25 Essential Works of LGBT Non-Fiction

Yesterday saw the release of Choire Sicha’s excellent book Very Recent History, which follows a group of young gay men as they make their way through New York City in the midst of the financial crisis of the late aughts. While it never even incorporates the word “gay,” Very Recent History follows a long tradition of providing a window into a very specific and often underrepresented community. With that in mind, here’s a collection of other important non-fiction titles about the diverse LGBT community. While neither an exhaustive nor a definitive list, these 25 books are recommended reading to get a broader idea of the queer experience. Feel free to suggest other titles in the comments! 

the gay metropolis

The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser

Kaiser’s historical look at how gay men informed the culture of America’s urban areas — particularly New York City — spans 56 years from the periods of silent acceptance, the tumultuous pre-Stonewall years, the empowering ’70s, and the AIDS crisis of the ’80s.