Each year, June is celebrated as Pride Month in remembrance of the revolutionary Stonewall Riots and to highlight the activism and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community. While Pride may look like a huge party, it hasn’t always been confetti and rainbows. The tradition is deeply rooted in protest against discrimination and injustice faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, asexual and intersex individuals.
There’s never been a better time to familiarise yourself with the history of everything queer, educate yourself about the gay rights movement and explore the rich repository of queer-focused media. While there’s plenty of material out there you can choose from, we’ve rounded up a list of books, movies and podcasts to invest your time in that best capture the different aspects of the LGBTQIA+ experience.
For your watch-list
If you’re looking for a real introduction to the life of trans folk, look no further. This invaluable documentary explores how non gender-nonconforming characters have been depicted on-screen, generating misunderstanding of trans people. Packed with insights anduntold stories, it’s sure to surprise you.
The Half of It
Set in the quaint fictional town of Squahamish, the coming-of-age queer drama explores the identity of Ellie Chu, representing aside of the Asian diaspora that is often not seen on screen. The 17-year old finds herself in an unlikely love triangle when a classmate gets her to ghost write love letters for him, to her own love interest.
Straight Outta Oz
If you love musicals, this one’s for you. Inspired by Queen Bey, Straight Outta Oz is actually a visual album by American Idol alum Todrick Hall. It narrates the life story of a Black gay child struggling to navigate gender expression in his conservative community while simultaneously chasing his dreams of stardom
Words to read
100 Boyfriends by Brontez Purnell
As the title suggests, 100 Boyfriends is a collection of short stories about different kinds of boyfriends. The book encapsulates the wild and tender experiences and the array of relationships native to gay culture.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
Drawing comparisons to Sally Rooney’s work, Naoise Dolan’s debut novel is about a young Irishwoman, Ava, living in Hong Kong who becomes embroiled in a love triangle with a banker named Julian and a lawyer named Edith. The book explores the lives of twenty something expats in a witty way.
Bestiary by K-ming Chang
A queer fairytale in which a girl who has grown a tiger tail becomes infatuated with a tomboy whose “teeth came out only at night, like the stars, and her smile stung like a fistful of salt flung at your eyes,” Bestiary is a fantastical novel explores queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets in poetic words
Lend your ears to
Food 4 Thot
Hosted by four multifaceted, multiracial mix of queerwriters, Food 4 Thot talks not of food, but ofa wide array of topics such as relationships, sex,race, identity, art, privilege, education andmore. The inspiring and informative podcast hosts open conversations and intelligent debates.
Hosted by two real-life best friends Kathy Tu and Tobin Low, this podcast gives listeners a rich 360-view of what it means to be queer. From heart breaking accounts of self discovery that’ll bring you to tears to stories full of warmth and joy- Nancy is a podcast sure to uplift your mood.
Making Gay History
This podcast brings LGBTQ history to life through rich, intimate portrayals of champions, heroes and witnesses to history. Eric Marcus mines his decades-old audio archive of rare interviews to bring to light stories of both known and long-forgotten heroes which are nothing short of thought-provoking and inspirational.