Welcome to February, often the coldest month of the year! Warm yourselves beside the Café or on our first floor landing and browse the collection of books on LGBTQIA+ history and culture, novels and more. From the history of gay culture, film representation, the decline of the gay lifestyle that rose and all but vanished over the course of the late twentieth century, and the revolutionary moments such as the Stonewall riots that marked the start of gay liberation under the last repressive regime, there is plenty for anyone interested in sexual diversity and social history.
Society has long had a troubled relationship with all minorities; it seems that people in general struggle to appreciate the value of diversity and fear those who are even slightly different to themselves. Gay, bi and trans people for the longest time lived their lives out of the public view, concealed their sexual orientation, or were persecuted for it. Tolerance and culture have changed and cycled over time, times of systematic oppression and moral outrage at defiance of repressive cultural norms giving way to more permissive periods and back again. Today, we celebrate the public recognition of science that has uncovered how complicated, diverse and fluid both sexuality and gender really are, and the benefits for society of admitting, if not yet always welcoming, diversity.