List of LGBT characters in modern written fiction
This is a list of LGBT characters in modern written fiction. The historical concept and definition of sexual orientation varies and has changed greatly over time; for example the word "gay" wasn't used to describe sexual orientation until the mid 20th century. A number of different classification schemes have been used to describe sexual orientation since the mid-19th century, and scholars have often defined the term 'sexual orientation' in divergent ways. Indeed, several studies have found that much of the research about sexual orientation has failed to define the term at all, making it difficult to reconcile the results of different studies. However, most definitions include a psychological component (such as the direction of an individual's erotic desire) and/or a behavioral component (which focuses on the sex of the individual's sexual partner/s). Some prefer to simply follow an individual's self-definition or identity. See homosexuality and bisexuality for criteria that have traditionally denoted lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.
In a historical sense, literature as we understand it is a fairly new innovation, and the current concept of homosexuality is even fresher from the cultural oven. It's no great surprise, then, that gay literature — or even gay characters in literature — are so relatively new as to still be shiny. Nonetheless, there are gay characters that broke barriers and became cultural touchstones... —Kilian Meloy
Items listed here must have verifiable third-party sources commenting on the sexuality of the character(s) in question, and additional explanation may be necessary. Additionally, only notable/significant characters from a given work (which may have multiple LGBT characters) need to be listed here.
|Characters||Work||Year||Author||LGBTQ+ identities in story||Notes|
|Carmilla, a.k.a. Millarca, a.k.a. Countess Mircalla Karnstein||Carmilla||1872||Sheridan Le Fanu||Lesbian||Carmilla, published as part of the book, In a Glass Darkly, is considered the first lesbian vampire story. In this story, Laura, who lives with her father, meets Carmilla, and they form a close relationship, with Laura becoming ill as Carmilla draws nourishment from her.|
|A Marriage Below Zero||1889||Alan Dale||Gay||A Marriage Below Zero is considered to be the first English-language gay-themed novel.|
|Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania||1870||Bayard Taylor||Gay||Joseph and His Friend is considered to be the first gay-themed novel written by an American author.|
|Jacques Collin a.k.a. Vautrin a.k.a. Trompe-la-Mort||Père Goriot
Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes
|Honoré de Balzac||Gay||Appears in a total of five novels of Balzac's La Comédie humaine, two are cameo appearances; often considered the first openly homosexual character in French literature.|
|The Picture of Dorian Gray||1890||Oscar Wilde||Gay||In this novel, Basil has a "repressed homosexuality" while Dorian has his own ambivalence, meeting with male prostitutes, even proposing to Sybil Vane in an attempt to suppress his homosexual feelings.|
|Jack Saul||The Sins of the Cities of the Plain||1881||Anonymous||Gay||Jack is a male prostitute for other men, and also crossdresses; Sins is one of the earliest pieces of English-language pornography to explicitly and near-exclusively concern homosexuality.|
Camille de Grieux
|Teleny, or The Reverse of the Medal||1893||Anonymous; attributed to Oscar Wilde||Gay||Teleny and de Grieux engage in a passionate sexual/romantic affair; Teleny is one of the earliest pieces of English-language pornography to explicitly and near-exclusively concern homosexuality.|
|Amaro||Bom-Crioulo||1895||Adolfo Caminha||Gay||This story, which takes place in Brazil circa 1870, deals with an interracial gay relationship, with Amaro as an ensalved person, and his White partner is not.|
|Characters||Work||Year||Author||LGBTQ+ identities in story||Notes|
|Brigham Anderson||Advise and Consent||1959||Allen Drury||Bisexual||Married US senator Anderson is blackmailed over a secret wartime homosexual affair for which he is unapologetic.|
|Affinity||1999||Sarah Waters||Lesbian||Margaret, also called "Peggy" and "Aurora", is an unmarried woman from an upper-class family, becomes a visitor at the prison, and meets Selina, but she is a prisoner in her life, "dictated by gender rules and societal expectations, as Selina is in her physical cell." This novel is set in a women's prison in London, explores the "Victorian world of spiritualism," and won the Somerset Maugham Award for Lesbian and Gay Fiction. Like her first novel, Affinity contains overarching lesbian themes, and was acclaimed by critics on its publication, and later turned into a feature film.|
|Milo Sturgis||Alex Delaware series||1985–2017||Jonathan Kellerman||Gay||Milo is a gay character.|
|Renee LaRoche||Along the Journey River||1996||Carole LaFavor||Lesbian||Originally published in 1996, it is the first detective novel to have "an openly out Indigenous lesbian", the protagonist, Renee.|
|Luis Carruthers||American Psycho||1991||Bret Easton Ellis||Gay||Luis is in love with the male protagonist, but later marries Courtney.|
|Annie on My Mind||1982||Nancy Garden||Lesbian||This book is a retrospective by Liza, remembering her first semester at MIT, how she met Annie, struggled to recognize her lesbian identity, and they reaffirm their love for each other on the phone at the end of the book. Due to these themes, religious fundamentalists burned a copy of the book, a Kansas superintendent removed it from school libraries, and a lawsuit ensued, with a judge ruling on the side the ACLU, ordering the book to be returned to library shelves. The book is well-regarded as "canonical lesbian-coming-of-age novel."|
|Wes||The Arizona Kid||1988||Ron Koertge||Gay||Wes is a gay character.|
|An Arrow's Flight||1998||Mark Merlis||Gay||Pyrrhus and Philoctetes are gay characters.|
|Arrows of the Queen||1987||Mercedes Lackey||Lesbian
