Writers
4.6k voters

The Best Gay Authors

Updated September 18, 2019 28.5k votes 4.6k voters 435.0k views250 items

List RulesList 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 Wilde1
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    Oscar Wilde

    The Picture of Dorian Gray, Salome

    BirthplaceIreland, Ireland, Europe, Dublin

    Birthdate1854

    NationalityIreland

    Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet...  more
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  • Walt Whitman2
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    Walt Whitman

    Leaves of Grass, Drum Taps

    BirthplaceWest Hills, New York

    Birthdate1819

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Walt Whitman (; May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist, and journalist....  more
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  • Tennessee Williams3
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    Tennessee Williams

    Sweet Bird of Youth, The Rose Tattoo

    BirthplaceColumbus, Mississippi, Lowndes County, United States of America, United States

    Birthdate1911

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), known by his pen name...  more
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    #15 of 342 The Greatest American Writers of All Time#38 of 108 The Best Catholic Authors

  • E. M. Forster4
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    E. M. Forster

    A Room with a View, A Passage to India

    BirthplaceMarylebone, Eurasia, United Kingdom, London, England

    Birthdate1879

    NationalityEngland

    Edward Morgan Forster (1 January 1879 – 7 June 1970) was an English novelist, short story...  more
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  • James Baldwin5
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    James Baldwin

    Go Tell It on the Mountain, Another Country

    BirthplaceHarlem, New York City, New York

    Birthdate1924

    NationalityUnited States of America

    James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, playwright,...  more
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  • Marcel Proust6
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    Marcel Proust

    In Search of Lost Time, Swann in love

    BirthplaceAuteuil-Neuilly-Passy

    Birthdate1871

    NationalityFrance

    Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (; French: [maʁsɛl pʁust]; 10 July 1871 – 18...  more
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  • Virginia Woolf7
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    Virginia Woolf

    To the Lighthouse, A Room of One's Own

    BirthplaceKensington, Eurasia, Greater London, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, United Kingdom

    Birthdate1882

    NationalityEngland

    Adeline Virginia Woolf (; née Stephen; 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941) was an English...  more
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  • Truman Capote8
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    Truman Capote

    In Cold Blood, Breakfast at Tiffany's

    BirthplaceArea code 504, United States of America, United States, with Territories, Louisiana

    Birthdate1924

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Truman Garcia Capote (; born Truman Streckfus Persons, September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984)...  more
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  • Arthur Rimbaud9
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    Arthur Rimbaud

    A Season in Hell, Illuminations

    BirthplaceEurope, Metropolitan France, France, Charleville-Mézières, Champagne-Ardenne

    Birthdate1854

    NationalityFrance

    Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud (UK: , US: ; French: [aʁtyʁ ʁɛ̃bo] (listen); 20 October 1854 – 10...  more
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  • Emily Dickinson10
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    Emily Dickinson

    The complete poems, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

    BirthplaceAmherst, Massachusetts

    Birthdate1830

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Dickinson...  more
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  • Langston Hughes11
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    Langston Hughes

    The panther & the lash, Mule Bone

    BirthplaceNewton County, United States of America, United States, with Territories, Jasper County

    Birthdate1902

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Series WrittenThe Collected Works of Langston Hughes

    James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social...  more
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    #7 of 119 The Best American Poets#98 of 111 The Best English Poets of All Time

  • Adam Donaldson Powell12
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  • T. S. Eliot13
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    T. S. Eliot

    The Waste Land, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

    BirthplaceSt. Louis, Missouri

    Birthdate1888

    NationalityUnited States of America, United Kingdom, England

    Series WrittenFour Quartets

    Thomas Stearns Eliot (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965), "one of the twentieth century's...  more
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  • Christopher Isherwood14
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    Christopher Isherwood

    A Single Man, Goodbye to Berlin

    BirthplaceWyberslegh Hall, Eurasia, United Kingdom

    Birthdate1904

    NationalityUnited States of America, United Kingdom, England

    Series WrittenChristopher Isherwood Diaries

    Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood (26 August 1904 – 4 January 1986) was an...  more
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  • Yukio Mishima15
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    Yukio Mishima

    Confessions of a Mask, Forbidden Colors

    BirthplaceKantō region, East Asia, Honshu, Tokyo, Asia

    Birthdate1925

    NationalityJapan

    Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫, Mishima Yukio) is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka (平岡 公威, Hiraoka...  more
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  • Federico García Lorca16
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    Federico García Lorca

    Doña Rosita the Spinster, The House of Bernarda Alba

    BirthplaceFuente Vaqueros, Spain

    Birthdate1898

    NationalitySpain

    Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (Spanish pronunciation: [feðeˈɾiko ðel...  more
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  • Sylvia Plath17
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    Sylvia Plath

    The Bell Jar, The Colossus and Other Poems

    BirthplaceJamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts

    Birthdate1932

    NationalityUnited States of America, Germany

    Sylvia Plath (; October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963) was an American poet, novelist, and...  more
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  • Sappho18
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    Sappho

    The Poetry of Sappho, The songs of Sappho

    BirthplaceSoutheast Europe, Lesbos, Greece, North Aegean

    Birthdate625

    NationalityAncient Greece

    Sappho (; Aeolic Greek Ψάπφω Psáppho; c. 630 – c. 570 BC) was an Archaic Greek poet from the...  more
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  • Alice Walker19
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    Alice Walker

    The Color Purple, Possessing the Secret of Joy

    BirthplaceEatonton, Putnam County, United States of America, United States, with Territories

    Birthdate1944

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Alice Walker (born February 9, 1944) is an American novelist, short story writer, poet, and...  more
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  • Jean Genet20
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    Jean Genet

    The Balcony, The Blacks: A Clown Show

    BirthplaceÎle-de-France, Europe, Metropolitan France, France, Paris

    Birthdate1910

    NationalityFrance

    Jean Genet (French: [ʒɑ̃ ʒənɛ]; (1910-12-19)19 December 1910 – (1986-04-15)15 April 1986) was...  more
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    #256 of 303 The Best Novelists of All Time#475 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time

  • Albert Russo21
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    Albert Russo

    Mixed Blood, The Black Ancestor

    BirthplaceCongo

    Birthdate1943

    NationalityBelgian

    Albert Russo is a Belgian bilingual author of novels, short stories, essays and poems, as well...  more
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  • Patricia Highsmith22
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    Patricia Highsmith

    The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on a Train

    BirthplaceFort Worth, Texas

    Birthdate1921

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Patricia Highsmith (January 19, 1921 – February 4, 1995) was an American novelist and short...  more
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  • Thomas Mann23
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    Thomas Mann

    The Magic Mountain, Death in Venice

    BirthplaceEurasia, Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

    Birthdate1875

    NationalityUnited States of America, Czechoslovakia, Germany

    Paul Thomas Mann (UK: MAN, US: MAHN; German: [ˈpaʊ̯l ˈtoːmas ˈman]; 6 June 1875 – 12 August...  more
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  • D. H. Lawrence24
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    D. H. Lawrence

    Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sons and Lovers

    BirthplaceEastwood, United Kingdom

    Birthdate1885-09-11

    NationalityEngland

    David Herbert Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English writer and poet. His...  more
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  • Colette25
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    Colette

    The Last of Cheri, Gigi

    BirthplaceEurope, Metropolitan France, Burgundy, Yonne, Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye

    Birthdate1873

    NationalityFrance

    Colette (French: [kɔ.lɛt]; Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954) was a...  more
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