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  • Nic F. Anderson

12 LGBTQ+ Books Coming in 2023

A myriad of queer books came out in 2022 and are coming out this year. Queer on the Street was approved for advanced reader copies and will be post reviews over the next few weeks. Here's a sneak peak of our agenda:

Becoming Emily Novak by Audrey Beth Stein

Releasing on Jan. 31, 2023

Publisher Description: “A coming-of-age novel about a queer Jewish girl who finds her calling through the camera lens… and about the family that shapes her. Emily Novak's younger brother Zack is the rebellious one in their family. Ivy-League-bound Emily witnesses Zack's journey from behind her camera, cowed by the weight of her parents' confusing expectations and the aftermath of an extended family schism she doesn't want to think about. An unexpected college heartbreak with a woman sends Emily even further into a cocoon. As Emily struggles over two decades to find the courage to make her own choices, she observes that her brother's adventures are bringing him a confidence that she envies. She's also aware of the rising cost of Zack's decisions... as well as her own. Can Emily find a way to be faithful to both herself and the people she loves most? And if she dares to ask the questions, stand her ground, and let her heart open again, might she even find something good?”

Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni

Releasing on Feb. 2, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “When Nar’s boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her a San Francisco bar, she realises it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance. Enter her mother who wants Nar to settle down with a nice Armenia boy. Armed with a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked men, she convinces Nar to attend 'Explore Armenia', a month-long festival of events in the city. But it’s not the parentally-approved playboy doctor or wealthy engineer who catches her eye - it’s Erebuni, a cool and intriguing young woman fully intouch with her heritage. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her guide, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure. Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual. ”

Am I Trans Enough? by Alo Johnston

Releasing on Feb. 21, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “Alo Johnston has been where you are. From watching every transition story on YouTube and navigating online message boards for answers to finally starting testosterone and transitioning himself, he now walks alongside you every step of the way to guide you towards acceptance of who you truly are. Born out of thousands of hours of research and conversations with hundreds of trans people, Am I Trans Enough? digs deep into internalized transphobia and the historical narratives that fuel it. It unveils what happens after you come out, or begin questioning living as a trans person, in a world that works against you. Use this book as a space to engage with your fears and explore your doubts without the pressure of needing to be a perfect trans representative. If you are just beginning your trans journey, are twenty years into transition or have no idea if you are even trans at all, this book will help you to become your most authentic self.”

Sounds Fake But Okay by Sarah Costello and Kayla Kaszyca

Releasing on Feb. 21, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “True Love. Third Wheels. Dick pics. 'Dying alone'. Who decided this was normal? Sarah and Kayla invite you to put on your purple aspec glasses - and rethink everything you thought you knew about society, friendship, sex, romance and more. Drawing on their personal stories, and those of aspec friends all over the world, prepare to explore your microlabels, investigate different models of partnership, delve into the intersection of gender norms and compulsory sexuality and reconsider the meaning of sex - when allosexual attraction is out of the equation. Spanning the whole range of relationships we have in our lives - to family, friends, lovers, society, our gender, and ourselves, this book asks you to let your imagination roam, and think again what human connection really is.”

Sounds Like Fun by Bryan Moriarty

Releasing on March 30, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “Eoin is doing great. He's 27, gainfully employed and in a long-term relationship with his boyfriend Rich. Okay, so his best friend Jax is diving into yet another disastrously bad relationship and Eoin's going to be the one dealing with the eventual fallout. And his boss at the café, Rebecca, seems to have vanished, so somehow Eoin's left managing the place. And to be honest, he's not got much else going on. But still, he's got his boyfriend Rich - steady, sensible and dependable Rich. That is, until Eoin's world is turned upside down when Rich announces that he wants an open relationship. Terrified of losing the man he loves, Eoin reluctantly agrees to this new arrangement, and stumbles into the world of dating with no strings attached. What could go wrong?”

The Way of the Cicadas by Audrey Henley

Releasing on April 4, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “An amnesiac survivor proves the outside’s habitability and spurs a group of bunker-borns on a gritty journey through an irradiated wasteland in this tense and poignant post-apocalyptic—perfect for fans of The 100 and Station Eleven. Ten years after nuclear war devastated the United States, Hayden is bored of the meager rations, recycled air, and sterile light of the bunker he’s called home since childhood. But when Brita, a mysterious woman with no long-term memory, becomes the first outsider to stumble upon the bunker, she proves to the underground city that the surface isn’t as hostile as those in power let on. Her arrival sets off a chain reaction that causes Hayden, Brita, and a handful of other residents to emerge. The outside world is teeming with life, but also with danger they never anticipated. After an outside survivor betrays the group, they’re imprisoned by a military faction with the key to Brita’s identity. For Hayden to save his friends, he must uncover a past Brita would rather never remember—along with secrets the bunker sheltered them from all these years.”

