A Queer New York - Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers BookRegular price £23.99
The first lesbian and queer historical geography of New York City
Over the past few decades, rapid gentrification in New York City has led to the disappearance of many lesbian and queer spaces, displacing some of the most marginalised members of the LGBTQ+ community. In A Queer New York, Jen Jack Gieseking highlights the historic significance of these spaces, mapping the political, economic, and geographic dispossession of an important, thriving community that once called certain New York neighbourhoods home.
Focusing on well-known neighbourhoods like Greenwich Village, Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Crown Heights, Gieseking shows how lesbian and queer neighbourhoods have folded under the capitalist influence of white, wealthy gentrifiers who have ultimately failed to make room for them. Nevertheless, they highlight the ways lesbian and queer communities have succeeded in carving out spaces-and lives-in a city that has consistently pushed its most vulnerable citizens away.
Beautifully written, A Queer New York is an eye-opening account of how lesbians and queers have survived in the face of twenty-first century gentrification and urban development.
|Author||Jen Jack Gieseking
American Homo - Community and Perversity BookRegular price £12.99
A sweeping account of the way lesbian, gay, and bisexual people have challenged and changed society In this provocative book, Jeffrey Escoffier tracks LGBT movements across the contested terrain of American political life, where they have endured the historical tension between the homoeroticism coursing through
American culture and the virulent periodic outbreaks of homophobic populism. Escoffier explores how every new success enables a new disciplinary and normalising form of domination; only the active exercise of democratic rights and participation in radical coalitions allows LGBT people to sustain the benefits of community and the freedom of sexual perversity.
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.
Berlin's Third Sex BookRegular price £9.99
Rough trade, drag kings, tea dances, sporty dykes, coded classified ads, campy nicknames, passing, outing, hustlers, beats and cruising at the YMCA--all accompanied by a wave of gay and lesbian activism. Eighties New York? No, Germany's imperial capital at the dawn of the 20th century.
Berlin's Third Sex reveals an astonishingly diverse gay subculture years ahead of the Weimar era, with cross-dressing cabaret, all-night parties and erotic license at every level of society. Magnus Hirschfeld's 1904 report is a foundational text of modern gay identity, queer history captured by an insider, as it happened. Police, blackmailers and moral crusaders are never far, suicide is all too common, but Hirschfeld also invites us into the homes of same-sex couples to witness tranquil scenes of domesticity and devotion.
Berlin's Third Sex formed part of the vast Metropolis Documents project, a visionary panorama of early 20th century urban life. This, the first part of the series to appear in English, is offered alongside an earlier Hirschfeld study of the third sex (the author's provisional term for gays and lesbians) as well as comprehensive notes and an informative afterword.
Berlin's Third Sex depicts a flourishing gay subculture populated by cross-dressers, drag queens, sporty dykes, blackmailers and prostitutes, who establish contact with one another via intricately coded classified ads, adopt droll nicknames such as 'Squeaky Lotte, ' 'Rollmop Queen' and 'Hiddigeigei, ' and generally live it up in bars and cabarets, in the Tiergarten, or at the Opera. The Rixdorf edition includes an informative afterword and helpful notes by the translator James. J. Conway.--Anna Katharina Schaffner
Hirschfeld's rhetorical strategy, which includes these appeals to sentiment, walks the line between emphasizing the similarities in behaviour between homosexuals and heterosexuals (in other words, suggesting homosexuals are just like the [presumably heterosexual] reader), and relating anecdotes or characteristics that portray the former as uniquely, yet endearingly, different. That this approach has strong parallels with contemporary gay rights rhetoric suggests that there is a timeless appeal in finding reasons for empathy in order to demonstrate that 'the other' is just as human.--Tyler Langendorfer
Coming Out of Communism: The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe BookRegular price £27.99
While LGBT activism has increased worldwide, there has been strong backlash against LGBT people in Eastern Europe. Although Russia is the most prominent anti-gay regime in the region, LGBT individuals in other post-communist countries also suffer from discriminatory laws and prejudiced social institutions. Combining an historical overview with interviews and case studies in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, Conor O’Dwyer analyses the development and impact of LGBT movements in post-communist Eastern and Central Europe.
