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Black gay male stories & queer readings (2022)

Are you a gay male who’s passionate about reading?  Check out some of the best black gay male stories & queer readings.

Since I was young I loved to read all types of books from science fiction to fiction.  However, growing up most of the literature and novels I read mostly involved heterosexual characters.  I’ve never even heard of stories with lead gay characters, not even in school.  Times have changed.  The world is more accepting of the LGBTQ community.  There have been many more books being produced with openly gay characters.  There is even tons of literature with black gay male protagonists!   Because I have a passion for reading I decided to create this post on the best gay male stories.

Black gay male stories & queer readings

The Sweetness of Water

This novel is part of Oprah’s Book Club which is a selection of books recommended by Oprah.    Many of these books are good reads, including The Sweetness of Water.  The book is written by a black author who’s actually pretty handsome.  The Sweetness of Water is a gay romance novel about two brothers who end up living with a farmer after the Civil Brother.  In the book, there are many subplots involving the gay romance between two soldiers of the Civil War.  I don’t want to give any spoilers so you would have to read the book for yourself.

What I like about this book is that it involves so many universal themes including race, prejudice, and love.   The book is set in the 1800s which is a time when homosexuality was a sin and could actually get you murdered.  Given this, the fact the book keeps the reader on the edge of the seat as the gay romance in the book eventually gets revealed.


I Am Not Your Negro

James Baldwin is one of the most famous black gay authors. He was an intellectual that kept it real about the state of blacks in America. If you’re a black LGBT person and you’re not familiar with Baldwin you definitely should take some time to learn about him and read one of his books. James wrote insightful books and one of the most popular ones was I Am Not Your Negro. The book wasn’t like an ordinary autobiography where he goes through a timeline of his life. Instead, it’s a collection of notes and essays. In this book, James talked about the civil rights movement and the issues that persons of the color faced during that time. He wasn’t scared to openly talk about race relations which he has been highly respected for.


This Way Out

This book is quite interesting.  The main character is a Muslim male named Amar.  From what I know about the Islam religion homosexuality is forbidden.  I know Muslims that do accept others without judgment but homosexuality isn’t fully supported.  Amar goes against the grain by proposing to a man, that’s white!   

What I like about this book is that it highlights the struggles that most religious gays face: family acceptance and living life righteously even though religion condemns homosexuality.  Fortunately, I’ve been accepted by my family for my sexuality but many other persons have not been.  Homosexuality is looked down upon in many families causing feelings of shame and anger.  Religion many times can cause more pain.  In the church 


All Boys Aren’t Blue

All Boys Aren’t Blue is another book by a queer black author named George Johnson.  The book is  New York Times bestseller and has good ratings from other media sources.  The book is a memoir of George’s life and his struggles as a black gay from childhood to adulthood.  What I like about the book is that he talks in plain and simple language so you can easily follow along.  I also like his authenticity which he states as his goal at the beginning of the book.

There are many relatable parts of George’s story to my own life.  For instance, he deals with toxic masculinity in different areas of his life, including joining a fraternity.  I had the same experience when joining a black fraternity.  Black greek fraternities have condemned homosexuality in the past and many times would even deny prospective members who were openly gay.  Sometimes initiates would even be dropped during hell week if rumors spread that they are gay.

If you’re a young or old black gay male you would enjoy this book.  George is an intellectual who knows how to engage his readers by talking about black male experience and black gay experience.


I Can’t Date Jesus

This is a black gay autobiography that’s very entertaining.  What I like about the book is that it appeals to the young black gay masses.  By mentioning Beyonce in the title the author Michael Arceneaux.  In the book, he uses urban slang like thot and saddity.  I remember once meeting Michael at a black gay event here in NYC.  His way of speaking in person is straightforward and direct just as he speaks in his autobiography.  I respect this.  There are some writers who try to use complex language to show their intelligence.  Sometimes using simple language impacts a reader more than complicated vocabulary. 

