LGBT+ Books

Recommended reading

The LGBT+ Staff Forum have put together a comprehensive list of their favourite books and the ones that give a greater insight into LGBT+ culture and history throughout the world. 

Most of these recommended reads are available in the University library if you are staff or student, or you can purchase your very own copy to read.

Each link below will take you to further information on the book, or if you are a member of staff or a student, you can use Primo.

Non-fiction

And The Band Played On by Randy Shilts

"A heart-breaking insight into the lived experiences of the AIDs epidemic in 1980's America and how homophobic political systems helped to feed the epidemic and the discrimination that came with it" - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


Beyond: The Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Comic Anthology by SfĂ© R. Monster

"A wonderful book with lots of short comics featuring LGBT+ characters and themes by LGBT+ artists." - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


Fabulosa! by Paul Baker

"I could not put this down! An enriching and fascinating history of Polari; Britain's lost secret language of gay men." - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


Queer Intentions by Amelia Abraham

"I am currently reading this and it is so interesting!" - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


Sensible Footwear by Kate Charlesworth

"An awesome history of lesbians in the UK (and wider LGBT+ events) from the 50s to now told in a graphic format." - LGBT+ Staff Forum member



Straight Jacket by Matthew Todd

"This book changed my life. It helped me to realise I am not alone being a gay man struggling with mental health and body image issues...I recommend this book to anyone who wants to truly understand what it is like being in the LGBT+ community" - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


The Gay State by Garrett Graham

"This book is part-manifesto and part history lesson in the movement for an independent LGBT nation-state full of fascinating stories, hard-hitting truths and an insight into what queer culture truly is" - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs
"A lecturer on my course recommended this and it is essential in trying to understand the anger, shame and sense of injustice often felt by members of the LGBT+ community" - LGBT+ Staff Forum member

Fiction and memoir

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

"Hilarious and heart-breaking all at the same time, this memoir covers one woman's journey coming out in a dysfunctional family" - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


Gypsy Boy by Mikey Walsh

"This was one of the first LGBT+ books I ever read and this memoir tells the story of Mikey growing up gay in the traveller community. It's impossible to put down and I'd recommend the follow-up book, 'Gypsy Boy on the Run'. " -  LGBT+ Staff Forum member


Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard

"Invisible Boys is a raw, confronting YA novel, tackling homosexuality, masculinity, anger and suicide with a nuanced and unique perspective." - LGBT+ Staff Forum member



Tales of The City by Armistead Maupin

"This series of books are an amazing, fun and insightful glance into the 70s queer community of San Francisco." - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


The Color Purple by Alice Walker

"Viewers of the movie may be surprised to see the book here but, whilst not traditionally LGBT+, this book was ahead of it's time in exploring bisexuality in a time when it was still considered a taboo." - LGBT+ Staff Forum member


The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst

"A brave novel confronting bitter truths about privilege and gay repression" - LGBT+ Staff Forum member