While there are tons of queer audio memoirs read by their authors, it’s sometimes hard to find other kinds of audiobooks read by queer narrators. There are plenty of queer audiobooks read brilliantly by non-queer narrators, and that is just fine! There are also plenty of narrators who don’t talk openly about their identity, and that is also, obviously, their choice. I mention it because this list isn’t even close to comprehensive, and it’s not meant to be. It’s simply a celebration of eight amazing queer narrators!
Collectively, they have narrated hundreds of books — I don’t have an exact count, but I’m guessing it’s close to 1,000. I’ve personally listened to and loved many of them. Whether you’re looking for romance, sci-fi, history, contemporary fiction, or fantasy, these narrators have you covered. They’ve narrated hilarious books and heartbreaking ones. They can do teenage voices and the voices of elders. Whatever story they’re telling, I promise they will keep you riveted.
These narrators don’t just narrate LGBTQIA+ stories, of course — they narrate stories from many perspectives about all kinds of people. But I know I’m not the only queer reader who craves queer stories written and read by queer people. There’s an added layer of depth, some unnameable magic, that arises when queer narrators bring queer characters to life on audio. I will happily listen to anything these eight narrators care to read, but the queer lit they narrate will always be my favorite.
Kevin R. Free
Kevin R. Free is an actor, writer, director, and prolific audiobook narrator. He’s narrated, directed, or otherwise contributed to over 450 audiobooks! He’s won numerous Earphones Awards from Audiofile Magazine as well as Audie awards. It’s hard to highlight just a few of the many incredible books he’s narrated, partially because he has such amazing range. He’s the perfect, deadpan voice of Murderbot. He’s brilliant when it comes to queer YA (In Deeper Waters by FT Lukens, A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson). His performances of Real Life by Brandon Taylor and The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton will definitely make you weep. Basically, I’ve fallen head over heels for every book of his I’ve ever listened to.
Krystal Hammond is a queer nonbinary narrator and voice actor with a particular interest in all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy. If you haven’t yet listened to A.R. Capetta’s joyful queer romp, The Heartbreak Bakery, I can’t recommend it enough. Hammond captures every bit of the queer joy in their performance, bringing an already wonderful book to even more vivid life. I can’t wait to check out some of their other work, and to see what they record next!
Michael Crouch is another prolific narrator, with over 250 titles to his name. Fans of queer YA, contemporary queer fiction, and gay romance will likely recognize his warm, engaging voice. He’s especially brilliant when it comes to teen and younger characters. I’ll never forget his emotional narration of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Some of his other memorable performances include The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai and They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera.
Avi Roque is a nonbinary narrator whose voice you might recognize from the bestselling YA novel Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Since their performance in Cemetery Boys, Roque has been extremely busy, recording dozens of audiobooks in the last two years alone. They’re best known for their wonderful portrays of queer and trans characters in YA novels, including Café con Lychee by Emery Lee, Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa, and May the Best Man Win by ZR Ellor, to name a few. They also narrated the audio versions of the beloved Julian is a Mermaid children’s books!
Kay Eluvian is a trans voice actor who’s narrated both audiobooks and games. Her audio credits include several audio dramatizations of sci-fi and fantasy novels, such as the Ordinary Magic series and Ilona Andrews’s Innkeeper Chronicles. I fell in love with her work thanks to Alexis Hall’s latest historical romance, A Lady for a Duke. This funny, complicated, and beautifully heartfelt story stars a trans woman falling for her best friend from childhood, and Eluvian hits it out of the park with her performance.
You might recognize Vico Ortiz from their role as Jim on everyone’s favorite queer pirate drama, Our Flag Means Death. But badass knife-wielding pirate is only one of their many personas! They’ve also played various characters in the many audiobooks they’ve narrated, including Anna-Marie McLemore’s latest YA fantasy Lakelore. Ortiz has also narrated kidlit (Shy Willow by Cat Min) and literary fiction (as part of the ensemble cast of Velorio by Xavier Navarro Aquino). It’s encouraging that we’re starting to see more audiobooks by and about nonbinary people read by nonbinary voice actors — Lakelore, which is about two nonbinary teens, is read by two nonbinary narrators.
Samy Nour Younes Figaredo
Samy Nour Younes Figaredo is a trans actor, narrator, activist, and consultant. So far they’ve only narrated one audiobook, The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar. But what a performance it is — if you haven’t listened to this brilliant book yet, you’re going to want to fix that pronto. Figaredo also appears as part of the ensemble cast of the audio play Chonburi International Hotel and Butterfly Club. I can only hope that, in addition to his work as a community organizer, he’ll narrate many more books.
If you listen to sapphic romance on audio, you’ve likely heard Lori Prince already. My absolute favorite of hers is Fresh by Margot Wood, in which she portrays a chaotic bisexual college freshmen with absolute perfection. But she’s narrated dozens and dozens of lesbian romance novels, including books by Chelsea M. Cameron, Rachel Spangler, Georgia Beers, and more. Scanning through her catalogue is a great way to dip your toes into the water of sapphic romance on audio, too — there are so many books to choose from!
Looking for great queer audiobooks? We’ve got you covered with these queer YA audiobooks, these fantastic audiobooks for your LGBTQIA+ book club, and these queer memoirs read by the author. You’ll definitely encounter some familiar LGBTQIA+ narrators on these lists!