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Rosann’s Reading Recommendations – Pride

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article by: @Rosann_1086 on Twitter @WishingICouldFly on Tumblr

Happy Pride Month! Last year for Pride my recommended fics focused on “coming of age” fics. This year, while similar, my recommendations are going to be more of what I call “gay awakening” fics – In other words, these stories focus on individuals who prior to meeting the LOML, believed they were straight. 

Sometimes, like coming out stories, these can be difficult and include characters who aren’t supportive, if not aggressively homophobic. I’d encourage you to read the triggers and proceed accordingly.

Note that some AO3 fics are available publicly on the server, while some require an Archive of Our Own account/membership to access. If you don’t currently have access, you’ll need to sit on a waitlist – typically for a week or two – to gain access. Get yourself on that list ASAP as some of these require that access to read.

These are NOT in ranked order. 

Summary: Sometimes, people are in each other’s lives just for the briefest of moments. They meet and then go their separate ways because being vulnerable is scary and it might be easier to not let anybody else in. But some people aren’t meant to be just passing by. Maybe when they open their eyes, they can learn things about themselves they haven’t known before. If they let their hearts speak they will find a way to be together. Or the one where Harry doesn’t even know he’s into guys until he meets Louis on a boat trip. There’s something more to their friendship but it ain’t gonna be smooth sailing.. 

Why I liked It: Like many Larry stories, miscommunication is the villain here, but it’s a well told story of Harry exploring his queer side.

Summary: Louis likes to think he’s a pretty normal, typical lad. He likes spending nights at the pub with his mates, he loves football and is very close to his family. So when he moves to London for uni, he doesn’t think much will be different. Until he makes these new friends who are nothing like his mates back home and change his life for the better – and this one boy who messes with his head from the get go and makes him question everything he has ever thought about himself.

Why I liked It: Louis thinks he’s straight, but he’s drawn to Harry. Miscommunication is also the villain in this fic, and the ending is a bit ambiguous – luckily, there’s a sequel! Here: I Still Want to Dance with You. 

Summary: Childhood best friends who’ve fallen in and out of touch with each other since Louis’ family moved away when they were thirteen, Harry and Louis find their paths crossing again and again. Each time, no matter how many miles apart or how many years it’s been, it’s as if no time has passed. They fall back into their easy friendship, until life intervenes and sends them on their separate ways once more.

When Harry discovers some life-changing things about himself, Louis is there for him, however he needs. But it’s all temporary because Louis has plans that will move his life from New York all the way to L.A. and the distance isn’t the only thing between them.

The pieces of their twice broken hearts are scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Why I liked It: I mentioned this one last year, but I had to include it again. This has slow burn, friends to not-friends, to lovers, to exes, to lovers. Word of caution, Harry has a girlfriend for part of it, but it’s a really nice slow awakening of his sexuality. 

Summary: AU in which Harry Styles, a naive, repressed, socially awkward Midwestern highschooler tries to navigate his fundamentalist evangelical parents and radically progressive older sister. He’s doing an okay job of this until the Tomlinson family starts attending Lakeside Baptist Church and a boy named Louis changes everything. Harry is forced to come to grips with his true self when Louis becomes more than just his best friend; but their relationship opens a can of worms and sends them on the most painful, heartbreaking journey of their young lives. They risk everything and nearly lose, and Harry learns that perhaps only one Bible verse is true: that perfect love casteth out fear.

Why I liked It: This one is heartbreaking but lovely. Great pacing, great characterization. Beware of internalized homophobia, as well as a homophobic family. Trigger for attempted suicide.

Summary: When the Queer Eye cast and crew sweep into Louis’ small town and fire station to make over his best friend and coworker Liam, Louis’ carefully constructed walls start to fall down and he has to face his fears and the only guy he’s ever been able to see a future with.

Why I liked It: What’s not to love about a Queer Eye/One Direction crossover? 

Summary: Louis’ life is steady and calm, moored by his marriage, and tied to his hometown, but after a chance encounter with another man, it’ll never be the same.  

