LGBTQIA+ Stories in Media

Faves with Queer Themes:

  • Wandering Son (manga) - This one did my head in so thoroughly that I couldn’t deny my trans ass any longer.
  • Radiator (game) - The beginning of Robert Yang’s glorious, gay gamography.
  • Gone Home (game) - Nostalgia and old hurts for my upbringing and all the denial throughout.
  • Tacoma (game) - Lovely story that also flips the bird to standard beauty conventions.
  • Dumbing of Age (webcomic) - Simple joys.
6 Likes

double up the wandering son suggestion it’s really sweet

Yuri On Ice is a really tasteful example of a gay story done really well, mostly by being treated as one component of a story rather than the entire thrust.

In case you hadn’t heard about it, it’s a sports anime focused around the world of men’s figure skating. It has all the tropes of training, big deal tournaments, and rivals, but weaves in a romantic plot between the main character and his coach. It’s done in a way that one could argue is bordering on queer baiting at first, but the kiss and eventual exchange of rings (without the explicit declaration of marriage at the time, even though the reaction to them is as if they were engaged) make it really hard to argue that by the end.

I actually found it to be a very tasteful romance, and I enjoyed how it played out with the same chasteness and indirectness as a lot of actual romance, and more importantly, dramatic romance. There’s something to be said about how it presents what it does without trying to call attention to itself, and it never loses sight of the fact that it’s about ice skating.

4 Likes

I really need to get around to playing Gone Home, I got it for free but never downloaded it. Heard so much good about it.

Wow it sounds like a lot of people love Wandering Son, definitely gotta check it out.

I keep meaning to watch YoI but other things keep getting my attention but it’s definitely on my backlog!

2 Likes

Oh Human Star is a sci-fi webcomic that essentially is about a man who wakes up 16 years later after his death in a robot body, in a future populated by synthetic beings that was made possible by his work before his death. The POV swaps between him, his surviving boyfriend (who carried on his work after his death), and a trans girl who – well, it’s complicated. The creator is definitely queer and probably trans (I am like 99% certain on this, but the twitter doesn’t make it explicit). I felt it was a bit of a slow burn at the start but I’m really into these days (to the point I’ve joined the Patreon).

Also Gone Home is very good. I finished it around two weeks ago and it was still great, even though I spoiled myself on the major plot beforehand.

3 Likes

I’ve recommended it before on another media thread, but All Our Worlds is a great book database for finding diverse literature.

Of recent books I’ve read:

The Red Threads of Fortune by J. Y. Yang: Bi/pan protagonist, nonbinary love interest, some really awesome world building and a magic system. It says it’s the second in the series, but is actually a novella that came out as a pair. (I’m currently reading it, so I’ll update if anything changes my opinion on it.)

River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey: Gay protagonist, nonbinary love interest, genderfluid secondary character. A novella about hippo ranching in Louisiana, which was something I did not know was almost a real thing until I read this book. Has a sequel novella, haven’t read it yet.

The Long Way to a Small Angry, Planet by Becky Chambers: I yell about this book every time there’s an appropriate book thread and will continue to do some. A sci-fi adventure about the crew heading out to open a wormhole into new territory. The sequel is really lovely too.

Always Human: A finished webcomic about love and finding your way. Also handles disabilities really well.

Friends at the Table: Friends at the Table is an actual play podcast about critical worldbuilding, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends. There’s a great thread on the forums, here is and a flowchart on where to start, but basically it’s a great tabletop RPG with great settings and characters.

3 Likes

I am definitely going to have to pick this up at some point - at this point I’ve seen 4 people recommend it!

I’ll join you in the yelling! :smiley:
I loved this book so much, particularly in how it de-emphasized violence (I think a lot about this wrt media, especially games). And I thought its sequel was even better, even if it wasn’t nearly as lighthearted. The narrator in the audiobooks is excellent.

2 Likes

Books are a bit tricky for me since I have to hide them from my family. I’m out to my immediate family(My mom I told then she against my wishes outed me to everyone else). But if I ever get my own place I’d love to pick up some great books like that!

I’m just realizing reading it now that I’ve actually read The Bride Was a Boy before I just didn’t remember the name. It’s so cute!

On Human Star sounds pretty interesting.

