPANY NOR ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH THE COMPANY REPRESENTS OR WARRANTS THAT THE WEBSITE, ITS CONTENT, OR ANY SERVICES OR ITEMS OBTAINED THROUGH THE WEBSITE WILL BE ACCURATE, RELIABLE, ERROR-FREE, OR UNINTERRUPTED, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, THAT OUR SITE OR THE SERVER THAT MAKES IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS, OR THAT THE WEBSITE OR ANY SERVICES OR ITEMS OBTAINED THROUGH THE WEBSITE WILL OTHERWISE MEET YOUR NEEDS OR EXPECTATIONS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PROVIDED BY LAW, THE COMPANY HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, STATUTORY, OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, AND FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
THE FOREGOING DOES NOT AFFECT ANY WARRANTIES THAT CANNOT BE EXCLUDED OR LIMITED UNDER APPLICABLE LAW.
Limitation on Liability
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PROVIDED BY LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL THE COMPANY, ITS AFFILIATES, OR THEIR LICENSORS, SERVICE PROVIDERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OFFICERS, OR DIRECTORS BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, UNDER ANY LEGAL THEORY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE WEBSITE, ANY WEBSITES LINKED TO IT, ANY CONTENT ON THE WEBSITE OR SUCH OTHER WEBSITES, INCLUDING ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PERSONAL INJURY, PAIN AND SUFFERING, EMOTIONAL DISTRESS, LOSS OF REVENUE, LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS OR ANTICIPATED SAVINGS, LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF GOODWILL, LOSS OF DATA, AND WHETHER CAUSED BY TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), BREACH OF CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF FORESEEABLE.
Governing Law and Jurisdiction
Limitation on Time to File Claims
Waiver and Severability
Your Comments and Concerns
This website is operated by EveryQueer located in Brooklyn, NY. All notices of copyright infringement claims should be sent to the copyright agent designated in our Copyright Policy in the manner and by the means set out therein. All other feedback, comments, requests for technical support, and other communications relating to the Website should be directed to: [email protected]
Lesbian literature is an extensive genre-spanning over 2,500 years. Though the ancient Grecian poet Sappho is credited with producing the earliest forms of lesbian writing, the genre as we know it today began taking shape in the 19th century. Works from this period relied heavily on subtext and most often ended in heartache or tragedy, while the early 20th century saw the arrival of specific references to lesbianism in literature. The Well of Loneliness, published in 1928, is considered the first English language novel with explicitly lesbian themes. Lesbian literature surged in popularity during the ’50s and ’60s with the publication of pulp fiction novels and Women’s Barracks, Tereska Torres’ dime-store novel about World War II was the first of its kind. The foundational texts of lesbian literature were written in the latter 20th century. Today, the genre has expanded to include a more diverse and intersectional representation.
Overwhelmed with the myriad of great titles to choose from? Hungry for more lesbian literature? Use this list to find the best lesbian books in any genre.
Lesbian Fiction Books
The Price of Salt (1952) – Patricia Highsmith
The critically acclaimed film Carol is based on The Price of Salt, one of the earliest lesbian romance novels with a happy ending. In a tale of infatuation at first sight, discontent department store worker Therese is instantly enamored with Carol, an elegant older woman who purchases a doll for her daughter. Carol leaves her address so the doll may be delivered which Therese uses to send Carol a Christmas card. Carol, who is in the midst of a bitter divorce, responds. As Carol and Therese begin spending time together, their attraction intensifies.
The Color Purple (1982) – Alice Walker
Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a poor girl living in the rural South under bitter conditions. Celie is abused by her father then married off to another abusive man, Mister. Mister’s mistress, a sultry jazz singer named Shug, comes to stay with Celie and Mister while recovering from an illness. Celie and Shug develop an intimate relationship.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987) – Fannie Flagg
While visiting her mother-in-law in an Alabama nursing home, bored housewife Evelyn Couch strikes up a friendship with Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly resident. Ninny tells Evelyn about her childhood in the 1920s when Ruth Jamison, a pious and proper young woman came to live with the Threadgoodes in order to tame rambunctious tomboy Idgie. Idgie and Ruth become inseparable and develop an unspoken attraction. To Idgie’s dismay, Ruth must leave Whistle Stop at the end of summer to marry Frank Bennett. Years later, Idgie and Ruth reconnect.
