The year was a momentous one, and not just because of lesser events like the launch of Windows 1. Far more significant that all that, was the year I landed my first job in a bookstore, and several months later it became the year I kissed my first girl. She was my manager at the bookstore, but I still maintain I went for the job because of the books, not the girl. It implies that the book is more about being gay than being a good story. I know authors often feel they miss potential new readers by having their books shelved in special sections.
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These are the core obsessions that drive our newsroom—defining topics of seismic importance to the global economy. Our emails are made to shine in your inbox, with something fresh every morning, afternoon, and weekend. The LGBT bookshelf, a place tucked away in the odd corner of a bookstore or library, might seem like a relic. It might seem, even, like a dangerous practice that makes it easier to hide queer and trans stories, one that could lead to censorship. But a place for these books has existed in the US in various forms over the last half a century—often as a space of refuge and connection for marginalized voices and the people who seek them.
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Whether or not he actually did say it, this aphorism captures the experience of many who have found their true selves, sometimes surreptitiously, among the stacks at their local library. Thankfully, for folks who see part of themselves in the LGBTQ spectrum, popular culture and law in many parts of the world have changed a great deal in the last hundred years. The millennial generation has grown up with positive representations of gay characters on television and in film, and have seen a boon in publishing of stories that tell tales more closely reflecting sexual diversity. Still, some institutions, especially those with limited budgets or conservative governing bodies, have been reluctant to serve this prismatic community.