List of LGBT characters in modern written fiction

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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" was not 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.[1][2][3] 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[4]

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.

The names are organized alphabetically by surname (i.e. last name), or by single name if the character does not have a surname. If more than two characters are in one entry, the last name of the first character is used.

19th century[edit]

Characters Work Year Author LGBTQ+ identities in story Notes
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 enslaved person, and his White partner is not.[5]
Joseph Asten
Philip Held
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.[6]
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.[7][8] 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.
Jacques Collin a.k.a. Vautrin a.k.a. Trompe-la-Mort Père Goriot
Illusions perdues
Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes
1835
1837–1843
1838–1847
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.[9][10][11][12]
Basil Hallward
Dorian Gray
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.[13][14]
Arthur Ravener
Captain Dillington
A Marriage Below Zero 1889 Alan Dale Gay A Marriage Below Zero is considered to be the first English-language gay-themed novel.[6]
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.[15]
René Teleny
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.[16][17][18]

20th century[edit]

Characters Work Year Author LGBTQ+ identities in story Notes
Francis Abernathy The Secret History 1992 Donna Tartt Gay Francis is later revealed as a "mildly tormented homosexual," the only person who seems to have much of "a sexual existence" and is dressed for the part.[19]
Carol Aird
Therese Belivet
Abby Gerhard
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.[20] Later made into a 2015 Hollywood film.
Akhenaten
Smenkhkara
A God Against the Gods
Return to Thebes
1976
1977
Allen Drury Bisexual Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten is married to Nefertiti, but his romance with his brother Smenkhkara contributes to his downfall.[21]
Alexander the Great


Hephaistion
Bagoas
Fire from Heaven
The Persian Boy
1969
1972
Mary Renault Bisexual
Gay
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.[4]
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.[22][23]
Vanyel Ashkevron
Stefen
The Last Herald Mage trilogy 1989–1991 Mercedes Lackey Gay In the series, Vanyel has two sexual relationships, both with male partners, as confirmed by the author, Mercedes Lackey.[24]
Pete Balkis The Throne of Saturn 1971 Allen Drury Gay Astronaut Pete harbors unrequited romantic feelings for his commander, Conrad Trasker.[23]
Balthamos
Baruch
His Dark Materials 1995–2000 Philip Pullman Gay Balthamos and Baruch are old gay men, with their characters poking at existing gay stereotypes in literature, with their relationship growing over the course of the book.[25][26]
Renly Baratheon
Loras Tyrell
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.[27][28][29]
Berdine
Raina
Blood of the Fold
Temple of the Winds
1996
1997
Terry Goodkind Lesbian In these books, the two Mord-Sith are in a relationship with each other.[30] 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.
Frank Berry The Hotel New Hampshire 1981 John Irving Gay [citation needed]
Molly Bolt Rubyfruit Jungle 1973 Rita Mae Brown Lesbian Molly has numerous romantic and sexual relationships with other women.[31] She confronts the "hypocrisies of both heterosexual and homosexual societies."[32]
Beebo Brinker
Beth Ayers/Cullison
Laura Landon
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.[33] 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.
Anthony Blanche
Sebastian Flyte
Brideshead Revisited 1945 Evelyn Waugh Gay Sebastian is a flamboyant aristocrat, with Charles Ryder having an infatuation with him, with both kissing in the film.[34][35] At the same time, Anthony Blanche is "openly homosexual, sarcastic and decadent."[36]
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.[37] 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."[38]
Dave Brandstetter Dave Brandstetter Mysteries 1970–1991 Joseph Hansen Gay A private investigator, he has been called "one of the few convincing (male) gay characters in crime writing."[39]
Harlan Brown
Billy Sive
Vince Matti
Jacques LaFont
The Front Runner 1974 Patricia Nell Warren Gay The book has been called a "gay sports classic," with Harlon Brown described as a homosexual "who longed for romantic love that fully integrated hot sex."[4]
Richard Brown
Louis Waters
Clarissa Vaughan
Sally Seton
The Hours 1998 Michael Cunningham Gay
Lesbian
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.[40] 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.