Stone Butch Blues (1993) – Leslie Feinberg
Jess struggles to navigate life as a butch lesbian in1970s upstate New York. She finds refuge and community in gay bars and is taken under the wings of older butches. Cops raid the bar, harass and arrest everyone inside, and the bar closes down leaving Jess homeless. In a harrowing tale of survival, Jess searches for another place to fit in and finds herself along the way.
Fingersmith (2002) – Sarah Waters
Sarah Waters is a prolific writer of lesbian historical fiction. Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet, her two most prominent works, were adapted into BBC mini-series. Fingersmith follows Sue, a pickpocketing orphan raised on the streets of Victorian London. One night, she is approached by a con man who seeks her assistance in defrauding the heiress Maud Lilly and having her committed to an insane asylum. Sue agrees and poses as a maid to gain Maud’s trust. When they form an unexpected bond, Sue begins regretting her involvement in the con man’s scheme, but it may be too late.
Sing You Home (2011) – Jodi Picoult
Zoe and her husband Max want to have a baby but are unable to conceive. They try in vitro fertilization and give up after multiple unsuccessful attempts. The couple’s fertility issues strain their marriage leading to divorce. Later, Zoe meets Vanessa Shaw. The two women fall in love, get married, and decide to have children using the frozen embryos from Zoe’s previous marriage. But first, they need permission from Max, now a born again Christian uncomfortable with his ex-wife’s new relationship.
Young Adult Lesbian Books
Annie on my Mind (1982) – Nancy Garden
Annie on my Mind was one of the first young adult books to portray a lesbian love story between teenagers. Annie and Liza are two seventeen-year-olds coming of age in New York City. Annie lives in an upscale neighborhood and attends a private school while Liza comes from a lower-class background. Despite their differences, Annie and Liza meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on one fateful rainy day and fall in love.
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (1985) – Jeanette Winterson
Though not a memoir, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is semi-autobiographical and details Jeanette’s experience coming of age in an evangelical household in England. Because of her staunchly religious upbringing, Jeanette is an outcast at school. She begins a relationship with another girl which makes her an outcast at church as well and complicates her feelings about faith.
Keeping You A Secret (2003) – Julie Anne Peters
Peters is a well known YA writer whose books feature LGBT characters. Other prominent titles include Luna, Between Mom and Jo, and Rage: A Love Story. In the novel, 17-year-old Holland is crushing her senior year of high school—she has a great boyfriend; she’s Student Council President, and she’s headed to an Ivy League. But the arrival of new girl CeCe makes Holland question everything.
The House You Pass on the Way (2003) – Jacqueline Woodson
Staggerlee has never fit in: she’s biracial in a predominantly black town and her grandparents were killed in an infamous racist bombing. As a result of unwanted attention, Staggerlee is quiet and keeps to herself. All that changes when Trout, her outspoken cousin, comes to visit. They spend a transformative summer together helping each other come to terms with their identities.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2012) – Emily M. Danforth
In 1990’s Montana, 12-year-old Cameron Post loses her parents in a car crash and is taken in by her religious aunt and grandmother. While processing her parents’ death, Cameron begins questioning her sexuality and falls in love with her best friend Coley Taylor. Cameron’s conservative aunt finds out and resorts to drastic measures in order to “fix” Cameron. The novel was turned into a 2018 film which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
Lesbian Fantasy Books
Ash (2009) – Malinda Lo
A dazzling retelling of Cinderella, Ash is the story of a teenage girl forced to live with her cruel stepmother after her father’s death. Ash finds solace in fairy tales and wishes a fairy would steal her away. One night, she is approached by a fairy prince with the power to grant her wish, but the next morning she meets the King’s Huntress Kaisa and falls quickly in love with her. Now, Ash is faced with a difficult decision: go with the fairy prince or stay with Kaisa. A prequel, Huntress, is set in the same universe.
Of Fires and Stars (2016) – Audrey Coulthurst
Denna has been betrothed to the prince of Mynaria since childhood, but she has the ability to conjure fire which and magic is forbidden in Mynaria. As future queen, Denna must learn to ride warhorses and her teacher is none other than her betrothed’s sister: Mare. Denna and Mare do not get along, but when an assassin strikes, they must team up for the fate of the kingdom.
