The Best Gay Authors

Voting 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.

Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
Ranked by
  • Oscar Wilde
    The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome, The importance of being Earnest and other plays
    1,830 votes
    • Birthplace: Ireland, Ireland, Europe, Dublin
    • Birthdate: 1854
    • Nationality: Ireland
    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most ...more
  • Sappho
    The Poetry of Sappho, The songs of Sappho, Woman from child (Sappho)
    508 votes
    • Birthplace: Lesbos, Greece
    • Birthdate: 311-06-11
    • Nationality: Ancient Greece
    Sappho (; Aeolic Greek Ψάπφω Psáppho; c. 630 – c. 570 BC) was an Archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Sappho is known for her lyric poetry, written to be sung while accompanied by a lyre. In ...more
  • Emily Dickinson
    The complete poems, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson, New poems of Emily Dickinson
    650 votes
    • Birthplace: Amherst, Massachusetts
    • Birthdate: 12-10-1830
    • Nationality: United States of America
    Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, into a prominent family with strong ties to its community. After ...more
  • Virginia Woolf
    To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own, Mrs Dalloway
    947 votes
    • Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
    • Birthdate: 01-25-1882
    • Nationality: England
    Adeline Virginia Woolf (; née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and also a pioneer in the use of ...more
  • Arthur Rimbaud
    A Season in Hell, Illuminations, Collected poems
    434 votes
    • Birthplace: Charleville-Mézières, France
    • Birthdate: 10-20-1854
    • Nationality: France
    Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (UK: , US: ; French: [aʁtyʁ ʁɛ̃bo] (listen); 20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891) was a French poet known for his influence on modern literature and arts, which prefigured ...more
  • Tennessee Williams
    Sweet Bird of Youth, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real
    744 votes
    • Birthplace: Columbus, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Birthdate: 03-26-1911
    • Nationality: United States of America
    Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), known by his pen name Tennessee Williams, was an American playwright. Along with contemporaries Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, he ...more