Kitty Butler Tipping the Velvet 1998 Sarah Waters Bisexual Has a sexual/romantic relationship with the main character and marries a man.[citation needed]
Nancy "Nan" Astley
Florence Banner
Diana Leathaby
Lesbian Nan has sexual/romantic relationships with Florence and Diana; all three have also been with other women.[citation needed]
Luis Carruthers American Psycho 1991 Bret Easton Ellis Gay Luis is in love with the male protagonist, but later marries Courtney.[41]
M. Charlus
Jupien
Sodom and Gomorrah 1921–1922
Marcel Proust Gay This book, which has strong homosexual themes, first coming about in the Combray section of Swann's Way, where the daughter of the piano teacher and composer Vinteuil is seduced, and the narrator observes her having lesbian relations in front of the portrait of her recently deceased father. Critics have often observed that while the character of the narrator is ostensibly heterosexual, Proust intimates that the narrator is a closeted homosexual.[42][43] There is much debate as to how great a bearing Proust's sexuality has on understanding these aspects of the novel. In response to Gide's criticism that he hid his actual sexuality within his novel, Proust told Gide that "one can say anything so long as one does not say 'I'."[44] In 1949, the critic Justin O'Brien published an article in the PMLA called "Albertine the Ambiguous: Notes on Proust's Transposition of Sexes" which proposed that some female characters are best understood as actually referring to young men.[45] This theory has become known as the "transposition of sexes theory" in Proust criticism, which in turn has been challenged in Epistemology of the Closet (1990) by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and in Proust's Lesbianism (1999) by Elisabeth Ladenson.[46]
Claudine
Rézi
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.[47]
Clay Less Than Zero
Imperial Bedrooms
1985
2010
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."[41][48]
Clarissa Dalloway
Doris Kilman
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,[49] 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."[50]
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.[51] [improve source] Septimus later dies in the novel without revealing the secret: that he is gay.[50]
David
Giovanni
Jacques
Guillaume
Giovanni's Room 1956 James Baldwin Gay David, a protagonist of the book, escapes death from the guillotine since his "homosexual urges were experimental in nature" while the narrator is cited as a gay character as well.[4]
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.[52][53]
Nicolas de Lenfent The Vampire Lestat 1985 Anne Rice Gay While human, Nicolas shares a romantic sexual relationship with Lestat de Lioncourt.[54]
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.[54]
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."[41] This book ended up fortifying Ellis's reputation as a "nihilistic authorial presence who reports action but seldom comments on it."
Albus Dumbledore Harry Potter series 1997–2007 J. K. Rowling Gay Though not stated explicitly in the novels, author Rowling said in various interviews that the character is gay, creating controversy in the process.[55][56][57][58][59]
Elinor "Lakey" Eastlake The Group 1954 Mary McCarthy Lesbian Elinar is a lesbian[60] 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.[61] It was later adapted into a film in 1966.
Alluvia (Alice) Fairfax
Stella
Gut Symmetries 1997 Jeanette Winterson Bisexual Alice has romantic and sexual relationships with both Stella and Stella's husband Jove.[62]
Lucy Farinelli Kay Scarpetta novels 1994–2003 Patricia Cornwell Lesbian Lucy has romantic relationships and casual sexual encounters with other women.[63] 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.
