A Boy's Own Story BookRegular price £9.99
With an introduction by Alan Hollinghurst.
It was his power that stupefied me and made me regard my knowledge as nothing more than hired cleverness he might choose to show off at a dinner party.
A Boy's Own Story traces an unnamed narrator's coming-of-age during the 1950s. Beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, the boy struggles with his sexuality, seeking consolation in art and literature, and in his own fantastic imagination as he fills his head with romantic expectations. The result is a book of exquisite poignancy and humour that moves towards a conclusion which will allow the boy to leave behind his childhood forever.
Originally published in 1982 as the first of Edmund White's trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy's Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. Lyrical and powerfully evocative, this is an American literary treasure.
Alan Turing - The Enigma BookRegular price £11.99
Includes a new foreword by the author and a preface by Douglas Hofstadter.
Alan Turing was the extraordinary Cambridge mathematician who masterminded the cracking of the German Enigma ciphers and transformed the Second World War. But his vision went far beyond this crucial achievement. Before the war he had formulated the concept of the universal machine, and in 1945 he turned this into the first design for a digital computer.
Turing's far-sighted plans for the digital era forged ahead into a vision for Artificial Intelligence. However, in 1952 his homosexuality rendered him a criminal and he was subjected to humiliating treatment. In 1954, aged 41, Alan Turing committed suicide and one of Britain's greatest scientific minds was lost.
American Exxxtasy - My 30-Year Search for a Happy Ending BookRegular price £20.00
How does a young man from a small New England town become one of the most influential makers of exploitation films in the 1960s? How does the same filmmaker come to be a pioneer of hardcore sex movies in the 1970s and 1980s, including groundbreaking gay features? And how does that very same director move into mainstream productions for television networks like NBC in the 1990s?
In American Exxxtasy, John Amero charts his remarkable life and career at the forefront of the sexual revolution, while sharing what it was like to be a gay man living in the heart of New York City through the eras of Stonewall, LGBTQ rights and AIDS.
Author: John Amero
Backstairs Billy - The life of William Tallon, the Queen Mother's Most Devoted Servant BookRegular price £8.99
From humble beginnings as a shopkeeper's son in Coventry to Page of the Backstairs at Clarence House, William Tallon, or Backstairs Billy as he came to be known, always knew he was destined for a life in the royal circle.
A fierce collector and fan of all things related to the royal family, even as a small boy Billy was fascinated by this glamorous world of pageantry and excess. Charming, loyal, promiscuous and in possession of a truly wicked sense of humour, Billy entered royal service at the age of fifteen and, over the next fifty years, became one of the most notorious figures, and most remarkable characters, ever to have graced the royal household.
Although nominally a servant, over time Billy became one of the late Queen Mother's most trusted friends and confidants. While others came and went, Billy was the one servant the Queen Mother just could not do without. She adored him, and he her, perhaps because of his high camp style or his witty and provocative remarks about the well-born equerries, royal press people and advisers.
Sometimes scandalous, often shocking, always entertaining, Backstairs Billy is the fascinating life story of the man who spent more than half a century working for one of the world's most elusive institutions, giving us a rare glimpse of what life in the British royal family is really like...
Becoming Eve - My Journey from Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi to Transgender Woman BookRegular price £25.00
Abby Chava Stein was raised in a Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, profoundly isolated in a culture that lives according to the laws and practices of an eighteenth-century Eastern European enclave, speaking only Yiddish and Hebrew and shunning modern life.
Stein was born as the first son in a rabbinical dynastic family, poised to become a leader of the next generation of Hasidic Jews. But Stein felt certain at a young age that she was a girl. Without access to TV or the internet and never taught English, she suppressed her desire for a new body while looking for answers wherever she could find them, from forbidden religious texts to smuggled secular examinations of faith.
Finally, she orchestrated a personal exodus from ultra-Orthodox manhood into mainstream femininity-a radical choice that forced her to leave her home, her family and her way of life.
|Author||Abby Chava Stein
Becoming Nicole - The Extraordinary Transformation of an Ordinary Family BookRegular price £8.99
'Becoming Nicole is a powerful and illuminating book about one couple's journey in coming to accept and nurture their transgender daughter. It's a page turner and a heart opener. I couldn't recommend it more highly.' Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But it wasn't long before they noticed a marked difference between Jonas and his brother, Wyatt. Jonas preferred sports and trucks and many of the things little boys were 'supposed' to like; but Wyatt liked princess dolls and dressing up and playing Little Mermaid. By the time the twins were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt's insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart.