Lesbian Vampire Books
Carmilla (1872) – Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Carmilla is one of the earliest vampire stories, even predating Dracula. When a mysterious girl named Carmilla arrives in town unexpectedly, Austrian teenager Laura is happy to have a new friend. The two become close, but Carmilla’s sudden mood changes and refusal to divulge anything about her past drives a wedge between them. Meanwhile, girls in nearby towns are dying from an unusual ailment. The book inspired the popular lesbian web series Carmilla and a movie of the same name. The entire novella can be read online at Project Gutenberg.
The Gilda Stories (1991) – Jewelle Gomez
Told through a series of vignettes, The Gilda Stories depicts the many lives of a black lesbian vampire over a 200 year period from 1850 to 2050. The novel won two Lambda Literary Awards, one in fiction and one in science fiction.
Lesbian Comic Books
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2007) – Alison Bechdel
Adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Fun Home is a graphic memoir of Bechdel’s relationship with her emotionally distant father who ran the town’s funeral home. When her father dies mysteriously, Bechdel uncovers his hidden gay past while also discovering her own sexuality. Bechdel is the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Other works include a second graphic memoir Are You My Mother and Dykes to Watch Out For, a lesbian comic strip that ran for 25 years.
Lumberjanes (2014) – Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson
In this comic book series, Lumberjane Scouts Mal, Ripley, Molly, April, and Jo realize they got more than bargained for when they discover mythical creatures and supernatural phenomena at summer camp. The gang decides to solve the mystery of these strange occurrences, earning scout badges along the way. Noelle Stevenson is also behind Nimona, a sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel about a mad scientist’s shapeshifting sidekick.
Lesbian Romance Novels
When Katie Met Cassidy (2018) – Camille Perri
Successful lawyer Katie Cassidy must reevaluate her ideal of a perfect life when her fiance suddenly dumps her. Reeling from the breakup, Katie agrees to have after-work drinks with a coworker, the confident and dapper Cassidy. Katie and Cassidy push each other out of their comfort zones and a sexy game of cat and mouse ensues.
The Gravity Between Us (2013) – Kristen Zimmer
Payton and Kendall have been best friends since childhood, but Kendall is a rising starlet poised to become Hollywood’s next “it” girl. To keep herself grounded, Kendall moves Payton to Hollywood with her. Payton has been harboring a secret: she is in love with Kendall and terrified her feelings won’t be reciprocated. Payton must pluck up the courage to confess her feelings even if it might ruin the friendship they both cherish.
Lesbian Short Stories
Her Body and Other Parties (2018) – Carmen Maria Machado
A lyrical debut combining multiple genres of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, fabulism), this collection uses magical realism to center women and their experiences in society. Each story examines what’s inflicted upon women’s bodies whether it’s sexuality and sensuality or violation and violence.
Trash: Stories (2002) – Dorothy Allison
In this collection, Allison interrogates the South’s troubled history with evangelicalism, social class, racism, sexism, and homophobia in raw and realistic detail. These stories offer a visceral portrait of heartache and humanity’s darkest impulses that are difficult to encounter but impossible to ignore. Allison is also the author of the novel Bastard out of Carolina.
New Lesbian Books
The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) (2018) – Amy Spalding
Out 17-year-old Abby Ives runs a plus-size fashion blog and dreams of making it big in the fashion world. When she has the opportunity to intern at her favorite boutique over the summer, Abby feels like her dreams are finally coming true. Complicating matters, Abby starts crushing on Jordi Perez, a fellow intern she’s competing against for a paid position at the boutique.
Stray City (2018) – Chelsey Johnson
After a drunken hookup with a man, 24-year-old Andrea Morales discovers she is pregnant. Though her tight-knit group of queer friends express concern, Andrea decides to keep the baby. 10 years later, Andrea’s daughter Lucia wants to know more about her father.
Empress of the World (2003) – Sara Ryan
Nicola attends the Seigel Institute, a college preparatory summer program and quickly fits in with a group of new friends. Nic is inexplicably drawn to one of them, the beautiful Battle Hall Davies, and their dynamic soon evolves from friends to something more.
Queens of Geek (2017) – Jen Wilde
Three best friends and proud geeks attend the popular fan convention SupaCon. Charlie, a vlogger and actress who just had a public breakup with her costar Reese has her eyes set on the con’s surprise guest: Alyssa Huntington.