O’Dwyer argues that backlash against LGBT individuals has had the paradoxical effect of encouraging stronger and more organised activism, significantly impacting the social movement landscape in the region. As these peripheral Eastern and Central European countries vie for inclusion or at least recognition in the increasingly LGBT-friendly European Union, activist groups and organisations have become even more emboldened to push for change.
Using fieldwork in five countries and interviews with activists, organisers, and public officials, O’Dwyer explores the intricacies of these LGBT social movements and their structures, functions, and impact. The book provides a unique and engaging exploration of LGBT rights groups in Eastern and Central Europe and their ability to serve as models for future movements attempting to resist backlash.
Thorough, theoretically grounded, and empirically sound, Coming Out of Communism is sure to be a significant work in the study of LGBT politics, European politics, and social movements.
Cruising the Dead River - David Wojnarowicz and New York's Ruined Waterfront BookRegular price £26.00
In the 1970s, Manhattan’s west side waterfront was a forgotten zone of abandoned warehouses and piers. Though many saw only blight, the derelict neighbourhood was alive with queer people forging new intimacies through cruising.
Alongside the piers’ sexual and social worlds, artists produced work attesting to the radical transformations taking place in New York. Artist and writer David Wojnarowicz was right in the heart of it, documenting his experiences in journal entries, poems, photographs, films, and large-scale, site-specific projects.
In Cruising the Dead River, Fiona Anderson draws on Wojnarowicz’s work to explore the key role the abandoned landscape played in this explosion of queer culture.
Anderson examines how the riverfront’s ruined buildings assumed a powerful erotic role and gave the area a distinct identity. By telling the story of the piers as gentrification swept New York and before the AIDS crisis, Anderson unearths the buried histories of violence, regeneration, and LGBTQ activism that developed in and around the cruising scene.
Fabulosa! - The Story of Polari, Britain's Secret Gay Language BookRegular price £9.99
'Richly evocative and entertaining.' Guardian
'An essential book for anyone who wants to Polari bona!' Attitude
Polari is a language that was used chiefly by gay men in the first half of the twentieth century. It offered its speakers a degree of public camouflage and a means of identification. Its colourful roots are varied ‐ from Cant to Lingua Franca and dancers' slang ‐ and in the mid‐1960s it was thrust into the limelight by the characters Julian and Sandy, voiced by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, on the BBC radio show Round the Horne. ('Oh hello Mr Horne, how bona to vada your dolly old eek!')
Paul Baker recounts the story of Polari with skill, humour and tenderness. He traces its historical origins and describes its linguistic nuts and bolts, explores the ways and the environments in which it was spoken, explains the reasons for its decline and tells of its unlikely re‐emergence in the twenty‐first century.
With a cast of drag queens and sailors, Dilly boys and macho clones, Fabulosa! is an essential document of recent history ‐ a fascinating and fantastically readable account of this funny, filthy and ingenious language.
'Paul Baker's exuberant, richly detailed history of Polari, a ''secret'' language used chiefly by gay men in the 1940s and 1950s, is a delightful read.' Tatler
Author: Paul Baker
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.
Forbidden Lives - LGBT Histories from Wales BookRegular price £12.99
Forbidden Lives is a fascinating collection of portraits and discussions that charts the changing LGBT history of Wales, a neglected part of Welsh history in great need of positive revision.
Activist and researcher Norena Shopland looks at the reasons for this neglect and guides the reader through the activity behind the recent growth of the LGBT profile in Wales.
She also surveys LGBT people and their activity as far back as the twelfth century, when Giraldus Cambrensis reports on 'bearded women' and other hermaphrodites in his Journey Through Wales. Her subjects include Edward II and Hugh DeSpenser, seventeenth century poet Katherine Philips, the Ladies of Llangollen, Henry Paget, artists Gwen John and Cedric Morris, and actor Cliff Gordon.
In addition, Shopland identifies strong Welsh connections to twentieth century scientific and legal attitudes towards homosexuality and transgender, especially the contributions of John Randell, MPs Desmond Donnelly and Leo Abse, historian AE Dyson and activist Griff Williams. They transformed social and legal attitudes towards LGBT people across the whole of Britain, particularly during the post-war period, which helped to create the more today's more liberal culture.
Chapters on the responses to Pride in Wales and We All Fall Down, the first gay play, show there is still more to achieve. But the stories of the people portrayed in the book are less likely to be repeated: the LGBT community has moved from living forbidden lives to a less forbidding place.
