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A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN.

A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Alizadeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.


352 pages, Paperback

First published March 7, 2019

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About the author

Juno Dawson

44 books1,230 followers
Previously wrote under the name James Dawson

Queen of Teen 2014 Juno Dawson is the multi award-winning author of six novels for young adults. In 2016, she authored the best-selling World Book Day title: SPOT THE DIFFERENCE.

Her next novel is the beautiful and emotive MARGOT & ME (Jan 2017) which will be followed by her adult debut, the memoir THE GENDER GAMES (Jul 17).

Juno also wrote the bestselling non-fiction guide to life for young LGBT people, THIS BOOK IS GAY. In 2016 a follow-up, MIND YOUR HEAD, featured everything a young person needs to know about mental health.

Juno is a regular contributor to Attitude Magazine, Glamour Magazine and The Guardian and has contributed to news items on BBC Women’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newsnight concerning sexuality, identity, literature and education.

Juno’s titles have received rave reviews and have been translated into more than ten languages around the world.

Juno grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of Doctor Who. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing luminaries such as Steps and Atomic Kitten before writing a weekly serial in a Brighton newspaper. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.

Juno writes full time and lives in Brighton. In her spare time, she STILL loves Doctor Who and is a keen follower of horror films and connoisseur of pop music. In 2014 Juno became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 368 reviews
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.6k followers
January 29, 2021
"Being effeminate doesn't make you gay
Being sensitive doesn't make you gay

Being gay makes you gay
Be a bit gay, be very gay"

You will not read a book that is
a) cuter
b) funnier
c) prouder and
than Proud. Ever.

I have read my fair share of anthologies. And they're all kinda fine. Some really good stories, some really meh ones. You know how it is. But this one? A TRUE WINNER. Every poem, every story, every illustration a masterpiece. This collection is made up of 12 lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer+ writers and illustrators. It's a heavenly choir of OwnVoices. Here is a quote by Juno Dawson, the editor of Proud, that stuck with me:

"Since the dawn of time, we have been told in a litany of ways that we are 'less-than', 'out of the ordinary', 'abnormal', 'subnormal', or plain 'different'. We are none of these things. We are gloriously ourselves, and we show the world our glory during Pride."

I don't want to take away too much, so here are just a few impressions of my favourite stories:

Dive Bar by Caroline Bird:
I had to read this one twice. I didn't get it the first time around and I also didn't like it. But I wanted to like it. So the second time, I pulled up a translator (I'm German and while I've heard all of these words before, I only have a limited understanding of what they mean), took a deep breath, and concentrated.
I really dig this poem now.

Penguins by Simon James Green:
This was soooo cute! And hilarious. I thought it couldn't get cuter and more hilarious than that but I was NAIVE and I'm much wiser another 6 short stories later. I also love the illustration by Alice Oseman, the wonderful and talented creator of Heartstopper: Volume One. Not having read her books is basically sacrilege. Which reminds me that I haven't read a single book by Simon James Green so I really need to pick up Noah Can't Even.

On the Run by Kay Staples:
A very complex and unexpected story about a non-binary teenager that finds strength in its nuanced and quiet writing style. I would love to read more from Kay in the future.

I Hate Darcy Pemberly by Karen Lawler:
oh. my. god. In other words: OH MY GOD. Karen, who are you and where have you been all my life?? This is my favourite story from this collection BY FAR. If you have ever read a Pride and Prejudice retelling and liked it even remotely - toss it out of the window. Cause Lizzie is a furball of loyalty, irony and rage, and she will DESTROY you when you insult her friends, but she might also fall in love with you because you're a tall and gorgeous Mohawk-wearing girl with a sickening charm that Lizzie cannot escape.

The Instructor by Jess Vallance:
A calm short story about a girl learning to drive so she can impress her crush and take her on a road trip to the beach. Funny when you least expect it. Infinitely heart-warming.

How to Come Out as Gay by Dean Atta:
An empowering, confident, and unshakeable poem about insecurity and finding self-discovery. I might have teared up a bit.