Courtney Farrell
Barry Cabot
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.[64][65]
Jack Forster What Happened to Mr. Forster? 1989
1995
Gary W. Bargar Gay A sixth-grade teacher who is fired for being gay.[66]
Simon Foster
Axel Nillson
A Fairly Honourable Defeat 1970 Iris Murdoch Gay Simon and Axel are gay characters in this novel.[67]
George A Single Man 1964 Christopher Isherwood Gay George is a gay character who is relatable to everyone.[68]
Joan Gilling
Esther Greenwood
The Bell Jar 1963 Sylvia Plath Lesbian The novel has a central relationship between Joan and Esther,[60] 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"[69] while highlighting the problems with oppressive patriarchal society in mid-20th century America.[70] 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.[71]
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.[72][73][74][75]
Stephen Gordon
Valérie Seymour
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."[76] 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 in the UK until 1959 when the Obscene Publications Act was amended. However, it was published in the U.S. in April 1929 when New York State courts agreed that "lesbianism in and of itself was neither obscene nor illegal," meaning the book was not either."[76]
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.[77][78]
Darvish Shayrif Hakem The Fire's Stone 1990 Tanya Huff Bisexual Darvish is willing to have sex with anyone, whether men or women.[citation needed]
Maurice Hall
Clive Durham
Alec Scudder
Maurice 1913–1914
(1971)[a]
E. M. Forster Gay Maurice, Clive, and Alec are gay characters in this novel.[4][79][80]
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.[b][81][82]
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.[83]
Herewiss
Freelorn
The Goddess
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,[84] with bisexuality and polyamory seeming to "be the default".[85]
Harold Hutchins Captain Underpants series 1997–2015 Dav Pilkey Gay Harold marries a man named George, presented in a matter-of-fact way, which some critics praised.[86]
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.[87] 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.[88]
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.
Annie Kenyon
Liza Winthrop
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.[89] 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."[90]
Keren
Vanyel
Arrows of the Queen 1987 Mercedes Lackey Lesbian
Gay
Keren, a minor character,[91] 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.[92]
Joel Harrison Knox
Randolph
Other Voices, Other Rooms 1948 Truman Capote Gay Joel is an "effeminate adolescent," with the narrative showing him have a desire for his cousin, Randolph.[93]
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.[94]
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.[95]
Lark
Becker
The Beauty of Men 1996 Andrew Holleran Gay Lark and Becker are gay characters.[96]
North McAllister
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.[97][98]
René Suratt Bisexual René is protagonist Willie Wilson's nemesis, "a bisexual seducer of students".[99]
Dirk McDonald
Duck
Weetzie Bat
Baby Be-Bop
1989
1995
Francesca Lia Block Gay Dirk McDonald and Duck are gay characters in this novel.[100]
Anna Madrigal
Jake Greenleaf
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.[101][102][103]
Michael "Mouse" Tolliver
Jon Fielding
Ben McKenna
Gay Michael is a tolerant gay man, as is Jon and Ben.[32][103]
Beauchamp Day
DeDe Halcyon Day
Mona Ramsey
Bisexual While the original series featured gay and bisexual characters who "kissed on camera and had sex in bathhouses,"[103] in the Netflix adaption of this series, Shawna is an "explicitly bisexual character."[102]
Anthony Malone
Andrew Sutherland
Dancer from the Dance 1978 Andrew Holleran Gay A beautiful and enigmatic man, subsumed by the "gay social curcuit."[104][105]
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.[106]
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.[107]
Paul Michel
The Protagonist
Hallucinating Foucault 1996 Patricia Duncker Gay Openly homosexual writer, said to have many male lovers, including relationship with male main character/narrator.[108][109]
Luis Molina Kiss of the Spider Woman 1976 Manuel Puig Gay Luis is a gay character in this novel.[110][111]
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.[112]
Mr. Benson Mr. Benson 1983 John Preston Gay Mr. Benson is "a groundbreaking leatherman and S/M Top."[4]
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.[113][32]
Hélène Noris
Tamara Soulerr
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.[114]
Jeff O'Brien
Lloyd Griffith
David Javitz
Eduardo
Henry Weiner
Luke West
The Men from the Boys
Where the Boys Are
Men Who Love Men
1997
2003
2007
William J. Mann Gay Jeff is a gay character whose sexual identity is explored outside the confines of a relationship and what it means to "set boundaries for yourself and your partner."[4]
Laurie Odell
Ralph Lanyon
Andrew
The Charioteer 1953 Mary Renault Gay Laurie, Ralph, and Andrew are gay characters in this novel.[115][116]
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."[117][118]
Patrick The Perks of Being a Wallflower 1999 Stephen Chbosky Gay Has a secret relationship with the closeted Brad.[119]
Margaret Prior
Selina Dawes
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."[120] 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.[121] Like her first novel, Affinity contains overarching lesbian themes, and was acclaimed by critics on its publication, and later turned into a feature film.
