Resources

Organisations

LGB Alliance    https://lgballiance.org.uk/ A charity that supports lesbian, gay and bisexual people by building community, providing high quality information, being a source of inspiration for people who feel marginalised and seeking to influence Government and decision makers to prioritise the needs and rights of same-sex attracted people.

The Lesbian Project https://www.thelesbianproject.co.uk/ Intends to give voice and influence to women whose stories are too often overlooked, works to build a knowledge base about lesbian lives, promote sensible and evidence-based policy, and contribute to building lesbian community in the UK and internationally.

L Community https://lcommunity.co.uk/ A space, both online and soon in person in London, dedicated to addressing the unique challenges faced by same-sex attracted women. Our community provides a safe environment and serves as a platform for advocacy, community building, and representation.

Lesbian Strength https://lesbianstrength.org/ Exclusively same-sex attracted women who organise a march and rally in Leeds every year.

Get The L Out UK    https://gettheloutuk.com/    A grassroots lesbian radical feminist activist group aiming at creating an autonomous lesbian community and an uncompromising lesbian visibility that is not controlled by men’s desires and visions of who we are.

Lesbian Labour    https://lesbianlabour.com/     Aims to make Labour a safe and welcoming party for lesbians, promote lesbian equality throughout the party, stand with our lesbian sisters nationally and internationally and support gender non-conforming and same-sex attracted girls.

Labrys Lit Lesbian Book Group    https://www.filia.org.uk/lesbian-book-club    A book group run by, for, and about lesbians. Every month we read a new novel, short story collection, or memoir written by a lesbian author. And then we meet up on Zoom for a chat about the book.

Scottish Lesbians   https://scottishlesbians.org.uk/    A grassroots organisation run by lesbians, for lesbians, fighting for lesbian wellbeing and community.

Books

NON-FICTION:

A Lesbian History of Britain: Love and Sex Between Women Since 1500   Rebecca Jennings   (Bloomsbury)   9781846450075   Draws on a wide range of historical sources – court records, newspaper reports, medical records, novels, oral histories and personal papers.

The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture   Bonnie J Morris   (SUNY Press)   9781438461762   Investigates the rise and fall of US American lesbian cultural institutions since the 1970s. 

Now You See Me: Lesbian Life Stories   Jane Traies   (Tollington Press)   9781909347106   Older lesbians from across the UK recreate a time when being lesbian meant hiding your true identity – or paying the price for breaking society’s rules.

Your Silence Will Not Protect You: Essays and Poems   Audre Lorde   (Silver Press)    9780995716223   Black lesbian poet, Audre’s lyrical and incisive prose takes on sexism, racism, homophobia and class, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope.

Sensible Footwear: a Girl’s Guide: a Graphic Guide to Lesbian and Queer History 1950-2020   Kate Charlesworth   (Myriad Editions)  9780993563348   The first graphic history documenting lesbian life from 1950 to the present, recording the political gains and challenges against a backdrop of personal experience.

Trigger Warning: My Lesbian Feminist Life   Sheila Jeffreys   (Spinifex Press)   9781925950205   An engaging autobiography and a fascinating account of feminist history, from the heady days of the Women’s Liberation Movement through to the backlash against radical feminism.

No Modernism Without Lesbians   Diana Souhami   (Bloomsbury)   9781786694874   The extraordinary story of how four women, Sylvia Beach, Bryher, Natalie Barney, and Gertrude Stein, rejected the patriarchy, formed a community and fostered the birth of the Modernist movement in Paris between the wars.

Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians   Joan E Byron   (Anthology Editions)   9781944860370   Reprint of the revolutionary 1979 book of photographs of lesbians from different ages and backgrounds in their everyday lives – working, playing, raising families, and striving to remake their worlds – which affirmed the existence of lesbians and helped to propel a political movement.

Free to be Me: Refugee Stories from the Lesbian Immigration Support Group   Jane Traies ed.   (Tollington Press)   9781909347199  A collection of interviews with lesbian and bi women seeking asylum in the UK and the campaigners working with them. Here in their own words are their stories of love, trauma, struggle and friendship, courage and solidarity.

Mouths of Rain: an Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought   Briona Simone Jones ed.   (The New Press)   9781620975763    A groundbreaking collection tracing the history of intellectual thought by Black Lesbian writers across genre, time, identity, age, and political leanings. 

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister   Helena Whitbread ed.   (Virago)   9781844087198   Anne Lister defied the role of nineteenth century womanhood: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller and lesbian – a woman who lived her life on her own terms.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?   Jeanette Winterson   (Vintage)   9780099556091   The shocking, heart-breaking, and often very funny, true story behind Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Winterson’s memoir encompasses the pursuit of happiness, lessons in love, the search for a mother and a journey into madness and out again.