I have to admit that I struggled with Fox Benwell's story at first. The reason, however, might be my lack of gaming experience and D&D knowledge. It took me at least 10 pages to understand that, no, this was not a fantasy story and, yes, these kids just have weird names and talk about being half-troll/half-dwarf all the time because they're nerds, not dwarves.

I would have loved to see even more representation. I couldn't find stories about asexual/aromantic characters for example. Luckily, Alice Oseman is currently writing A WHOLE BOOK about an aro-ace character. And maybe, Proud will have a sequel anthology that represents even more voices on the queer spectrum.

Thank you to Stripes Books for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Find more of my books on Instagram
Profile Image for daph pink ♡ .
930 reviews2,564 followers
May 28, 2022
I usually don't like anthology much , because (a) the stories are really short and before I can feel anything they end , and (b) not all stories are awesome.

So I will review each story !

I am VERY EXCITED to read this, why?

Because(in rainbow points)
🌈 This isn't your everyday cute stories
🌈 I want to feel something STRONG
🌈 I want to EDUCATE myself .

If we live in stories, it means we live in the real world too.We are claiming our space, claiming our oxygen.

Dive bar by Caroline bird , Art by Saffa Khan


I have to read this twice as I couldn't grasp it at first , and I still didn't understood it , though I have some idea what this is about. But nevertheless moving on.

Penguins by Simon James Green , Art by Alice Oseman (❤❤❤)



On the run by Kay Staples , Art by Alex Bertie


Certainty no 11(it's confirmed though):- I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT.

And that art was *chef kiss* beautiful.

The phoenix fault by Cynthia So , Art by Priyanka Meenakshi


Phoenix and lesbians ❤🌌

Petition to make this in full length historical, fantasy novel.

As the Philadelphia Queer youth sings Katy Perry's 'Firework' by David Leviathan , Art by Steve Anthony


Hmm well this was okay , could have been less confusing I guess.

Almost certain by Tanya Bryne , Art by Frank Duffy


"God, life would be a hell of a lot easier if everyone didn’t assume you were straight."

It had everything I ever want to read about.

1. Lesbians
2. Stars / Moon
3. Bus Rides
4. Old classic records
5. And one mention of Harry Styles

And that gorgeous art , can I tattoo that on my arm?

The other team by Michael Lee Richardson, Art by David Roberts


Where can I buy such supportive friends?

Really really beautiful story , and Gregor is my spirit animal.

I hate Darcy Pemberly by Karen Lawler , Art by Kameron White


I didn't know that this is some retelling of Pride and Prejudice , I should have after that title but I didn't after I read the first line.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that high school dances suck, and even if you start having a nice time, some jackhole is going to ruin it for you.

This is the best retelling of Pride and Prejudice I have ever read.
Petition to make it in a full standalone like ASAP!

The courage of dragons by Fox Benwell , Art by Kristen Van Dam

3 stars

Not a big fan of fantasies and dragons it drawfs.

The instructor by Jess Vallance , Art by Kate Alizadeh

4.25 stars

I am smiling so hard my cheeks are hurting. I love it.

Love poems to the city by Maïra Fowley Doyle, Art by Fatti Burke


Hands down to the best story in the anthology.

And that art is tattooed on my heart forever.

How to come out as gay by Dean Atta , Art by Leo Greenfield


Remember you have the right to be proud
Remember you have the right to be you.

I really loved all the works in general , a really great collection. But aro/ace rep was missing and I would have liked that input too...
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,404 followers
March 12, 2019
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did, but holy crap this really was a great anthology. And this is coming from someone who usually has the hardest time getting into anthologies and reading them fast, but I just couldn't put this down.

All stories are set in modern day UK with the exception of one set in Ireland and one set in fantasy China. Apart from being queer I feel like they were pretty diverse although I can't help but feel like they could have been more. One thing I found particularly lacking was the representation of aro and ace (and aroace) characters. There were exactly...zero? unless I missed something, and in an otherwise diverse anthology when it comes to sexualities and genders it was very noticeable.

