LGBT+ History Month 2021 is drawing to a close, but our engagement with queer history, media, literature, and creators is always ongoing. LGBTQIA+ History is part of our wider history, and is relevant and important for everyone, regardless of whether or not you consider yourself part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
As a library we may be a little biased, but we think that a great way to engage with LGBTQIA+ history is through…you guessed it… books! And so we have compiled a very short list of five non-fiction books and five fiction books to help you continue engaging with LGBTQIA+ History all year long!
Gender Games, Juno Dawson
“The problem with men and women, from someone who has been both” reads the tagline for Juno Dawson’s 2017 book Gender Games. This book has been frequently described by reviewers as “part memoir, part manifesto”, and it deftly investigates the issues, questions, and difficulties of gender which can effect everyone.
The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves
As the title suggests, this book contains a series of letters written by queer writers to their younger selves. Featuring contributions from David Leviathan, Armistead Maupin, Amy Bloom, and Jacqueline Woodson, among many others, this book is a must-read for aspring young writers in particular!
How Not To Be A Boy, Robert Webb
The autobiography of British comedian, writer, and actor Robert Webb chronicles, among other things, the history of his complicated relationship with gender, sexuality, and socially mandated ideas of masculinity. An entertaining and thought-provoking read.
Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issues, Nicholas Teich
An holistic resource written by a social worker, educator, and member of the transgender community, this guide covers everything from a short history of transgenderism through to the social and psychological processes of coming out, understanding and dealing with gender dysphoria, and the wider context of the development of the transgender movement.
GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Teens, Kelly Huegel
A thorough resource containing straightforward and practical advice for young people in, or questioning whether they are in, the GLBTQ+ community.
Under The Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta
A moving coming-of-age story set during the Nigerian civil war. Two young women from different cultural backgrounds meet and fall in love after both being sent away from their homes for their own safety. Once this love is discovered, Ijeoma must balance her same-sex love with the taboos, prejudices, and expectations of society – and her mother. A critically acclaimed novel dealing with taboo, prejudice, hope, and love.
Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin
Originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle, Maupin’s Tales of the City is the fist book in a series of nine, further popularised recently by a Netflix series of the same name. Tales of the City follows naive Midwestern secretary Mary Ann as she makes the move to 1970s San Francisco. This book takes both Mary and the reader through an exploration of 70s San Franciscan counterculture, underground movements, and the growing gay scene, whilst also dealing with subjects such as homophobia, sexual liberation, emotional freedom, and the meaning of family.
Maurice, E.M. Forster
Written between 1913 and 1914, the publication of Maurice was suppressed until after E. M. Forster’s death in 1971, as the author believed it to be unpublishable within his own lifetime. Following the story of Maurice Hall as he comes to terms with his homosexuality time and again throughout the course of his life, this novel was in many was pseudo-autobiographical, and representative of Forster’s own experiences living as a homosexual man in the early twentieth century. A profound, moving classic written with heart-rending honesty.
Bloom, Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
This beautifully illustrated graphic novel is a baking based coming-of-age love story about the conflicts between duty to your family, duty to your friends, and duty to yourself. The cakes and breads in this story aren’t the only things that are sweet, warm, and wholesome!
The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall
The Well of Loneliness was published in 1928, and hugely controversial upon its release. This novel tells the story of an English noblewoman, Stephen Gordon (her parents were expecting a boy) as she comes to realise that she is a lesbian. Following her life, her loves, her hardships, and her happinesses, The Well of Loneliness is a landmark of queer literature, which ends upon a heartfelt plea as resonant today as when it was written: “God give us the right to our existence!”
Read the eBook
This is just a very small selection of the LGBTQIA+ literature which SGS College LRCs have available – for a complete list, or for any further recommendations from the librarians, please get in touch and ask us!