Gay’s The Word is one of the most iconic places of queer history in the capital. This independent bookshop opened on January 17th, 1979 and it was founded by LGBT+ socialist group Gay Icebreakers. Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners held their first meetings in Gay’s The Word which secured its iconic place in the LGBTQ+ movement.
Within these wall you will find fiction, non-fiction, history, politics, graphic novels, travel, poetry, children, young adult magazines and erotic books.
The selection is pretty impressive, however this was not always the case. As you might imagine, being a gay bookshop in the 80s was not the easiest business to run. At the beginning of its journey, the bookshop had a more limited selection and it often faced difficulties with the locals, law holders and even HMRC.
In 1984, HMRC raided the bookshop and seized the stock coming from the US! If you wanna know more about the difficult history of this amazing bookshop, go and read this article by SecretLnd.
If you wanna know even more, go and watch the movie Pride with Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton. Or just walk into this gem of a bookshop, look around, chat with the staff and just get lost in the books.