Writers The Best Gay Authors  

Ron Garcia
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29.4k votes 3.8k voters 394.3k views 257 items

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.

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list ordered by
1
1,124 221
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome, The importance of being Earnest and other plays
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish author, playwright and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the ...more
2
423 153
James Baldwin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Go Tell It on the Mountain, Another Country, Notes of a Native Son
James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son, explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of ...more
3
532 159
Walt Whitman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Leaves of Grass, Drum Taps, Song of Myself
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his ...more
4
598 146
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Gay Authors
To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own, Mrs Dalloway
Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society ...more
5
480 126
Tennessee Williams is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Sweet Bird of Youth, The Rose Tattoo, Camino Real
Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American playwright and author of many stage classics. Along with Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller he is considered among the three ...more
6
380 126
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Gay Authors
In Cold Blood, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Other Voices
Truman Streckfus Persons, known as Truman Capote, was an American author, screenwriter, playwright, actor, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary ...more
7
361 131
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Gay Authors
In Search of Lost Time, Swann in love, Le Temps Retrouve
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust was a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu, published in seven parts ...more
8
332 94
E. M. Forster is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Gay Authors
A Room with a View, A Passage to India, Howards End
Edward Morgan Forster OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist. He is known best for his ironic and well-plotted novels examining class difference and ...more
9
212 97
Christopher Isherwood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Gay Authors
dennisluccio added A Single Man, Goodbye to Berlin, Isherwood on Writing
Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood was an English novelist.
10
252 110
Langston Hughes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The panther & the lash, Mule Bone, Montage of a Dream Deferred
James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz ...more
11
205 93
W. H. Auden is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Look, Stranger!, The orators
Wystan Hugh Auden was an Anglo-American poet, born in England, an American citizen, and regarded by many critics as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its ...more
12
381 84
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The complete poems, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson, New poems of Emily Dickinson
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she ...more
13
229 93
D. H. Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow
David Herbert Richards Lawrence was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works, among other things, ...more
14
335 119
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The Waste Land, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Murder in the Cathedral
Thomas Stearns Eliot OM, usually known as T. S. Eliot, was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets". He was born ...more
15
190 74
Patricia Highsmith is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on a Train, Ripley Under Ground
Patricia Highsmith was an American novelist and short story writer, most widely known for her psychological thrillers, which led to more than two dozen film adaptations. Her first novel, ...more
16
249 79
Federico García Lorca is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Doña Rosita the Spinster, The House of Bernarda Alba, Blood Wedding
Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca, known as Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director. García Lorca achieved ...more
17
260 59
Sappho is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The Poetry of Sappho, The songs of Sappho, Woman from child (Sappho)
Sappho was a Greek lyric poet, born on the island of Lesbos. The Alexandrians included her in the list of nine lyric poets. Her birth was sometime between 630 and 612 BCE, and it is said that ...more
18
239 53
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Gay Authors
A Season in Hell, Illuminations, Collected poems
Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet born in Charleville, Ardennes. He influenced modern literature and arts, inspired various musicians, and prefigured surrealism. He started writing ...more
19
139 71
Rita Mae Brown is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Rubyfruit Jungle, Puss 'n Cahoots, Mord in Monticello. Ein Fall für Mrs. Murphy
Rita Mae Brown is an American writer and feminist. She is best known for her first novel Rubyfruit Jungle. Published in 1973, it dealt with lesbian themes in an explicit manner unusual for the ...more
20
163 44
Yukio Mishima is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Confessions of a Mask, Forbidden Colors, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
Mishima Yukio is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka, a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, and film director. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th ...more
21
131 56
Jean Genet is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The Balcony, The Blacks: A Clown Show, The Maids
Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle ...more
22
201 105
Gertrude Stein is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, The Making of Americans, Three Lives
Gertrude Stein was an American writer of novels, poetry and plays. Born in West Allegheny, Pennsylvania and raised in Oakland, California, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, making France her home ...more
23
237 98
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Gay Authors
The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The Temple of My Familiar
Alice Malsenior Walker is an American author and activist. She wrote the critically acclaimed novel The Color Purple for which she won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. ...more
24
184 44
Adam Donaldson Powell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Gay Authors
25
117 57
Edna St. Vincent Millay is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Fatal interview, The murder of Lidice, Wine from these grapes
Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American lyrical poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her ...more