The Ladies of Llangollen: a Study in Romantic Friendship   Elizabeth Mavor   (Moonrise Press)   9780953956173   In 1778, Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby ran away from their aristocratic homes in Ireland to settle in Llangollen, Wales, to devote themselves to delicious seclusion and romantic friendship.

The Lesbian Parenting Book: a Guide to Creating Families and Raising Children   D Merilee Clunis & G Dorsey Green   (Seal Press)    9781580050906   An essential text for every lesbian who is involved in raising a family, written by two experienced lesbian therapists and parents, and drawing on the real-life experiences of lesbian families. 2003 so a bit dated.

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For   Alison Bechdel   (Vintage)    9780224087063   Anthology of the infamous comic strips offering an eye-opening and acerbically funny insight into US lesbian society for 30 years from the 1980s.

Red Dust Road   Jackie Kay   (Pan Macmillan)   9781529077230   Warm and candid memoir of the black Scottish adopted writer, a lesbian and for five years the Makar, Scotland’s National Poet.

Bi Lives: Bisexual Women Tell Their Stories   Kata Orndorff ed.   (See Sharp Press)   9781884365096   A collection of 18 in-depth interviews with a wide range of bisexual women of different races, ages, and economic classes, involved in a very wide variety of lifestyles.

Feminism for Women: the Real Route to Liberation   Julie Bindel   (Little, Brown)   9781472132628   Debunking theories that second wave feminism is irrelevant and one-dimensional, Bindel shines a light on the most important issues, including pornography, sexual violence and prostitution.

Detransition: Beyond Before and After   Max Robinson   (Spinifex Press)   9781925950403   The author goes beyond the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of the transition she underwent and takes us through the processes that led her, first, to transition in an attempt to get relief from her distress, and then to detransition, as she discovered feminist thought and community. 

Pretended: Schools and Section 28: Historical, Cultural and Personal Perspectives   Catherine Lee   (John Catt Educational)   9781915261694   A vivid historical, political and cultural account of schools and teaching under Section 28, a law that banned schools in the UK from promoting homosexuality as a ‘pretended family relationship’, a bitter time of state-sanctioned homophobia.

Pride: the Unlikely Story of the True Heroes of the Miner’s Strike   Tim Tate   (John Blake Publishing)   9781786062918   The story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, how two groups who ostensibly had nothing in common – miners and homosexuals – unexpectedly made a stand together and forged a lasting friendship.

Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East   Brian Whitaker   (Saqi Books)   9780863564833   Paints a disturbing picture of people who live secretive, often fearful lives; of daughters and sons beaten by their families or sent to be ‘cured’ by psychiatrists, and yet there are pockets of change and tolerance.

FICTION:

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit   Jeanette Winterson   (Vintage)   9780099598183   Adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God’s elect; zealous and passionate, Jeanette seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts.

Tipping the Velvet   Sarah Waters   (Virago)   9780349017426   A delicious reimagining of late-Victorian life, chronicling the adventures of Nan King, an oyster girl, whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with the cross-dressing music-hall singer, Miss Kitty Butler.

Under the Udala Trees   Chinelo Okparanta   (Granta)   9781847088383   A triumphant love story, from Ijeoma’s childhood in war-torn Biafra through the perils and pleasures of her blossoming sexuality.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton   Sara Collins   (Penguin)   9780241984017   A haunting tale about one woman’s fight to tell her story, from a plantation in Jamaica to a grand house in London. Could she have murdered the only person she ever loved?

Trumpet   Jackie Kay   (Pan Macmillan)   9781447289494   The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret. Unbeknown to all but his wife Millie, Joss was a woman living as a man.

We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire   Jules Grant   (Myriad Editions)   9781908434869   A literary revenge thriller set in Manchester’s criminal underworld, voiced by lesbian gangster Donna, with a heart of gold, and her precocious god-daughter Aurora.

The Pull of the Stars   Emma Donoghue   (Pan Macmillan)   9781529046199   A love story set in the 1918 flu epidemic in a Dublin maternity ward, as nurse Julia Power meets Dr Kathleen Lynn, a revolutionary, and young Bridie who captures her heart.

Rubyfruit Jungle   Rita Mae Brown   (Vintage)   9781784870515   Classic coming-of-age novel confronting prejudice and injustice with power and humanity. Beautiful, funny and bright, Molly figures out at a young age that she will have to be tough to stay true to herself in 1950s America.

The Color Purple   Alice Walker   (Orion)   9781474607254   A powerful novel depicting the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia, which broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse in the black community and depicted the joy of sexual awakening for Celie when she encounters the charismatic Shug.

Films and TV

Podcasts

Venues and Club Nights

  • The Lesbian Club – Yesterday we launched The Lesbian Club, a membership based club in Australia. With this we will be able to run lesbian-only events for our members. We had a great launch party with about 50 lesbians gathered to celebrate. Lesbians are fighting back. https://thelesbianclub.org.au

Academic Papers