Gay’s The Word: 5 LGBTQ+ Books To Read For Pride

Nestled away in King’s Cross is one of our most-loved neighbours, Gay's The Word; the UK’s oldest LGBT+ bookshop, opened in January 1979 at 66 Marchmont Street, London.

The independent bookshop was thought up by a group of gay socialists as a community space where all profits were funneled back into the business. That ethos continues today with shelves bursting with books, and the space used for queer community and pride events.

We asked our friends at Gay’s The Word for their top five books to read this June. With the London Pride parade and other Pride events postponed until September 2021, why not take the extra time to read up on some queer fiction? Plus, you can find these all to read in The Library Lounge the next time you’re stopping by. Enjoy!

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

“An unbelievable book! It’s one of the most fearless and well-crafted trans novels out there. It’s about a woman and her ex-lover who are trying to navigate the notion of creating a queer family in America. It was also long-listed for the 2021 Women’s Prize!”

The Pull Of The Stars by Emma Donoghue

“Recognised as the author of ‘Room’, Emma wrote this novel pre-COVID, and went on to release it during COVID. It just so happens to be set in the 1917 Spanish Flu pandemic on a maternity ward in Dublin - squeamish people, beware! The themes throughout include the pandemic, inequality, the shadow of the World War, plus a fantastic lesbian romance!”

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

“Shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, Real Life is about a Black, post-graduate microbiologist student which features a forensic-like quality to the gaze and the way the main character is observed. It’s totally unafraid to raise pertinent questions about sexual consent. The writing is dazzling! Be sure to check out Brandon’s new work, Filthy Animals, too.” 

Her Body & Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

“A short fiction book that plays with dark neo-gothic/queer themes. Twisted and unexpected! A great one for those who want a gateway into gay novels.”

You’re The One That I Want by Simon James Green

“A gay young-adult novel - Simon is the king of writing about slightly goofy young gay characters. This one is hilarious, utterly-heartwarming and shines a light on self-acceptance.” 


All books are available to buy via Gay’s The Word or


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