One of the exciting projects we can get involved in as trainees is preparing for and promoting library exhibitions, whether open to the public or exclusively to university staff and students. For LGBT+ History Month, New College Library will be putting on an exhibition on Queer Love & Literature in our collections on 25th February. We have a display case in the main library for small, longer-term exhibitions of about ten items, accessible to college members only. However, this is not suitable for large exhibitions like this one. We therefore book a room in college with enough space for long tables, which also allows us to open our exhibitions to the public. The downside is the room is not secure enough to leave any of our rare books and manuscripts overnight, therefore our large exhibitions are open for one day and one day only! This involves a lot of preparation to make sure we can set up and take down the exhibition as quickly and securely as possible on the day.
However, without people coming to see our wonderful collections, all our preparation would be in vain. For this exhibition, we’ve used some successful promotion tactics from our previous exhibitions as well as some new ones to usher as many people as possible through our doors on the day. First of all is the fun bit, designing a poster for the exhibition on Canva, with a uniform logo we’re using on all of our social media channels. We then sent the design off to a print company to have it printed in A2, A3, and A4. We “launched” the news of our upcoming exhibition on the 19th January on our social media, and sent an email out to the OLIS, Oxford Libraries Information System, mail list. I also changed our Twitter and Facebook profile headers to advertisements for the exhibition. Thanks to my fellow trainees, I sent out some posters to go up in other libraries and increase awareness of the exhibition throughout the university. I also go on a wander around college putting up posters in common areas such as the café/bar and the JCR. I’m also trialling some QR codes, linked to the event page on our website, displayed around the library. The LGBTQ+ Officers for the college’s JCR and MCR do a great job of organising their own events throughout the year such as queer drinks and LGBTQ+ formals, so we let them know about our exhibition so they can spread the word around college.
As our exhibition is for LGBT+ History Month, a campaign founded by Schools OUT to increase the visibility of queer people’s histories and experiences, we added our event to their public calendar. However, we’ve found social media is the most effective method to reach a wider audience outside just New College and the University. On our Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, we’ve been further teasing our exhibition by posting some of the items we’ll be displaying on the day with our exhibition banner underneath to make sure our followers don’t get sick of the same poster over and over again. I have scheduled a sneaky motion graphic to go out in the week before the exhibition, just to add a little spice. We also asked the Lodge to let us put a poster in an A-frame outside the college entrance on Holywell Street on the day to draw in any walk-ins and notify visitors where the exhibition actually is, as New College can be a bit of a maze. We’re quite lucky that our collections speak for themselves, including a 15th-century manuscript copy of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, early printed books relating to King James VI and I, Oscar Wilde’s Ravenna inscribed by the author, and a first-edition copy of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. There might be a few surprise additions on the day as we continue compiling the labels, but we’re hoping to show at least 30 items of queer literature.
We’re quite a small library and our exhibitions only last one day, so we don’t have the same resources and following to generate as much hype as some larger libraries’ incredible exhibitions, such as those at the British or Bodleian libraries, but we try our best! We’re also looking into putting on online exhibitions, so that our collections can be viewed digitally for longer, as it’s a shame they’re only on display for 6 hours at a time. This is the first of our exhibitions that we’ve put in this much work to promote, particularly on social media, so only time will tell if it works.
Here at New College Library, we put on a number of different book displays each term, ranging from new acquisitions that catch our eye, to showcasing certain awareness campaigns. This week it’s Trans Awareness Week, in which the trans community and its allies highlight the issues faced by trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people, and celebrate those raising awareness. This annual week of observance will culminate in Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday, to honour the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. In light of this week-long campaign for trans issues, I pulled together a display of books from our ‘Q’ shelfmark, set up a few years ago by a former trainee, comprised of LGBTQ+ histories, biographies, and fictional works. With so many interesting titles, I thought I’d take the opportunity to showcase a few of my favourite reads!