Norena Shopland's book helps us comprehend the struggle for these changes.
Gears For Queers BookRegular price £8.99
Keen to see some of Europe, queer couple Lilith and Abigail get on their old bikes and start pedalling. Along flat fens and up Swiss Alps, they will meet new friends and exorcise old demons as they push their bodies and their relationship to the limit.
Author: Abigail Melton & Lilith Cooper
Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride - 30 Years of Gay Britain BookRegular price £9.99
‘One of the most important books about gay culture in recent times’ The Quietus
In 1984 the pulsing electronics and soft vocals of Smalltown Boy would become an anthem uniting gay men. A month later, an aggressive virus, HIV, would be identified and a climate of panic and fear would spread across the nation, marginalising an already ostracised community. Yet, out of this terror would come tenderness and 30 years later, the long road to gay equality would climax with the passing of same sex marriage.
Paul Flynn charts this astonishing pop cultural and societal U-turn via the cultural milestones that effected change―from Manchester’s self-selection as Britain’s gay capital to the real-time romance of Elton John and David Furnish’s eventual marriage. Including candid interviews from major protagonists, such as Kylie, Russell T Davies, Will Young, Holly Johnson and Lord Chris Smith, as well as the relative unknowns crucial to the gay community, we see how an unlikely group of bedfellows fought for equality both front of stage and in the wings.
This is the story of Britain’s brothers, cousins and sons. Sometimes it is the story of their fathers and husbands. It is one of public outrage and personal loss, the (not always legal) highs and the desperate lows, and the final collective victory as gay men were final recognised, as Good As You.
Author: Paul Flynn
Male Daughters, Female Husbands - Gender and Sex in an African Society BookRegular price £12.99
In 1987, more than a decade before the dawn of queer theory, Ifi Amadiume wrote Male Daughters, Female Husbands, to critical acclaim.
This compelling and highly original book frees the subject position of 'husband' from its affiliation with men, and goes on to do the same for other masculine attributes, dislocating sex, gender and sexual orientation. Boldly arguing that the notion of gender, as constructed in Western feminist discourse, did not exist in Africa before the colonial imposition of a dichotomous understanding of sexual difference, Male Daughters, Female Husbands examines the structures in African society that enabled people to achieve power, showing that roles were not rigidly masculinised nor feminised.
At a time when gender and queer theory are viewed by some as being stuck in an identity-politics rut, this outstanding study not only warns against the danger of projecting a very specific, Western notion of difference onto other cultures, but calls us to question the very concept of gender itself.
Queer Asia - Decolonising and Reimagining Sexuality and Gender BookRegular price £18.99
Queer studies is now a rapidly expanding field, as scholars from a variety of disciplines seek to address the long-running marginalisation of queer perspectives and experiences. But there has so far been little effort to unify the study of queer communities outside the West, and much of the current writing views these communities through a narrowly Western lens.
Building on the work of the annual Queer Asia conference, which the editors helped to establish, this collection represents the most comprehensive work to date on queer studies in an Asian context. Featuring case studies and original research from across the continent, covering the Middle East, South and East Asia, and Asian diasporas, the collection offers a genuinely pan-Asian perspective which places queer Asian identities and movements in dialogue with each other, rather than within a Western framework.
By considering how queerness is imagined within plural Asian experiences and contexts, the contributors show a that re-envisioning of ‘queer’ through Asian perspectives has the potential to challenge existing discourses and debates in the wider field of contemporary gender, sexuality, and queer studies.
|Author||J. Daniel Luther & Jennifer Ung Loh
Queer Budapest, 1873–1961 BookRegular price £26.00
By the dawn of the twentieth century, Budapest was a burgeoning cosmopolitan metropolis. Known at the time as the “Pearl of the Danube,” it boasted some of Europe’s most innovative architectural and cultural achievements, and its growing middle class was committed to advancing the city’s liberal politics and making it an intellectual and commercial crossroads between East and West.
In addition, as historian Anita Kurimay reveals, fin-de-siècle Budapest was also famous for its boisterous public sexual culture, including a robust gay subculture. Queer Budapest is the riveting story of nonnormative sexualities in Hungary as they were understood, experienced, and policed between the birth of the capital as a unified metropolis in 1873 and the decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in 1961.
