Hello, my name is Jordan! I’m a Library Team Assistant at Winchester. Pride Month is upon us once more, and I’ve been asked to write a blog about the occasion. Celebrated across the world each year in June, Pride Month is an opportunity to explore LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) history and culture, as well as reflecting on current struggles facing the community and what we can do to support and affirm our LGBT+ friends. Pride Month was first started to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York, America. It has now grown immensely since then, now incorporating celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops and concerts in various countries around the world.
As a Library Service, we work hard to make sure that we are welcoming to everyone, and that our stock is representative and inclusive of everyone who visits us. As history tells us, it is essential that we get this right. I was raised during Section 28, a law that was in effect in England and Wales from 1988 to 2003. This law prevented many local authorities, including schools, to promote LGBT+ issues or same-sex relationships as equal and acceptable. Growing up in primary school and later secondary school, there really wasn’t many books that taught me about different families or relationships.
For many young LGBT+ people growing up, it was an isolating experience. It is difficult to describe the sensation of ‘being seen’ in the books you read, but even today, I still feel a little spark of excitement any time I see a new book with LGBT themes, as if it was a rare gemstone I just happened to stumble across. Seeing yourself in the fiction you read makes you feel more included, more a part of your society, that you have a place to belong.
Even after the law was repealed and I grew older, the after effects could still be felt. Thankfully, we have made so much progress, and there is increasing visibility not just for gay and lesbians, but also people of all genders and sexualities in the books we read. There is still a long way to go, and as a library service, we’re constantly making sure our stock is current and relevant. We update our selection of fiction and non-fiction so adults, teens and children alike can explore a multitude of different and unique stories.
This Pride Month, we hope you take the chance to read something a little different and experience a story from another’s perspective. Whether you want to read fiction, non-fiction, adult or children’s fiction, have a look at our recommendations this month. All of these titles can be borrowed from our Digital Library on BorrowBox.