LGBT History Month
Claiming our history, celebrating our present and creating our future!
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We include the following books and sites as useful and interesting literature resources. Not all the content will be appropriate and it is certainly not inclusive of our diverse community! Read some book reviews here. You can find recommended book resources and booksellers here.

Recommended books


Against the Law , Peter Wildeblood, 1955. Re-published in 1999 as part of Weidenfeld and Nicolson's 50th anniversary, with a new preface by Matthew Parris. ISBN 0 297 64382 7

A Way of Life , Peter Wildeblood, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1956

Love In A Dark Time and Other Explorations of Gay Lives and Literature , Colm Toibin, Simon and Schuster. ISBN: 0743244672

The Naked Civil Servant The Naked Civil Servant , Quentin Crisp, Cape, London, 1968. Preface by Michael Holroyd. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1977. Duckworth

Society and the Homosexual , Gordon Westwood, London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1952London, 1977; Fontana, London, 1977; New American Library, New York, 1983; Plume, 1983; Penguin Books, 1997

The Riddle of "Man-Manly" Love: The Pioneering Work on Male Homosexuality Vol1&2 , Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Tr. [from German] by Michael A.Lombardi-Nash, Prometheus Books UK. ISBN: 087975866X

Love Undetectable: Sociological Aspects of Homosexuality , Michael Schofield

A Minority: A Report on the Life of the Male Homosexual in Great Britain , Gordon Westwood, London: Longmans, Green and Co., (1960)

The Orton Diaries , Joe Orton, Methuen, London, 1998.ISBN: 0413736504

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, Pioneer of the Modern Gay Movement , Hubert Kennedy, 2002. NB: You can download this title free from

Portraits to the wall Rose Collis Cassell 1994 0-304-32853-7


Getting Bi is an anthology of essays and articles from people around the world.  Over 30 countries are represented in this truly global book that is a must-have for anyone wanting to understand more about bisexuality.

ISBN: 096538814X More info from


Brief encounters Lesbians and Gays in British Cinema 1930-1971 Stephen BourneCassell 1996 ISBN 0 304 33283

The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies , Vitto Russo, 1981 (revised edition 1987). (also a 1996 documentary film)

The Celluloid Closet


Becomining Visible A reader in gay and lesbian history for high school students Kevin Jenning, editor Alyson 1994 1-55583-254-7

Hidden Histories:20th Century Male Same Sex Lovers in the Visual Arts (ISBN:1-902889-10-X) by Michael Petry. It accompanied the exhibition of the same name for The New Art Gallery Walsall last summer. The book is available in most art book stores/museums as well as direct from the publishers. This book is the first comprehensive academic look at the subject, but is geared to a general reader, and has hundreds of colour reproductions. There is also a website here. Michael Petry would also be happy to speak to groups on the subject. He may be contacted via LGBT History Month.

Strangers: Homosexuality in the Nineteenth Century , Picador, 2004. ISBN: 0330482246.

We Can't Even March Straight , Edmund Hall, Vintage, London, 1995. A history of experiences of gays and lesbians in the military Second Edition

Mother Clap's Molly House: The Gay Subculture in England 1700-1830, (Revised second edition) Rictor Norton, Chalfont Press (an imprint of Tempus Publishing, United Kingdom)

Some comments from reviews of the first edition were as follows:

"Lively and scholarly account of the underside of bygone London that concentrates on details, not theories. ...Norton gives a fascinating archaeology of London's homosexual past, its slang and its antics." Sunday Times

"an accessible, humane and engaging account of a neglected field packed with intrigue and anecdote, highly recommended." Evening Standard

"this richly enjoyable book chronicles official and popular hysterical ignorance, confronted by glorious human perversity." New Statesman and Society

"To anyone interested in the development of sexual politics and social mores of the period, this book is an invaluable reference absorbing read..not only an important sociological study, but it serves as a testament to the resilience and courage of this group." New Times

Who's Who in Gay & Lesbian History Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History From Antiquity to World War II In contemporary Gay and Lesbian History from world war 11 to present day Edited Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon Routledge 2001


Lesbian Feminist Bibliography 1960s and 70s (
A comprehensive list of books and writers can be found here.

Lesbian Lists A look at lesbian culture, history and personalities Dell Richards Alyson 1990

Women of Ideas and What Men Have Done to Them Spender RKP 1982 0-7100-9353-5


Christine Jorgensen - A Personal Autobiography - An intimate memoir of the world's first heavily publicised sex-change operation in 1953 (Cleis Press, Oct 2000, ISBN 1-573-44100-7

Conundrum - 1974 autobiographical classic by the author Jan Morris, charting her 1960's transition from man to woman. The original (Faber) edition is no longer in print, although it is stocked by many libraries. The book was also republished in 1987 by Henry Holt & Company as ISBN 0-805-00361-4.



Girls, Boys and Junior Sexualities: Exploring children's gender and sexual relations in the primary school. Renold, Emma (2005) London: RoutledgeFalmer. An academic book just out which describes the pressures of 'compulsory heterosexuality' for primary school pupils as they learn to be 'boys' and 'girls' and also to have 'boyfriends' and 'girlfriends'. Recommended.

Gays The Word has a useful booklist of education titles. Click the name to open the list in a separate browser (these are large image files) Booklist 1 Booklist 2

Youth, Education, and Sexualities [Two Volumes] An International Encyclopedia


Wikipedia's list of children's books with LGBT Themes
Gus and Waldo's Book of Love and Gus & Waldo's Book of Fame, Massimo Fenati, Orion
Gus and Waldo

And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, and Henry Cole
King and King, Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland


Book resources

You can find many more books listed at the Bibliography of Queer History

The BFI have compiled an excellent guide to books on LGBT cinema.

Chrysalis Diversity Awareness team have an excellent booklist of LGBT interest which can be downloaded here

Kings Heath Library Birmingham have compiled a booklist that can be found here
The London Gay Reading Group (founded in 2001) offer a list of all the books it discussed on their website.

And don't forget to check out the BIG GAY READ!

Writer Blog

Thanks to Leicester City Council and the European Regional Development Fund, for the next 10 weeks Leicester-based writer Drew Gummerson will be a professional blogger at Frontline Books 
( to coincide with the LGBT History Month. The link to the blog is:


Gay's the Word, 66, Marchmont Street, London WC7N 9AB Some books may now be out of print, Abe Books may be able to help. also has many of the books on your list, and could order any that are in print. 

For postcards and gifts: The Women's Stand/Olive & Oscar sells witty postcards, greeting cards & gifts. We have a shop in Shrewsbury town centre plus a conference gift shop and mail order service. You can buy our cards & gifts securely or email us at to join our catalogue mailing list.

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