Kurimay explores how and why a series of illiberal Hungarian regimes came to regulate but also tolerate and protect queer life. She also explains how the precarious coexistence between the illiberal state and queer community ended abruptly at the close of World War II.
A stunning reappraisal of sexuality’s political implications, Queer Budapest recuperates queer communities as an integral part of Hungary’s—and Europe’s—modern incarnation.
Queer City - Gay London from the Romans to the Present Day BookRegular price £9.99
‘Droll, provocative and crammed to busting with startling facts’ Simon Callow, Guardian
In this powerful Sunday Times bestseller Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way – through the history and experiences of its gay population.
In Roman Londinium the city was dotted with lupanaria (‘wolf dens’ or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure.
Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music and the horror of AIDS.
Today, we live in an era of openness and tolerance and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the hidden story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand; but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other.
Author: Peter Ackroyd
Queer Legacies - Stories from Chicago’s LGBTQ Archives BookRegular price £15.00
The variety of LGBTQ life in Chicago is too abundant and too diverse to be contained in a single place. But since 1981, the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives has striven to do just that, amassing a wealth of records related to the city’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people and organisations.
In Queer Legacies, John D’Emilio—a pioneering scholar in the field—digs deep into Gerber/Hart’s collection to unearth a kaleidoscopic look at the communities built by generations of LGBTQ people. Excavated from one of the country’s most important, yet overlooked, LGBTQ archives, D’Emilio’s entertaining and enthusiastic essays range in focus from politics and culture to social life, academia, and religion.
He gives readers an inclusive and personal look at fifty years of a national fight for visibility, recognition, and equality led by LGBTQ Americans who, quite literally, made history. In these troubled times, it will surely inspire a new generation of scholars and activists.
Queer London - Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957 BookRegular price £23.50
In August 1934, young Cyril L. wrote to his friend Billy about all the exciting men he had met, the swinging nightclubs he had visited, and the vibrant new life he had forged for himself in the big city. He wrote, "I have only been queer since I came to London about two years ago, before then I knew nothing about it." London, for Cyril, meant boundless opportunities to explore his newfound sexuality. But his freedom was limited: he was soon arrested, simply for being in a club frequented by queer men.
Cyril's story is Matt Houlbrook's point of entry into the queer worlds of early twentieth-century London. Drawing on previously unknown sources, from police reports and newspaper exposés to personal letters, diaries, and the first queer guidebook ever written, Houlbrook here explores the relationship between queer sexualities and modern urban culture that we take for granted today. He revisits the diverse queer lives that took hold in London's parks and streets; its restaurants, pubs, and dancehalls; and its Turkish bathhouses and hotels—as well as attempts by municipal authorities to control and crack down on those worlds.
He also describes how London shaped the culture and politics of queer life—and how London was in turn shaped by the lives of queer men. Ultimately, Houlbrook unveils the complex ways in which men made sense of their desires and who they were. In so doing, he mounts a sustained challenge to conventional understandings of the city as a place of sexual liberation and a unified queer culture.
A history remarkable in its complexity yet intimate in its portraiture, Queer London is a landmark work that redefines queer urban life in England and beyond.
“A ground-breaking work. While middle-class lives and writing have tended to compel the attention of most historians of homosexuality, Matt Houlbrook has looked more widely and found a rich seam of new evidence. It has allowed him to construct a complex, compelling account of interwar sexualities and to map a new, intimate geography of London.”—Matt Cook, The Times Higher Education Supplement
Winner of History Today’s Book of the Year Award, 2006
Real Queer America - LGBT Stories from Red States BookRegular price £14.99
Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-and-tie-wearing Mormon missionary. Now she's a senior Daily Beast reporter happily married to another woman.
A lot in her life has changed, but what hasn't changed is her deep love of Red State America, and of queer people who stay in so-called 'flyover country' rather than moving to the liberal coasts. In Real Queer America, Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South.
Her motto for the trip: 'Something gay every day.'
Making pit stops at drag shows, political rallies, and hubs of queer life across the heartland, she introduces us to scores of extraordinary LGBT people working for change, from the first openly transgender mayor in Texas history to the manager of the only queer night club in Bloomington, Indiana, and many more.
