Five Must-Read Travel Books by LGBTQ+ Writers2 min read
It’s Pride Month, and that means lifting up stories of the LGBTQ+ community. And what better time to explore new travel books than the beginning of summer? Whether you’re flying somewhere new in the next few months, or not going far, these travel books by queer voices will take you to new places.
The Black Penguin by Andrew Evans: Growing up a devout Mormon in rural Ohio, Andrew Evans had his life mapped for him: baptism, mission, Brigham Young University, temple marriage and children of his own. But when Evans was ejected from church and shunned by his family, he embarked on an ambitious journey halfway across the world … to Antarctica. Evans’s 12,000-mile trek became a soulful, resonant story about finding faith, family and self. Read it for its rare combination of anecdotes from both childhood memories and international buses.
Traveling While Black and Lesbian by Khanyisa Mnyaka: Khanyisa Mnyaka grew up in rural South Africa in the first generation of black children to live post-apartheid. She found parts of herself while traveling the world—coming out of the closet in South Korea, finding deep connections with her Muslim friends in Malaysia, walking in spiritual presence at the Mayan ruins in Guatemala and so much more. Read it to fall in love with Khanyisa, and the world.
Thinking Again: A Diary by Jan Morris. An acclaimed classic travel writer who was the first journalist to accompany the 1953 British Mount Everest expedition, Jan lived and wrote as James Morris before transitioning in 1972. Her late-in-life diary offers vibrant reminiscences from both her time in the UK and her life abroad. Read it for the good humor and hard-earned wisdom.
Destination Pride: A Little Book for the Best LGBTQ Vacations by Andrew Collins. Travel memoirs are full of fun and poignant stories, but sometimes you need practical advice if traveling while queer. You’ll find it here. Chapters are organized by theme—epic road trips, romantic vacations, foodie adventures—and include invaluable tips, from how to choose the right dating app in different parts of the world to how to navigate places where LGBTQ travelers still confront injustice and prejudice. Read it to get new ideas for your travel bucket list.
SELF-ish: A Transgender Awakening by Chloe Schwenke. Raised in a Marine Corps family, Schwenke was sent off at age fourteen to “man-up” at a military academy. Later, she ventured abroad to work in Africa, the Gaza Strip, Turkey and many other places while struggling with her inner identity, before coming to the revelation of being a transgender woman. This is a poignant story of authenticity and self-discovery set against a fascinating international backdrop. Read it for Schwenke’s open, frank storytelling style.