February is LGBT+ History Month – a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) history. The campaign aims to increase awareness of LGBT+ people, their history, lives and experiences and promote equality and diversity.
This year the theme is Poetry, Prose and Plays. Four writers or ‘faces’ have been chosen to represent the theme: Lorraine Hansberry, E. M. Forster, William Shakespeare and Dawn Langley Pepita Simmons.
Lorraine Hansbury was a lesbian playwright and author of ‘A Raisin in the Sun’. It was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway.
E. M. Forster was a gay English writer who wrote many books including the successful ‘A Passage to India’ and the gay love story ‘Maurice’. This year is the 50th anniversary of his death.
William Shakespeare, LGBT+ History Month’s bisexual ‘face’, is one of the most well know English poets, playwrights and actors. One of Shakespeare’s more well-known sonnets, Sonnet 20, is widely thought to be written about a man.
Dawn Langley Pepita Simmons, an English author and biographer, is the transgender ‘face’ of LGBT+ History Month. She has written biographies about Princess Margaret and Dame Margaret Rutherford.
You can find out more about the ‘faces’ of LGBT+ History Month on the LGBT+ History Month website and discover their rich contributions on our LGBT+ History Month booklist alongside other LGBT+ writers and stories. There’s a range of other LGBT+ booklists with titles for younger readers and non-fiction selections. Don’t forget, you can reserve any item, free of charge on the Essex Library services catalogue.