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Culturally Relevant

10 2SLGBTQ+ Disabled Authors to Read This Pride Month

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Kendra Winchester

Contributing Editor

Kendra Winchester is a Contributing Editor for Book Riot where she writes about audiobooks and disability literature. She is also the Founder of Read Appalachia, which celebrates Appalachian literature and writing. Previously, Kendra co-founded and served as Executive Director for Reading Women, a podcast that gained an international following over its six-season run. In her off hours, you can find her writing on her Substack, Winchester Ave, and posting photos of her Corgis on Instagram and Twitter @kdwinchester.

For queer disabled folks, Pride can be, well, complicated. Many Pride Month festivities aren’t organized with disabled people in mind. Drag shows don’t include ASL interpreters. Parades aren’t planned with mobility aids in mind. Flashing lights appear without warning. Autistic folks struggle to find quiet places to decompress from overstimulation. Sometimes, the effects on disabled people’s health and wellbeing just aren’t worth it. In many cases, 2SLGBTQ+ Pride events can turn into just another thing that reminds disabled folks that they don’t belong.

Something similar often happens in the bookish space. From rainbow book stacks on Instagram to lists of book recommendations on popular websites, much of the book-related Pride content forgets to include disabled, chronically ill, Deaf, and neurodivergent authors. When disabled 2SLGBTQ+ people look around the bookish internet and don’t see themselves included, it can feel like they can only celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ part of their identity but not the disabled part of themselves.

So whether you’re a nondisabled person who didn’t realize disabled people are missing from their Pride book stack or if you’re a 2SLGBTQ+ book lover who just wants even more disability literature to add to your TBR, this post is for you!

A graphic of the cover of Exile and Pride

Eli Claire

Eli Claire is a genderqueer disabled author known for his work advocating for disability and trans rights. Perhaps his most well-known work, Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, is now considered a contemporary classic of disability literature. He’s also a poet, and his collection The Marrow’s Telling: Words in Motion was a Lambda Literary Award finalist in 2008.

A graphic of the cover of The Collected Schizophrenias

Esmé Weijun Wang

Bisexual Taiwanese American author Esmé Weijun Wang writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her essay collection The Collected Schizophrenias is, hands down, one of the best books discussing mental illness that I have ever read. Wang possesses an ability to convey the complex reality of living with a condition that society fears and often vilifies. She captures on page the struggle that many people with Schizophrenia face on a daily basis.

A graphic of the cover of The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers: And Other Gruesome Tales

Jen Campbell

Jen Campbell is a former bookseller turned author who writes everything, from poetry to children’s picture books. Much of her writing centers ideas around disability and disfigurement. Over on her YouTube Channel, Campbell shares her experience with EEC Syndrome, which is a form of Ectodermal Dysplasia, and discusses disfigurement representation in the media. Her most recent book, The Sister Who Ate Her Brothers, features retellings of some of the world’s creepiest fairy tales.

A graphic of the cover of Two-Spirits Belong Here

Jen Deerinwater

A bisexual Two Spirit member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Jen Deerinwater writes about disability and works as an activist for disability justice. Her writing has been included in Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty First Century, Two-Spirits Belong Here, Crip Authorship, and Building Narrative Power for 21st Century Social Movements.

A graphic of the cover of More Than Organs

Kay Ulanday Barrett

Kay Ulanday Barrett (aka @BrownRoundBoi) is a disabled Filipinx Amerikan transgender queer poet and performer. Their poetry collection, More Than Organs, is a ALA Stonewall Honor Books and a Lambda Literary finalist. Back in 2020, Alice Wong did an excellent Q&A with Barrett for Disability Visibility, a project that highlights disabled people and their work.

A graphic of the cover of The Pretty One

Keah Brown

Proud bisexual Keah Brown, a writer and actress, might be most well-known for starting the #DisabledAndCute hashtag, encouraging other disabled people to share hot selfies of themselves. Her book, The Pretty One, follows Brown’s life as a Black woman living with cerebral palsy.

A graphic of the cover of Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman

Laura Kate Dale

Laura Kate Dale is an autistic trans writer and content creator. Twitch streaming, YouTube videos, podcasting — she does it all! In 2019, she published Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman, in which she shares how she came to realize that she wasn’t a neurotypical heterosexual boy that she thought she was.

A graphic of a cover of Care Work

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled nonbinary femme writer, known for books like Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home, which was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist in 2016, and Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice, a vital essay collection on the topic of disability justice. Piepzna-Samarasinha has also published poetry collections, like Love Cake, Bodymap, and Tonguebreaker.

A graphic of the cover of Sorrowland

Rivers Solomon

A Black, intersex, genderqueer disabled author, Rivers Solomon is most well known for faer speculative fiction. Faer debut novel, The Unkindness of Ghosts, was a Stonewall Book Award Honor Book and a finalist for the 2018 Locus Award, John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the Lambda Literary Award. Faer’s second book, Sorrowland, came out in 2021 to much acclaim, and was named A New York Times Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2021. Fae have also written shorter pieces, like the essay “Black Girl Going Mad” in Guernica and “Blood Is Another Word for Hunger” on

A graphic of the cover of Get a Life Chloe brown

Talia Hibbert

While many readers know Talia Hibbert from her Brown Sisters series, Hibbert has been writing romance novels for a long time. Hibbert has written 17 romance novels that feature a diverse cast of characters following in love and finally reaching their happily ever after. Hibbert’s characters are often inspired by Hibbert’s own experience as a neurodivergent, disabled, chronically ill Black woman living in the UK.

I hope these authors and their incredible books help you increase the disabled writers in your Pride Month TBRs. And if you’re looking for even more disability lit, check out Read Harder 2021: Own Voices Books About Disability and 9 Nonfiction Books About Disability by People of Marginalized Genders.