The Best Gay Authors

List Rules
List includes known gay authors, living or dead—can be novelists, short story or film writers, poets, etc. Vote on the merits of their work

Who are the most famous gay writers in history? This list contains over 200 of the most notable gay writers ever, with photos where available. Some of the literary world's best talent has come from gay writers. The best gay authors may or may not choose to speak openly about their sexuality and tackle it as a theme in their writing or in their books. The LGBTQ+ community has contributed wonderful pieces of writingfrom poems and novels to fantastic journalismand many gay writers of the 20th century, like Oscar Wilde and Tennessee Williams, are studied in school and revered for their work.

Who are the most famous gay and lesbian authors? This list includes authors from ancient times to modern day, famous gay poets, novelists, screenplay writers and LGBTQ+ authors. Some on the list may not be considered "gay" by modern terms as cultures have changed throughout the centuries. Others were out and proud and used their unique experience to create some of the best gay literature of all time. That said, regardless of their era in antiquity, these gay authors have all expressed interest in same-sex relations.

Ranked by
  • Oscar Wilde
    The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome, The importance of being Earnest and other plays
    • Birthplace: Dublin, Republic of Ireland
    • Birthdate: 10-16-1854
    • Nationality: Republic of Ireland
  • Sappho
    The Poetry of Sappho, The songs of Sappho, Woman from child (Sappho)
    • Birthplace: Lesbos, Greece
    • Birthdate: 311-06-11
    • Nationality: Ancient Greece
  • Emily Dickinson
    The complete poems, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson, New poems of Emily Dickinson
    • Birthplace: Amherst, Massachusetts
    • Birthdate: 12-10-1830
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Virginia Woolf
    To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own, Mrs Dalloway
    • Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
    • Birthdate: 01-25-1882
    • Nationality: England
  • Arthur Rimbaud
    A Season in Hell, Illuminations, Collected poems
    • Birthplace: Charleville-Mézières, France
    • Birthdate: 10-20-1854
    • Nationality: France
  • Tennessee Williams
    Sweet Bird of Youth, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real
    • Birthplace: Columbus, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Birthdate: 03-26-1911
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • E. M. Forster
    A Room with a View, A Passage to India, Howards End
    • Birthplace: Marylebone, London, United Kingdom
    • Birthdate: 01-01-1879
    • Nationality: England
  • Walt Whitman
    Leaves of Grass, Drum Taps, Song of Myself
    • Birthplace: West Hills, New York
    • Birthdate: 05-31-1819
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • James Baldwin
    Go Tell It on the Mountain, Another Country, Notes of a Native Son
    • Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York
    • Birthdate: 08-02-1924
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Federico García Lorca
    Doña Rosita the Spinster, The House of Bernarda Alba, Blood Wedding
    • Birthplace: Fuente Vaqueros, Spain
    • Birthdate: 06-05-1898
    • Nationality: Spain
  • Yukio Mishima
    Confessions of a Mask, Forbidden Colors, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
    • Birthplace: Kantō region, East Asia, Honshu, Tokyo, Asia
    • Birthdate: 1925
    • Nationality: Japan
  • Thomas Mann
    The Magic Mountain, Death in Venice, The Tables of the Law
    • Birthplace: Eurasia, Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
    • Birthdate: 1875
    • Nationality: United States of America, Czechoslovakia, Germany
  • Michelangelo
    Complete poems and selected letters, Il carteggio di Michelangelo, Rime e lettere
    • Birthplace: Caprese Michelangelo, Italy
    • Birthdate: 03-06-1475
    • Nationality: Italy, Republic of Florence
  • Marcel Proust
    In Search of Lost Time, Swann in love, Le Temps Retrouve
    • Birthplace: Auteuil-Neuilly-Passy
    • Birthdate: 07-10-1871
    • Nationality: France
  • Truman Capote
    In Cold Blood, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Other Voices
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America
    • Birthdate: 09-30-1924
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • W. Somerset Maugham
    Of Human Bondage, The Razor's Edge, Cakes and Ale
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Birthdate: 01-25-1874
    • Nationality: France, United Kingdom
  • Herman Melville
    Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, Omoo
    • Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York
    • Birthdate: 08-01-1819
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Series Written: The Writings of Herman Melville, Northwestern-Newberry Edition
  • Sylvia Plath
    The Bell Jar, The Colossus and Other Poems, Ariel
    • Birthplace: Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Birthdate: 10-27-1932
    • Nationality: United States of America, Germany
  • Alice Walker
    The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The Temple of My Familiar
    • Birthplace: Eatonton, Putnam County, United States of America, United States, with Territories
    • Birthdate: 1944
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • David Sedaris
    Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, When You Are Engulfed in Flames
    • Birthplace: Binghamton, New York, USA
    • Birthdate: 12-26-1956
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • George Gordon Byron
    Don Juan, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Manfred
    • Birthplace: London Borough of Harrow, London, United Kingdom
    • Birthdate: 01-22-1788
    • Nationality: England
    • Series Written: Byron's Letters and Journals
  • T. S. Eliot
    The Waste Land, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Murder in the Cathedral
    • Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
    • Birthdate: 09-26-1888
    • Nationality: United States of America, United Kingdom, England
    • Series Written: Four Quartets
  • Langston Hughes
    The panther & the lash, Mule Bone, Montage of a Dream Deferred
    • Birthplace: Joplin, Missouri, United States of America
    • Birthdate: 02-01-1902
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Series Written: The Collected Works of Langston Hughes
  • Gore Vidal
    Myra Breckinridge, The City and the Pillar, Creation
    • Birthplace: West Point, Contiguous United States, New York, Orange County, United States of America
    • Birthdate: 10-03-1925
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Michel Foucault
    Discipline and Punish, Madness and Civilization, The History of Sexuality
    • Birthplace: Poitiers, France
    • Birthdate: 10-15-1926
    • Nationality: France