All stories come paired up with art. The ARC also had them but I don't know if they were all final versions, they were also pretty small and had to be zoomed in which of course made the quality suffer, but I'm confident in the final version this will be fixed. In any case of course I liked some pieces better than others but I'm not going to rate them.

I changed some of the immediate ratings I gave to each story as I was writing reviews for them, which now makes an average of 4.3, which would be closer to 4 than to 5. Since Goodreads doesn't allow me to give half stars, and I didn't feel like this deserves 4 stars, I rounded it up. Generally speaking, this is probably my favorite queer anthology I've read so far (not that I've read many). I loved the theme of pride and I loved that there was no queer pain or even where there was discrimination and hardship it was always challenged and always overcome.

I hope this book gets more hype because it's really everything it promised to be (with the exception of the lack of aro/ace rep) and more.

Here's my individual ratings and reviews!

Dive Bar by Caroline Bird - no rating

I've read this three times and I still don't understand it. I've never been the best at reading poetry and I've never learned to read it in English so maybe that's why, but I just have 0 idea what this is about.

Penguins by Simon James Green - 5 stars

We've all heard of those gay penguins successfully hatching an egg, right? This story was featured here and it follows a gay boy whose coming out to his family is interrupted by people being excited about gay penguins. Also, prom night! I loved the humor and the cuteness in this.

On the Run by Kay Staples - 4.5 stars

Two teens won the lottery and are trying to run away. As I was reading this I was a bit anxious that they wouldn't get the money but when I realized that of course this would have a happy ending. The POV character is trying to figure out their gender identity and we don't know their pronouns (I'm only using "they" here for clarity).

As The Philadelphia Queer Youth Choir Sings Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’… by David Levithan - 4 stars

This was very short and mostly just the messy internal monologue of a queer teen as he sings with his queer choir and thinks about people in his life. I feel like for such a short story a lot of meaning was packed into it and it was cool to see.

The Phoenix’s Fault by Cynthia So - 4.5 stars

This was set in a fantasy-Chinese setting where dragons and phoenixes are real and symbolize (heterosexual) marriage. The MC "owns" (=was chosen by) a phoenix, and all girls who have one have to go to the Emperor's palace and if her phoenix and the Emperor's dragon choose each other, the girl will have to get married to him. The MC doesn't want that because she's in love with another girl and I'm not spoiling it but I loved all the symbolism and how fucking gay everything was.

Almost Certain by Tanya Byrne - 3.5 stars

This was kind of sad and I felt like it didn't fit much with the other stories. It wasn't the "queer pain" kind of sad though, and I actually really liked the queer theme in it, just not the story itself.

The Other Team by Michael Lee Richardson - 4.5

This is about an all-queer football team from the perspective of a trans guy who's just joined it. I loved how everyone on the team was fleshed out even with so few pages.

I Hate Darcy Pemberly by Karen Lawler - 5 stars

This is a modern Pride and Prejudice retelling with two lesbians as Lizzie and Darcy. I'm not a huge P&P fan but I seriously loved this so much that after finishing it I had the biggest smile on my face and I immediately went to watch the P&P 2005 movie for the first time because it put me in such a mood. I also LOOOOVED what it did with the Lydia/Wickham storyline. Anyway, this is easily my absolute favorite out of all these stories.

The Courage of Dragons by Fox Benwell - 4.5 stars

This was a story without romance and about a queer found family / D&D group who become modern day heroes. The protagonist is a trans nonbinary person and he with the help of his group hack the school to genderneutralize it. I didn't get all the D&D references but it was still cool to read and the plot was my favorite. It's also probably the story that made me feel the most sense of pride.

The Instructor by Jess Vallance - 4 stars

I liked this and its writing style a lot but I wish there had been a little more balance between the plot (driving lessons) and the romantic plot line. I do understand why it was structured like this though and maybe it's just a matter of wrong expectations from my part. Anyway, I still loved it and it made me smile so much when I least expected it!