Pyrrhus
Philoctetes
An Arrow's Flight 1998 Mark Merlis Gay Pyrrhus, the 21-year-old son of Achilles, and Philoctetes, who has a magic bow, are gay characters.[122][123]
Scratch, Winc Nearly Roadkill 1996 Kate Bornstein and Caitlin Sullivan Trans Scratch and Winc are two lovers with 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.[124]
Danny Slocum The Confessions of Danny Slocum 1980 George Whitmore Gay Danny is the titular character, a gay athlete gay men, and is "sexually broken."[4]
Milo Sturgis Alex Delaware series 1985–2017 Jonathan Kellerman Gay Milo is a gay character.[125]
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.[126][127]
Imogene "Idgie" Threadgoode
Ruth Jamison
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe 1987 Fannie Flagg Lesbian
Bisexual
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.[128] 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,[129] while in the film adaptation, a story of Southern female friendship and love, Ruth had been in love with Buddy Threadgoode, Idgie's brother.[130][131]
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.[132] 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."[132]
Jack Twist
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.[133][134]
Jaret Tyler
Peggy Danziger
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."[114] 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.
Raymond Tyler, Jr.
Basil Henderson
  • Invisible Life
  • Just As I Am
  • Abide With Me
  • Any Way the Wind Blows
1991
1995
1999
2001
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.[4]
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.[135][136][137]
Clodagh Unwin
Alice Meadows
A Village Affair 1989 Joanna Trollope Lesbian
Bisexual
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."[138]
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."[139]
Wes The Arizona Kid 1988 Ron Koertge Gay Wes is a gay character.[140]
Patience White
Sarah Dowling
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.[141]
Jim Willard
Ronald Shaw
Paul Sullivan
The City and the Pillar 1946 Gore Vidal Gay Jim, Ronald, and Paul are gay characters in this novel.[142][143]
X
Andrew
Joe
Boy Culture 1995 Matthew Rettenmund Gay X (narrator's pseudonym) has sexual and romantic relationships with Andrew, Joe and other men.[4]

21st century[edit]

Characters Work Year Author LGBTQ+ identities in story Notes
Aisling "Ash"
Kaisa
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."[144] The twist to this story is described by some as important, especially for "those looking for a girl romance."
Apollo
Hemethea
Josephine
Lavina Asimov
The Trials of Apollo series 2016–2020 Rick Riordan Bisexual
Lesbian
Apollo was the god of the Sun, archery, healing, and prophecy and is bisexual.[145] 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.
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.[146]
Darla / "Chardonnay" Final Destination: Looks Could Kill 2005 Nancy A. Collins Lesbian
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.[147] 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.[148]
Ben The Darkest Part of the Forest 2015 Holly Black Gay Ben is a gay brother of the book protagonist, Hazel, and he also loves the sleeping prince.[149]
Elizabeth Bennett
Caroline Bingley
Charlotte Lucas
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."[150]
Goran Beviin
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.[151][152] 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 that these characters are gay as a detail rather than a major plot point because it is just a normal part of their lives.[153]
Brandon
Angel
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.[154]
Cade
Dylan
The Love Interest 2017 Cale Dietrich Gay Caden is gay, while Dylan is either gay or bisexual.[155][156]
Calixte
Tzara
Thyon Nero
Ruza
Strange the Dreamer series 2017–2018 Laini Taylor Lesbian
Bisexual
Gay
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.[157]
Jason Carrillo
Kyle Meeks
Nelson Glassman
Rainbow Boys 2001 Alex Sánchez Gay Kyle is infatuated with Jason, a popular boy at the school, and Kyle establishes a Gay-Straight Alliance at the school, while Jason realizes he likes Kyle, even as Nelson is attracted to Kyle, his best friend.[158]
Riley Cavanaugh Symptoms of Being Human 2016 Jeff Garvin Genderfluid Riley is the daughter of a prominent Southern Californian politician, navigates being genderfluid "and experiencing panic attacks," while running a blog, and even Andie Gingham, a trans girl, reaches out to her for advice.[159]
Chad
Kyle
An Apocalypse To Remember 2020 James Harper Gay Chad and Kyle are a married gay couple fighting off zombies and trying to survive with their 2 dogs in an apocalyptic world.[citation needed]
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.[160]
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.[161] But at her current age her parents try to push her to marry a man who is the son of "an unpleasant political ally."
