Gay’s The Word is the UK’s oldest LGBT bookshop and a touchstone for the broader LGBT community. The bookshop was set up in January 1979 by a group of gay socialists as a community space where all profits were funnelled back into the business. This ethos continues today with shelves bursting with books and the space used for book and community events. The bookshop featured in the 2014 film Pride which follows the 1984/85 Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners group which used to meet at the bookshop.  

 

 A Little Gay History of Wales – Daryl Leeworthy 

This pioneering book traces Welsh LGBT life and politics from the Middle Ages to the present. Drawing on a rich array of archival sources from across Britain together with oral testimony and material culture, this original study is the first to examine the experiences of ordinary LGBT men and women and how they embarked on coming out, building community, and changing the world. 

 

Before We Were Trans – Kit Heyam 

 

Before We Were Trans is a new and different story of gender, that seeks not to be comprehensive or definitive, but – by blending culture, feminism and politics – to widen the scope of what we think of as trans history by telling the stories of people across the globe whose experience of gender has been transgressive, or not characterised by stability or binary categories. 

  

Fabulosa! – Paul Baker 

Polari is a language that was used chiefly by gay men in the first half of the twentieth century. It offered its speakers a degree of public camouflage and a means of identification. With a cast of drag queens, sailors, Dilly boys and macho clones, Fabulosa! is an essential document of recent history and a fascinating, fantastically readable account of this funny, filthy and ingenious language. 

 

Now You See Me – Jane Traies 

Now You See Me draws on a unique new archive of life stories, recorded by Jane Traies, writer, and oral historian. In their own words, women from across the UK recreate a time when being lesbian meant hiding your true identity – or paying the price for breaking society’s rules. The personal is still political in this moving and inspiring book. 

 

gaystheword.co.uk 

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