|Keren, a minor character, is life bonded to Ylsa and then Sherrill. Lackey, in making this book, took a stand, refusing the demand of an editor that Vanyel be "straight, or single, or not in the story," and as such he is a gay character.|
|The Beauty of Men||1996||Andrew Holleran||Gay||Lark and Becker are gay characters.|
|The Beebo Brinker Chronicles||1957–1960||Ann Bannon||Lesbian||These books focus on gay and lesbian love, sexual adventure, with a positive, "yet still complicated look at lesbian relationships," in all five of the books in this series. In the first book, Odd Girl Out, a college girl named Laura gets seduced by Beth, and in the next book, I Am A Woman, Laura goes to a bar and meets a butch lesbian, Beebo Brinker, and talks about coming out to her father. The following book, Women In The Shadows, the relationship between Laura and Beebo continues, while Laura's first girlfriend returns in Journey To A Woman, leading to a "drama-laden lesbian love triangle" of Beebo, Beth, and Laura. The next book, Beebo Brinker looks back to the formative years of Beebo.|
|The Bell Jar||1963||Sylvia Plath||Lesbian||The novel has a central relationship between Joan and Esther, and it addresses the question of socially acceptable identity, examining Esther's "quest to forge her own identity, to be herself rather than what others expect her to be" while highlighting the problems with oppressive patriarchal society in mid-20th century America. There was the 1979 film adaption of the book, and a lawsuit by Jane V. Anderson, claiming that she was not a lesbian and did not have a relationship with Sylvia Plath.|
|Blood of the Fold
Temple of the Winds
|Terry Goodkind||Lesbian||In these books, the two Mord-Sith are in a relationship with each other. Berdine comes out as a lesbian in the third book of this series, and says she loves Raina. This was later turned into a TV series, The Legend of the Seeker.|
|Aud Torvingen||The Blue Place||1998||Nicola Griffith||Lesbian||Aud Torvingen, an 18-year-old coming to the U.S., who is the daughter of a rich diplomat, rents an apartment near Atlanta, and becomes an Atlanta cop, but falls into passionate encounters. One of these encounters is with Julia. She remains a protagonist in the book's two sequels,Stay and Always, and becomes "one of the most human and intriguing lesbians in crime fiction."|
|Boy Culture||1995||Matthew Rettenmund||Gay||X (narrator's pseudonym) has sexual and romantic relationships with Andrew, Joe and other men.|
|Patrick "Kitten" Braden||Breakfast on Pluto||1998||Patrick McCabe||Trans||Braden is an Irish trans woman (and drag queen), with "transvestism...a defiant rejection of bigotry, labels, and borders" as one reviewer put it, with Braden refusing to confirm to sexual stereotypes and even flirting with a cop. Later turned into a motion picture, another reviewer noted the prevalence of the "Irish Troubles," with Kitten wrongly arrested and charged after a "bombing in a London disco."|
|Brideshead Revisited||1945||Evelyn Waugh||Gay|||
Ennis del Mar
|"Brokeback Mountain" (short story)||1997||Annie Proulx||Gay||Jack and Ennis have a long term sexual and romantic relationship despite both being married to women and fathering children. Jack also has sexual relationships with other men and a woman, while Ennis does not. Critics have described both men as gay or, variably, Jack as bisexual and Ennis as heterosexual.|
|Harold Hutchins||Captain Underpants series||1997–2015||Dav Pilkey||Gay|||
|The Charioteer||1953||Mary Renault||Gay|||
|Chocolates for Breakfast||1956||Pamela Moore||Bisexual||Courtney develops a crush on her female boarding school teacher, and later has a sexual relationship with Barry Cabot, her mother's bisexual friend who is in a relationship with a man.|
|The City and the Pillar||1946||Gore Vidal||Gay|||
|Nicholas Dawson||City of God: A Novel of the Borgias||1979||Cecelia Holland||Gay||Nicholas has "a penchant for other men", including the gruff but handsome Stefano Baglione, a heterosexual man who has sex with Nicholas for money.|
|Claudine at School||1902||Colette||Bisexual||Claudine is unfaithful to her husband, Renaud, having an affair with her friend Rézi, who herself has a secrete liaison with Renaud.|
|Danny Slocum||The Confessions of Danny Slocum||1980||George Whitmore||Gay|||
|Dancer from the Dance||1978||Andrew Holleran||Gay|||
|Dave Brandstetter||Dave Brandstetter Mysteries||1970–1991||Joseph Hansen||Gay|||
|Vladimir Harkonnen||Dune||1965||Frank Herbert||Gay||Harkonnen's sexual preference for men is implied in Dune and Children of Dune (1976), and presented more explicitly in the Prelude to Dune prequel trilogy (1999–2001) by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson.[a]|
|Dr. Ethan Urquhart||Ethan of Athos||1986||Lois McMaster Bujold||Gay||Obstetrician Ethan is from a future society on the planet Ethos where male homosexuality is the norm and most inhabitants have never even seen a woman in person.|
|A Fairly Honourable Defeat||1970||Iris Murdoch||Gay|||
|Alexander the Great
|Fire from Heaven
The Persian Boy
|Alexander is involved in a romantic sexual relationship with Hephaistion, and then the Persian slave Bagoas, but is also married three times and fathers a son. Both men are involved in romantic sexual relationships with Alexander the Great.|
|Darvish Shayrif Hakem||The Fire's Stone||1990||Tanya Huff||Bisexual||Darvish is willing to have sex with anyone, whether men or women.|
|Imogene "Idgie" Threadgoode
|Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe||1987||Fannie Flagg||Lesbian
|A friendship blossoms between Evelyn Couch, a middle-aged housewife, and Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly woman who lives in a nursing home, while her sister-in-law, Idgie, and her friend, Ruth, run a café. Idgie has a long-term romantic relationship with another woman. At the same time, Ruth is married to a man and bears his child, but subsequently has long-term romantic relationship with another woman. Although it is not explicitly labeled as a lesbian relationship, every resident both knows about and accepts Idgie and Ruth's relationship, making lesbianism a theme in the novel, while in the film adaptation, a story of Southern female friendship and love, Ruth had been in love with Buddy Threadgoode, Idgie's brother.|