Becoming Nicole is the heart-wrenching story of a mother whose instincts told her that her child needed love and not disapproval; of a conservative, army-veteran father who overcame his deepest fears to embrace his new daughter; of a loving brother who never gave up supporting his twin sister; and of a town forced to confront its own prejudices. More than that, however, Becoming Nicole is the story of an extraordinary girl who fought for the right to be herself.
|Author||Amy Ellis Nutt
Before Night Falls BookRegular price £9.99
In Before Night Falls, Arenas tells of his odyssey from young rebel fighting for the Revolution, through his suppression as a writer, his disillusionment with Castro, his imprisonment and torture, to his eventual exile from Cuba to New York, where in 1987 he was diagnosed with AIDS. He committed suicide in 1990, ending a life of constant struggle against repression. In a farewell note, Arenas wrote:
Due to my delicate state of health and to the terrible depression that causes me not to be able to continue writing and struggling for the freedom of Cuba, I am ending my life ...
I do not want to convey to you a message of defeat, but of continued struggle and hope.
Cuba will be free. I already am.
Behind the Candelabra - My Life With Liberace BookRegular price £7.99
Made into a a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas!
Liberace's lover tells all: the good, the bad, and the ugly truths about the legendary entertainer, who never publicly admitted he was gay.
Scott Thorson, a poor boy from a succession of foster homes, met Liberace when he was just 16 years old. Liberace, aged 57, took Scott under his wing as 'the son he'd never had'. By the time Scott was 17, he was also Liberace's lover.
Liberace lived life by his credo 'too much of a good thing is wonderful' and Scott shared in it: the fur coats, the Rolls-Royces, the jewellery, the celebrity friends, the 26 lap dogs.
A more opulent lifestyle is hard to imagine but it came at a price: Liberace sent Scott to his plastic surgeon to have his face remodeled in Liberace's own image.
By turns bizarre, shocking and touchingly intimate, Behind the Candelabra is a compulsive insight in to Liberace, the man behind the flamboyant performer whose successes provide a bright counterpoint to a darker tale of a man hungry for power, a man given to every excess
Read the book behind the funny and fabulous film, Behind the Candelabra.
Blame it on Bianca Del Rio - The Expert on Nothing with an Opinion on Everything BookRegular price £18.99
Not today, Satan.
The cheeky, larger-than-life drag queen and outrageous comic - 'The Joan Rivers of the Drag World' (New York Times) - who isn't afraid to shock or offend brings her trademark acerbic wit and sharp commentary to the page in an uproarious illustrated collection of advice.
When it comes to insult comics, Bianca Del Rio is in a class by herself. Fierce, funny, and fabulous - a would-be love child sired by John Waters and birthed by Joan Rivers - Bianca sandblasted her name in the annals of pop culture on RuPaul's Drag Race. Thanks to her snarky frankness, impeccable comedic timing, and politically incorrect humour, she became the show's breakout star, winning its sixth season.
In Blame It On Bianca Del Rio, Bianca shares her opinions loudly and proudly, offering raucous, hilarious, no-holds-barred commentary on the everyday annoyances, big and small, that colour her world, and make it a living, albeit amusing, hell for anyone who inhabits it. A collection of biting advice filled with vibrant photos from Bianca's twisted universe, Blame It On Bianca Del Rio will shock you and keep you laughing. But be warned: it is not for the faint of heart!
Bosie - The Tragic Life of Lord Alfred Douglas BookRegular price £12.99
WITH A NEW FOREWORD AND REVISED INTRODUCTION
'A superb biography ... full of compassion, perception' Roger Lewis, The Times
'I love this book. Douglas Murray is a genius' Rupert Everett
Lord Alfred Douglas, known as 'Bosie', son of the Marquess of Queensberry, was known as one of the most beautiful young men of his generation. Aged twenty-one he met and became the lover and subsequent obsession of Oscar Wilde.
Their relationship caused a scandal in 1895 when Wilde took Queensberry, Douglas's aggressive father, to court for libel. When the details of their relationship were aired in court, Wilde was convicted of gross indecency and later imprisoned.
Wilde's story is well known, but this is the first book to tell it fully from Douglas's perspective. Written, and originally published in 2000, with access to never-before-seen papers , Bosie explores the contradictions, tensions and turmoils of Douglas's life with Wilde and beyond as a poet, husband and father.
This compelling biography uncovers the life of one of the most notorious figures in literary history, and its course from gilded beautiful youth to semi-reclusive outcast, at the time of Douglas's death in 1945.
