After decades of being relegated to the "queer" section of the bookstore, usually on a dusty bottom shelf in a dark back corner, more and more LGBTQ writers are having their work recognized and enjoyed by mainstream audiences.
Today, these writers are seeing their words reach the tops of bestsellers lists, be optioned for TV series and movies, and celebrated with the world's most prestigious literary prizes.
We've compiled a short roundup of some of our more prideful writers for pride season--some newcomers, some more established--who are making an impact in the literary world and serving as a voice for generations of queer people.
Amrou Al-Kadhi is a non-binary UK-based Iraqi writer, performer, and filmmaker whose memoir Life as a Unicorn: A Journey from Shame to Pride and Everything in Between was published last year. Winner of Somerset Maugham Award, the book chronicles Al-Kadhi’s journey from being a god-fearing Muslim boy to a vocal, queer drag queen.
In addition to that, Al-Kadhi, who goes by the pronouns “they” and “them,” co-wrote a standout episode of Little America with Stephen Dunn for AppleTV+, as well as the quirky comedy-series called Nefertiti and for such shows as Hollyoaks and The Watch.
Speaking in 2019 about the process memoir writing, 30-year-old Al-Kadhi said:
It was obviously very nerve-wracking, but also incredibly cathartic. My life has been very difficult in many ways, and being able to put it all down on a page somehow released me from so many of the negative experiences.
The writing process was kind of an act of self-forgiveness, if not of my family as well. As a young queer person of color, I literally had no-one I could see myself in. I felt so desperately alone and scared – I really just hope that this book can provide hope for young queer people of color struggling to find themselves.