June is Pride Month, and it’s a good time to celebrate some authors in HMH’s long history who have identified as members of the LGBTQ+ community—or have simply lived their lives differently than those in the mainstream and have written books about their lives of difference.
Given the ever-changing ways that issues of gender and sexuality have been expressed and tolerated over the past two centuries, it’s not always possible to say with complete certainty whether or not a particular author was, or was not, gay. It’s important to mention that for a very long time, it was not only illegal to engage in homosexual activity, but also to publish material depicting such activity. For that reason, not every author was comfortable being forthright about their sexuality or writing about it, and we must guard against interpreting their behavior through our contemporary lens. Thankfully, many of today’s queer authors are free to write books in which their characters can explore their gender and sexual identities freely.
LGBTQ+ Authors and Books from HMH
Here are a few authors from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's history that we're celebrating this Pride Month, from the 19th century through today.