LGBT History Month 2018

LGBTHM banner 

To celebrate LGBT History Month, the PTFL has created a book display to highlight items from our collection that are particularly relevant to LGBT+ history. The book display is located in a prominent position by the Main Enquiry Desk at the PTFL and, as all the books in the display can be borrowed, just bring any item to the desk if you want to read one of them. We hope you enjoy spending a few minutes looking at the display and that you enjoy all the events happening across the city this month!  

     To find out more information about LGBT History Month in Oxford, visit


Just in case you can’t make it to the PTFL, below is a list of the books we have included in the display together with a brief summary of the topics discussed. As many of the items are available at other Oxford libraries and/or in electronic format, we’ve also included links to the SOLO records so you can quickly find any you are particularly interested in reading.

 Patricia Beattie Jung and Ralph F. Smith Heterosexism

  Heterosexism: An Ethical Challenge 

In this interesting book, the authors argue against the prevailing norms of heterosexuality, arguing that heterosexism is a system of prejudice based on a limited understanding of human sexuality. Through 7 chapters, the authors demonstrate that the reformation of Christian ethics in this area is not only possible, but crucially necessary.

John Boswell Christianity Social Tolerance

  Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century 

This National Book Award winning history of attitudes towards homosexuality was considered ground-breaking when it was first published in1981, so it is definitely a worthy addition to our list! In it, the author discusses more than a millennium of LGBT+ history in Western Europe from the Ancient Greeks right up to Aquinas.

Judith Butler Undoing Gender

  Undoing Gender 

Drawing from feminist and queer theory, this work by Butler situates her critique of gender norms within the framework of human persistence and survival. In it, she argues that the rigid social norms surrounding gender are culturally imposed and considers how these norms affect the daily lives of those that reject them. As the book deals with topics relevant to all parts of the LGBT+ community, it is definitely worth a read!

Claudia Card  Lesbian choices

Lesbian Choices   

This book is the result of the author’s fifteen years of work in feminist and lesbian philosophy, and explores several interesting topics ranging from a definition of lesbian culture to coming out. As it was published in 1995, it is also a useful text to contextualise the political situation for lesbians at the end of the previous century.

Raymond-Jean Frontain Reclaiming the Sacred

   Reclaiming the Sacred: The Bible in Gay and Lesbian Culture 

This text contains several essays that examine the appropriation and/or subversion of the authority of the Judeo/Christian Bible by gay and lesbian writers. It is particularly relevant for LGBT History month because the essays include authors from several centuries, including Milton, E.M. Forster and Jeanette Winterson.

David M. HalperinSaint Foucault

   Saint Foucault: Towards a Gay Hagiography / 

This interesting book focuses on the life of Michel Foucault and analyses the importance of his writing to gay activism and intellectualism. In the book, Halperin particularly considers the historical importance of this French philosopher to gay liberation, making it an apt title to appear on this list.

John J. McNeill Church and the Homosexual

   The Church and the Homosexual / 

In this ground-breaking book, McNeill convincingly establishes that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, and, in the preface to this edition, argues that the Vatican should make a public act of repentance for its homophobia. As this book discusses Roman Catholic tradition and its impact on the LGBT+ community throughout history, it is an important read for anyone interested in the history of both the church and LGBT+ rights.

Gareth Moore Question of Truth

 A question of truth: Christianity and homosexuality / 

In this book, Dominican Priest Gareth Moore scrutinises the Catholic Church’s arguments surrounding homosexuality and argues that they are lacking, concluding that ‘there are no good arguments…against what have come to be known as homosexual relationships’. As the Church’s attitude towards homosexuality has shaped LGBT+ History in Europe for hundreds of years, this book is important because it effectively analyses their theological basis.

Elizabeth Stuart Gay and Lesbian Theologies 

Gay and Lesbian Theologies: Repetitions with Critical Difference / 

In this book, Elizabeth Stuart explores the history of Gay and Lesbian theology over the past 30 years. In it, she discusses the impact of the AIDS crisis and the historical relationship between the church and Christians who identify as gay or lesbian. It is therefore an interesting read for anyone studying this area.  

 Book covers 

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