This memoir by writer and filmmaker, Juliet Jacques, explores the personal story of her transition, while also critiquing 1990s and 2000s trans theory, literature and film. Jacques narrates her journey of self-discovery, giving an in-depth account of her entry into the LGBTQ+ community and her struggles with her identity; ‘I felt trapped not by my body, but by a society that didn’t want me to modify it.’ From her earliest experimentation with her presentation, we learn how films, books, and music that focus on trans identities helped Jacques explore and come to terms with her own identity. In 2012, Jacques chronicled her sex reassignment surgery in the Guardian, hoping to educate others on the harsh reality of transitioning and the importance of trans rights. Jacques’ memoir combines the personal with the political, exploring controversial issues in trans politics and promising to redefine our understanding of contemporary trans lives.
In this dynamic LGBTQ+ history, Jen Manion uncovers the stories of ‘female husbands’, a term from the 18th and 19th centuries that referred to female-assigned individuals who lived as men and married women. Manion recounts the stories of these queer pioneers, who exposed themselves to media sensationalism and, at worst, violence or threat of punishment. Rejecting the notion that reclaiming transness in the past is ahistorical, Manion refuses to define the gender identity of these ‘female husbands’, among them Charles Hamilton, George Johnson, Frank Dubois, walking the line between recovery and historicization. It is precisely this complexity that makes this such a powerful read, forcing us to challenge modern binaries of gender and sexuality as we retrace the histories of our queer ancestors.
Through a number of very personal stories, this book retraces the journey of the trans community in Britain from the margins of society to the visible phenomenon we recognise today. In their own words, trans rights advocates tell the story of the fight for their rights in the face of overwhelming opposition, and it is impossible not to respect their determination. For those interested in the current ongoing discussions about trans rights, this book is an excellent resource, despite being a difficult read at times.
This surrealist novel tells the story of a young, unnamed, transgender woman who lives with other trans women on the Street of Miracles, where different kinds of sex work take place. In response to the murder of another trans woman, the others form a vigilante gang and start attacking men on the street. Kai Cheng Thom herself is a non-binary transgender woman, who, as a writer and poet, exaggerates people from her life as characters in her work. As a response to the trope of transgender memoirs educating cisgender individuals about trans lives, Thom instead wrote Fierce Femmes to be the book that would have best helped her as a transgender teenager.
For LGBTQ+ History Month, a selection of the trainees (alongside the St Antony’s Apprentice Library Assistant) have come together to share how LGBTQ+ History is represented across the libraries. Between displays and notable books, libraries provide an important place to learn and reflect on the progress and successes the community has achieved.
Jess Ward and Josie Fairley Keast, Law Library
The Law Library’s LGBTQ+ History Month Display
For LGBTQ+ History Month, Jess has put together ‘A [Brief] History of LGBTQ+ Rights in England.’ On display from the library’s physical collection are the Sexual Offences Act 1956 and the 1967 Amendment, the Gender Recognition Act 2007, and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, with many other examples from the sixteenth century to the present day summarised and cited. The book display traces the progress that has been made since the first mentions of LGBTQ+ individuals in English law, but also highlights some of the issues still facing members of the community today.
Yoshino, Kenji. Covering : The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. New York: Random House, 2006.
Outside of actual legislation, another recommendation is Kenji Yoshino’s 2006 memoir Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. This book intertwines legal scholarship and social history with Yoshino’s lived experiences as a gay Asian-American man, reflecting on the state of civil rights and identity politics in mid-2000s America.
“I surfaced back into my life. I made decisions with persuasive efficiency. I chose the American passport over the Japanese one, the gay identity over the straight one, law school over English graduate school. The last two choices were connected. I decided on law school in part because I had accepted my gay identity. A gay poet is vulnerable in profession as well as person. I refused that level of exposure. Law school promised to arm me with a new language, a language I did not expect to be elegant or moving but that I expected to be more potent, more able to protect me. I have seen this bargain many times since – in myself and others – compensation for standing out along one dimension by assimilating along others.” (Covering, p. 12)
Venegas, Luis. The C*ndy Book of Transversal Creativity : The Best of C*ndy Transversal Magazine, Allegedly. New York, 2020. TR681.T68 C36 CAN 2020
‘On the pages of C*NDY Transversal, [Luis Venegas] acknowledged queerness in fashion, highlighted people all-but-forgotten in LGBTQ history, and introduced an audience to up-and-comers who were changing the landscape of music, runway, and trans culture – and he did it with a glamorous twist. C*NDY was beautiful.’ (p.44)
In 2009, Spanish independent publisher Luis Venegas launched the first issue of C*NDY Transversal Magazine. C*NDY set out to create ‘something like a trans vogue’, celebrating everything ‘transversal’. In Venegas’ own words, this encapsulates trans, gender non-conforming, non-binary and androgynous people, as well as ‘male and female impersonators and drag queens’ – all whom he believes ‘basically break the outdated rules of gender’. Since the first publication, C*NDY has developed a cult following and grown in traction. Later issues have featured renowned LGBTQ+ celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, and Lady Gaga. However, each issue goes beyond the celebrity: they are filled with portraits of trans rights activists, drag stars, androgynous models, LGBTQ+ embraces.
