The official guide to what's inside! Yes it’s Pride month, and we thought “Pride theme? In June? Ground breaking” but how could we not? The theme of this box is Pride, but not just Pride, it’s also resilience, activism, self- care and de-centring the global West when we talk about Pride. How can that be a theme? Well, we have neatly bundled into one phrase for you: “The fight isn’t over.” So we’re saying, celebrate Pride, continue your activism in whatever way is sustainable for you, check on your queer siblings, and check in with yourself.
This is the absolute perfect time for this book. We try to balance the books you get so that it’s mostly fiction, so the non-fiction we include is always something we think is absolutely essential reading – especially for those of you who aren’t huge non-fiction fans. This is one of those absolute diamonds.
In the UK LGB people are treated almost equally in the law as straight, cisgender people (see Andrew Gurza’s piece!). This book literally says that’s no place to rest, it’s not good enough, and we’re not done. Queer people in the UK, and all over the world, are not ready for us to give up the fight yet, so what’s next?
35 contributors answer this question from their own perspectives. From the UK to Bangladesh, Russia to South Korea, on safety, visibility, dating, gender, racism, community, they say ‘this is how we create a better future’. This is a manifesto of more.
We can’t wait for you to read this, and hope you find it as interesting, empowering, emboldening as we do!
This month’s zine is bang-on theme! The second volume of Queers Gone By,
“De-centring the global West in the narrative of liberation” is exactly what it sounds like. The creator says:
“The global west has colonised queer liberation like it colonised everything else. This zine looks specifically at queer Pride parades around the world. Although it touches on Europe, the focus is on African, Asian and North and South American countries which receive less attention for their queer liberation than they do for shock value bad news stories. It’s important to note that homophobia and transphobia in formerly colonised countries is very often a direct result of colonisation, and indigenous cultures with different concepts of gender and sexuality have been damaged or erased and replaced by those of colonial powers.”
Right? If you want a copy of this 24 page full colour zine you can only get a physical copy in Category is Books in Glasgow, or digital copies from the creator’s Etsy shop where you get 10% off with the code ‘QUEERBOOKBOX’ (we’re original like that).
There’s an interesting link between this month’s zine and book. In the book Mazharul Islam writes on queerness in Bangladesh. He joined an online group called Boys of Bangladesh in his early 20s, an online chat room for gay men based in Dhaka to connect. The zine mentions the group as an influential source of queer organising in the region.
Ok let’s get into it. The fun extras in this month’s box were:
Pride around the world 2022 wall map
You’ve never had a map like this bbs. We designed an A3 map of the world with countries colour coded for whether they hold a regular Pride parade, or if they have in the past. This goes gorgeously well with the zine, as you can find countries on there and look them up in the zine. Like, did you know there was a Pride in Lesotho? The zine says:
“On 18th May 2013, the first Pride march took place in the capital, Maseru. According to the organisers, the event was very successful, with the authorities being supportive and providing an escort for the participants. Pride marches and events have been held annually since then, attracting a few hundred people.”
Dalia AlFaghal is an Egyptian person who in 2017 came out publicly as a lesbian on facebook and overnight became the subject of public hate and derision. They have taken power back from the attention to record a short film with Buzzfeed “The most hated lesbian in Egypt” and creating a platform for previously ignored queer people in Egypt.
QuerrHabibi honours them with this cool portrait. We love it as an example of how liberation is not a Western story. Queer activists like Dalia are working on Egypt’s first ever Pride events. You can find QuerrHabibi on Instagram, we love their work.
Pride is fun! For those who like to express their identity through the metaphor of party. We made you some cute fun stickers for whatever you’re getting up to. Stick them on strangers you meet, on your mobility aid, on a lamppost when no one is looking (is this illegal? If so, don’t get us in trouble plz and thx). Our favourite is ‘Join my queer cult’ because what is a book subscription if not a delightfully benign cult?
Pride socks and an iron-on patch and greetings card
The best and most underrated line from Terminator (stick with me) is “What’s wrong with your eyes? They’re leaking.” And honeybuns, you can be a boss, and cry all the time. It’s called living, it’s called we live in the dystopian present, it’s called they’ve been to therapy and know they’ve been dissociating for some time now. Jokes aside, you can cry, and check on your people, because that’s where the strength to go on really comes from. We love you. Now drink some water please for the love of...
Your Pride socks and iron-on patch were created by Punky Pins, and the greetings card was lovingly designed in-house at QBB HQ because we love you all and want you to take care of each other <3
No cops at pride pin
The creator of your cool pin this month is Rachel Brand, a queer blackout poet, writer, and maker of badges and zines living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her art focuses on the deconstruction of faith and reclamation of sexual autonomy. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter.
Use code ‘QUEERBOOKBOX’ for 10% off your first order at her etsy shop!
Pride book bingo
The queer, inclusive reading challenge of your dreams!
We have a heap of book tokens that we are desperate to give you, all you have to do to enter the competition is complete a line (vertical, horizontal or diagonal), if you get a full house we’ll whack 10 entries in for you!
You can absolutely double-up on boxes to cross off, for example, this month’s book is a double-threat, both non-fiction and has a pink cover. If you post a review and tag your friends, that’s two more boxes crossed off! We made this specific blog post to help you cross off as many squares as possible!
If you didn’t get a bingo card in your box, check out or Instagram @queerbookbox
The postcard and bookmark
We like to treat you with an amazing quote or cool artwork each month. This month we chose this quote from A Door Behind A Door by Yelena Moskovich.
"What is life if you cannot willingly go into the heart of the storm. What is life, if you cannot willingly storm someone's heart. What is life, if you cannot willingly leave safe waters."
What else was in the box that we haven’t mentioned here?
- A bio of Amelia Abraham, the editor of the book
- A message from Amelia
- “If you liked this” style recommendations – always thoughtful and considered, and always queeeeeer
- Reviews of this month’s book from publications and other queer authors
- Interesting extra content, like what’s the deal with the ‘no cops at Pride’ movement?
If you're like, "damn I can't believe I missed out on this" check out our shop for one-off boxes. These sell out super quick, so get them while you can!
The box in the wild!