Biography of X by Catherine Lacey

Releasing on April 6, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “When X - an iconoclastic artist, writer and polarizing shape-shifter - dies suddenly, her widow, wild with grief, hurls herself into writing a biography of the woman she deified. Though X was recognised as a crucial creative force of her era, she kept a tight grip on her life story. Not even CM, her wife, knew where X had been born, and in her quest to find out, she opens a Pandora's box of secrets, betrayals and destruction. All the while she immerses herself in the history of the Southern Territory, a fascist theocracy that split from the rest of the country after World War II, as it is finally, in the present day, forced into an uneasy reunification. A masterfully constructed, counter-factual literary adventure, complete with original images assembled by X's widow, Biography of X follows a grieving wife seeking to understand the woman who enthralled her. CM traces X's peripatetic trajectory over decades, from Europe to the ruins of America's divided territories, and through her collaborations and feuds with everyone from David Bowie and Tom Waits to Susan Sontag and Kathy Acker. And when she finally understands the scope of X's defining artistic project, CM realises her wife's deceptions were far crueller than she imagined. Pulsing with suspense and intellect, Biography of X is a roaring epic that plumbs the depths of grief, art and love, and that introduces an unforgettable character who shows us the fallibility of the stories we craft for ourselves.”

Rosewater by Liv Little

Releasing on April 20, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “Elsie is a sexy, funny, and fiercely independent woman in South London. But, at just 28, she is also tired. Though she spends her days writing tender poetry in her journal, her nights are spent working long hours for minimum wage at a neighbourhood gay bar. The difficulty of being estranged from her family, struggle of being continually rejected from jobs, and fear of never making money doing what she loves, is too great. But Elsie is determined to keep the faith, for a little longer at least. Things will surely turn around. They have to. As she tries to breathe through the panic attacks, sleeping with her hot and spirited co-worker Bea isn't exactly straightforward and offers Elsie just another place to hide. As Elsie tries to reconnect with her best friend Juliet, her fragile world spirals out of control. Can Elsie steady herself and not fall through the cracks?”

Ace and Aro Journeys by The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project

Releasing on April 21, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “What does it mean to be ace or aro? How should I approach the challenges that come with being ace or aro? How can I best support the ace and aro people in my life? Join the The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project (TAAAP) for a deep dive into the process of discovering and embracing your ace and aro identities. Empower yourself to explore the nuances of your identity, find and develop support networks, explore different kinds of partnership, come out to your communities and find real joy within. Combining a rigorous exploration of identity and sexuality models with hundreds of candid and poignant testimonials - this companion vouches for your personal truth, wherever you lie on the aspec spectrum. You are not invisible! You are among friends.”

A Trans Man Walks Into a Gay Bar by Harry Nicholas

Releasing on May 18, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “After his relationship with his girlfriend of 5 years ended, Harry realised he was a single adult for the first time - not only that, but a single, transmasculine and newly out gay man. Despite knowing it was the right decision, the reality of his new situation was terrifying. How could he be a gay man, when he was still learning what it was to be a man? Would the gay community embrace him or reject him? What would gay sex be like? And most importantly, would finding love again be possible? In this raw, intimate and unflinchingly honest book, we follow Harry as he navigates the sometimes fraught and contradictory worlds of contemporary gay culture as a trans gay man, from Grindr, dating and gay bars, to saunas, sex and ultimately, falling in love. Harry's brave and uplifting journey will show you there is joy in finding who you are.”

Sunburn by Chloe Michelle Howarth

Releasing on June 22, 2023

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “It's the early 1990s, and in the Irish village of Crossmore, Lucy feels out of place. Despite her fierce friendships, she's always felt this way, and the conventional path of marriage and motherhood doesn't appeal to her at all. Not even with handsome and doting Martin, her closest childhood friend. Lucy begins to make sense of herself during a long hot summer, when a spark with her school friend Susannah escalates to an all-consuming infatuation, and, very quickly, to a desperate and devastating love. Fearful of rejection from her small and conservative community, Lucy begins living a double life, hiding the most honest parts of herself in stolen moments with Susannah. But with the end of school and the opportunity to leave Crossmore looming, Lucy must choose between two places, two people and two futures, each as terrifying as the other. But only one can offer her real happiness.”

Urbanshee by Siaara Freeman

Published Dec. 6, 2022

PUBLISHER DESCRIPTION: “Urbanshee is Siaara Freeman’s retelling of fairy tales and mythological stories through a modern and urban lens. This collection discusses the weight of being Black in America, Freeman’s relationships to lovers and family, and how the physical place you grew up can become part of your identity. Urbanshee expertly combines humor, fantasy, and raw emotion to create this astonishing reinvention of classic fables. Freeman’s poems are ventrously unique and are sure to enchant anyone who reads them.”

If you have any books you would like Queer on the Street to review, let us know in the comment section below.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Reviews on these books will come out in order of their publication date. Depending on how quickly Queer on the Street editors can get through books, some reviews may come out much sooner before the publication date.