Love Poems to the City by Moïra Fowley-Doyle - 3 stars

The lowest rating out of all these stories (even though it's still a good rating). I don't know, I didn't really connect to it and I felt like it was more about a single event (legalizing gay marriage) and about a city (Dublin) than about the single people in the story. Which might have been the intention of the author I guess, but I still didn't find myself caring a lot (even though I loved Dublin and it made me nostalgic of the city!).

How to Come Out as Gay by Dean Atta - 5 stars

This was a poem (I like how the anthology was bracketed by poems) and it's pretty self-explanatory if you read it so yeah just look at my rating for it.
Profile Image for Lo.
201 reviews54 followers
February 2, 2020
Juno Dawson pulls another dazzler with Proud.

“Welcome to being LGBTQ+. Your life is inherently political. Politicians, all over the world, are still discussing whether or not you should have the same fundamental human rights as straight or cisgender people.”

Dawson provides a wonderful and emotive forward and introduction, reminding us how far things have come in 30 years but also the challenges still faced. Including the fact that many LGBTQ+ authors and stories have their books banned and challenged. Yet, these are how many young LGBTQ+ people find the language to talk about what they are feeling and who they are - these works are so important. The introduction felt like a call to action, to encourage and support all of the wonderful LGBTQ+ authors and writers and to ensure that these books continue to succeed and reach all the people that need them, and just those that need to see themselves on a page and know that they are normal and right.

“If we live in stories, it means we live in the real world too. We are claiming our space, claiming our oxygen.”

This anthology has a wonderful selection of LGBTQ+ authors and writers, covering both short stories and poetry who provide the reader with so many different ways to feel proud of who they are, covering a wide range of experiences. The collection is heart-warming, engaging, sensitive, funny, powerful and personal, and made me proud to be LGBTQ+.

As with all anthologies, there are some contributions that stand out more than others. For me they would be Penguins by Simon James Green and The Phoenix’s Fault by Cynthia So. However, I enjoyed all of the contributions and there wasn’t a single on that let the collection down. I cannot wait to get a physical copy of this book and dip in and out of the different stories depending on what I need at the time. More than that, I am going to be tracking down other works from all of these writers.

Overall, 5 stars for Proud and I cannot recommend this highly enough. Go out and get it for your shelf, get it for friend’s shelf, your family’s shelf, give it as a gift to everyone!

******** Original Review ********
I have just been approved for an ARC copy of this and excited does not sufficiently cover how I am feeling!

Juno Dawson has never let me down, if I see her name attached to a book I have to read it!
Profile Image for Emma.
913 reviews870 followers
January 31, 2019
The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I could not be happier to have gotten the chance to review this book in advance. This anthology contains twelve short stories and each of this story has an illustration created especially for it. The authors and the illustrators are all part of the LGBTQ+ community. Plus there is also a foreword written by Juno Dawson, the author who compiled this entire anthology. The hard work put into this book is clear and everyone has done an excellent job.
In this book there is a good variety of short stories that explore several different parts of the LGBTQ+ community. I truly believe that this anthology has something to offer to everyone.
Out of the twelve stories my favourites were Penguins by Simon James Green, illustrated by Alice Oseman; The instructor by Jess Vallance, illustated by Kate Alizadeh; The other team by Micheal Lee Richardson, illustrated by David Roberts.
If you get a chance get yourself a copy of this beautiful anthology, I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
January 21, 2019
This is DNF in a good way - I'm coming back to it on release as I just can't read ebooks without migraines and I really want to enjoy this one.


I am SO EXCITED for this.

Just look at the contributors. This is going to be another excellent anthology.


Having to read this a little at a time (when all I want to do is devour it at once but hey ho my body won't let me) so I'll update as I go.

The forward had me in tears. The introduction had me in tears. Someone send more tissues, please.