|The Front Runner||1974||Patricia Nell Warren||Gay|||
|Giovanni's Room||1956||James Baldwin||Gay|||
| A God Against the Gods
Return to Thebes
|Allen Drury||Bisexual||Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten is married to Nefertiti, but his romance with his brother Smenkhkara contributes to his downfall.|
|Elinor "Lakey" Eastlake||The Group||1954||Mary McCarthy||Lesbian||Elinar is a lesbian and graduate from Vassar College in 1933, with the lives of the stories' protagonists involving the men in their lives. The Baroness is her lesbian lover, which her fellow seven female graduates realize when she returned from Europe. It was later adapted into a film in 1966.|
|Alluvia (Alice) Fairfax
|Gut Symmetries||1997||Jeanette Winterson||Bisexual||Alice has romantic and sexual relationships with both Stella and Stella's husband Jove.|
|Hallucinating Foucault||1996||Patricia Duncker||Gay||Openly homosexual writer, said to have many male lovers, including relationship with male main character/narrator.|
|Happy Endings Are All Alike||1978||Sandra Scoppettone||Lesbian||This young adult book is the first one with a "clearly lesbian main character," named Jaret Taylor who comes out in the book's first line: "Even though Jaret Tyler had no guilt or shame about her love affair with Peggy Danziger she knew there were plenty of people in this world who would put it down." Jaret, a future lawyer, endures hardship and discrimination but remains strong even as Peggy, her girlfriend, "wavers in the face of family and small-town prejudices." Scoppettone would go on to write a popular mystery novel series featuring a lesbian detective named Lauren Laurano.|
|Albus Dumbledore||Harry Potter series||1997–2007||J. K. Rowling||Gay||Though not stated explicitly in the novels, author Rowling said in interviews that the character is gay.|
|His Dark Materials||1995–2000||Philip Pullman||Gay|||
|Frank Berry||The Hotel New Hampshire||1981||John Irving||Gay|||
|The Hours||1998||Michael Cunningham||Gay
|In this novel, which has strong parallels with Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, Clarissa rejects a relationship with Richard, a gay man, for the love of her life, Sally, who is invigorated by this love. Louis is also Richard's former lover, with Richard later taking his own life, while Clarissa comes to a full realization of her own identity.|
|The Illusionist (Le rempart des Béguines)||1951||Françoise Mallet-Joris||Bisexual||Tamara has a romantic relationship with both Hélène and her father; Hélène prefers men after the affair ends.|
|Raymond Tyler, Jr.
|E. Lynn Harris||Bisexual||Raymond is torn between his girlfriend Nicole and his married male lover; Basil leaves his fiancée Yancey at the altar and pursues a gay lifestyle.|
|It||1986||Stephen King||Gay||Mellon and Hagarty are openly gay lovers. Mellon was the first of the 1984-85 killings that indicate the return of It. Phil and Tony Tracker are two brothers who are presumed to be gay by Eddie Kaspbrak's mother. Kasprak and Tozier are described as questioning their sexualities as children.|
|Lucy Farinelli||Kay Scarpetta novels||1994–2003||Patricia Cornwell||Lesbian||Lucy has romantic relationships and casual sexual encounters with other women. Lucy is not well accepted due to her suspected sexual orientation, has occasionally one-night stands, mostly with women and occasionally with men, but she is seduced by Carrie Grethen, early in her career, a relationship which haunts her and those close to her across several books.|
|Sgt. Sean Jennison/Betty||King Rat||1962||James Clavell||Trans||A British POW plays the role of a female in a play, and ultimately starts living as a female full-time.|
|Gabriel Okimasis||Kiss of the Fur Queen||1998||Tomson Highway||Gay||The story slowly begins to focus on Gabriel's sexuality and when he confronts this new identity, he descends into "promiscuity and prostitution with constant flashbacks of the abuse he suffered at the hands of the priests."|
|Luis Molina||Kiss of the Spider Woman||1976||Manuel Puig||Gay|||
|The Last Herald Mage trilogy||1989–1991||Mercedes Lackey||Gay||In the series, Vanyel has two sexual relationships, both with male partners.|
|Clay||Less Than Zero
|Bret Easton Ellis||Bisexual||This is a coming-of-age story narrated by Clay, "a sexually ambiguous eighteen-year-old student," who tries to resume a relationship with the woman he loved in high school, but "leaves a party with a young man."|
|Lord John Grey||Lord John series||1998–2011||Diana Gabaldon||Gay||Lord John has sexual and romantic relationships with various men, though he has had sex with and married women to appease societal expectations of him.|
|E. M. Forster||Gay|||
| The Men from the Boys
Where the Boys Are
Men Who Love Men
|William J. Mann||Gay|||
|Mr. Benson||Mr. Benson||1983||John Preston||Gay|||
|Mrs Dalloway||1925||Virginia Woolf||Lesbian||This novel tells the day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional woman in post–war times, and she is strongly attracted to Sally Seton, with both sharing a kiss. Clarissa also recognizes that Septimus dies without revealing his homosexuality, perceiving his failure to speak out as "protecting her private lesbian passion," while Doris later encourages Clarissa to name, at least privately, her "lesbian desires."|
|Septimus Warren Smith||Gay||Septimus is haunted by the image of his dear friend Evans, his commanding officer, with implied homosexual relations to them as noted by scholar Jean E. Kennard. Septimus later dies in the novel without revealing the secret: that he is gay.|
|Myron||Myra Breckinridge||1968||Gore Vidal||Trans||An attractive young woman, Myra Breckinridge is a film buff with a special interest in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and still in the process of transitioning and unable to obtain hormones, Myra transforms into Myron, and due to a car accident, is forced to have her breast implants removed, later deciding to settle down with Mary-Ann.|
