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Feminism: chat

Please recommend books for lesbian 16YO

23 replies

littleredberries · 04/08/2021 16:01

16YO mentee (I look out for her) recently came out as lesbian. She is struggling with her sexuality and with body positivity. I suppose I could say she is flirting with identifying out of womanhood, which I think she sees as easier than being lesbian.

It's her birthday soon and I really want to gift one or two books to help her. Can anyone recommend?

OP posts:

GAHgamel · 05/08/2021 00:08

Not my area, but if you're on twitter perhaps you could ask Labrys Lit Lesbian Book Group for some age appropriate recommendations?


NuffSaidSam · 05/08/2021 00:15

I haven't read these personally but I listen to a podcast with Tom Allen and Suzi Ruffell and they both talk about the 'Tales of the City' books and how important they were to them as gay teenagers, dealing with coming out etc. Obviously, find someone with more information than me, but might be a starting point.


Daydrambeliever · 05/08/2021 00:19

Came here to say the original Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin. Sarah Waters books are lovely.


Daydrambeliever · 05/08/2021 00:21

I'm old but Oranges are the not the only fruit by Jeanette Winterson was also an eye opener.


littleredberries · 05/08/2021 14:29

Thank you for all these suggestions. I'm following them all up now and they look great :-)

OP posts:

TheLightSideOfTheMoon · 05/08/2021 14:32

Girl Walking Backwards.

I forget who wrote it, though. Sorry!


Rarah · 05/08/2021 15:04

If she enjoys sci-fi, then Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Described as ‘Lesbian Necromancers in Space’Grin
A bit gruesome but it has the kind of amazing butch lesbian leading character I wish I’d had as a role model when I was a gender-questioning teen.


JaninaDuszejko · 05/08/2021 15:21

Graphic Novels
This is a good list.
The Heartstopper series of graphic novels are wonderful about a diverse group of British teenagers and are being made into a Netflix series. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden is also a fab space based graphic novel. And Fun Home by Alison Bechdel is a fantastic read although less YA than my other recommendations.

Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson is a classic.
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron has fantasy elements in a very real Edinburgh.
Couple of Cinderella retellings : Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron and Ash by Malinda Lo.


JaninaDuszejko · 05/08/2021 15:22

Oh, and Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill.


sazzt · 05/08/2021 17:08

Girl hearts girl by Lucy Sutcliffe


drwitch · 05/08/2021 17:15

This is beautiful
"What-Comes-Naturally" by -Gerd-Brantenberg
if you can get it

She also wrote Egailia's daugthers which is absolutely brilliant


marilousiseverywhere · 05/08/2021 22:45

'Melt My Heart' by Bethany Rutter is v sweet on both body positivity and lesbian relationships.

'Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me' by Mariko Tamaki is a graphic novel, and also very lovely and beautifully drawn.


moofolk · 05/08/2021 23:33

Sarah Water's Tipping the Velvet is a classic.

Most people (my age) remember it from the 1990s.

Good because it's a coming of age book.

The Fingersmith is a masterpiece. Less sex in it too if you'd be happier giving her that.


moofolk · 05/08/2021 23:34

That should have said the 90s miniseries with Keeley Hawes.



FindTheTruth · 06/08/2021 08:12

books and resources


littleredberries · 06/08/2021 08:47

These are all great. Thank you so much x

OP posts:

logsonlogsoff · 10/08/2021 18:33

Anything by Malinda Lo - Last Night at the Telegraph club is the latest.
Ash is hers, a queer re-telling of cinderella and also Huntress which is more of a fantasy one. She's a great author!

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters -
Fingersmith - just a brilliant book.
Anything by Sarah Waters really.

Annie on my Mind is another YA novel I loved back in the day.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is about a teen who gets shipped off to one of those 'conversion' camps and finds love.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - not a YA but fantastic. Old Hollywood, closeted actresses finding their own way. Great read.

The Mercies - Kiran Millwood HArgrave - brilliant read

Stir-fry - Emma Donohue - one of the 1st books by a lesbian writer with lesbian characters I read.really good.

Keeping you a Secret - Julie Anne Peters - a YA
The Confession - Jesse Burton,
In At the Deep - Kate Davies
Carol - Patricia Highsmith
Alice Walker - Color Purple
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe ( the movie 'de-gayed' the love story)
Desert of the Heart - Jane Rule - classic
Empress of the World - YA

Keep her away from Well of Loneliness for heavens' sake. One of the first 'gay' books I read and god it's depressing!


DaisyWaldron · 11/08/2021 16:34

I'm really enjoying One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston at the moment.


MarieIVanArkleStinks · 12/08/2021 10:53

Another vote for Sarah Waters.

I'd add another title by Jeanette Winterson: Written on the Body. This woman writes more eloquently on the subject of love than pretty much any other writer whose books I've opened. It's a beautiful read.


JaninaDuszejko · 12/08/2021 12:06

[quote FindTheTruth]books and resources
That's a really excellent site, very clear on sex based rights.


AsTreesWalking · 12/08/2021 14:16

Great recommendations. I'd add
Things a bright girl can do by Sally Nicholls - women's suffrage + lesbian romance
Undivided - Vicky Beeching. Autobiography of a Christian song writer
More than this - Patrick Ness. Every 'big' life question - live, sex, death, life after death. And the most loving sex scene ever - actually they (2 boys) are talking in bed, but it is true intimacy and we need more of it in teen fiction.
I really enjoyed Tales of the City when they were first published, but re reading them I see that Maupin just does not like women. The lesbians are not very sympathetic, and the few straight women are rather nasty (looking at you, Mary Ann)


ValancyRedfern · 13/08/2021 21:07

Anything and everything by Sarah Waters. She is an amazing novelist, and nearly all of her novels have lesbian central characters. Fingersmith is my favourite. Tipping the Velvet, The Paying Guests, The Night Watch. All amazing.


YukoandHiro · 13/08/2021 21:09

Came here to say Fried Green Tomatoes

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