10 Books Everyone Should Read During Pride Month

Following the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, a Committee on Evil Literature was appointed in 1926, reporting to the Ministry of Justice. The Publications Censorship Acts of 1929 followed and established the Publications Censorship Board. Books considered indecent or obscene may be banned, as may newspapers whose content relies too heavily on crime, works that promote “unnatural” prevention of conception or that advocate abortion.

Among the first 13 books to be banned (announced in the Iris Oifigiúil, May 1930) was Point Against Point by Aldous Huxley, The well of loneliness by Radclyffe Hall and a myriad of books that have written about sex in detail, or even any inclination toward homosexuality. Fortunately, things have since changed. Strict censorship has since ceased, and virtually all banned books have been unblocked, including John Broderick’s. The pilgrimageby JP Donleavy The ginger man and Muriel Spark Singlesall of which include gay sexual references.

When it comes to what’s on the shelves today, LGBTQIA+ literature is a genre unto itself. Many of the most compelling characters written in the 21st century have been queer, detailing the often life-altering journey of coming to terms with your sexuality. Here we’ve compiled a list of authors who have done just that – in exquisite detail.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Declared by some to be “The Great Gay Novel”, finalist for Yanagihara’s Booker Prize A little life traces the lives of four young men, friends from the same college, who move to New York to pursue their dreams. They are all, improbably, incredibly successful: JB in the art world, Malcolm as a “star architect”, Willem as an actor and Jude as a litigator. The story focuses on Jude: broken, full of secrets, self-harming, his body a web of scar tissue. It sounds tough because it is, but its beauty envelops you as you delve deeper into Jude’s wounded animal persona and the reasons for his derision of sex. A Little Life is an almost hypnotic read, a vivid and hyper-realistic portrait of human existence that demands intense emotional investment.

We Are Everywhere by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown

A rich and comprehensive photographic history of the queer liberation movement, from the creators and curators of the massively popular @lgbt_history Instagram account, released in time for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

A bold and controversial read when first published in 1956, Baldwin’s groundbreaking second novel chronicles love, and the fear of love, in the bohemian bars and nightclubs of 1950s Paris. The book focuses about the events in the life of an American living in Paris and his feelings and frustrations about his relationships with other men in his life, in particular an Italian bartender named Giovanni whom he meets in a Parisian gay bar.

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The Transgender Question by Shon Faye

Transgender people have been reduced to a “problem,” says Shon Faye, who takes this idea to uncover the reality of what it means to live in today’s transphobic society. In doing so, she provides a compelling and expansive analysis of trans life from youth to old age, exploring work, family, housing, health care, the prison system, and trans participation in LGBTQ+ communities. and feminists, in contemporary Britain and beyond.

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Stone Wall by Martin Duberman

Pride was born first and foremost out of protest. For details of the days that forever changed the face of gay, bi, trans and lesbian life, there is nowhere more comprehensive than renowned historian and activist Duberman. Stone wall. It tells the full story of this pivotal moment in history with compelling narrative skill, recreating the tumultuous and revolutionary nights in vivid detail through the lives of six people who have been drawn into the fight for LGBTQ rights.

A Devoted Boy by Mohsin Zaidi

A Guardian, GQ and new statesman Best book of the year, A Dutiful Boy by Zaidi tells his own story when it comes to accepting his homosexuality under the Islamic faith. Told with exquisite candor and stark realism, Zaidi’s memoir is unwavering, dignified, and ultimately redemptive.

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Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

The essential writings of the poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde. In this laden collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde tackles sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia and class, and offers social difference as a vehicle for action and change.

Queer Love: An Anthology of Irish Fiction edited by Paul McVeigh

Featuring the works of successful writers such as Colm Tóibín, Emma Donoghue, Mary Dorcey and Aosdána member John Boyne, as well as published, emerging and new writers including Neil Hegarty, Shannon Yee – who have sued in justice to bring same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland — and Emer Lyons, strange love is the brainchild of Pat Cotter, Cork-based press Southword Editions, and publisher McVeigh, whose anthology is just a small attempt to say “here we are and here’s how we like it” .

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Listen: Queer Love – Paul McVeigh, Emma Donoghue and Neil Hegarty speak at RTÉ Arena

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Booker Prize Finalist Real life is Taylor’s ode to the campus novel, imagined from the point of view of a character usually ostracized. It follows Wallace, a gay black college student from small-town Alabama, through a series of personal and professional conflicts that complicate the final weekend before his fourth year of graduate school. When the book opens, Wallace wonders if he should leave his college and the predominantly white Midwestern town that houses him.

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Romance in Marseilles by Claude McKay

Published posthumously in 2020, 87 years after it was written, McKay’s Romance in Marseilles follows Lafala, a sailor born in West Africa (region not specified) who settles in the port of Marseilles and is defrauded by a Moroccan prostitute. It is considered the pioneering novel of physical disability, transatlantic travel, and black international politics. A key document of black modernism and one of the first openly queer fictions in the African-American tradition.

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