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By Madeline Halpern, Programs Analyst at Mental Health America

Mental health and its struggles are deeply rooted in your personal experiences. Seeing someone go through something like your own experiences is validating and can empower you. Many people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum struggle to find themselves in both fiction and non-fiction books. One of the best ways to find this type of representation is by reading authors with a similar background to your own.

To help jumpstart your summer reading list, here’s a list of books by authors who identify as LGBTQ+ and are primarily people of color, authors writing about mental health and substances misuse.

  1. A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass
  2. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  3. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  4. Consensual Genocide by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
  5. (Don’t) Call me Crazy by Kelly Jensen
  6. Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
  7. Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
  8. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  9. Happiness, Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta
  10. Headcases: LGBTQ Writers & Artists on Mental Health and Wellness by Stephanie Schroeder
  11. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
  12. How to Survive a Summer by Nick White
  13. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
  14. If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
  15. Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler
  16. Not Vanishing by Chrystos
  17. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  18. Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives by Nia King
  19. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More by Janet Mock
  20. Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand by Samuel R. Delany
  21. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  22. The Recovering: Intoxication and its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
  23. The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea by Yukio Mishima
  24. Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  25. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore