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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.

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  • Oscar Wilde
    1
    Amazon buy button
    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
    2
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    The Poetry of Sappho, The songs of Sappho, Woman from child (Sappho)
    • Birthplace: Lesbos, Greece
    • Birthdate: 311-06-11
    • Nationality: Ancient Greece
  • Emily Dickinson
    3
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    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
    4
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    To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own, Mrs Dalloway
    • Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
    • Birthdate: 01-25-1882
    • Nationality: England
  • Arthur Rimbaud
    5
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    A Season in Hell, Illuminations, Collected poems
    • Birthplace: Charleville-Mézières, France
    • Birthdate: 10-20-1854
    • Nationality: France
  • Tennessee Williams
    6
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    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
  • Walt Whitman
    7
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    Leaves of Grass, Drum Taps, Song of Myself
    • Birthplace: West Hills, New York
    • Birthdate: 05-31-1819
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • E. M. Forster
    8
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    A Room with a View, A Passage to India, Howards End
    • Birthplace: Marylebone, London, United Kingdom
    • Birthdate: 01-01-1879
    • Nationality: England
  • Yukio Mishima
    9
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    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
  • Federico García Lorca
    10
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    Doña Rosita the Spinster, The House of Bernarda Alba, Blood Wedding
    • Birthplace: Fuente Vaqueros, Spain
    • Birthdate: 06-05-1898
    • Nationality: Spain
  • James Baldwin
    11
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    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
  • Thomas Mann
    12
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    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
    13
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    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
    14
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    In Search of Lost Time, Swann in love, Le Temps Retrouve
    • Birthplace: Auteuil-Neuilly-Passy
    • Birthdate: 07-10-1871
    • Nationality: France
  • Truman Capote
    15
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    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
    16
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    Of Human Bondage, The Razor's Edge, Cakes and Ale
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Birthdate: 01-25-1874
    • Nationality: France, United Kingdom
  • Alice Walker
    17
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    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
  • Herman Melville
    18
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    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
    19
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    The Bell Jar, The Colossus and Other Poems, Ariel
    • Birthplace: Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Birthdate: 10-27-1932
    • Nationality: United States of America, Germany
  • David Sedaris
    20
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    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
  • Langston Hughes
    21
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    The panther & the lash, Mule Bone, Montage of a Dream Deferred
    • Birthplace: USA, Joplin, Missouri
    • Birthdate: 02-01-1902
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Series Written: The Collected Works of Langston Hughes
  • Gore Vidal
    22
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    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
  • T. S. Eliot
    23
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    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
  • George Gordon Byron
    24
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    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
  • Michel Foucault
    25
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    Discipline and Punish, Madness and Civilization, The History of Sexuality
    • Birthplace: Poitiers, France
    • Birthdate: 10-15-1926
    • Nationality: France