Why I liked it: I love this one. TW for cheating. Middle aged man in a loveless marriage realizes he’s gay and falls in love with a co-worker. Could totally be a Hallmark movie and I’d be here for it all the way.

Summary: “Is this the part where I say ‘make me, sir?’” Harry’s jaw clenched. Focusing back on the contract, Louis smirked inwardly. “Why can’t we fake the kinks again?” 

“Primarily,” Harry said, voice dropping lower with irritation, “because my website promises real BDSM, not staged. Practically speaking, I’d love to hear how nipple clamps can be faked without falling off and halting a live stream.” 

Louis wanted to take this contract and rip it apart. “Then why didn’t you get somebody who’d enjoy this? If I don’t enjoy sex with men, what makes you think I’ll enjoy getting tortured in addition?” 

“I didn’t want somebody who will get attached. Many subs do and hide it from me. Straight men are less likely to get attached.” Louis snorted at the response coming from someone who clearly never had been rejected a day in his life.“But I’ve changed my mind. I think you will enjoy this because you are definitely not straight, and I think seeing you have a gay spiral will be amusing.” 

. . . Or when Louis needs to take money to keep his family afloat, he turns to the porn industry where hot-shot Harry Styles picks him to be his sub. The only issue is that Louis is straight and Harry doesn’t believe him.

Why I liked It: Louis thinks he’s straight. Lots of smut and porn, but so much more. Sweet family side plot and I really appreciate some of the bathroom content that sometimes gets ignored in BDSM fics. Characters were fully developed.

  • you think fashion is your friend, my friend (fashion is danger) by mediawhore

Summary: “Louis has one rule, and one rule only, that he simply refuses to break. He forbids himself to be attracted to anyone he might work with. No wanking to models who might wear his clothes! It’s hardly fair, considering he spends 95% of his time working with the most attractive men on the planet, but his career is more important. Besides, in Louis’ experience, it always leads to disaster. Harry Styles makes respecting the rule really damn hard though and Louis is not quite sure why.” the one where Louis is a famous British designer and Harry is the clumsy, most likely straight model that makes his heart race.

Why I liked it: MediaWhore is one of our classics, they wrote Tired Tired Sea. This is a cute, short meet-cute. Harry is a model, Louis is a fashion designer who thinks H is dating a woman while he’s crushing on him. 

Summary: “Just say bloody ‘congratulations’ and stop torturing yourself with this!”

“It sounds a bit homophobic, though, doesn’t it?” Harry drawls, craning his neck to look at her.

“What does?” Mitch chimes in from across the room. “Congratulations?”

“Yeah…” Harry hums, clearly distracted with his own thoughts. “Like… It’s like I’m saying: you’re gay. We get it. Congratu-fucking-lations.”

“I’m pretty sure the addition of ‘fucking’ is what makes it rude, H,” Sarah points out innocently, but she’s smirking.

(Or the one where Louis Tomlinson comes out as gay at the age of thirty and all the other former One Direction members find out through social media. All of them. Harry Styles included.)

Why I liked it: Canon compliant (ish). Louis is in a fake relationship with someone when he comes out and Harry can’t stay away. 

  • Wear it Like a Crown by Zarah5

Summary: As part of a team of fixers hired to handle a gay scandal in Buckingham Palace, Louis expects Prince Harry to be a lot of things, most notably a royally spoilt brat. Never mind that the very same Prince Harry used to star in quite a number of Louis’ teenage fantasies.

Why I liked it: One of the best [former] writers in the fandom (in my opinion), writing about a closeted prince of England. No longer on AO3, but let me know if you need it, as I have a PDF.  

Xoxo – Rosann

Happy reading and thanks for checking out my recommendations. I’d love to hear from you and what you think of my suggestions! Let me know if you have any thoughts for future themes!

Happy reading and thanks for checking out my recommendations. I’d love to hear from you and what you think of my suggestions! Let me know if you have any thoughts for future themes!

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