Photography plays an important part in documenting the experiences of queer people. LGBT photographers have documented everything from the biggest touchpoints of the queer rights movement all the way through the tiniest most intimate details of our journey to create families of choice. Media representation of our community hasn’t always been as accessible as it is now – keep in mind that it wasn’t until the 90s that we even saw LGBT characters on TV. The LGBT photographers on our list today have given our community the gift of access to millions of queer people from every walk of life. These photographers have allowed us to see ourselves reflected in the media we consume. There’s immense power in seeing yourself reflected- not only does it allow us to see the diversity and nuance in our people, but it also gives us models of hope for our future.
View this post on Instagram
Grace Chu is a 2018 Brooklyn Nightlife Awards Winner Best Photographer. Official photographer of Reykjavik Pride 2018 and 2019. House of Yes, Hot Rabbit, Ellis, Whitney Day Events, Babetown, Alexander Wang, and more. Grace loves capturing anything with movement and exuberance. Grace says the best part of her job is capturing happiness, letting go of inhibitions and ferocity, because this world can be a rigid and unhappy place. Getting the shot for the performers in queer nightlife, because they put so much time into their craft and looks that they should be documented and recorded. Traveling abroad for shoots and making new friends. Really, all of it. Grace’s tips for hiring a photographer are “I’m just going to put out the obligatory heads up to anyone wanting an outdoor shoot in NYC, which is one of the most crowded places in the world: the best time for an outdoor shoot is early in the morning right after sunrise. Yes, I know it is early, but if you want excellent lighting you have two choices when it is sunny: right after sunrise, or right before sunset. Everyone wants a shoot at an iconic public place in NYC, such as Central Park or Brooklyn Bridge, but if you go during sunset, groups of tourists will be in them taking the exact same shots. So if you want other people taking selfies in your special photo or photo-bombing, choose sunset. They have every right to use a public place as you do. So if you’re fine with a bunch of strangers potentially making funny faces or scratching their butt in the background, by all means, go at sunset. But if you want it all to yourself, choose sunrise. If you can’t get up early, then choose a place off the beaten path.”
View this post on Instagram
Jamie Thrower is the owner and Queer femme photographer at Studio XIII Photography, an LGBTQ photography studio. In addition to being a published photographer, she is an avid traveler, writer and loves combining activism and photography whenever possible. She lives in Portland, OR with her wife, their dog and cat, and chickens named after L-word characters. Yes, really. Jamie loves photographing people. Whether it’s couples or a family or an individual– there’s a humbling power in being able to photograph and capture someone’s essence and energy. I get to bring my most creative self and document what I see— I love tapping into all the feels. Jamie says the best part of her job is “I love telling Queer love stories. I love telling family love stories, romantic love stories, and self-love stories. Being able to capture my community in such a vulnerable and special way is something that feels so incredibly humbling to me. I get to meet so many wonderful people through my job and share in the magic that is being a part of the LGBTQ community. I couldn’t feel more lucky to connect to my community in this way.” Jamie’s tips for hiring a photographer “Find someone whose work you connect with deeply. Don’t think about whether or not it’s trendy, or the photographer has 10 or 10K followers— find someone whose work makes you feel something. Find someone whose lens you want to be seen with.” Upcoming for Jamie is “I’m hoping to continue my Studio XIII Stripped sessions and do more creative portrait sessions for members of the Queer community. I have big dreams of publishing a book someday :)”
View this post on Instagram
Matthew Schueller is a travel photographer from Portland Oregon who focuses on portraiture and LGBTQ+ lifestyle works. Alongside his husband, Michael they travel the world together to find the best of the best in LGBTQ+ hotels, tours, and locations. Matthew went to school for photography in Seattle, worked for a Peruvian nonprofit after graduating, and resettled in the Pacific North West to work in social media and travel in 2018. When they aren’t traveling together, Michael works as a dentist locally and Matthew writes for a men’s wedding publication. Matthew says his favorite photography to shoot is “Portraits and journalistic style travel photography. I love getting into a new environment and exploring it through photograph”. Matthew says “The absolute best part of my job is meeting people around the world that I surprisingly fall in love with. Whenever traveling to a new place, it’s bound that there will be new people there. What’s unexpected, is that over time and through mutual experiences, all of the walls that we put up in everyday life seem to come down and the people we are surrounded with become our best friends. I love that about travel… and in a working environment where we may be under pressure to capture content pertaining to a specific assignment, working together it sometimes feels like I’m inheriting a new family. Travel and photography are incredible and can be super difficult things, but what makes it all worth it, in the end, are the people I meet along the way. It’s the most unexpected, surprising, and outright