George Maguire

February 2021  I  George Maguire

Since its launch at the Tate Modern in 2005, The UK has celebrated LGBT+ History Month every February. This is a month of the year to build awareness of the issues facing the LBGT+ communities and to look at ways we can overcome them. Here are 6 books that might offer some unique perspectives and perhaps help readers develop wider thought process as to how we can do a better job in integrating all individuals in society.   

1. Queer Heroes by Arabelle Sicardi – Link here

A spread from Queer Heroes. Image via Queer Heroes.

Written by Arabelle Sicardi, Queer Heroes introduces us to 53 pivotal figures in the LGBTQ+ community. Many, you will have heard of such David Bowie, Leonardo Da Vinci and Freddie Mercury but fewer will know the impact and stories of Japanese novelist Nobuko Yoshiya or dancer/ director Alvin Ailey. Aimed at children yet appreciable and full of wisdom for adults, this a book that shows us who has moved the needle in shattering the stigma around LGBT+ so far. 

2. Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith Talusan – Link here

Meredith Talusan. Image via NBC News. Link here

Writer Meredith Talusan focuses on the many different meanings and values involved with the body as it undergoes gender transition. Fairest is an arresting memoir capturing Meredith’s story as someone being born as an albino (known locally as an anak araw) in a Filipino village to immigrating the US and then eventually transitioning gender.

3. Gay Like Me by Richie Jackson – link here

Author Richie Jackson on the left. Image via The Atlantic.

Gay Like Me is a love letter from author and producer Richie Jackson to his gay son. Sat within the context of modern day American, the book touches on issues and moments such as Stonewall, the HIV crisis and marriage equality; summating Jackson’s insight on how far we have come and just how much is left to do. Jackson notes that progress isn’t linear and the battle for LGBT rights is far from over. 

4. The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels – link here

Author Carter Sickels. Image via Carter Sickels Website.

In the widely celebrated book The Prettiest Star lead protagonist Brian returns to a small town in Ohio – where he had set out to escape - after a 6-year long stay in New York. Brian wrestles with many demons including AIDS, family rejection and tension and a tragically uncertain future. A hauntingly powerful read.  

6. You Exist Too much by Zaina Arafat – link here

Zaina Arafat writes about the world and times of a queer Brooklyn based Palestinian American woman who muses on the competing ideals of desire and home. Arafat keenly hones in on the dangers of strongly defined parental expectations on children which produces a read that will have you thinking deeply about sexuality as it relates to family and faith.

6. In Their Shoes by Jamie Windust – link here

In Their Shoes is a book about identity – and specifically how flexible the concept of identity is. Author Jamie Windust who identifies as non-binary, addresses topics ranging from family, romantic relationships, fashion and work; offering a perspective that represents a community whilst wholly embracing the message that there is no one way to express yourself. 

Your inbox deserves a little culture! Get our monthly newsletter