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Celebrating Pride 2021 with Non-fiction

30th June

Posted by The London Interdisciplinary School

To celebrate the end of Pride 2021, we've put together a top ten list of non-fiction LGBTQ+ reads.

1. No Modernism without Lesbians by Diana Souhami
This is a capacious biography of four important modernists: Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, Bryher and Natalie Barney. Examining their livers in interwar Paris, Souhami takes us on an exploration of person and place, breathing life into each of their unique stories.

2. All the Young Men by Ruth Coker Burks
All the Young Men is Ruth Coker Burks’ memoir of the 1980s AIDs epidemic. As a white, heterosexual, Methodist woman in Arkansas, Coker Burks proved to be a vanishingly rare exception to the rule of homophobia, cruelty, and prejudice that dominated at the time.

3. Gay Bar: Why We Went Out by Jeremy Atherton Lin
Lin takes the reader on a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub, and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. The journey that emerges is a stylish and nuanced inquiry into the connection between place and identity.

4. Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s-1950s by Hugh Nini & Neal Treadwell (photographer)
Loving is a monograph composed of hundreds of photos of men from the 1850s to 1950s. It’s a visual narrative revealing the tender moments between men in the 19th-century (working-class men, fashionably dressed businessmen, university students, soldiers, sailors, and more) through benign, domestic photographs.

5. Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples by Rodger Streitmatter
Streitmatter amasses fifteen concrete examples of individuals who have made a significant difference in the American social fabric, yet were forced to have ‘outlaw. In all of the cases, at least one of the pair is quite a well-known name, forced either to deny their sexual leanings or find ways to be happy and throw caution to the wind.

6. Queer City by Peter Ackroyd
This book is about the history through the ages of the gay population of London. This is a good history, alternately funny and sad, written with great erudition and verve. Though sometimes frustratingly brief, this book can easily serve as a fun introduction to LGBT history in the UK.

7. Queer Intentions by Amelia Abraham
Queer Intentions is a fantastic blend of accessible writing mixing in queer theory, statistics, history, and personal stories. Abraham’s approach allows the complexity of each of her interviewees’ thoughts on being queer to shine through without any dumbing down.

8. Queer London: A Guide to the City’s LGBTQ+ Past and Present by Alim Kheraj & Tim Boddy (photographer)
Trying to immerse yourself in London’s queer scene can be overwhelming. Acting as a sort of gay Yellow Pages, Alim has tirelessly preserved what is an incredibly vast, innately fluid, and intangible history and ‘vibe’ of the capital.

9. The Book of Queer Prophets: 24 Writers on Sexuality and Religion by Ruth Hunt
These writers voice the certainty that they are who God means them to be. A few of them engage with particular passages from the Bible, offering contextual critiques or new interpretations, but most turn to scripture for its overall message of love and justice.

10. TransVerse: We Won’t be Erased! Edited by Ash Brockwell
TransVerse is an anthology of poetry and song lyrics by 26 transgender and non-binary writers living in the UK, US, and Kenya. From established singers and spoken word artists to teenagers writing their first poems, and from traditional rhyme patterns to free verse, this book showcases the diversity, creativity, and resilience of the trans community.

What have we missed? Let us know in the comments or by emailing