craziest thing I’m grateful for. I’ve met people along the way that I couldn’t possibly imagine my life without.” And his advice for couples looking to hire a photographer “Make sure you get along well with your photographer! A personal connection between the photographer and their subjects is super important when creating art together, plus having someone alongside that you love hanging with is always amazing when experiencing something together! Another tip is to make sure you like their photographic style! Photographers have a huge variety of styles from super informal candid photos to extremely curated and polished extravagant scenes. Questions to ask yourself are, “What am I looking for in professional photography, what is my personal style I’d like communicated, and what will these photographs be used for.?” You can find that some photographers will allow flexibility when editing photographs and others may have a strict formula. Depending on the purpose, marketing, brand or even personal use of the photographs you’re looking to get, these are all important questions and conversations to have with your photographer prior to hiring.” What Matthew has planned for upcoming projects “The nature of the beast is that this job is completely different from one week to another. A lot of the time I have no idea what’s happening next! Currently, I’m looking forward to a few projects next year that are going to bring Michael and me from Scotland to Italy, to Greece! I’m excited to continue working with the publications I consult and write for, and I’m ecstatic about the potential of developing a long-term project with a tour company abroad!”
View this post on Instagram
Tess Harrison is just a small town girl chasing her dream of capturing all the beauty that life gives us. Tess shoots boudoir and landscape photography. When asked about the best part of their job, Tess says, “The very best part of this job is getting to restore peoples self-image. When they see the final product, it’s almost if they’re falling in love with themselves all over again. Seeing their faces light up is the best feeling ever.” And Tess’ advice for couples looking to hire a photographer is “No matter what kind of shoot you’re booking, always get a feel for your photographer beforehand. If you’re not fully comfortable with your photographer then the photos will definitely reflect it!” Tess also stated she has planned upcoming projects. “I’m starting a little themed photography series. I also just booked a shoot for the Hooters calendar auditions.”
View this post on Instagram
Kelly Balch is a Queer international wedding and editorial photographer and loves photographing couples of any kinds in any kind of love, lust, or desire. The best part of Kelly’s job is “The connecting of spirits and capturing human experiences and feelings.” Kelly’s advice for hiring a photographer is “First look at my work, look how I edit and capture emotion. If you like it then reach out and meetup. The deciding factor is to see If we vibe and connect. Essentially I want all the people I photograph to be friends”. Kelly has this planned for upcoming projects “My upcoming project that I have is a collaboration with a queer artist who paints raw emotion while she is bare and raw. We will be collaborating on art pieces and my photography and will be showing it in an Los Angeles gallery come spring 2020.”
View this post on Instagram
I’m Steph Grant. Owner of Steph Grant Studios (a global, full-service media agency owned and operated by a powerhouse team of LGBTQ+ creatives. Specializing in bringing your business to life through a compelling compilation of rich video production and show-stopping imagery) and Founder of the Promote Love Movement (a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community raised in a religious environment to connect and share their stories). I believe in the importance of being visible and vocal for those in our community who cannot. Sharing our stories can change minds and softens hearts. I have experienced this firsthand through my work as a photographer and during my own coming out process. It’s so rewarding to have complete strangers say that they felt like they had a front row seat at the events that I have shot or that after seeing my images and stories they can no longer support their stance against the LGBTQ+ community. Random Facts: Known for being the first LGBTQ+ Wedding photographer in the industry and for photographing the first lesbian Indian wedding in the US which went viral in 2013 with 81K people on my site in 1 day. Recognized on the Senate floor in CA in 2018 for my work with the LGBTQ+ community. Spoke on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community at a Google event & Rebelution Resurge in NYC…where I was asked to share my story and engage in conversations surrounding inclusion and representation in the wedding industry. Was the face of Fossil’s 2019 Pride Campaign and was asked to share my story for their social media campaign. Featured in “Proud Women: A Collection of Women Who are Proud to Represent the LGBTQ+ Community.” Steph’s favorite kind of photography is portraits and says the best part of their job is “The people. And that it’s always a wild adventure that keeps me on my toes.” Steph’s tips for looking to hire a photographer are “Have a Skype chat with your photographer and see how you vibe. You’ll be with them most on your wedding day… it needs to feel effortless.” Steph’s upcoming projects include “Launching StephGrant.com in 2020. It’s my new brand site with fresh content and the story of my last 10 years in business! It’s important to see the progress. I believe it helps others relate and also helps me take some time to sit back and be proud of my accomplishments.”