Penguins is just adorable and urgh my heart hurts.
Profile Image for Celine.
268 reviews67 followers
June 22, 2019
This book is sooooo good. I almost cried several times and probably would have shed some actual tears had it not been for me sitting on the subway reading. There are just so many beautiful affirmations of the queer community and the artwork was A+
Profile Image for Lauren James.
Author 16 books1,441 followers
February 12, 2019

A joyous, brilliantly curated collection of short stories highlighting the full range and breadth of LGBTQ+ diversity in the UK and Ireland
Profile Image for Stacey (prettybooks).
522 reviews1,547 followers
August 30, 2020
My first publisher event of the year was Stripes’ EqualiTea. I was excited to be given a copy of LGBTQ+ anthology Proud, edited by Juno Dawson. It’s full of stories, art and poems from authors and illustrators who are part of the community, including Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, David Levithan, Simon James Green and many more.

Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books.

#gifted: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book for free in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Chloe.
375 reviews82 followers
May 3, 2019
A beautiful and important collection of work. I loved almost every piece, and the few that I didn't love as much were still moving and important in their own right. I recommend this book to everybody who is LGBTQ+, or a true ally who wants to support writers and artists who are.
Profile Image for Rebecca Denton.
Author 3 books36 followers
September 11, 2018
From gay penguins to run-away peacocks, fierce poetry and a Phoenix who is entirely at fault: PROUD is not just a fabulous collection of LGBTQ+ stories for teens, it's also a beautiful, sometimes deeply touching collection of tales, confessions and council. An impassioned forward by Juno Dawson, and contributions from David Leviathan, Jessica Valance. Five stars. Get this baby on your TBR, ASAP.
Profile Image for Rain.
697 reviews116 followers
June 5, 2019
I want everyone I'll ever meet to read this anthology, either to feel represented and celebrated or to see lgbt people just being people
(maybe I'll write a little about the stories later on)
Profile Image for Rita.
417 reviews29 followers
March 16, 2019
Thank you Netgalley and Stripes Publishing for providing me an ARC of this book, in exchange of an honest review.

Proud in an AMAZING anthology I want to give to queer kids everywhere!

Besides being so good, combining stories and art by queer authors and artists about queer characters, Proud is a really important book, that celebrates queer identities all around the spectrum - and by that I mean stories about different sexualities and gender identities, not only about gay or lesbian characters, which is a huge positive, in my view.

Aside from that, these stories aren't just contemporary fiction about being proud of who you are. It's the majority, I must say, but there's also a retelling and a fantasy story. And they're not all narrative fiction, there's three pieces of poetry as well - the one by Dean Atta especially powerful, in my opinion.

About the art, it was good. There are a few pieces I liked more, others I liked less and my favourite stories don't have my favourite pieces of art and vice-versa. However, think it's a good complement to the book, turning into a celebration of queer art. Nonetheless, since the book tried to join writing and drawing/painting, it would have made so much sense to have a short comic and that is something I missed (maybe a suggestion for Proud vol. 2?)

I rated most of the pieces of fiction 4 or 5 stars and only one 3 stars, which just shows I really enjoyed all of the stories. My average rating (of all the stories) was approximately 4.2, so 4 stars. My favourites were the ones by Cynthia So, Tanya Byrne, Karen Lawler, Moïra Fowley-Doyle and Dean Atta (which I mentioned before). These authors in special are ones I'm going to look out for in the future, since I really enjoyed their writing.

In conclusion, this is a really good and important anthology I think everyone should read, all about being proud and celebrating queer people. It made me discover new authors (especially because I don't read much UKYA fiction), branch outside of my confort zone, since I don't normally read anthologies, and made me really happy, really. Hope it makes you happy too!
Profile Image for Hâf.
389 reviews40 followers
February 18, 2019
I loved this book, a fantastic collection of stories written by knowledgeable inspiring authors and illustrated by brilliant artists. I can't put into words how empowering this book is for members of the LGBTQ+ community, we desperately need more literature written by LGBTQ+ authors. Two of my favourite stories were Penguins and The instructor, they were told so beautifully. The only disappointing aspect is that there wasn't a story representing asexuality, not even a side character as far as I could tell, other than that this book was brilliant.
Profile Image for Manon the Malicious.
983 reviews54 followers
January 17, 2019
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was an anthology containing 12 stories. All twelve stories were written by a different author and had art joined to it by an artist. That's 24 people, all LGBT+. Also, it was compiled by Juno Dawson, also LGBT+, and she wrote the foreword.
All the stories are about Pride, being proud of who we are, in one way or another.

