Staff Pride Network Event: Lavender Menace LGBT+ Book Archive
Forty years ago, when Lavender Menace Bookshop opened, positive depictions of LGBT+ people in books were rare. One lesbian pulp novel of the 1950s was called Women in the Shadows. There were similar shadows over all queer people in print and film. And legal censorship was alive and well in the 1980s. It simply had to be more focussed than before, as with Section 28.
Today our lives can be explored straightforwardly in fiction and non-fiction – but how did the change come? It was mainly LGBT+ writers and presses, along with radical bookshops and book distributors, who took the risk and opened the door. Their success surprised everyone and gave a lead which others followed.
But now many of the original LGBT+ and feminist presses have closed and well-known books have been forgotten. Lavender Menace Returns hopes to create an archive and database of the material we knew best. They want to also include LGBT+ writing of today to form one body of work telling the story of our community – and our demand for equality and honesty.
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