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."[162] This story focuses on youth near Portland, many of which are parentless, homeless, and "without mooring."
Mia Corvere
Ashlinn Järnheim
Godsgrave
(The Nevernight Chronicle series)
2017 Jay Kristoff Bisexual
Lesbian
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.[163] She works with many individuals, like her lover, Ashlinn, to find out the "final answer to the riddle of her life."
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.[164]
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.[165]
Ambassador Dannyl
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."[166]
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.[167][168]
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.[169]
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 although Will's exact sexuality is never specified. They become a couple in between The Heroes of Olympus and The Trials of Apollo (the sequel). Nico is also revealed to have had a crush on Percy Jackson and was previously extremely closeted.[170][171]
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.[172]
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.[173]
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.[147] Despite the problematic element that she can decide her own sexual orientation, she realizes that this "choice" is actually a "way of being."
Tamar Kir-Bataar
Jesper Fahey
Wylan Van Eck
Nina Zenik
Hanne Brum
Grishaverse 2012–2021 Leigh Bardugo Lesbian
Bisexual
Gay
Pansexual
Trans
Tamar is lesbian and married to a woman, Nadia Zhabin. 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.[174] Hanne is trans, expressing unhappiness about their female body and feeling more comfortable when ending up in a man's body.[175]
Alex Fierro
Magnus Chase
Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor 2016 Rick Riordan Genderfluid
Pansexual
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. She goes by she/he pronouns, but has specified she uses she/her unless she says otherwise. Magnus' crush on her regardless of gender means that he is pansexual.[176]
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.[177]
Joanna "Jo" Gordon
Mary Carlson
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.[178] 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."[179]
Will Grayson[c]
Tiny Cooper
Will Grayson, Will Grayson 2010 John Green
David Levithan
Gay One of the book's co-prostagonists, named Will Grayson is gay and is "struggling with coming out," while the other is a major character in a "one-man gay-freedom-day band named Tiny Cooper."[180]
Basilton Grimm-Pitch
Simon Snow
Carry On 2015 Rainbow Rowell Gay
Bisexual
Basilton and Simon are in a romantic relationship, in this book which borrows themes from Harry Potter, with Basilton as bisesual and Simon as gay, with some reviewers saying the book engaged in bisexual erasure.[181][182]
Nick Guest
Wani Ouradi
Leo Charles
The Line of Beauty 2004 Alan Hollinghurst Gay Nick is a graduate of Oxford University who has a love affair with a council worker before he falls in love "with a cocaine-addicted millionaire."[183]
Rosemary Harper
Sissix
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet 2015 Becky Chambers Lesbian
Bisexual
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.[184] In her review, Casey Stepaniuk describes the book as "like Star Trek but with lesbians and more aliens."
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.[185][186]
Ijeoma
Amina
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.[187]
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.[188]
J I Am J 2011 Cris Beam Trans J, who lives with his parents in a Manhattan apartment, and struggles with his gender identity.[189]
Jackdaw I Am Princess X 2015 Cherie Priest Gay [citation needed]
Jackson Call Me Home: A Novel 2015 Megan Kruse Gay [citation needed]
Jared
Nathan
The Rest of Us Just Live Here 2015 Patrick Ness Gay
Bisexual
Jared is gay, while Nathan is either bisexual or gay. They start seeing each other over the course of the novel.[190]
Holland Jeager
Cece
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 start a Lesbigay club at school."[191] In the process, Holland faces homophobia, and begins a relationship with Cece, adjusting to her new sexuality quickly.[192]
Jo
Lara
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.[193] 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.