The book grabbed me when I read the first sentence of Juno Dawson's foreword. After that, I was a goner. The stories aren't all the same, I liked some more than others but there are so many different writing styles, topics and characters, everyone will found their own favorites. This entire book is a jewel and I cannot wait to put my hands on a physical copy.
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,769 reviews651 followers
June 16, 2020
I loved this anthology a whole lot! Usually I have a hard time rating anthologies because the stories' quality will differ and I won't like every story equally, but all of the contributions to this book were so consistent. I'd honestly rate them all 4 stars separately. It made me really happy to read this.

While I did love what this anthology IS, and I wouldn't want to rate it on what it ISN'T, I can't help but feel disappointed that there wasn't any aro and/or ace rep. Since this book is promoted as being super inclusive, I was really hoping to have these identities represented. I thought it was a real shame that this wasn't the case. What I have seen: gay/lesbian, bisexual, transgender/non-binary rep. And that's all really great! But yeah, it could definitely have been more inclusive! Admittedly though, I was happy to see an aro/ace artist contribute to this, so I don't want to come down on it too harshly. I justed wanted to hopefully help manage people's expectations.

CWs: homophobia, transphobia
Profile Image for Robin Stevens.
Author 52 books2,100 followers
December 12, 2018
A wonderfully written, beautifully illustrated collection of LGBTQ+ stories by new and established authors, this book is something to be proud of! (12+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
Profile Image for Jo Red.
60 reviews
December 29, 2020
I like some stories a lot, some were good, others were ok. But I think it‘s great that this collection exists and just reading through the biographies of this diverse bunch of writers and illustrators was really lovely.
Profile Image for Kristel (hungryandhappy).
1,475 reviews76 followers
June 28, 2019
I loved all of these stories and illustrations!
I read slowly, since the beginning of June and finished the last beautiful story today.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
Author 69 books973 followers
Currently reading
March 7, 2019
I tend to read anthologies slowly, just one or two stories at a time, spaced out - so from now on, to try to keep myself accountable, I'm going to start reviewing them at that rate, too!

PROUD is an anthology of LGBTQ stories, poetry and art by #ownvoices creators, and it starts with a powerful, (justifiably) angry and empowering introduction by editor Juno Dawson. The very first short story in the anthology, Simon James Green's "Penguins," is so adorable and fun, I was physically beaming by the end of it. There were serious messages beneath the comedy, but they were slipped in really smoothly, without any didacticism. Now I want to read his novels too!

The second story, "On the Run," by Kay Staples, utterly pierced my heart. I'm so worried about both of these kids and so desperate for them to find the happiness they deserve. It's a really lovely story.

And I'll keep coming back to add more updates as I read more and more!
Profile Image for Emma.
257 reviews
June 19, 2022

be a beautiful thing / be the moonlight too
Profile Image for Lizzie Huxley-Jones.
Author 7 books203 followers
December 31, 2018
I had the absolute pleasure of reading an early copy of Proud. This rich anthology is filled with joy, euphoria, sadness, romance, loss, beauty and triumph. It is an astonishing collection, that brought me to tears several times — with happiness while reading Simon James Green’s story of Penguins and with the heartache of recognition in Cynthia So’s tale of Phoenixes. This is a collection that every queer person needs to read, adult or teen. Make this book a priority for 2019.
Profile Image for Luc The Reader.
51 reviews40 followers
June 29, 2019
A queer anthology by queer authors that’s is very much needed. After seeing a couple of people talking about this on Instagram I was super hyped to get my hands on this. We definitely need more own-voices stories. In this day and age, we have the responsibility to pave the way for a new generation. To know that future children will have books that represent them is a feeling I can’t even begin to describe.

This short story collection has 12 stories of reasonable length. You get a story with two boys falling in love, one where someone is still trying to figure out who they feel and how they want to express themselves, a trans guy joining a basketball team and much more.