Tara Beth Robertson
View this post on Instagram
Tara Robertson is the owner of Tara Beth Photography and an LGBTQIA+ Destination Wedding Photographer. Tara’s favorite kind of photography is all kinds of love! Any love! Love, Love, Love! Tara says the best part of her job is “Being able to celebrate two people in love every weekend! What could be better than that, all the while creating art? It’s incredible.” For upcoming projects, Tara says “I’m diving into my 2020 wedding season! The whole year is a project!” Tara’s advice for those looking to hire a photographer are “Fall in love with them! Make sure that you are excited about them + their work. Make sure that you trust them as well. You shouldn’t feel the need to give them a “shot list” if you trust that your photographer has it covered. Also, it helps if their personality matches yours!” Tara will be diving into the 2020 wedding season! The whole year is a project!
View this post on Instagram
Erica Camille is an LGBT wedding photographer based in NYC and SE Asia. Erica’s favorite kind of photography is candid moments at weddings and parties and travel. Erica says the best part of the job is “Knowing that people actually care about my photos, they mean something to my clients. And on a personal level – how much freedom it’s given me as a career.” For upcoming projects, Erica says, “I’m photographing an intimate music festival in Thailand in March. Colours of Love at Baba Beach Club in Phuket.” Erica’s advice for those looking for a photographer is “Ask to see full galleries, don’t skip hiring a photographer because your friend offered to take pictures, and make sure they have back up equipment.”
View this post on Instagram
Eden Estes is a queer, gender diverse, published photographer who specializes in fashion, runway, political, editorial work. Eden loves making people see in themselves what the world already does! Eden’s favorite kind of photography is editorial. Their favorite part about the job is “Meeting new people, especially the queer community around me. I love hearing others stories and they often tell me and it opens up our vulnerability to each other and creates a safe and comfortable space to create art, no matter the style.” When asked about upcoming projects, Eden says, “I was asked to be a campaign photographer for a queer woman politician running for office. I am organizing a very diverse, designer runway focusing mainly, and only on designers, models, business owners, and artists of color. I am dipping my toes into videography for a political project as well as began managing several queer models.” Eden’s advice for those looking to hire a photographer “Find someone who’s work represents everything you envision. Cost plays a factor but these will last forever. Sometimes some things are worth saving up for. I think memorable photos are one.”
View this post on Instagram
I’m Debbie Lemonte but you can call be DJ. I am an NYC/NJ-based wedding, portrait, and lifestyle photographer. This epic journey all started when my close friend gifted me my first camera, a Canon T3i. After graduating with a degree in Dance and Psychology, I focused my passion for both studies & infused it with my love for art, thrusting myself full-time into learning photography & building a business. I believe photography is a powerful and transformative art form and everyone deserves quality photography service while capturing a special day. I use my charisma, genuine spirit, and flexibility to help my clients feel warm & comfortable while enjoying a personable experience in front of the camera. My work has been featured on NBC News, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, The Cut, Refinery29, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, DapperQ, to name a few. Weddings and Elopements are Debbie’s Favorite kind of photography. Debbie says Meeting new people and learning new culture is their favorite part of the job! Upcoming, Debbie will be “I’ll be restarting my Queer Couples Project as well as my We Are Queens project. My focus on each project is to include only folks within the LGBTQIA company as my subjects from various walks of life, regardless of race or body size.” When asked for advice about hiring a photographer, Debbie says, “Always choose someone you have chemistry with & work you’re familiar with. It’ll make the day less stressful.”
View this post on Instagram
Fabulous Femme, Noelle Rappleyea was born into the business of wedding photography. Her Mother has been capturing beautiful moments for as long as she can remember. By age 10 she had a camera of her own and by age 16 she was equipped with the skills to start capturing weddings. Over ten years have passed since that first wedding and this New York-based photographer has carved out her own path in the industry. Her work has been featured in The Knot, Premier Bride, Get Married, Inside Weddings, and Wedding Style. She does an incredible job capturing the joy, raw excitement of her guests. Weddings, engagements, maternity shoots, and anything in between Noelle is ready to grab her camera and help capture the magic in every moment.