Caitlyn Jenner - The Secrets of My Life BookRegular price £9.99
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
In this remarkable memoir - written with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger during her pivotal first years of rebirth - Caitlyn Jenner reflects on her past as she looks to her future.
With poignancy and humour, Caitlyn writes about her confusion growing up, the temporary triumph of the Olympics as Bruce Jenner, and the noose of being endlessly described as the ultimate in manhood. She reveals her sense of shame and deceit she felt as she got older, as she went to great lengths to tell lies to conceal her true self.
She also delves into her life in the public eye; her marriages and her troubled relationships with her children; what lead to her decision to becoming Caitlyn, and how the transgender community and the world has embraced her new life. Written with a searing honesty, this books shows you the real and true Caitlyn.
Close to the Knives - A Memoir of Disintegration BookRegular price £10.99
David Wojnarowicz was a Polish-American painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, songwriter/recording artist and AIDS activist prominent in the East Village art scene. He incorporated personal narratives influenced by both his struggle with AIDS as well as his political activism in his art until his death from the disease in 1992.
From the author's violent childhood in suburbia to eventual homelessness on the streets and piers of New York City, to recognition as one of the most provocative artists of his generation - Close to the Knives is his powerful and iconoclastic memoir.
Street life, drugs, art and nature, family, AIDS, politics, friendship and acceptance: Wojnarowicz challenges us to examine our lives - politically, socially, emotionally, and aesthetically.
Eat, Gay, Love - A Memoir BookRegular price £16.99
'You've never read a travel memoir like this before'
The Sunday Times, 'Pride Culture Guide'
'Sweet and fun, with real emotional depth and a rousing, feisty spirit'
In the spring of 2012, Calum finds himself single again after his relationship of six years comes to an end.
Heartbroken, unhappy and unsure of what to do next, he leaves the hometown he has been in all his life to embark on a journey that takes him all around the world, from teaching in a school on the outskirts of Rome to exploring the sex clubs of Berlin, to raising tigers in an animal sanctuary deep in the jungles of Thailand.
Along the way, he meets LGBT+ people from all walks of life and every part of the rainbow - from an Italian teenager struggling with a homophobic father to a kathoey navigating life as a trans person in Thailand, to a young HIV-positive man living on the streets of London.
Their individual stories, not only of hardship and sorrow but also of profound strength and hope, show the breadth and depth of queer life and experience, shedding light on themes such as homophobia, sexual violence, marriage equality and gender identity.
Through these meetings and friendships, Calum not only finds the encouragement to embrace life after heartbreak, but also discovers a beautiful, loving global community who support and uplift him through the best and worst moments of his time on the road.
A travel memoir with a difference, Eat, Gay, Love is a celebration of the power of community and a personal tribute to the extraordinary lives of LGBT+ people everywhere in the world.
Exceeding My Brief - Memoirs Of A Disobedient Civil Servant BookRegular price £9.99
From the tragic massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, to signing the Treaty of Rome when Britain entered the Common Market, Barbara Hosking was there.
This is the story of a Cornish scholarship girl with no contacts who ended up in the corridors of power. It is also the very personal story of her struggle with her sexuality as a bewildered teenager, and as a young woman in the 1950s, a time when being gay could mean social ostracism.
Born during the General Strike in 1926, Barbara Hosking worked her way through London's typing pools in the 1950s to executive posts in the Labour Party, then to No. 10 as a press officer to Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. Between working on a copper mine in the African bush, pioneering British breakfast television and negotiating the complexities of government, hers has been a life of breadth and bravery.
This is Barbara Hosking's unheard-of account of the innermost workings of politics and the media amid the turbulence of twentieth-century Britain.
Fanny And Stella - The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England BookRegular price £12.99
28th April 1870. Fanny and Stella, the flamboyantly dressed Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton, are causing a stir in the Strand Theatre. All eyes are riveted upon their lascivious oglings of the gentlemen in the stalls. Moments later they are led away by the police. What followed was a scandal that shocked and titillated Victorian England in equal measure.
It turned out that the alluring Miss Fanny Park and Miss Stella Boulton were no ordinary young women. Far from it. In fact, 'Boulton and Park' were young men who liked to dress as women. When the Metropolitan Police launched a secret campaign to bring about their downfall, they were arrested and subjected to a sensational show trial in Westminster Hall.
As the trial of 'the Young Men in Women's Clothes' unfolded, Fanny and Stella's extraordinary lives as wives and daughters, actresses and whores were revealed to an incredulous public.
