For All: LGBT+ History Month & Pride Month

A Shelfie for LGBT+ History Month

February is LGBT+ History Month and prime time to honour some LGBT+ writers who have made history. We’ve brought together some literary greats to start you off, as it’s impossible to cover all of LGBT+ history at once.

We’ll start with a note on why we need LGBT+ History Month.

Throughout history, people who haven’t fitted into sexual or gender norms have been erased and persecuted. LGBT+ History Month gives us space to honour their contribution to society. It reminds us that LGBT+ people (whether they identified that way or not) have always existed. And, with one in five LGBT+ people in the UK experiencing a hate crime every year (Stonewall), it is a moment to find comfort in the work of those who came before us, who spoke up and who lived with love and joy in spite of the difficult circumstances in which they lived.

A quick note: our current categories for sexual identity (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, asexual, non-binary etc.) have not always been defined in the way that we define them. For this reason, some people would argue that we can’t really say that writers from the 19th century or before identified as LGBT+. However, we can still recognise ‘queer’ behaviour: for example, they or their characters may have loved people of the same gender as them, or lived as a different gender to the one assigned to them at birth, and so on. With that in mind… let’s celebrate some gay poets!

Find out more about LGBT+ History Month

Download the text-only version here

A Shelfie for Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and marks the anniversary of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn in New York, 1969. To celebrate, we’ve put together some brilliant contemporary poetry book recommendations for young people and adults aged 12+.

Download text only version here

For more brilliant LGBT+ poets, check out the LGBT+ poetry heroes of a handful of Foyle Young Poets, chosen for LGBT+ History Month in 2021, and read Foyle Young Poet Libby Russell on what can be gained by reading queer poets. Teachers can also use this resource written by teacher Nazmia Jamal to bring more queer poets into the classroom (download a printable version here).