|Scratch, Winc||Nearly Roadkill||1996||Kate Bornstein and Caitlin Sullivan||Trans||Scratch and Winc are two lovers of an ambiguous gender identity, with the plot is told through cyberchats and emails between each other, while the FBI is engaged in a nationwide manhunt to find them.|
|Seregil i Korit
Alec i Amasa
Ilar i Sontir
|The Nightrunner series||1996–2014||Lynn Flewelling||Bisexual||Seregil and Alec are committed lovers, but both have had experiences with women in the past; Ilar is one of Seregil's former lovers.|
|Christopher Metcalfe||Now and Then||1995||William Corlett||Gay||The main character has a sexual/romantic relationship as a boy with another boy at school; later he has sexual and romantic relationships with other men.|
|Jeanette||Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit||1985||Jeanette Winterson||Lesbian||This book is a coming-of-age story about a lesbian girl named Jeanette who grows up in an English Pentecostal community. Key themes of the book include transition from youth to adulthood, complex family relationships, same-sex relationships, and religion. A television adaptation of the book was made and aired by the BBC in 1990, starring Charlotte Coleman and Geraldine McEwan, which won the Prix Italia in 1991.|
|Joel Harrison Knox
|Other Voices, Other Rooms||1948||Truman Capote||Gay|||
|Villanelle||The Passion||1987||Jeanette Winterson||Bisexual||In this book, Villanelle is an androgynous and bisexual daughter of a boatman from Venice who crosses paths with Henri, who also has an "ambivalent sexuality."|
|Patience and Sarah||1969||Isabel Miller||Lesbian||This book, which captures "Lesbian-feminist consciousness" in the U.S. in the 1960s, is not only a love story of Patience and Sarah but also became important in the "lesbian literary-political tradition," with Miller's experience as a woman and lesbian shaping the book itself.|
|Patrick||The Perks of Being a Wallflower||1999||Stephen Chbosky||Gay||Has a secret relationship with the closeted Brad.|
|The Price of Salt (a.k.a. Carol)||1952||Patricia Highsmith||Lesbian||A married woman, Carol Aird, meets and falls in love with Therese Belivet, which results in her sexuality being used against her and relinquishing custody of her daughter, while Therese comes out to herself after meeting Carol, while Abby is also a lesbian character. Later made into a 2015 Hollywood film.|
|Molly Bolt||Rubyfruit Jungle||1973||Rita Mae Brown||Lesbian||Molly has numerous romantic and sexual relationships with other women. She confronts the "hypocrisies of both heterosexual and homosexual societies."|
|Paul Denton||The Rules of Attraction||1987||Bret Easton Ellis||Bisexual||In this book, set in Camden like Ellis's other books, Paul lusts for another character, Sean Bateman, saying he slept with him, while Bateman "never admits as much." This book ended up fortifying Ellis's reputation as a "nihilistic authorial presence who reports action but seldom comments on it."|
|Francis Abernathy||The Secret History||1992||Donna Tartt||Gay|||
|Sodom and Gomorrah||1921–1922
|George||A Single Man||1964||Christopher Isherwood||Gay|||
|A Song of Ice and Fire||1991–2011||George R. R. Martin||Gay||Never explicitly stated in the novels, but Renly's sexual/romantic relationship with Loras is hinted at, and was later confirmed by author Martin; the TV adaptation makes it clear that they are lovers.|
|Jess Goldberg||Stone Butch Blues||1993||Leslie Feinberg||Trans||The narrative follows the life of Jess Goldberg, who grows up in a working class area of upstate New York in the 1940s to the 1950s, and explores her gender identity as a trans woman.|
|The Tale of the Five series||1979–1992||Diane Duane||Bisexual||This book is a fantasy with a "bisexual male protagonist whose main love interest is male," and is set in a world with normalized polyamory, with bisexuality and polyamory seeming to "be the default."|
|Tales of the City series||1978–2014||Armistead Maupin||Trans
||Original character Anna is a transgender woman, and Jake (introduced in 2007's Michael Tolliver Lives) is a trans man.|
|Michael "Mouse" Tolliver
DeDe Halcyon Day
|Bisexual||While the original series featured gay and bisexual characters who "kissed on camera and had sex in bathhouses," in the Netflix adaption of this series, Shawna is an "explicitly bisexual character."|
|Pete Balkis||The Throne of Saturn||1971||Allen Drury||Gay||Astronaut Pete harbors unrequited romantic feelings for his commander, Conrad Trasker.|
|Bill Haydon||Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy||1974||John le Carré||Bisexual||Has a girlfriend, a male lover, seduces Ann, the wife of George Smiley, and rumoured to be the lover of Jim Prideaux.|
|Kitty Butler||Tipping the Velvet||1998||Sarah Waters||Bisexual||Has a sexual/romantic relationship with the main character and marries a man.|
|Nancy "Nan" Astley
|Lesbian||Nan has sexual/romantic relationships with Florence and Diana; all three have also been with other women.|
Amos Wilson and Joel
|University series||1990–1998||Allen Drury||Gay||North is a "tormented homosexual trying to keep his secret, but recklessly in love"; Amos is protagonist Willie Wilson's gay son, and Joel is Amos' lover.|
|René Suratt||Bisexual||René is protagonist Willie Wilson's nemesis, "a bisexual seducer of students".|
|The Vampire Chronicles||1976–2014||Anne Rice||Bisexual||Lestat, Armand and most of Rice's male vampires have intense sexual and emotional attractions and relationships with both sexes.|
|Nicolas de Lenfent||The Vampire Lestat||1985||Anne Rice||Gay||While human, Nicolas shares a romantic sexual relationship with Lestat de Lioncourt.|
|A Village Affair||1989||Joanna Trollope||Lesbian
|In this story, Alice Meadows questions her identity, having an affair with a lesbian woman named Clodagh Unwin, while she remains married, with her awakening depending on "a heart-wrenching choice between her lover and her family."|
|Francesca Lia Block||Gay|||
|Jack Forster||What Happened to Mr. Forster?||1989
|Gary W. Bargar||Gay|||