With a cast of peers, politicians and prostitutes, drag queens, doctors and detectives, Fanny and Stella is a Victorian peepshow, exposing the startling underbelly of nineteenth-century London. By turns tragic and comic, meticulously researched and dazzlingly written, Fanny and Stella is an enthralling tour-de-force.
Fathomless Riches - Or How I Went From Pop to Pulpit BookRegular price £9.99
Reading age - 4 to 8 years.
It’s 1978 in San Francisco, and the city is filled with music and art and protests for social justice – and the Gay Freedom Day Parade needs a new symbol. What happens when a group of friends take up the challenge of creating it? Harvey Milk and Gilbert Baker come up with the idea for a flag. Making it a rainbow, Gilbert decides, will be the perfect way to express love, togetherness, and pride.
Gilbert and his good friends – the tie-dye wizard Faerie Argyle, the sewing expert James, and the experienced activist Cleve – gather a band of volunteers at the Gay Community Center on Grove Street to make it happen. They dye and prepare the fabric, sew the stripes together, add the finishing touches, and then unfurl it at the parade to the delight of the crowd.
Today the Rainbow Flag is a familiar sight, at the Pride Parade and around the world. But it is not only a universal symbol; it is also a brilliant object of design that is part of the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, in New York. This story, based on true events, follows the birth of the idea and the collaborative creation of the flag and, above all, demonstrates the strength and ingenuity possible when a group of people – friends, community, neighbours and family – take a stand for civil rights and l-o-v-e.
|Author||Reverend Richard Coles
Fight Like a Girl - 50 Feminists Who Changed the World BookRegular price £12.99
Feminism is a hot topic. The battle for gender equality is being fought by everybody from politicians to indie social media campaigners, celebrities to school girls. But how did we get here and who paved the way for today's badass women?
Fight Like a Girl profiles 50 fearless women - both the historical icons and the unsung heroes - such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Frida Kahlo and Roxane Gay. Each extraordinary life story is accompanied by a stunning portrait, along with eye-opening sidebars on their hard-fought causes and iconic quotes.
Be inspired by their stories, arm yourself with their knowledge, get active and FIGHT LIKE A GIRL.
Author: Laura Barcella
Forced Out - A Detective's Story of Prejudice and Resilience BookRegular price £14.99
'...a searing dissection of institutional racism' A L Kennedy
'Brave and essential' Peter Tatchell
Kevin Maxwell was a dream candidate for the police force he had a long-held desire to serve his community, a strong moral compass and a clear aptitude for both the strategic and practical aspects of policing. And, as a gay black man from a working class family, he could easily have been a poster boy for the force's stated commitment to equal opportunities. Joining just after the 9/11 attacks, Kevin entered policing determined to keep communities safe in the face of a changing world. But instead he came up against entrenched prejudice, open racism and homophobia. For more than ten years, Kevin strove against the odds, until he took the force to an employment tribunal with devastating results.
Forced Out is a revelatory exposé combining deeply affecting memoir with sharp analysis and a fascinating insider perspective on day-to-day life in the force. It is a touchstone for the silent many who have either tried to ignore abuse for the sake of their career or who have been bullied out of their jobs. It paints a sobering portrait of an institution that has not yet learned the lessons of the past and whose prejudice is informing the cases it chooses to investigate and the way it investigates them. And it asks the important question: what needs to change?
Freak Like Me - Confessions of a 90s Pop Groupie BookRegular price £9.99
In nineties small-town Surrey, watching Top of the Pops was Malcolm's only escape from boredom and the bullies at school ... until a phone call from a pop star changed his life forever. Before long, he was getting compliments from Beyoncé, hanging out at award ceremonies with Posh Spice's mum and sneaking onto All Saints' tour bus.
Freak Like Me is the true story of one teenage pop fan who, with a group of like-minded outcasts, witnesses the disposable music industry of the late nineties and early noughties first-hand. Tracking down A-lister itineraries, he gets to meet the real personalities behind the Smash Hits posters adorning his bedroom walls.
This hilarious memoir is packed with scandalous gossip and poignant memories from the era of Nokia 3310s and dial-up Internet, when chart positions meant everything and, if you wanted to know what your idols were up to off-screen, you had to track them down yourself!
