Library Services


Celebrating Pride Month 24 in Library Services 

1 July 2024

The Library Liberating the Collections Group have compiled a book list of your suggestions to celebrate Pride Month, which takes place every June in the UK.

The intersex inclusive pride flag. The flag shows horizontal rainbow stripes on the right hand side, and on the left hand side a chevron with black, brown, pale blue, pale pink, white and yellow stripes with a purple ring motif to the far left.

In the lead up to London Pride on Saturday 29 June and as part of Pride Month celebrations, we asked you to share book recommendations from across the UCL community about LGBTQ+ life in London.

Fiction and poetry

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo creates a world that has real challenges for all the characters but ultimately they all end up happy. I feel like it was a real turning point for LGBT literature that a book that features tragedy does not make tragedy the crux of the work. These are stories all about women and non-binary people of colour that ultimately thrive and find a niche in the world. Very uplifting and addictive.

Nada Kurdi 

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

This is a unique coming of age story, written by a mixed race poet and drag artist living in the UK, and based on his life. It's actually a young adult title, and as such is very accessible - I tore through the whole book at lightning speed. As a queer white woman, I could relate to the parts of Dean's story so many of us have to deal with, while other parts really opened my eyes to the struggles of a queer person of colour who’s trying to work out who he is and where he fits in. I also loved hearing a drag performer’s story of creating his drag persona, and Dean is very articulate and eloquent in his descriptions of both family life and the fabulousness of his new friends, much of which is written in verse. I am not doing this title justice - it’s wonderful, and really worth reading!


The Line Of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

The main character is gay and it is set in London but it is a beautifully written novel in its own right. It is the summer of 1983, and young Nick Guest, an innocent in the matters of politics and money, has moved into an attic room in the Notting Hill home of the Feddens: Gerald, an ambitious new Tory MP, his wealthy wife Rachel, and their children Toby and Catherine.

Dawn Kinnersley

eat the glitter by Kat Dixon

An irreverent, lyrical exploration of queer love, modern culture, and a post-pandemic world. It's the debut book of poetry by a queer writer living in London and I feel that everyone, no matter their 'poetry-reading credentials', should feel welcome to pick up and find resonance in Kat's inventiveness, poignancy and humour.

Sarah-Jane Gregori


Marlow Moss by Lucy Howarth

Recent book addition to the UCL collection which helps to fill the gap in our knowledge and understanding of modern queer artists in Britain. Provides a fascinating insight into a once overlooked but now regarded as one of Britain’s most important constructivist artists. Moss's work is now often included in survey books and exhibitions of neglected female and LGBTQ+ artists.

Julie Robinson

John Craxton: a life of gifts by Ian Collins

A fascinating biography of the openly gay (before decriminalisation), London-born (Greek based) artist John Craxton who is reemerging again as a major artistic figure. Beautiful and beguiling art.

Square Haunting by Francesca Wade

Finely embroidered with rich colours and delicate threads. Like a good champagne, effervescent and giddy with an underlying sharpness and complexity. This delicious group biography of five women writers in interwar London, including Virginia Woolf and Jane Harrison, is an absolutely gorgeous book.

No Modernism without Lesbians by Diana Souhami

Celebrates the under-appreciated central role lesbians played in Modernism.

Julie Robinson

Fanny and Stella: the young men who shocked Victorian England by Neil McKenna

A riveting history of two important queer figures from Victorian London demonstrating the long history of trans identities. I recommend.

An Accidental Icon: How I dodged a bullet, spoke truth to power, and lived to tell the tale by Norman Scott

The autobiography of a brave man from a disadvantaged, single-parent background who took on the 'Establishment'. A love affair with Jeremy Thorpe (Eton, Trinity College Oxford, Member of Parliament and Liberal party leader) during the 1960s - when male homosexuality was still illegal - later led to Thorpe conspiring to have Scott murdered. Scott inconveniently refused to remain silent about their affair, and failed to be intimidated during his cross-examination by eminent barrister George Carman QC at Thorpe's Old Bailey trial in 1979

Norman Scott was a successful fashion model in London in the late 1960s, was invited to the House of Commons by Jeremy Thorpe during their affair, and of course the Old Bailey is situated in the heart of London.

Christopher Josiffe 

Straight Acting: The Many Queer Lives of William Shakespeare by Will Tosh

"This short, snappy work of popular scholarship by Will Tosh, head of research at Shakespeare’s Globe, is a necessary provocation and a highly selective bid to claim our national poet as a queer icon." [Nick Curtis - Evening Standard] Book published on 13 June. 


Violent Affections: Queer sexuality, techniques of power, and law in Russia by Alexander Sasha Kondakov

This book has been described by the American Journal of Sociology as 'an outstanding contribution to queer criminology.' It's an open access book, free to download and read from UCL Press.

Margie Coughlin 

Queer Migration and Asylum in Europe edited by Richard C. M. Mole

This is an important contribution to literature on queer migration and asylum in a European context, edited by Professor Richard C. M. Mole, SSEES. It's an open access book, free to download and read from UCL Press.

Margie Coughlin 

Who’s Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler

It debunks and disproves the gender critical movement, and talks in a very measured and informed way about how important gender equality and trans rights are.

A Trans Man Walks Into A Gay Bar by Harry Nicholas

It is educational on the lived experience of trans men and their sexuality, debunking myths about transitioning being to 'trans the gay away'.

Daniel Parkes



In his foreword to Celebrating Pride Month 2024 at UCL, Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Faculties) and LGBTQ+ champion on the University Management Committee discussed the film Pride:

“This year marks 40 years since the seemingly unlikely alliance between a Lesbian and Gay group from London and Miners in South Wales, during the tumultuous months of the 1984-85 Miners’ Strike – the longest strike in British history. As memorably captured in the 2014 film Pride, the group raised more money for the miners than any other fundraiser in the UK and included driving from London to South Wales in a minibus emblazoned with the logo LGSM: Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. Those same miners showed their gratitude to the LGBTQ+ community by marching in Pride 1985, doing much to break down barriers and prejudices.” 

Pride is available on Box of Broadcasts (BOB) for educational purposes. Log in using your UCL credentials.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this list. 

Photo of Steps to Progress exhibit in UCL Main Library
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in UCL Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science

This activity was organised through the Library Liberating the Collections Group. The purpose of this group is to identify and oversee progress with a strategic set of actions intended to enrich the collections, increasing visibility of, and access to, works by authors who have been marginalised (and thus less heard) because of factors such as race, sexuality, gender and disability. Any titles that we don’t already own we will buy and add to our collections and will be available shortly. 

Celebrating Pride Month