Before I even read this book I had high hopes. There is something about reading a book that is written by people that just get it. The little nuances and bits and things make all the difference in stories with sensitive subjects. I absolutely adored this book. The stories were a good length, you could see that the authors had an idea and were keen on writing something cohesive. There was a beginning, middle and end to every story. What stood out the most where the ones where the story wasn’t solemnly focused on being queer. In my opinion we need stories where being different isn’t the most important part of it. Give me a story of two people winning the lottery, having nowhere to go and figuring out their next move. That one of them hasn’t figured out their identity isn’t the main focus just something of a backstory. Give me more like that please! There were maybe two that I didn’t care for. One I completely skipped after reading it for a couple of pages but that’s the only reason this is getting a 4 star.

Do you want to feel good? Do you want cute stories about queer people?
Profile Image for Vini.
498 reviews63 followers
July 5, 2020
This was the perfect short story collection to read during Pride.
I really loved most of the stories and poems in here, all of them were sweet and very cute and made me happy. There were some that I loved ("Penguins"; "On the Run"; "Love Poems to the City"), some of them I thought was just ok ("As the Philadelphia Queer Youth Choir Sings Katy Perry’s ‘Firework"; "I Hate Darcy Pemberley"), and one of them, the very first story/poem in the collection made me very confused ("Dive Bar"), it wasn't bad, it just was incredibly vague about what was happening exactly.
Profile Image for Em.
995 reviews19 followers
March 25, 2019
"Sing it in defiance of all the people who want you to be quiet. Sing it to lift your own soul from the depths. Sing it to be the music you want in the world." - David Levithan

Proud is an exquisite anthology of short stories, poetry and art about teenagers from across the LGBT+ spectrum. From gay penguins to lesbians with firebirds to campaigning for equality on the streets of Dublin, this is a stunning cross-section of life for LGBT+ teens in the UK and Ireland. My only qualm was that there no asexual characters.

A wonderful collection perfect for a pick-me-up.

- Dive Bar - 2/5 - I didn't completely understand this one but it had a nice atmosphere.

- Penguins - 5/5 - I exploded from the cute (and, of course, I loved Alice Oseman’s artwork). Kippie and Jingles are my new OTP.

- On the Run - 5/5 - Cute and sweet with a little dash of angst.

- The Phoenix’s Fault - 3/5 - Sweet disaster lesbians with an East Asian setting.

- As The Philadelphia Queer Youth Choir Sings Katy Perry’s “Firework”… - 5/5 - Absolutely beautiful. Always love David Levithan’s poetry <3

- Almost Certain - 5/5 - I’m crying. This one just hit something deep inside and resonated. Beautiful.

- The Other Team - 4/5 - Fun and sweet. Loved the soccer team setting.

- I Hate Darcy Pemberley - DNF - I’m sure other people would love a wlw retelling of Pride and Prejudice but it wasn’t for me.

- The Courage of Dragons - 4/5 - The best heist story I’ve read for a long time. Loved all the DnD references!

- The Instructor - 5/5 - Gays learning to drive featuring a chaotic good driving instructor and a peacock named Lionel. Fantastic!

- Love Poems to the City - 4/5 - Lyrical and lovely. Nice to get a look at the Irish LGBT+ landscape.

- How to Come Out As Gay - 5/5 - A beautiful closer reminding us once more that it’s okay to be proud.
Profile Image for Lily.
275 reviews130 followers
March 7, 2019
4.5 stars!
This was such a wonderful and varied collection of stories, with so many different character and identities represented and celebrated. Thinking about queer and questioning teens picking this up honestly makes me tear up, because I know this is gonna be so important for so many people out there. Each and every one of the stories is wonderful in their own way, but my personal favourites were:
- The Phoenix's Fault by Cynthia So (f/f fantasy with chinese mythology - i cannot WAIT to read more from this author in the future!!)
- Almost Certain by Tanya Byrne (anxiety rep - I loved Tanya's story in A Change is Gonna Come as well so I think I may have to pick up her books because her writing is wonderful)
- I Hate Darcy Pemberley by Karen Lawler (a lesbian pride and prejudice high school retelling YES YOU HEARD ME RIGHT I NEED THIS IN A FULL LENGTH NOVEL LIKE RIGHT NOW BUT THIS WAS EVERYTHING)
- The Instructor by Jess Vallance (queer girl tries to impress her crush by learning to drive - quietly beautiful i wanted to cry at the end it was so soft!!!!!!)
- Love Poems to the City by Moira Fowley-Doyle (queer teens campaigning against the backdrop of the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum - Moira's touch of fabulism is always so wonderful)