PRAISE FOR FREAK LIKE ME
"Devoured it ... so, so fun. Brought back so many memories of pop music as an escape as a lonely gay teen. Loved all the insight into how late 90s/00s popstars were with fans." - Conor Behan, DJ (RTÉ 2FM) and Popsessed podcast
"Freak Like Me is like slipping into a warm bath of memories of watching my favourite groups on Top of the Pops, Live & Kicking and SM:TV/CD:UK, taping songs off the radio and reading Smash Hits ... I haven t come across any book, TV show or website that has taken me back quite so completely ... reading this book felt a lot like exchanging memories with a friend. McLean strikes exactly the right balance between the good and bad of the 90s, and brings the era back to life just as I remember it. His snarky humour made me snort out loud at times, my heart warmed when he found friends who shared his obsessions, and his anecdotes were so, so relatable ... I would love to see more books like this."- Dr Alice Violett (book blogger)
"Freak Like Me has you hooked from the opening chapter ... a laugh out loud, and endearing coming of age novel about a young teen finding himself, coming out and how the celebrities of the 90s helped him figure out and accept who he was. An absolute must-read, for lovers of 90s and early 00s pop music, and those who have ever wondered what it would be like to meet their idols." - Fuzzable
"Malcolm's memoir of his time as a teenage superfan around the turn of the millennium offers a fascinating, funny and often unexpected journey through several shifts in pop, as he views the changing world through a life of pop fandom." - CMU (Complete Music Update)
Frida Kahlo - Critical Lives BookRegular price £12.95
Frida Kahlo stepped into the limelight in 1929 when she married the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. She was 22; he was 43. Hailed as Rivera's exotic young wife who 'dabbles in art', she went on to produce brilliant paintings, but remained in her husband's shadow throughout her life.
Today, almost six decades after her untimely death, Kahlo's fame rivals that of Rivera and she has gained international acclaim as a path-breaking artist and a cultural icon. Cutting through 'Fridamania', this book explores Kahlo's life, art and legacies, while also scrutinising the myths, contradictions and ambiguities that riddle her dramatic story.
Gannit Ankori examines Kahlo's early childhood, medical problems, volatile marriage, political affiliations, religious beliefs and, most important, her unparalleled and innovative art. Based on detailed analyses of the artist's paintings, diary, letters, photographs, medical records and interviews, the book also assesses Kahlo's critical impact on contemporary art and culture.
Kahlo was of her time, deeply immersed in the issues that dominated the first half of the twentieth century. Yet, as this book reveals, she was also ahead of her time.Her paintings challenged social norms and broke taboos, addressing themes such as the female body, gender, cross-dressing, hybridity, identity and trauma, in ways that continue to inspire contemporary artists across the globe.
Frida Kahlo is a succinct and powerful account of the life, art and legacy of this iconic artist.
Author: Gannit Ankori
Fun Home - A Family Tragicomic BookRegular price £12.99
DISCOVER the BESTSELLING GRAPHIC MEMOIR behind the 2019 Olivier Award nominated musical.
‘A sapphic graphic treat’ The Times
A moving and darkly humorous family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Alison Bechdel's gothic drawings. If you liked Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis you’ll love this.
Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high-school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and the family babysitter. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic, and redemptive.
Interweaving between childhood memories, college life and present day, and through narrative that is equally heartbreaking and fiercely funny, Alison looks back on her complex relationship with her father and finds they had more in common than she ever knew.
'A groundbreaking masterpiece' The Independent
'A finely woven blend of yearning and euphoric fantasy' Evening Standard
**ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY**
Gareth Thomas - Proud BookRegular price £10.99
**WINNER British Sports Book Awards SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR**
**Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award**
Gareth Thomas had it all. He was a national hero, a sporting icon. He was a leader of men, captain of Wales and the British Lions. To him, rugby was an expression of cultural identity, a sacred code. It was no mere ball game. It gave him everything, except the freedom to be himself.
This is the story of a man with a secret that was slowly killing him. Something that might devastate not only his own life but the lives of his wife, family, friends and teammates. The only place where he could find any refuge from the pain and guilt of the lie he was living was on the pitch, playing the sport he loved. But all his success didn't make the strain of hiding who he really was go away. His fear that telling the truth about his sexuality would lose him everything he loved almost sent him over the edge.
The deceit ended when Gareth became the world's most prominent athlete to come out as a gay man. His gesture has strengthened strangers, and given him a fresh perspective. Gareth's inspiring and moving story transcends the world of sport to tell a universal truth about feeling like an outsider, and facing up to who you really are.
Author: Gareth Thomas
Gentleman Jack - A biography Of Anne Lister, Regency Landowner, Seducer & Secret Diarist BookRegular price £8.99
Anne Lister's journals were so shocking that the first person to crack their secret code hid them behind a fake panel in his ancestral home. Anne Lister was a Regency landowner, an intrepid world traveller ... and an unabashed lover of other women.