LGBTQ-Owned Bookstores

LGBTQ-Owned Bookstores

“Visibility is everything in small towns, where books are some of the only windows to a more accepting world.” Miss. O

LGBTQ-owned bookstores have been around for decades. Founded in 1973 in the City of Brotherly Love, Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room—honoring James Baldwin’s queer classic—is perhaps the oldest surviving LGBTQ and feminist bookstore in America. Charis Books and More, in Decatur, Georgia, was launched a year later. A Room of One's Own has been a fixture in downtown Madison, Wisconsin since 1975, and Chicago’s Women and Children First was started in 1979 by two women who fell in love as students at the University of Illinois. 

These stores are more than shops to browse for books; they are hubs for both entertainment and enlightenment, meeting grounds for hearts and minds. They are, above all, vital community spaces.

Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive directory of LGBTQ-owned bookstores across America, shops that go above and beyond selling hardcovers and paperbacks to foster a sense of community, acceptance, and solidarity. We'll continue to add to this list, and if there are any that we missed, please make sure to let us know in the comments below!

      Maryland/Washington D.C.



      New Jersey
      New York
      North Carolina

      50 Best Seller LGBTQ Books This Year

      The Renunciations by Donika Kelly

      The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel

      Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

      Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

      Stone Fruit by Lee Lai

      Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 by Sarah Schulman

      After Francesco by Brian Malloy

      How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole

      The Guncle by Steven Rowley

      The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

      The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage by Sasha Issenberg 

      Future Feeling by Joss Lake

      One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

      With Teeth by Kristen Arnett

      Hola Papi: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons by John Paul Brammer

      Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon

      The Queer Bibleed. by Jack Guinness

      Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor

      Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie

      Bolla by Patjim Statovci

      Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

      She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

      Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So

      The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

      The Perfume Thief by Timothy Schaffert

      Image Control: Art, Fascism, and the Right to Resist by Patrick Nathan

      The Essential June Jordan ed. by Jan Heller Levi and Christoph Keller

      Water I Won’t Touch by Kayleb Rae Candrilli

      Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough

      Malice by Heather Walter

      Girlhood by Melissa Febos

      Sarahland by Sam Cohen

      Red Rock Baby Candy by Shira Spector

      She's Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

      Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green

      Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans

      Outlawed by Anna North

      Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

      Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

      Everybody (Else) Is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likesby Gabrielle Korn

      Love Is an Ex-Country by Randa Jarrar

      Kink edited by R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell

      Love and Other Poems by Alex Dimitrov

      Milk Fed by Melissa Broder

      We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman

      Let's Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih

      Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

      Justine by Forsyth Harmon

      The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

      McSweeney's Quarterly Concern Issue 62: The Queer Fiction Issue ed. by Patty Yumi Cottrell

      By Michelle Hart
      Photo Credit: Kimberly Farmer

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