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Home  »   LGBT+   »   Rainbow Reads! LGBTQ Books for Pride Month 2024

Rainbow Reads! LGBTQ Books for Pride Month 2024

Guest writer David Wright (he/him) is Associate Library Director for User Experience at the University of Southampton. With a career that spans over 30 years and includes work in public, special and academic libraries, he describes himself as an elder of the LGBTQ community who is as passionate now about diversity and inclusion as he was when he first came out as a gay man in the early 1980s. Here he recommends some reading especially for the PDA LGBT+ Network.

Wed 5th June 2024 The PDA

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated every year to commemorate the moment in June 1969 when LGBTQ people fought back against the homophobia, transphobia, racism, and brutality of the New York Police Department during a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. It’s about liberation, diversity, visibility, and the ongoing struggle for equality – a celebration of what has been achieved in some countries and what still needs to be done.

While the 2020s are proving to be newly challenging times for the LGBTQ+ community (the American Library Association reports that, in 2023, more attempts than ever before were made to ban books from US schools and libraries) our voices have never been so strong in the publishing world. Here’s a selection of five fabulous titles to read during Pride month – and beyond.

1. Bernardine Evaristo – Girl, Woman, Other

The eighth novel by Bernardine Evaristo, and co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve, very different characters, most of them black British women, on personal journeys across several decades. Among them is Amma, a lesbian socialist playwright struggling for recognition and non-binary Morgan who uses the internet to help explore their gender identity. This may be a book about the challenges of everyday life, but it is also an engaging story of love, joy and the powers of imagination.

2. Torrey Peters – Detransition, Baby

Ames thought that detransitioning to live as a man again would make life easier. But when his boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby, Ames sees a chance to bring his former lover, Reese, back into his life and create an unconventional but loving family for the child. This riotous, provocative, original novel will have you laughing, crying and thinking as it fearlessly explores taboos around gender, sex, and relationships.

3. A Dutiful Boy by Mohsin Zaidi

Growing up in a devout Shia Muslim community, Mohsin knew he was different from an early age. Unable to be open with his family, and educated in a failing inner-city school, his life opportunities seemed limited. But Mohsin’s drive and perseverance got him to Oxford University, where new experiences and freedoms helped him to discover who he truly wanted to be. As he became an adult, Mohsin faced the most difficult choice: to live the life his family expected of him or to live as his authentic gay self. A heartrending memoir, full of life and humour, and, ultimately, an inspiring account of breaking through life’s barriers.

4. Bi the Way – The Bisexual Guide to Life by Lois Shearing

Whether you are proudly pan, still figuring things out, or an ally interested in learning more, Bi the Way is your essential guide to understanding and embracing bisexuality. Activist, freelance journalist and writer, Lois Shearing is the founder of the Bisexual Survivors Network and here reflects on a range of topics including dating, sex, biphobia, coming out, activism, and gender identity. A powerful voice from a community that is still all too often erased or overlooked.

5. Heartstopper (Vols 1-6) – Alice Oseman

The book that unites all the letters of the LGBTQ+ alphabet – and that spawned the hit Netflix drama – Alice Oseman’s series of graphic novels follows the lives of several teenagers as they begin to navigate the turbulent waters of friendship, love, sexuality, and identity. Originally aimed at young adult readers, this warm and uplifting series of stories centred around a diverse group of queer characters has connected with readers of all ages, making it one of the UK’s fastest-selling graphic novels ever.


David with his great hero, the writer James Baldwin

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