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Six books to read this Pride Month [reading list]

As Pride Month blossoms with vibrant parades and heartfelt celebrations, it’s the perfect time to reflect and honor the rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ history and culture. Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding, celebrate diverse identities, or simply enjoy compelling stories, our carefully curated reading list offers something for everyone. From historical explorations to helpful resources, these books provide invaluable perspectives and celebrate the enduring spirit of the LGBTQ+ community.

1. Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe

Cover of Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe by Sir Noel Malcolm

Delve into the intricacies of sexuality and desire in Early Modern Europe with Noel Malcom’s seminal work, Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe. This scholarly masterpiece unravels the veiled history of male-male sexual relations, once shrouded in taboo. Malcom meticulously navigates through archives—from the bustling streets of Florence to the serene gardens of Venice—unveiling a clandestine world of desire that transcends societal norms. With unparalleled depth and insight, he challenges conventional narratives surrounding sexuality in the Early Modern era, presenting a range of human experiences across continents and cultures.

Buy Forbidden Desire in Early Modern Europe by Sir Noel Malcolm

2. Unsuitable

Cover of Unsuitable by Eleanor Medhurst

Unsuitable invites readers on a journey through the hidden history of lesbian fashion. From the dapper attire of “Gentleman Jack” to the avant-garde fashion of genderqueer Berlin, this book illuminates the diverse and often overlooked contributions of queer women to the world of fashion. Unsuitable serves as a timely reminder of LGBTQ+ resilience and creativity, offering a kaleidoscopic view of trans lesbian style, Black lesbian Style, and gender nonconformity. Readers are invited to celebrate the vibrant spectrum of identity and expression that has shaped queer history— Unsuitable is an essential read that shines a light on a rich and often obscured legacy.

Buy Unsuitable by Eleanor Medhurst

3. The Girl Prince

Cover of The Girl Prince by Danell Jones

The Girl Prince offers a captivating exploration of a little-known chapter in the life of Virginia Woolf, blending history, race, and identity into a compelling narrative. Set against the backdrop of Edwardian Britain, this book delves into Woolf’s audacious prank onboard HMS Dreadnought and its broader implications. The Girl Prince serves as a potent reminder of the complexity of identity and the intersection of gender and race. Through meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Danell Jones invites readers to reflect on the legacy of a boundary-pushing novelist—it is a thought-provoking examination of race, empire, and privilege.

Buy The Girl Prince by Danell Jones

4. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

Cover of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a groundbreaking and indispensable guide for the transgender community, written by transgender and gender-expansive authors. This comprehensive resource offers vital insight into the diverse experiences of transgender individuals: from medical and surgical transition to relationships, parenthood, and beyond. Inspired by the empowering ethos of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” this book provides authoritative information in an inclusive and respectful manner, amplifying the voices of transgender people from all walks of life. With its commitment to representing the collective knowledge and lived experiences of the transgender community, this second edition is a testament to resilience, diversity, and the ongoing journey towards equality and understanding.

Buy Trans Bodies, Trans Selves edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth

5. Trans Children in Today’s Schools

Cover of Trans Children in Today's Schools

Trans Children in Today’s Schools is a timely and essential resource for educators, parents, and community members seeking guidance on supporting transgender youth in educational settings. This groundbreaking book shines a light on the challenges and barriers faced by transgender students and their families, providing practical strategies for creating safe and inclusive learning environments. Author Aidan Key expertly navigates beyond polarizing debates, focusing instead on the fundamental goal of ensuring all children have access to a supportive and welcoming educational experience. By challenging societal norms and advocating for gender-inclusive approaches, this book invites readers to join the paradigm shift towards a more affirming and equitable future for all youth.

Buy Trans Children in Today’s Schools by Aidan Key

6. Gays on Broadway

Cover of Gays on Broadway by Ethan Mordden

Gays on Broadway provides a vibrant celebration of the LGBTQ+ community’s rich and enduring influence on American theater. From the genteel female impersonators of the early 20th century to the groundbreaking works of modern times, Ethan Mordden’s insightful chronicle traces the evolution of gay themes on Broadway with verve and wit. Against a backdrop of societal resistance and moral scrutiny, Mordden highlights the courageous artists and productions that pushed boundaries and paved the way for greater acceptance and visibility. From iconic plays to memorable characters, Gays on Broadway captures the spirit of defiance, creativity, and resilience that defines LGBTQ+ theater.

Buy Gays on Broadway by Ethan Mordden

You can explore these titles and more on Bookshop US and Bookshop UK.

Feature image by Brielle French via Unsplash.

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