LGBT+ History Month is celebrated in the UK every February to acknowledge and bring to light issues faced by members of the LGBT+ community, and to promote acceptance and diversity. The event coincides with the abolition of Section 28 in 2003, an act passed earlier in 1988 prohibiting councils and schools from ‘promoting homosexuality’ in England.
One of the ways that members of Glamazon, Amazon’s LGBT+ employee affinity group have been marking LGBT+ History Month this year, is by sharing their top picks of inspiring books for adults and young adults – check them out below to find out more!
“These books capture the rich and often overlooked history of LGBT+ people right around the world.”
Glamazon, run by Amazon employees, champions diversity, supports Amazonians with social and professional opportunities, and promotes LGBT+ acceptance in communities across the globe.
Max Shillam, Brand Specialist at Amazon and Glamazon member, explains: “LGBT+ History Month is an important opportunity for everyone to reflect on all of the people who have come before us, striving for a more just society.”
“It’s very easy to take for granted the progress that’s been made, for young adults like myself it is all we’ve ever known,” Max adds. “But advances are made when we reject complacency and settling for the status quo and continue to seek a better world. These books capture the rich and often overlooked history of LGBT+ people right around the world. They remind us how far we have come – but there is always more to do, and at Glamazon we’re dedicated to acting on our long-term commitments to support LGBT+ communities and their allies.”
This mix of non-fiction, biography, memoir and fiction provides insight across a range of genres. This is by no means an exhaustive list with so much great writing available, but Glamazon members hope you’ll find this selection insightful and though-provoking!
Books for adult readers
The choice of books on LGBT+ themes is expansive – so recommendations are invaluable. Our top picks include a range of inspirational and thought-provoking issues across a range of genres.
Have Pride by Stella Caldwell, for example, outlines the ground-breaking history of the LGBT+ movement, from the Stonewall riots to the HIV/AIDS crisis, encouraging readers to have pride and accept themselves and others, regardless of their sexuality.
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado is an award-winning novel that provides a new and innovative view of a relationship gone bad. As each chapter views the relationship from a different perspective, Machado dissects the representation and mechanisms of psychological abuse in a relationship.
Michael Cashman’s fascinating memoir One of Them explores his story as one half of the first gay kiss ever shown on broadcast in a British soap. The book is a warm and engaging account of his life as a pioneer and activist throughout the historic civil rights movement for LGBT+ communities.
In Queer, Frank Wynne draws together stories, poems extracts and more from LGBT+ people from all over the world to create an unabashed and unapologetic anthology of silenced LGBT+ people, from ancients times to the modern day.
Books for young adult readers
Coming to terms with sexuality or gender identity as a teen or a young adult can be both a difficult and empowering experience. The books below all have an incredible power to remind readers of our shared experiences.
While these are aimed at young adults, we think many adults will enjoy them too!
Boy Meet Boy is a feel-good novel from David Levithan, highlighting the real-life issues faced by protagonist Paul when it comes to love and heartbreak as a gay man. This positive, romantic comedy covers the reality of finding and losing love in the modern world.
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden was one of the first books to positively portray a lesbian relationship in literature and has since become a landmark in the genre. The captivating novel tells the story of two teenage girls who fall in love, and how their sexuality sparks conflict both in their families and at their schools.
In non-fiction, Amy Lamé’s From Prejudice to Pride looks back at the rise and achievements of the LGBT+ movement. The book, perfect for readers aged 11 and upwards, travels from ancient civilisations to the present day, highlighting key historical events in the movement.
Alex Bertie’s memoir Trans Mission: My Quest to a Beard tells the life story of a transgender man, outlining how he came to terms with his gender identity, his experience of coming out, and his interactions with the healthcare system.
With all the incredible books available from LGBT+ authors covering a wealth of topics and genres, this is by no means an exhaustive list. We hope you find something you enjoy in this list and if you would like to discover more books, check out our LGBT+ History Month Kindle storefront.
Find out more: Celebrating Pride Month 2020 at Amazon