Capturing profound cultural shifts underway in unexpected places and revealing a national network of chosen family fighting for a better world, Real Queer America is a treasure trove of uplifting stories and a much-needed source of hope and inspiration in these divided times.
Sexuality in Muslim Contexts - Restrictions and Resistance BookRegular price £20.99
This groundbreaking book explores women's resistance against the harsh policing of sexuality in Muslim societies. Many Muslim majority countries still use religious discourse to enforce stigmatisation and repression of those, especially women, who do not conform to sexual norms promoted by the state.
In this context, Islam is often stigmatised in Western discourse for being intrinsically restrictive with respect to women's rights and sexuality.
This insightful collection shows that conservative Muslim discourse does not necessarily match practices of believers or citizens and that women's empowerment is facilitated where indigenous and culturally appropriate strategies are developed.
Using case studies from Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, Israel and India, the volume persuasively argues that Muslim religious traditions do not necessarily lead to conservative agendas but can promote emancipatory standpoints.
A timely intervention to the construction of 'Muslim women' as uniformly subordinate, this book spearheads an unprecedented wake of organising around Muslim sexuality issues.
|Author||Anissa Helie and Homa Hoodfar
The Hidden Lives of London Streets - A Walking Guide to Soho, Holborn and Beyond BookRegular price £9.99
London's streets have always worn a variety of influences, reflecting the diverse crowds who live and work on them. Take a walk down any number of historic streets and an abundance of tales exist in the bricks and mortar, waiting to be told.
The Hidden Lives of London's Streets takes the reader on a journey through Soho, Piccadilly, Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kensington, Fitzrovia and Clerkenwell. A street map is provided for each area, marking out the streets and buildings in which the various activities - some forgotten, others well-remembered - took place.
Stories include those of courtesans such as the notorious Lola Montez and Theresa de Cornelys, who gave lavish balls at their home in Soho Square which were little more than orgies, during which a man playing the violin while on roller skates crashed through her plate glass window; Casanova and his quarrel with Marianne Charpillon after he taught a parrot to say she was a 'whore'; clubs - great (the Gargoyle), the artistic (Muriel Belcher's Colony), and the small (Royston Smith's club for dwarves); the police; robberies; murder and executions; the nightclubs; cinemas and theatres; the villains and prostitution.
Beyond mere gangs and criminality, the book will trace the social changes that have gradually unfolded on any given street. For example the metamorphosis of Old Compton Street as home to race gangs in the 1920s, to becoming an essentially Italian street, to being part of the gay community.
Trans America - A Counter–History BookRegular price £17.99
Trans seems to be everywhere in American culture. Yet there is little understanding of how this came about. Are people aware that there were earlier periods of gender flexibility and contest-ability in American history? How well known is it that a previous period of trans visibility in the 1960s and early 1970s faced a vehement backlash right at the time that trans, in the form of what was then termed transvestism and transsexuality, seemed to be so ascendant? Was there transness before transsexuality was named in the 1950s and transgender emerged in the 1990s?
Barry Reay explores this history: from a time before trans in the nineteenth century to the transsexual moment of the 1960s and 1970s, the transgender turn of the 1990s, and the so-called tipping point of current culture. It is a rich and varied history, where same-sex desires and identities, cross-dressing, and transsexual and transgender identities jostled for recognition. It is a history that is not at all flattering to US psychiatric and surgical practices.
Arguing for the complexity of a trans past and present, Trans America will be a groundbreaking work for the trans community, as well as anyone interested in the history of medicine, sexuality, psychology and psychiatry.
Unspeakable Love - Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East BookRegular price £10.99
Homosexuality is a taboo subject in the Arab world. While clerics denounce it as a heinous sin, newspapers write cryptically of 'shameful acts' and 'deviant behaviour'.
Amid the calls for reform in the Middle East, homosexuality is one issue that almost everyone in the region would prefer to ignore. In this absorbing account, Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker calls attention to the voices of men and women who are struggling with gay identities in societies where they are marginalised and persecuted by the authorities. He paints a disturbing picture of people who live secretive, fearful lives and who are often jailed, beaten, and ostracised by their families, or sent to be 'cured' by psychiatrists.
Deeply informed and engagingly written, Unspeakable Love reveals that - while deeply repressive prejudices and stereotypes still govern much thinking about homosexuality - there are pockets of change and tolerance. This updated edition includes new material covering developments since the book's first publication.