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‘The person I am today has been trained and influenced by so many strange heroes. We stand on the shoulders of giants. ‘
Words by Jack Guinness
Queer culture is all around, whether you understand it or not – and no, I’m not talking alone
Drag Race slowly taking over the world.
It has shaped our culture and our history – from the music we dance to, the sports we watch, the books we read, to EVIDENCE, the clothes we wear! Yet for too long, LGBQT + narratives have been hidden, for people’s own safety, or forcibly erased. Just look at how national hero Alan Turing has been treated, his legacy until recently, washed straight away.
It gives me so much joy to see projects like the TV show Mr. Jack reveal the hidden lesbian story of Anne Lister, or Sit down teaching younger generations the history of the struggles and triumphs of Black, Latinx, gay and Trans communities during the AIDS crisis.
The Queer Bible it is about bringing these stories to light to be celebrated.
The book contains essays written by my strange heroes about the pioneers who changed their lives – from the famous, like George Michael, to unsung heroes like the intersex bell Pidgeon Pagonis (you know that in the world there is it a similar amount of intersex people as redheads ?? I don’t have it!).
Come to The Queer Bible as someone who wants to learn more about the history of my own community – to learn about people other than myself, and to explore what we have in common. I want strange people to survive not only, but to thrive, knowing that they are walking in the footsteps of the bravest, fiercest, most inspiring people to walk the face of the planet.
The person I am today has been trained and influenced by so many strange heroes. The soundtrack of my life has been a strange culture: laughter with my first gay friend Kele, consolation in the writings of James Baldwin, the magical words of Walt Whitman made me fly, Bronski Beat released my tears, Audre Lord gave me strength, I sang karaoke at George Michael’s “Freedom,” I worshiped the stars of “Paris Is Burning,” I drank with Drag Queens up to the sun when I escaped to New York at eighteen.
In these politically unstable times, with LGBTQIA rights threatened around the world, this
book and celebrate strange culture couldn’t be more necessary – connecting with our common history, and allowing people to tell their stories in their own voices.
From the beginning, I watched The Queer Bible as a platform to elevate, celebrate and amplify the voices of our community. It is also, above all, a celebration! These stories will make you laugh, cry and want to unwind your favorite queer songs and dance! Pride began as a protest, but it is also about celebrating despite those who kept silent.
I am so happy that this collection sheds a light on the members of our community who so often have not given them the attention or recognition they deserve. I hope the range of voices, varied stories, and shared memories speak to the richness and diversity of our queer global community. We stand on the shoulders of giants.
Immerse yourself in the Queer culture this pride:
First, here are some of my favorite LGBTQ + books:
Orlando by Virginia Woolf – way ahead of its time, an exploration of sex, sexuality and
personal continuity over time. If you just want to see the movie, the Sally Potter version with Tilda Swinton and TitanicBilly Zane is great.
The fury of Velvet by Alan Downs – this book saved my life. Downs explores how it grows
Queer in the right world harms you and offers a path to healing and self-acceptance.
Reading this book will only make you a better person.
The Book Of Queer Prophets – A collection of Ruth Hunt essays on reconciliation and struggle
with religion and sexuality.
I do by Elton John – my Queer Bible contributor dreaming of tracing his epic life in this
brilliantly written memorial. This man is ALIVE. The story of the plot by Andy Warhol
it made me wet a little. He continues his work with the Elton John AIDS Foundation and
you are a living legend.
Go visit your favorite queer place – support your local drag queens!
My favorite places are The Glory, The Royal Vauxhall Tavern and The Queen Of Adelaide.
I couldn’t wait until we could dance again on a sweaty dance floor.
Watch out Strange Bible Mae Martin’s contributor Feel good on Netflix – fun, important and brilliantly written. Plus, he has Lisa Kudrow in it .. it won’t get any better!
THE QUEER BIBLE, edited by Jack Guinness, was published June 17 in the folder,
Download eBook and Audio (HQ, £ 20)