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Here at Queer Lit, inclusion and diversity drive everything we do.
We, like many members of the LGBTQ+ community, found it difficult to discover literature that best reflected our ethos and queer experiences. We founded Queer Lit to tackle this problem – to better represent the LGBTQ+ community in Manchester – especially those who love books!
Since then, with your support, we’ve grown exponentially – from stocking just 700 titles online, to now having over 2000 titles in our bricks and mortar store in the city’s Northern Quarter, which we were able to open in August 2021.
It’s important to us that LGBTQ+ stories are heard far beyond the four walls of our store – and we’re starting right back in schools. Thanks to our amazing customers, we donate around 100 LGBTQ+ books each month to schools across the UK, as part of our programme, ‘Free Books for Schools’. To date, we have donated over 1000, including 250 copies of What’s the T? by Juno Dawson.
In addition, we know LGBTQ+ voices need to be heard in the places where legislative changes can be made too. Most recently, we donated 300 copies of Trans Britain to MPs, to give them a complete understanding of the trans community before changing laws and impacting trans lives.
In October 2021, we won ‘Best New Business’ at the LGBTQ+ Business Awards, and we’re looking forward to continuing to foster a thriving and inclusive community for our customers. In January 2022 we’re planning an expansion of our premises into our basement – plans which will provide a community area for book clubs, poetry groups, and social meetings. Upstairs, our Tib Street shop has over 4600 books on display, as well as stocking a range of accessories, including greetings cards, flags, pins and more.
If you’re able to come along to the store, you’ll likely meet Matthew (our owner), or one of our fantastic booksellers – Lukasz, Alesha, Miika, or Liz – not to mention our shop dog, Jasper. We can’t wait to meet you!