This was so uplifting honestly my heart is so full!!
Profile Image for Alfie Rowland.
49 reviews
January 28, 2019
** Originally published on my blog at https://elfcouncillorreads.blogspot.c... **

So, it's finally time - the queerest book of 2019! I was at YALC last year when Juno Dawson and the Stripes team unveiled Proud and to say it got me excited was an understatement. After waiting nearly seven painstaking months to be able to read it I can say I was not disappointed at all - and thanks to the people over at Stripes for letting read this early or I would have been waiting even longer!

If you've been living under a book-free rock for the past seven months then you might be asking yourself "what is Proud?" and to that I answer: an anthology of short stories and more by queer authors and artists all about queer things and the theme of pride. Simple as. Contained within Proud is ten short stories and two poems that will have you sad crying, happy crying, laughing out loud and then feeling all warm inside. Proud is nothing short of an emotional roller coaster. With a super heartfelt and passionate introduction by editor Juno Dawson this book was everything from page one.

Proud is a book for everyone, from the seasoned queer literature fan, to LGBTQ+ allies, to those who know very little of queer culture and its peoples and wish to learn more. It is a celebration of the amazing quality of LGBTQ+ YA, queer authors and illustrators all over the UK and beyond.

The stories span different genres from humourous tales of gay penguins to fantasy stories of phoenixes who dare to be different - with characters from all kinds of backgrounds and interests from being poor and living in council blocks of flats to D&D nerds living out almost magical fantasies at school. There's queer jocks, queer nerds, queer people of colour, queer lottery winners, queer people who get wrapped up in peacock wrangling - queer people can literally do/be anything these days. The characters are diverse, the stories are diverse, LGBT+ culture is DIVERSE.

I loved each and everyone one of these stories and from what I could see from the art in the advanced ebook it's just as wonderful - Alice Oseman and Fatti Burke were particular illustrator faves. I can't wait until I have the physical copy so I can see it all nice and finished. A big shout out to authors Simon James Green who had me lolling so much with his story Penguins, Kay Staples and her trans love story On The Run that filled me to the brim with warmth and lastly, Dean Atta who has actually written a poem that spoke to me in How To Come Out As Gay.

Thank you to NetGalley and Stripes for an e-arc of this!
Profile Image for Kate (Reading Through Infinity).
702 reviews405 followers
February 10, 2019
4.5 stars

I was send a free copy of this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book.

TWs: Bullying, transphobia, anxiety, depression, homophobia, violence, off-page death.

This collection is wonderful and I loved reading it so much. Each story focuses on different characters of different orientations, as they figure out what it means to be a queer teen in today's society. There are gay, bi, lesbian, trans, queer, and questioning characters, and it was so easy to invest in every single one of them. Some stories are about coming out, some are about finding acceptance, and some are about finding friendship and romance. The whole collection is so uplifting and so, so important. Not going to lie, several of the stories made made me tear up and a couple made me laugh aloud, but they all touched me in different ways. My heart is so full after reading this anthology. I can't recommend it enough. It releases on 7th March in the UK!
Profile Image for Debbie.
364 reviews269 followers
January 27, 2019
Such an uplifting collection of LGBT stories. It highlights how important it is to move past purely 'coming out' tales and to show the nuanced people behind the sexuality. I can't tell you how lovely it is to finally have so many 'happy gays' in one book. I love how Stripes have curated this anthology to include authors and illustrators from the community. Tanya Byrne's story especially will stay with me for a long time.
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