reading is what? fundamental. LGBTQ+ books to celebrate Pride 2022.

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June 23, 2022

Read on and discover our favourite LGBTQ+ reads to get you through the summer.

Here at the halley, we love a good book recommendation. Sitting by the canal and reading a good book is our favourite way to while away a lunch break.

In honour of this historic month, we wanted to use this opportunity to recommend books either written by, or focusing on, the LGBTQIA+ community. With a mixture of fiction, non fiction and poetry in this list, there's a little something here for everyone!

The Stonewall Reader

by New York Public Library and Jason Baumann

June 28 2019, marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Considered to be one of the most significant events in the gay liberation movement, this event was the catalyst for Pride celebrations as we know them, with the first Pride celebrations starting just a year after the uprising.

The Stonewall Reader is a collection of first-hand accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQ+ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years before and after the riots. A fantastic collection of accounts for those who want to understand the context of that crucial era within the LGBTQ+ community.

Giovanni’s Room

by James Baldwin

Considered an 'audacious' second novel, Giovanni’s Room is set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence. Set amongst the bars and nightlife within the City of Light, this now-classic story of a fated love triangle explores, with uncompromising clarity, the conflicts between desire, conventional morality and sexual identity, and focuses on the feelings and frustrations within his relationships with other men.

Baldwin is regarded as one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century, and this 1950's novel examines the mystery of love and passion in a moving and complex story.

Rainbow Milk

by Paul Mendez

Rainbow Milk is an intersectional coming-of-age story, following nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of a Jehovah's Witness upbringing and the legacies of the Windrush generation.

This bold exploration of race, class, sexuality, freedom and religion across generations, time and cultures, has been written by Paul Mendez, an exciting new voice on the literary scene.

Gender Euphoria

By Laura Kate Dale

Gender Euphoria is a collection of fiction and non-fiction works celebrating and exploring indiviual journeys with gender from a variety of non-binary, transgender and intersex writers. Hearing about the experiences, emotions, highs and lows from non-cisgendered writers is a true insight and celebration of often untold stories from the people who understand it best.  

Sister Outsider

by Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde, a black lesbian poet and feminist writer, has put together this collection of essays and speeches. In this, she takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, in a way that is challenging yet inspires us to think about the possibilities of change while being a celebration of our differences .

A Visible Man

by Edward Enninful

A Invisible Man candidly explores Edward's journey into one of the most elusive industries and how, as a black, gay, working class refugee, he managed to become the first Black editor-in-chief of British Vogue.

Reading about his historic and inspiring journey and finding a home in fashion is truly worth a read!

Stone Butch Blues

by Leslie Feinberg

This 1993 novel is often marked as a difficult yet essential piece of LGBTQ+ literature. Leslie writes this piece of fiction that confronts the homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism and classism that the protagonist faces daily as a trans person in 1970s America.

Considered a cult classic and highly regarded by critics this exploration of trans identity remains relevant and important today.

We encourage you to support independent bookstores!

- why not try the iconic Gays The Word. This bookstore is the UK’s oldest LGBTQ+ bookshop. set up in January 1979 by a group of gay socialists as a community space where all profits were funneled back into the business.

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