|The Well of Loneliness||1928||Radclyffe Hall||Lesbian||This book, a candid novel about "coming to terms with a lesbian identity," was challenged as obscene, under the Obscene Publications Act of 1857, for its "frank portrayal of lesbianism." Although the book has no language that is explicitly sexual, the lesbian themes were seen as a threat to the existing social order, seen as unpalatable, remained banned until 1959 when the Obscene Publications Act was amended, and was published in the U.S. in April 1929 when courts agreed that "lesbianism in and of itself was neither obscene nor illegal," meaning the book was not either.|
|Roberta Muldoon||The World According to Garp||1978||John Irving||Trans||One of the story's main characters is Roberta, a trans woman and former player for the Philadelphia Eagles, and has a gender re-assignment surgery, becoming the bodyguard of Jenny and one of the best friends of Garp.|
|The Narrator||Written on the Body||1992||Jeanette Winterson||Ambiguous||Narrator of unspecified gender who has sexual/romantic relationships with men and women. Some reviewers describe the narrator as a lesbian.|
|Characters||Work||Year||Author||LGBTQ+ identities in story||Notes|
|David/Daniela||The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy||2012||S. Bear Bergman and Suzy Malik||Trans||David is granted a wish by the story's protagonist, Tulip, to live as a girl named Daniela.|
|The Adventure Zone graphic novel series||2018–present||Carey Pietch||Gay
|Taako is one of the three main characters, and canonically a gay man. In the books it has not yet been explicitly been stated, but in The Adventure Zone Podcast, he is confirmed to have a gay relationship. The third graphic novel, Petals to the Metal, features two secondary female characters named Hurley and Sloane who have a relationship/feelings for each other. The Hurley-Sloane lesbian couple survived to the end of the story, surviving a near-death experience, while Taako got a boyfriend (the Grim Reaper) and Lup, Taako's sister, is a trans woman.|
|All for the Game series||2013–2016||Nora Sakavic||Gay
|Sage Hendrix||Almost Perfect||2009||Brian Katcher||Trans||This story follows the relationship between Sage, a trans girl in her teens, and Logan, a straight man, who becomes more accepting and supportive of them.|
|Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe||2012||Benjamin Alire Sáenz||Gay||Early in the novel Dante reveals he's attracted to boys and as the novel progresses, falls in love with his best friend Aristotle. At the end, Aristotle accepts his own love for Dante and they begin a relationship.|
|David/Kate, Leo||The Art of Being Normal||2015||Lisa Williamson||Trans||David is a 14-year-old kid who struggles with their gender identity which most of his fellow students do not understand, and neither do his parents, becomes isolated until he meets Leo Denton, who becomes one of his fast friends.|
|Ash||2009||Malinda Lo||Lesbian||This story tells the classic Cinderella story, but Ash falls in love with a beautiful woman, rather than a prince, named Kaisa, who saves her "from her oppressive new existence." The twist to this story is described by some as important, especially for "those looking for a girl romance."|
|Tommy, Ozzie, Calvin||At the Edge of the Universe||2017||Shaun David Hutchinson||Gay||Ozzie had a long term relationship with Tommy before he vanished. Calvin is gay.|
|Emras||Banner of the Damned||2013||Sherwood Smith||Asexual||In this book, there are a variety of sexual orientations, with Emras choosing to be asexual. Despite the problematic element that she can decide her own sexual orientation, she realizes that this "choice" is actually a "way of being."|
|Gabe (Elizabeth)||Beautiful Music for Ugly Children||2012||Kirstin Cronn-Mills||Trans||A DJ and lover of music, he hides his true identity as a trans boy in public, only being himself (Gabe) on air. He is forcibly outed, dealing with much backlash, but is supported en masse by his listeners.|
|Benji Ovich||Beartown series||2017–2018||Fredrik Backman||Gay|||
|Emily Christina||Being Emily||2012||Rachel Gold||Trans||Never comfortable with being seen as a boy, they originally hide themselves as a girl, until they can no longer stand it anymore, with a psychologist later helping them in the coming-out process.|
Tayend of Tremmelin
|The Black Magician trilogy||2001–2003||Trudi Canavan||Gay||Dannyl has relationship with his assistant, Tayend of Tremmelin, who is referred to in the novel as a "lad." |
|Paul, Noah, Tony
"Infinite Darlene"/Daryl Heisenberg
|Boy Meets Boy||2003||David Levithan||Gay||Paul and Noah are in love with each other and Tony is also gay; Paul's ex, Kyle, is bisexual and Daryl/Darlene is a cross-dresser.|
|Emily||The Butterfly and the Flame||2005||Dana De Young||Trans||This book focuses on Emily, a trans girl in her teens, who is in a relationship with a boy, the son of the person who owns the farm their family lives on.|
|Jackson||Call Me Home: A Novel||2015||Megan Kruse||Gay|||
|This story revolves around two spies sent to steal alien tech from Amazonia, a "planet ruled by man-enslaving lesbians" like Claude and Maiju. Additionally, the two spies, Vincent and Michelangelo are homosexuals from a world with "regressive and repressive mores."|
|Carry On||2015||Rainbow Rowell||Gay
|Clariel||Clariel||2014||Garth Nix||Asexual, aromantic||The protagonist "stands out for her assured asexuality" as she does not see the appeal of sex, wanting to live alone in the woods as a forest ranger. But at her current age her parents try to push her to marry a man who is the son of "an unpleasant political ally."|
|Various||The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard (anthology)||2012||Tom Léger and Riley MacLeod (editors)||Trans||This book brings together 28 stories which focus on the experiences of trans people.|
|Denise Lambert||The Corrections||2001||Jonathan Franzen||Bisexual||In this novel, Denise begins affairs with both her boss and his wife, and though the restaurant is successful, she is fired when this is discovered.|
|Ben||The Darkest Part of the Forest||2015||Holly Black||Gay|||