Josh Holding Still For As Long As Possible 2009 Zoe Whittall Trans Josh is a trans man and EMT who struggles with his identity.[194]
Jude
Willem
JB
Caleb
A Little Life 2015 Hanya Yanagihara Gay
Bisexual
JB and Caleb are gay. 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.[195]
Suruga Kanbaru Monogatari Series 2006–present Nisio Isin Lesbian Kanbaru's first arc in Bakemonogatari revolves around her unrequited love for Hitagi Senjougahara.
  • Vincent Katherinessen
  • Michelangelo Kusanagi-Jones
  • Claude Singapore
  • Maiju Montevideo
Carnival 2006 Elizabeth Bear Lesbian
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.[196] Additionally, the two spies, Vincent and Michelangelo are homosexuals from a world with "regressive and repressive mores."[197]
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.[198]
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.[147] 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 does not explore his asexual identity much after this point.[147]
Daja Kisubo
Lark
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.[199] 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."
Denise Lambert The Corrections 2001 Jonathan Franzen Bisexual In this novel, Denise begins affairs with both her boss and his wife,[200] and though the restaurant is successful,[201] she is fired when this is discovered.
Alec Lightwood
Magnus Bane
Raphael Santiago
Lily Chen
Helen Blackthorn
Aline Penhallow
Kieran
Mark Blackthorn
Michael Wayland
Diana Wrayburn
Woolsey Scott
Anna Lightwood
Ariadne Bridgestock
Charles Fairchild
Alastair Carstairs
Thomas Lightwood
Matthew Fairchild
Hypatia Vex
Claude Kellington
Kit Rook
Ty Blackthorn
The Shadowhunter Chronicles 2007–present Cassandra Clare Lesbian
Gay
Bisexual
Transgender
Asexual
Pansexual
Genderqueer
Alec is gay and Aline is a lesbian, and they are two of the first openly homosexual Shadowhunters.[citation needed] Alec eventually marries his longtime boyfriend Magnus Bane, a bisexual warlock who has had many relationships 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. Alastair later develops feelings for Anna's gay cousin Thomas Lightwood, who reciprocates his feelings. Matthew, Charles's younger brother, is bisexual. Hypatia, one of Anna's ex-lovers, is bisexual. Claude is bisexual and has had sexual relationships with both Matthew and Hypatia. 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 also display attraction to women) and Ty most likely being gay (as he only shows attraction to Kit).
Ronan Lynch
Adam Parrish
Kavinsky
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.[202]
Rhy Maresh
Alucard Emery
Shades of Magic trilogy 2015–2017 V.E. Schwab Gay
Bisexual
Rhy is bisexual prince 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.[203][204] Lila has also been described a genderfluid pickpocket.[203]
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.[205]
Melissa George 2015 Alex Gino Trans Melissa is a transgender girl whom the world sees as a boy named George.[206]
Aristotle Mendoza
Dante Quintana
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe/Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World 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.[207] In the sequel, both Aristotle and Dante explicitly identify as gay while in the first book, aside from being in love with Dante, Aristotle's exact sexuality was never specified.
