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LGBT+ History Month book recommendations: “Beautifully written, a bit glam and a bit strange”

In recognition of LGBT+ History Month, here are three book recommendations that touch on themes relevant to LGBT+ issues.

Posted on: 14 February 2024

LGBT+ History Month (February) is a month-long annual celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual trans, and non-binary history, including the history of LGBT+ rights and related civil rights movements.  

Reading about LGBT+ experiences and viewpoints can be a wonderful way to increase understanding and awareness. We’re pleased to share the recommendations from our Human Resources team’s Nicholas Percival, under a new series, “My three books”. The following books touch on themes relevant to LGBT+.  

Read Nic’s reviews of the books.  


Nanette by Hannah Gadsby
This is a powerful book that shares the varied and often challenging life experiences of a neuro diverse lesbian comic from Australia. I first encountered Hannah Gadsby as the depressed, and very funny, friend in the emotional comedy TV series Please Like Me. This book comes later in her career after she has delivered a blasting and unsettling Netflix comedy special. It is a tough read in places, but laugh out loud too, and there is so much to learn here about what it really feels like to be excluded, and made vulnerable, all the time, just because of who you are. 

Becoming a Man – half a life story by Paul Monette
I cherish my small collection of Paul Monette books - small because he died, nearly 30 years ago, six years younger than I am now. Each of his books is better written than the last and I miss all the wonderful work he would have produced if he had survived. 

This book is part of a trilogy of memoirs he wrote during the last few years of his life as he was dying [all worth seeking out]. It’s moving, shocking in places, but will grab your heart and make you think. And its brim-full of humanity – just how a life should be. 

The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
Beautifully written, a bit glam and a bit strange; Deeply human, it will catch you by surprise. I read this in my late teens, beginning the journey of coming out and its delicate and layered stories stay with me still. It is set in New York, a place I never imagined it would be possible to go [amazingly I have now been there with my partner of 25 years, so I guess anything is possible!].