|Wilma Irrling||Die Wilden Hühner und die Liebe||2003||Cornelia Funke||Lesbian||Wilma is one of the five main characters. She falls in love with Leonie, a girl from her theatre group and eventually comes out to her friends.|
|Every Heart a Doorway||2016||Seanan McGuire||Asexual
|Kade is a classmate of Nancy, who has an asexual crush on them.|
|Emi Price, Ava||Everything Leads to You||2015||Nina LaCour||Lesbian||In this novel, Emi Price finds a letter written to a recently-dead film icon, leading them to Ava, his granddaughter, who Emi is smitten with, and hopes for "new love with Ava."|
|Fever Crumb||Fever Crumb Series||2009–2011||Philip Reeve||Bisexual||Fever first falls in love with the male Arlo Thursday, and later with the female Cluny Morvish.|
|Fingersmith||2002||Sarah Waters||Lesbian||Sue and Maud have a sexual/romantic relationship with each other.|
|Shori||Fledgling||2005||Octavia Butler||Bisexual||The novel tells the story of Shori, a 53-year-old member of the Ina species, who appears to be a 10-year-old African-American girl, biting a construction worker named Wright because she finds his scent irresistible, and they begin their relationship.|
|Freakboy||2013||Kristin Elizabeth Clark||Trans||The protagonists of the story, Angel and Brandon, are struggling to find their identity and where they fit in.|
|Gay Pride and Prejudice||2012||Kate Christie||Lesbian||In this story, which takes the original text of Pride and Prejudice, tweaking it and rewriting passages to "queer-up the story," Caroline Bingley has a crush on Elizabeth Bennett, while Charlotte Lucas never thinks “highly either of men or matrimony."|
|Felicity Worthington||Gemma Doyle Trilogy||2003–2007||Libba Bray||Lesbian||Felicity is am "alpha girl," who becomes friends with the protagonist, Gemma, and has an "obsession with power," and has a tortured lesbian relationship with Pippa  Felicity is revealed to be either bisexual or a lesbian (although most likely lesbian as she seemed to use men as a cover-up) in the last book when she shares a passionate kiss with Pippa, before leaving the corrupt Pippa behind forever.|
|Henry "Monty" Montague, Felicity Montague, Percy||The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue||2017||Mackenzi Lee||Bisexual
|Henry Montague is bisexual and has romantic feelings towards Percy. His sister Felicity is asexual.|
|Geography Club||2003||Brent Hartinger||Gay
|Joanna "Jo" Gordon
|Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit||2016||Jayde Robin Brown||Lesbian||In this sweet teen romance, Joanna, an "evangelical lesbian in a small Southern town," and Mary meet each other, as Joanna struggles to figure out her identity, but never considers it sinful. Even though Joanna and Mary are White, "the rest of their friends display considerable diversity," with one reviewer hoping it will help people "bridge the gap between faith and sexuality."|
|Melissa||George||2015||Alex Gino||Trans||Melissa is a transgender girl whom the world sees as a boy named George.|
|Chuck Bass||Gossip Girl||2002–2011||Cecily von Ziegesar||Bisexual||In this series, Chuck was bisexual, although this was never explored in the Gossip Girl TV show, which creator Joshua Safran said he regretted.|
|Nico di Angelo, Will Solace|| The House of Hades
(The Heroes of Olympus series)
|2013–2014||Rick Riordan||Gay||Nico is gay, and Will is attracted to men. They become a couple in between The Heroes of Olympus and The Trials of Apollo (the sequel).|
(The Nevernight Chronicle series)
|Mia Corvere, is an infamous assassin and fugitive slave, is fleeing from the Blades of the Red Church and Luminatii legion, with her family wanting her to die and her mentor in hands of her foes. She works with many individuals, liker her lover, Ashlinn, to find out the "final answer to the riddle of her life."|
|Kevin||Guardian of the Dead||2011||Karen Healey||Asexual||Although he is not the protagonist, Kevin is a key part of the book, and he comes out as asexual to his friend, and the book's heroine, Ellie Spencer. This conversation is handled delicately, with Ellie offering support to Kevin when remembering how her sister, a lesbian, has a tough time trying to tell her parents. Unfortunately, as one reviewer puts it, he doesn't explore his asexual identity much after this point.|
|Her Royal Highness||2019||Rachel Hawkins||Bisexual
|The story centers on the developing romantic relationship between Millie and Flora.|
|Josh||Holding Still For As Long As Possible||2009||Zoe Whittall||Trans||Josh is a trans man and EMT who struggles with his identity.|
|J||I Am J||2011||Cris Beam||Trans||J, who lives with his parents in a Manhattan apartment, and struggles with his gender identity.|
|Jackdaw||I Am Princess X||2015||Cherie Priest||Gay|
|I'll Give You the Sun||2014||Jandy Nelson||Gay||Noah is shown to be gay from the beginning, and later starts a relationship with Brian who is also gay.|
|Ella||Just Girls||2014||Rachel Gold||Trans||Ella is a fully-transitioned, but closeted, trans woman who deals with a lot of transphobia while she explores her gender identity with a cisgender lesbian named Jess Tucker.|
|Oshima||Kafka on the Shore||2002||Haruki Murakami||Trans
|Oshima is a 21-year-old intellectual gay trans man who is a librarian and owner of a cabin in the mountains near Komura Memorial Library. He becomes the mentor of Kafka as he guides him to the answers that he's seeking on his journey.|
|Keeping You a Secret||2003||Julie Anne Peters||Lesbian||In this coming out novel, Holland is intrigued by a student transferring to her school who wants to "wants to start a Lesbigay club at school." In the process, Holland faces homophobia, and begins a relationship with Cece, adjusting to her new sexuality quickly.|
|Phèdre nó Delaunay
|Kushiel's Legacy series||2001–2011||Jacqueline Carey||Bisexual|||
|Anne Damer||Life Mask||2004||Emma Donoghue||Lesbian||This book is set in late 18th century London, telling the story of three women caught in a love triangle, one of whom is Anna, whose "lesbian side" is not realized until the end of the book.|
|The Line of Beauty||2004||Alan Hollinghurst||Gay|||
|A Little Life||2015||Hanya Yanagihara||Gay