Russel Middlebrook
Min Wei
Geography Club 2003 Brent Hartinger Gay
Bisexual
Russel is a gay man, while Min is a bisexual character in this novel.[114]
Henry "Monty" Montague
Felicity Montague
Percy
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue 2017 Mackenzi Lee Bisexual
Asexual
Henry Montague is bisexual and has romantic feelings towards Percy. His sister Felicity is asexual.[208]
Mordred
Lancelot
Mordred, Bastard Son 2006 Douglas Clegg Gay Sympathetic Mordred and an exiled Lancelot fall into a romance.[209]
Moff Delian Mors Star Wars: Lords of the Sith 2015 Paul S. Kemp Lesbian Mors, the first LGBT character in the Star Wars canon, was introduced in this book,[d] 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".[151] 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.[210][152]
Nancy
Kade
Every Heart a Doorway 2016 Seanan McGuire Asexual
Trans
Kade is a classmate of Nancy, who has an asexual crush on them.[211]
Newt The Maze Runner (book series) 2009-2016 James Dashner Gay In the maze runner, they have to escape the maze, and try not to die from a deadly virus. In the movie adaptation Newt was played by Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
Izumu Niounomiya Zaregoto Series, Ningen Series 2002–2005, 2004–2010 (respectively) Nisio Isin Trans Izumu and his sister Rizumu work as a team of professional killers.[citation needed]
Phèdre nó Delaunay
Moirin
Kushiel's Legacy series 2001–2011 Jacqueline Carey Bisexual Phèdre and Moirin are bisexual characters in this novel.[54]
Jeff O'Brien
Lloyd Griffith
Where the Boys Are 2003 William J. Mann Gay Jeff and Lloy are gay men in this novel.[4]
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.[212][213][214][215] 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.
Oshima Kafka on the Shore 2002 Haruki Murakami Trans
Gay
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.[216] He becomes the mentor of Kafka as he guides him to the answers that he's seeking on his journey.
Benji Ovich Beartown series 2017–2018 Fredrik Backman Gay Benji is a gay hockey player who "has an awakening".[217]
Paul, Noah, Tony
Kyle
"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.[4][218][219]
Patroclus
Achilles
The Song of Achilles 2011 Madeline Miller Gay
Bisexual
Achilles is gay, showing no interest in girls. Patroclus is bisexual, saying he would fall in love with Briseis if not for Achilles.[220]
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."[221]
Millie Quint
Flora Baird
Her Royal Highness 2019 Rachel Hawkins Bisexual
Lesbian
The story centers on the developing romantic relationship between Millie and Flora.[222][223]
Richie The Slap 2008 Christos Tsiolkas Gay Male main character who has a sexual attraction to Hector.
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".[224]
Lisbeth Salander Millennium series 2005–2007 Stieg Larsson Bisexual Lisbeth is has gender ambiguity, specifically "a mix of attributes within her identity as a woman" and she has various bisexual "relationships, sex with friends in non-exclusive relationships, recreational sex."[225]
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.[226]
Jerico Soberanis The Toll
(Arc of a Scythe trilogy)
2019 Neal Shusterman Genderfluid Jerico is a "hypercompetent, genderfluid sea captain" who is given space to shine in the novel.[227]
  • Simon Spier
  • Bram Greenfeld
  • Cal Price
  • Peter
  • Carter Addison
  • Leah Burke
  • Abby Suso
  • Cassie Peskin-Suso
  • Mina Choi
  • Nadine Suso
  • Patty Peskin
  • Julian Perillo
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda 2015 Becky Albertalli Gay
Lesbian
Pansexual
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.
April Spink
Miriam Forcible
Coraline 2002 Neil Gaiman Lesbian April, a retired burlesque dancer who may know about magic and fairies, and another retired burlesque actress, Miriam, are lovers. On multiple occasions, Neil Gaiman, who wrote the novel the movie is based on, stated that they are an elderly couple and are together,[228][229][230][231][232] relating to the many lesbians he put in his other works like Sandman, Death: The Time of Your Life, Neverwhere, American Gods, and Miracleman.[233] He also confirmed that this was reflected in the movie,[234] noting a review on the movie adaptation in 2009,[235] stating that they had been called "thespians" in a Coraline musical in 2007,[236] and stated that he did not call them a couple in the text because he wanted readers to have the same experience he had "with the couple that Spink and Forcible were based on."[237]
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.[238]
Corny Stone
Luis
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.[239] Luis is also gay, which the author confirmed, and has a relationship with Corny.[240][241] Reportedly, in Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie, Ruth is Val's lesbian best friend.
