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  • Zoe Gadd

5 books perfect for Pride month 2023!

Hello. I'm Zoe, a proud member of the Chichester Pride Committee, and I am absolutely thrilled to introduce my top 5 reads for Pride Month. I'm always on the lookout for LGBTQ+ literature, so if you've got any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

Odd Girl Out Ann Bannon Odd Girl Out" holds great significance in LGBT literature. Published in 1957, it was one of the first lesbian pulp novels to achieve mainstream success, shedding light on the experiences of closeted individuals and offering them a sense of validation. The story revolves around Laura Landon, a college girl dealing with the confusing world of same-sex desire. And let me tell you, back then, this topic was a big ol' taboo. But Bannon fearlessly dives into it, showcasing Laura's struggle between societal expectations and her own feelings. You see, Laura finds a kindred spirit in her friend Beth, who oozes confidence and self-assurance. Their friendship becomes something more, and Bannon portrays it with so much honesty and vulnerability. By addressing lesbianism and same-sex desire, Bannon paved the way for further acceptance and representation in the literary world, ultimately giving voice to countless others who felt unseen. A truly great read.

The Stonewall Reader Foreword by Edmund White, edited by The New York Library The Stonewall Reader is a remarkable anthology that delves into the events and aftermath of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which marked a pivotal moment in the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Inside, you'll find a diverse range of perspectives, allowing readers to gain a multifaceted understanding of the historical significance of Stonewall. The anthology features contributions from activists, scholars, artists, and everyday individuals who experienced or witnessed the events firsthand. It illuminates the struggles faced by the LGBTQ+ community, the courage and resilience displayed during the riots, and the subsequent changes in society that were catalyzed by this watershed moment. It's personal. You'll read stories from people who were there, who fought for their rights, and who saw firsthand the impact of Stonewall. And let me tell you, it can feel quite heavy. But, it's so important. It shows you how this one event sparked a whole movement and changed the world for the LGBTQ+ community. Be ready to be moved and inspired.

The Book of Non-Binary Joy Ben Pechey

I actually bought this book at the first Chichester Pride event back in 2022, so it holds extra sentimental value to me! This one is a total gem that celebrates the non-binary experience with pure joy and positivity. It is nothing short of refreshing and gives much-needed addition to the growing literature on gender diversity. Pechey includes contributions from other non-binary individuals, sharing their stories, insights, and moments of joy. It's an inclusive celebration of the diverse non-binary community, highlighting the unique experiences and triumphs of individuals who are often overlooked or misunderstood. Whether you buy it for your own personal experiences and reflections, or to learn about the experiences of others (as I did), it's definitely worth the read.

Heartstopper Alice Oseman

This book was leant to me around a year ago from my wonderful friend, Amy. She has been very patient as I've held onto it. I wish I read it sooner! This one is a BEAUT.

I'm a sucker for graphic novel types anyway, but the story within is just as gorgeous. Oseman's illustrations bring the characters to life with their expressive faces and subtle details that capture the essence of each moment. The visuals perfectly complement the narrative, adding depth and emotion to the story. She covers important topics such as coming out, self-acceptance, and the challenges faced by young queer individuals. Oseman tackles these themes with sensitivity and authenticity, creating a safe space within the pages of the book. It celebrates the beauty of young love and explores the complexities of self-discovery. With its compelling storytelling, gorgeous artwork, and heartfelt representation, this book has earned its place as a beloved LGBTQ+ young adult classic. So grab a copy, curl up, and get ready for a heartwarming and unforgettable journey with Charlie and Nick.

The Little Book Of Pride Lewis Laney There is so much goodness within this little book, it is perfect for anyone seeking a quick but meaningful introduction to LGBTQ+ history and a reminder of the power and importance of pride. Laney's words are filled with warmth and compassion, reminding us all that pride isn't just about a single event or a month of celebration—it's about embracing who we are and honoring the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community. It's a crash course in queer history that leaves you feeling inspired and grateful for those who paved the way. Small and mighty - give it a read.

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