During June, the Toronto Pride Parade takes place to celebrate the diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. It’s a big party!
Already eager to kick off the celebration? Here’s our list of some wholesome (with a little edge) queer shows and literature to enjoy.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (2012) — Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Genres: Coming of Age, Romance
Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza doesn’t know how to occupy his summers other than to head to the swimming pool to avoid his family. Only—he can’t swim.
But there he meets Dante Quintana and they bond over their classical names, forming a friendship that lasts longer than the summer.
The novel explores Mexican American identity, family and the hardships of discrimination. Despite the hardships, the secrets of the universe can be pretty wholesome.
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Action
What do you do when you find a legendary sword that transforms you into the legendary Princess of Power, She-Ra?
Adolescent teen Adora leaves everything she’s ever known to fight in the rebellion against the tyrant Hordak. Additionally, her new mission pits her against Catra, her best friend turned mortal enemy.
From friends to enemies to…well you’ll have to watch and see.
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
All Out is an anthology of works that places queer teen characters at the center of historical fiction.
It’s like going to a fancy restaurant and asking for one of everything. There’s the 1970s disco scene, 1870s Mexico and plenty more.
These short stories are a good read during your break!
I Wish You All the Best (2019) — Mason Deaver
Genres: Young Adult Fiction
Ben De Backer (They/Them) comes out to their parents as non binary and is immediately forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah.
Ben navigates starting a new school and meeting new friends, Mariam and Nathan. Plus, trying to connect with their sister as awkward as it might be.
In between parental rejection and anxiety, there is still room for self-love.
Loveless (2020) — Alice Oseman
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Starting university with your best friends and joining the Shakespeare Society—what could go wrong?
Georgia has never had a crush, but she’s definitely ready to find romance! What ensues is a comedy of errors, havoc and a discussion about asexual and aromantic identity.
After all, what’s better than platonic love and great friends?
Felix Ever After (2021) — Kacen Callendar
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction, Romance
Felix Love wonders if he’ll ever get his happily ever after, searching for love while being stressed over his college applications. But that doesn’t mean he’ll take transphobia lying down. He embarks on a plan to find the culprit—and lands himself in a love triangle instead.
Felix Ever After covers themes of masculine identity, self confidence and love.
The Heartbreak Bakery (2021) — A. R. Capetta
Genres: Magical Realism, Romance
Syd (no pronouns, please) bakes brownies at the Proud Muffin after a breakup. However, it seems these brownies have a mind of their own. Everyone who eats the brownies breaks ups, including Vin and Alex, owners of the Proud Muffin. It seems impossible to solve, nonetheless, Syd doesn’t give up!
If the essence of wholesome could be boiled down and bottled, it’d be right here. Magical baking, gender exploration and trying to make things right, plus, the help of cute bike delivery person, Harley (He or They).
The Owl House (2020)
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Genres: Fantasy, Horror-Comedy
Luz Noceda is a teen girl whose eccentric interests have always gotten her in trouble. Then she enters a portal to the Boiling Isles and meets witch on the run, Eda, the Owl Lady. Determined to become a witch herself, Luz becomes Eda’s apprentice.
The journey isn’t easy but Gus and Willow, two students at the Hexside School of Magic, help Luz along the way. It’s not all smooth sailing. Amity Blight, the top student at Hexside, has a lot of say about a human becoming a witch.
The Owl House teaches us a lot about being different, complex family bonds and love.
Carry On (2015) — Rainbow Rowell
Genres: Urban fantasy
Simon Snow is supposedly the chosen one meant to thwart the Insidious Humdrum. But the school year at Watford School of Magicks doesn’t start out well when he’s dumped by his girlfriend, Agatha.
Not to mention, his roommate Baz Pitch—who he’s pretty sure is a vampire, is absent without reason. What’s up with that guy?
This light hearted tale began as a Harry Potter satire referenced in Rowell’s previous work.
That’s the end of our recommendations! Know some great queer shows and literature? Let us know at @shareignite and show us how you’re celebrating pride.
Looking for more summer fun? You can try out these 7 summer activities for next to nothing!