Noah Sweetwine
Brian Connelly
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.[citation needed]
Taako Taaco
Hurley
Sloane
The Adventure Zone graphic novel series 2018–present Carey Pietch Gay
Lesbian
Trans
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.[242] 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.[243] 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.
Tamaru 1Q84 2009–2010 Haruki Murakami Gay Tamaru is a gay character.[244]
Mike Tate Whatever: or how junior year became totally f$@ked 2016 S.J. Goslee Bisexual Mike has a girlfriend who breaks up with him and he becomes close with a "classmate who used to torment him."[245][246]
Ryan Thomson The Sidekicks 2016–2017 Will Kostakis Gay Ryan is a gay man in this "super gay book" and is set at an "all-boys, sports-centric school."[247]
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.[248][249]
Danny Tozer/Dreadnought
Sarah Callisto/Calamity
Kinetiq
Nemesis series(Dreadnought, Sovereign) 2017 April Daniels Trans
Lesbian
Bisexual
Genderqueer
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.[250]
Sue Trinder
Maud Lilly
Fingersmith 2002 Sarah Waters Lesbian Sue and Maud have a sexual/romantic relationship with each other.[251]
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.[185][252]
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.[253]
Sinjir Rath Velus 2015–2017 Chuck Wendig Gay Sinjir Rath Velus is a gay imperial officer, raising the question of what life "is like for gay men and women in the Empire."[254][255]
Seth Wearing
Gudmund
More Than This 2013 Patrick Ness Gay
Bisexual
Seth is gay and secretly dated Gudmund until they got outed. Gudmund appears to be bisexual or in denial of his homosexuality.[256][257]
Felicity Worthington Gemma Doyle Trilogy 2003–2007 Libba Bray Lesbian Felicity is an "alpha girl", who becomes friends with the protagonist, Gemma, and has an "obsession with power", and has a tortured lesbian relationship with Pippa.[258] 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.
Alice Chu
Selwyn Kane
Greer Taylor
Victoria Morgan
Sarah
William
Legendborn 2020 Tracy Deonn Lesbian
Bisexual
Nonbinary
Gay
Alice, the best friend of the protagonist Bree, is a lesbian. Selwyn, one of Bree's love interests, previously had a crush on Nick, another of Bree's love interests, and has had sexual relationships with both men and women. Greer, Bree's friend, is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. Victoria is bisexual as she once had a one-night stand with Selwyn but is now dating Sarah, who is a lesbian. William, another of Bree's friends, mentions that he has a boyfriend.
Aaron Soto More Happy Than Not 2015 Adam Silvera Gay Aaron Soto is a sixteen-year-old dealing with his father's suicide, his own recent suicide attempt, and his growing feelings for a boy and accepting his sexuality despite having a girlfriend and seemingly homophobic friends. He tries to "forget" that he's gay by suppressing his memories through a procedure at Leteo.
Griffin Jennings
Theo McIntyre
Jackson
Wade
History is All You Left Me 2017 Adam Silvera Griffin is a gay teenager dealing with OCD and the recent loss of his ex-boyfriend, Theo. He then meets Theo's current boyfriend (before he died), Jackson. In the end of the book, Griffin and Wade are dating.
Mateo Torrez
Rufus Emeterio
They Both Die at the End 2017 Adam Silvera Gay
Bisexual
Although Mateo's sexuality is never outwardly discussed in the book, he is presumed to be gay. Towards the end of the book he kisses Rufus, who is a bisexual teenager.
Arthur Seuss
Ben Alejo
What If It's Us
Here's To Us
2018
2021
Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Maurice was written in 1913–14 but not published until 1971, after Forster's death.
  2. ^ Though Harkonnen is the biological father of Lady Jessica, it is noted in Dune that this is because he "once permitted himself to be seduced."
  3. ^ The novel features two protagonists named Will Grayson, one written by Green and one by Levithan; it is Levithan's Will Grayson who is referred to here.
  4. ^ There were same-gender relationships in “Star Wars: The Old Republic” online roleplaying game after an outcry, introduced in 2015.

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