I’m pretty ignorant about queer lit, but Fun Home is one of my favourite graphic novels/autobiographies. I’m sure it’s an obvious choice but it’s really good and has to be mentioned.

2 Likes

E-readers (and their equivalent phone apps) are a godsend for reading books that you don’t want other people to see. Goodness knows I use mine regularly (I read a lot of romance books). Some libraries will also check out ebooks to patrons, so that’s an option.

Also, I’m sorry your mom did that to you. :confused: It sucks.

1 Like

If you can forget what happened in the original Life is Strange, Before the Storm is a good, cute game about cute queer girls who are each troubled in their own ways, but are helping each other through life by being there for each other. Just… don’t think of the original game.

Wandering Son is so sweet it hurts. It’s so empathetic, if pretty depressing at times. That and Revolutionary Girl Utena are my favs for sure. Both really had a huge influence on me.

3 Likes

Welp that’s it I’m putting everything else on hold and reading this. Teared up watching this oh god do I need this story.

2 Likes

Some anime and manga I know off the top of my head very on point for this topic.

Yurikuma Arashi (and absolute must, from the director of Utena and directly about what it means to be a lesbian in modern society)

My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness (An incredible autobiography manga about a woman’s time exploring her sexuality while dealing with depression)

Transistor Venus (Complete fluff but very fun, lead is bisexual and most chapters just devolve into her kissing other women in a strangely not smutty way, adorable and often really funny)

Sakura Trick (A manga written by a lesbian about lesbians, slice of life comedy with a whole lot of gay, the anime is surprisingly good for a Deen production)

4 Likes

One of my favourite yuri stories is Octave, yuri is often about women learning that they’re interested in other women while they’re growing but Octave does it with a strong emphasis on exploring it with a character that stumbles so hard through very poor decisions that it quickly moves from first lesbian relationship to i don’t know how to have a relationship, and that sudden and harsh move really stood with me.

It’s actually impressive how much good, positive yuri there is, at least that which surfaces in english.

2 Likes

One of my favorite TV shows right now is Wynonna Earp, and its best described as Good Supernatural with a flawed lady lead and her queer sister. It rules a lot and they tend to treat stuff fairly well(especially after it gets through the first season)

I’ve heard that the manga on which the Wandering Son anime was based goes into a lot more depth/nuance. I haven’t read it myself – I find reading most manga rather difficult due to the predominance of grayscale art styles with dot patterns, which don’t provide enough contrast for me to latch onto.

I’d like to rec two things by and about queer people, both completed serial works freely available online:

First, Earthcast, a dark-fantasy webnovel featuring:

  • the intertwining of mythologies of cultures-in-contact
  • the adventures of developing, recognizing, and claiming selfhood
  • witches, monster ladies, and anthropomorphic personifications of time
  • the creeping horror of forests; also, quips

with the caveat that there are definitely body-horror bits (DETAILED) and descriptions of historical ethnic violence (LESS DETAILED, BUT ALSO DISTURBING).

Second, Shootaround, an ensemble slice-of-life that happens to be set during a zombie apocalypse. I think the genre/trope descriptors are a lot more readily available for this one, but it’s really a very cozy comic despite the setting, and it struck me that in a year where mainstream media was repeatedly killing off queer female characters, this was pretty much a total inversion: almost everyone has been killed off, and the focus is on the queer and trans (and mostly female) characters. Who resolutely, absolutely, with joy and fear and love and friendship, survive.

1 Like

Six Feats Under is an actual play podcast with a cast that’s mostly queer women, and who have a lot of queer representation in their stuff. They do a lot of different one-off games with guests, and have three ongoing campaigns (two Mouseguard groups which alternate, one Fellowship game).

1 Like

Three whole queer people and none of them dead of the gay. It’s like some kind of miracle show.

1 Like

We Know the Devil means a lot to me. I played it right around the time I was beginning to understand my transness and it helped me process some of those feelings. The game can be a little disturbing and uncomfortable at times (I’d recommend reading the content warning on the steam page) but if you take the time to listen to the stories of the three main characters and see the true ending, I’m sure you will come away having experienced something truly special.

As a bonus, the artist who worked on the game sells an art book for the game which is total must-have if you liked We Know the Devil.

Oh also they’re working on a new game called Heaven Will Be Mine, which I am very excited about.

9 Likes