As a black gay male, I can relate to some of his experiences from gay hookups to being raised in a traditional household.  He doesn’t discuss any serious childhood traumas like abandonment or homelessness but at the same time struggles with sexuality as a black gay man.  If you’re a black gay male living in an urban setting you may enjoy it.


Just As I Am

If you’re a black queer male of the older generation you probably heard of the author E Lynn Harris.  Harris was known for creating novels about black gay and bisexuals living on the down-low.  And Just As I Am follows the plot.  The novel is part of a trilogy and is the sequel to the first book Invisible Life.  The main character in the book is a black bisexual man named Raymond.  In the sequel, Raymond moves from New York to Atlanta to work as a sports lawyer.  Raymond struggles with his sexuality and tries to find love and romance.

Just As I Am and Elyn’s other books were so special because they reflected the realities of many black gay men.  Many of us struggle with our sexuality way into adulthood.  Sadly, a lot of us remained closeted till the day we die.  There are also constant worries about not contracting HIV and STDS since promiscuity is very common in the gay community.


No Ashes in the Fire

This is another book by a male black gay author Darnell Moore.  Darnell is a black gay influencer who supports both the heterosexual and homosexual black community.  I’ve heard Darnell speak at Brunch 2 Harlem, a popular black queer restaurant in Harlem, and just in his voice, you can tell he’s passionate about civil rights. 

No Ashes in the Fire is an autobiography.  It tells the story of Darnell’s trials and tribulations as a black gay man from New Jersey.  At the beginning of the book, Darnell tells the story of being bullied and how he almost got lit on fire because of his sexuality.   Just thinking about him makes me shake.  If I was in that situation I probably would’ve retaliated and stabbed all of them.  Anyway, Darnell talks about other common issues black gay men face like racism and being black and gay in the church.  Even though the church is supposed to be a safe haven there is a lot of homophobia.  The irony is that a lot of priests and religious leaders are closeted. 

If you’re a person of color and even if you’re straight you would enjoy No Ashes in the Fire.  He tells the story of not just being a gay man but being a black man here in his country.


Black Man Enough

Being black is a struggle. You deal with prejudice daily whether in the workplace or on the streets.  So imagine how it is to be black and gay.  Many of times I’ve felt stigmatized because of my sexuality and race.  Among strangers and even friends U felt that I couldn’t fully express myself because of my identity

In the book Black Man Enough the author Gee Smalls talk about the struggles of being a queer black.  Gee gives an interesting perspective because he’s bisexual and biracial.  Because of his light complexion he was teased and bullied.  Despite childhood traumas in adulthood he was able to embrace himself as a queer black man.



The Velvet Rage

Velvet Rage is one of the most popular books in the LGBTQ community.  The book is written by a psychologist named Alan Downs.  So you know he’s credible and not just talking out his ass.   Velvet Rage deals with the issue that most LGBTQ persons can relate to regardless of class, status, and race: shame.  According to psychologists shame is the feeling of unworthiness.   In the book, he talks about the lives of several gay men and how shame has affected them throughout their childhood and adulthood.  Their lives mimic the lives of so many gay men I know and know of.  There are some stereotypes but I see the behavior patterns all the time.  They wear brand names, not for themselves but to impress other people.  They go on expensive trips and brag about it not because they truly enjoy being in faraway places but to show that have status.  We gay men, including myself, live facades, for temporary happiness when we should be focusing on things that really matter like family,  inner peace, and spirituality     

Wrap up

Reading is important because it helps you to understand the world. Even romance novels can teach you lessons about life including love, friendships, and death.  It’s even more important to read books of different genres and by different types of authors to gain different perspectives about life.

The books I listed above are by homosexual authors and queer persons of authors.  The reason I did this is that they are often overlooked because of their LGBTQ content. Homosexual authors should have a voice just like heterosexual authors since they have produced many of them and have created great literary works.