|JB and Caleb are gay. Brother Luke and Dr. Traylor are involved in sexually abusing Jude. Willem is bisexual and has had relationships with women prior to his relationship with Jude. Jude is implicitly stated to be asexual, given that he does not enjoy engaging in sexual activities and does not understand the appeal of sex, even when he is in a healthy relationship with Willem.|
|Rosemary Harper, Sissix||The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet||2015||Becky Chambers||Lesbian
|Rosemary Harper and Sissix are both either lesbian or bisexual as the two women enter a relationship with each other over the course of the novel. In her review, Casey Stepaniuk describes the book as "like Star Trek but with lesbians and more aliens."|
|The Love Interest||2017||Cale Dietrich||Gay||Caden is gay, while Dylan is either gay or bisexual.|
|Luna (Liam) O'Neill||Luna||2004||Julie Anne Peters||Trans||The story follows the life of Luna, who keeps her trans identity secret originally, pretending to be an average 16-year-old senior boy named Liam in the daytime. Later she considers transitioning and fights for her right to be the person she feels that she was meant to be, helped by her sister, Regan, in the process.|
|Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor||2016||Rick Riordan||Genderfluid
|Alex is Magnus Chase's love interest. She is genderfluid and identifies as either a girl or a boy depending on the present moment, changing pronouns as appropriate. Magnus' crush on her regardless of gender means that he is pansexual.|
|Sal||Mask of Shadows duology||2017–2018||Linsey Miller||Genderfluid||Sal is genderfluid and signals by that day's clothing whether they want to be called "he," "she," or "they."|
|Maxine||Maxine Wore Black||2014||Nora Olsen||Trans||Maxine is a lesbian trans girl who is a high school dropout and a babysitter, and cannot afford gender reassignment surgery, while in a romance with a cisgender woman.|
|Lisbeth Salander||Millennium series||2005–2007||Stieg Larsson||Bisexual|||
|Modern Faerie Tales trilogy (Tithe, Valiant, Ironside)||2002–2007||Holly Black||Gay||In this story, there are a number of LGBTQ+ characters. For one, Corny Stone is the gay brother of the childhood friend of the story's protagonist, Kaye Fierch, who tries to straddle the Faerie and human worlds. Luis is also gay, which the author confirmed, and has a relationship with Corny. Reportedly, in Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie, Ruth is Val's lesbian best friend.|
|Mordred, Bastard Son||2006||Douglas Clegg||Gay||Sympathetic Mordred and an exiled Lancelot fall into a romance.|
|More Than This||2013||Patrick Ness||Gay
|Seth is gay and secretly dated Gudmund until they got outed. Gudmund appears to be bisexual or in denial of his homosexuality.|
|Nemesis series(Dreadnought, Sovereign)||2017||April Daniels||Trans
|Danny is a transgender lesbian who, when given the powers of the world's greatest superhero, also gained the feminine body she wanted. Calamity is a bisexual graycape(masked vigilante in contrast with professional hero). Kinetiq is a genderqueer Iranian-American superhero who had been working upstream for a couple years prior to the story.|
|Grady (Angela) Katz-McNair||Parrotfish||2011||Ellen Wittlinger||Trans||Angela, a teenage trans girl, transitions from a man to a woman, deals with a bully who wants to humiliate her, and struggles with her new identity.|
|Tori Beaugrand||Quicksilver||2013||R. J. Anderson||Asexual||Tori, an engineer, hacker, and friend, is asexual, an important part of her life, as she mediates on an attempt to have a sexual relationship. Her friend Milo wants their relationship to be sexual but he respects the sexual orientation of Tori. In a post on Livejournal, the author explained how Tori being asexual "adds a layer of complication and delicacy to her relationships with her parents and her best (male) friend," Milo, while explaining some of her choices.|
|Rainbow Boys||2001||Alex Sánchez||Gay|||
|The Raven Cycle||2012–2016||Maggie Stiefvater||Bisexual||Adam shows a romantic interest in the female protagonist during the first two books, but then develops a relationship with Ronan Lynch.|
|The Rest of Us Just Live Here||2015||Patrick Ness||Gay
|Jared is gay, while Nathan is either bisexual or gay. They start seeing each other over the course of the novel.|
|Click||Roving Pack||2012||Sassafrass Lowrey||Trans||This is a story of "transgender gutterpunks" as one reviewer calls it, with Click, and the other young protagonists fighting for "the right to have a future, and, furthermore, the future they themselves choose." This story focuses on youth near Portland, many of which are parentless, homeless, and "without mooring."|
|Various||A Safe Girl to Love||2014||Casey Plett||Trans||The story's protagonists, and many other unnamed characters, are all trans women, but this detail is not the main factor in their connections between each other, as they work to determine what paths are ahead for themselves in their lives.|
|Shades of Magic trilogy||2015–2017||V.E. Schwab||Gay
|Rhy is bisexual while Alucard is gay. They had a fling three years prior the events of the books. Victoria Schwab actually stated multiple times that in her eyes none of the characters are straight, but that is not mentioned in the series.|
|The Shadowhunter Chronicles||2007–present||Cassandra Clare||Lesbian
|Alec is gay and Aline is a lesbian, and they are two of the first openly homosexual Shadowhunters. Alec eventually marries his longtime boyfriend Magnus Bane, a bisexual warlock who has had many relationship with both men and women. Raphael, Magnus's close friend, was confirmed to be asexual and aromantic by Cassandra Clare. Lily, Raphael's second in command, is pansexual and secretly in love with Raphael, although this does not stop her from having flings with Anna Lightwood and Helen Blackthorn. Helen, Aline's wife, her younger brother Mark and his ex-boyfriend Kieran are all bisexual and of faerie descent, with Clare describing faeries as, "being, in general, bisexual". Michael, the parabatai of Alec's father Robert, was a closeted bisexual who developed feelings for Robert but later married Eliza Rosewain. Diana is the series's first openly transgender character. Woolsey, one of Magnus's ex-lovers, was gay. Anna, a distant relative of Alec, was a genderqueer lesbian who despite her womanizing nature has never been able to move on from her first love Ariadne Bridgestock, who is a closeted lesbian. Ariadne enters a lavender engagement with Charles, a closeted gay man, to hide her own homosexuality even though Charles is in love with Alastair, another closeted gay man. Matthew, Charles's younger brother, is bisexual. Hypatia, one of Anna'a ex-lovers, is bisexual. While it is yet to be confirmed that Kit and Ty are queer it is heavily implied that the two have romantic feelings towards one another, with Kit most likely being bisexual (as he is of faerie descent and seems to display attraction to women) and Ty most likely being gay (as he only shows attraction to Kit).|
|Ryan Thomson||The Sidekicks||2016–2017||Will Kostakis||Gay|||
Wylan Van Eck
|Six of Crows duology||2015–2016||Leigh Bardugo||Bisexual
|Jesper is bisexual, and Wylan is gay; they begin dating each other by the end of the duology. Nina has also been confirmed to be pansexual.|
||Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda||2015||Becky Albertalli||Gay
|There are multiple LGBTQ+ characters in this story. For instance, Simon is a closeted gay teenager in love with his pen pal 'Blue', who is also a closeted gay teenager. Simon later discovers that Blue is his classmate Bram Greenfeld and the two start dating. Cal is Simon's bisexual classmate who initially shows an interest in Simon, but later dates Simon's younger sister Nora. Peter is an older guy who flirts with Simon at a gay bar and Carter is the gay older brother of Simon's classmate Martin. Leah and Abby, two of Simon's best friends, are both bisexual but do not come out until the sequel novel Leah on the Offbeat, when they start dating each other. Cassie, Abby's cousin and a major character in the novel The Upside of Unrequited, is a lesbian and Mina is her pansexual girlfriend. Cassie also has two mothers, Nadine, who is a lesbian, and Patty, who is bisexual. Julian, a former crush of Cassie's twin sister Molly, is gay and dating Carter Addison.|
|Richie||The Slap||2008||Christos Tsiolkas||Gay||Male main character who has a sexual attraction to Hector.|
|The Song of Achilles]||2011||Madeline Miller||Gay
|Achilles is gay, showing no interest in girls. Patroclus is bisexual, saying he would fall in love with Briseis if not for Achilles.|
|Sinjir Rath Velus||2015–2017||Chuck Wendig||Gay|||
|Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur||Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series||2006–2008||Karen Traviss||Gay||Married couple from the Star Wars Legends continuity, although it was subtle enough that some fans did not pick up on this, misinterpreting it, because they not explicitly noted as gay. Traviss, in a post on her website, described them as a gay couple in a same-sex marriage, saying it was important for Star Wars to have "its first gay characters," writing their gay characters as a detail rather than a major plot point, saying it is just a normal part of their lives.|
|Moff Delian Mors||Star Wars: Lords of the Sith||2015||Paul S. Kemp||Lesbian||Moff, the first LGBT character in the Star Wars canon, was introduced in this book, is an Imperial officer who makes mistakes, is very capable, and happens to be a lesbian as well, with those who included it saying that Star Wars should be diverse, apart from stories about "straight, white males." Reviewers for the New York Daily News stated that while her sexuality is not a major concern in the novel, suggesting that "homophobia isn't an issue in the Empire," and something that the Imperial Army does not worry about, even as they fight the Rebels.|
|Strange the Dreamer series||2017–2018||Laini Taylor||Lesbian
|Calixte and Tzara enter a long-term lesbian relationship with each other at the start of the series, while Thyon Nero has never been romantically or sexually attracted to a woman, but finds himself drawn to Ruza, who seems to reciprocate his interest, making them both gay or in Ruza's case at least bisexual.|
|Riley Cavanaugh||Symptoms of Being Human||2016||Jeff Garvin||Genderfluid|||
|Jerico Soberanis||The Toll
(Arc of a Scythe trilogy)
|Dana Stevens||Trans-Sister Radio||2000||Chris Bohjalian||Trans||Dana, the protagonist of this book, is a Vermont professor who is prepared to have a gender reassignment surgery to transition from male to female, leading Allison Banks, a teacher who has been divorced, to be even more attracted to Dana.|
|The Trials of Apollo series||2016–present||Rick Riordan||Bisexual
|Apollo was the god of the Sun, archery, healing, and prophecy and is bisexual. Hemethea and Josephine left the Hunters of Artemis to pursue a romantic relationship with one another and are the current caretakers of the Waystation. Lavina is a Roman demigod at Camp Jupiter who is a lesbian.|
|Ukiah Oregon series||2001–2004||Wen Spencer||Lesbian||In this series of books, Jo and Lara are the mothers of Ukiah Oregon, the story's protagonist. In the first book, Alien Taste, it is revealed that Ukriah was raised first by wolves, then by Jo and Lara. Jo and Lara also appear in the three other books in the series, Tainted Trail, Bitter Waters, and Dog Warrior, but only as minor characters.|
|Under the Udala Trees||2015||Chinelo Okparanta||Lesbian||Ijeoma and Amina fall in love with each other as children and keep loving each other way into adulthood.|
|Mike Tate||Whatever: or how junior year became totally f$@ked||2016||S.J. Goslee||Bisexual|||
|Where the Boys Are||2003||William J. Mann||Gay|||
|Will Grayson, Will Grayson||2010||John Green
|The Will of the Empress||2005||Tamora Pierce||Lesbian.||Daja is the main character who begins a relationship with a woman, while Lark is in a long-term lesbian relationship. In this story, the relationship between Daja and Lark ends sadly, making the point you should choose your chosen family over "a partner who’s not good enough for you."|
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