Writers

The Best Gay Authors  

Ron Garcia
Originally by
29.8k votes 3.9k voters 400.4k 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
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
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
James Baldwin is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
Tennessee Williams is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
Walt Whitman is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
Sappho is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
E. M. Forster is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
Federico García Lorca is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
Christopher Isherwood is listed (or ranked) 13 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.
14
Adam Donaldson Powell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Gay Authors
15
Yukio Mishima is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Langston Hughes is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
Patricia Highsmith is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Alice Walker is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
D. H. Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
Gertrude Stein is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
W. H. Auden is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Rita Mae Brown is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
Michelangelo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Gay Authors
Complete poems and selected letters, Il carteggio di Michelangelo, Rime e lettere
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled ...more
25
Albert Russo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Gay Authors
AdamAngel added Mixed Blood, The Black Ancestor, L'Amant de mon Père
Albert Russo is a Belgian bilingual author of novels, short stories, essays and poems, as well as a photographer. His main themes are fighting racism of all stripes, and defending individual and ...more