The Very Best of C*NDY Transversal Magazine, Allegedly is a collection of some of C*NDY’s most iconic spreads. Highlights include model Connie Fleming posing as Michelle Obama, headshots inspired by Candy Darling, and a letter to Venegas from a young transgender fan (p. 251). The latter is particularly significant, a reminder of the importance of celebrating LGBTQ+ people and expression in the past and present.
Readers can enjoy these highlights on glossy pages – akin to the magazine itself – and also read quotes from those who are featured. Many of these offer real insight into the importance of C*NDY, with contributors sharing their appreciation for the visibility it provided. Meanwhile, many quotes are punchy quips about gender expression and identity. These combine to make a book of boldness, of beauty, and aspiration.
Venegas has made it clear that – whilst books dedicated to identity beyond the binary are immensely important – C*NDY does not attempt to discuss the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community. C*NDY is instead ‘a project for all’, in particular ‘anyone who felt othered by their freedom of expression’. It is about fashion, makeup, and hair, in a landscape that goes beyond the gender binary. This is a welcome space of indulgence, through the prism of LGBTQ+ identity.
Serano, Julia. Whipping Girl : A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Second ed. Berkeley, 2016. HQ77.9 SER 2016
A foundational text in transfeminism, Whipping Girl by the biologist Julia Serano is available to loan from the English Faculty Library. The book is described in its tagline as “a transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity”.
The copy we have at the EFL is actually the second edition, which was published in 2016 (10 years after the original). In that time, the book has become a key text (not, Serano notes, the only perspective!) on discussions surrounding gender, queer theory, and feminism. However, as the author says herself in the preface to the second edition: “While the major themes that I forward in Whipping Girl remain just as vital and relevant today as they were when I was first writing the book, some of the specific descriptions and details will surely seem increasingly dated as time marches on.” (p.X).
Despite this, I found myself drawn to discussing the book during LGBTQ+ History Month because of how important this text has become. One of the key elements of this collection of essays and slam poetry is its conception of trans-misogyny: the dangerous blend of both oppositional and traditional sexism (Serano’s phrases), as well as the fact this this book is credited for the popularisation of cis terminology (e.g. cisgender, cissexual, cissexism, etc.). Another important highlight for me is a staunch defence of femininity, and an examination of both the derision of the feminine and accusations of its superficiality and performativity.
It’s hard for me to go too much deeper into the issues of the book without simply parroting all of Serano’s ideas, so I’ll leave off with a quote from the introduction that I believe provides a good baseline for the book:
“One thing that all forms of sexism share – whether they target females, queers, transsexuals, or others – is that they all begin with placing assumptions and value judgements onto other people’s gendered bodies and behaviours.” (p.8)
St Antony’s College Library LGBTQ+ History Month Display
At St Antony’s College library our collection covers a wide range of material on the social sciences, international politics, economics, anthropology, history, and culture. This means we were quite spoilt for choice when selecting material for LGBTQ+ history month! When creating our display, we wanted to make sure we showcased the best of what our collection has to offer on this subject and draw attention to the ways LGBTQ+ history is interconnected with, and relevant to, so many different areas of study.
Our display includes material that talks more broadly about the economic, political and international aspects of LGBTQ+ history, such as M.V. Lee Badgett’s the Economic Case for LGBT Equality and Cynthia Weber’s Queer International Relations, to material that focuses on the experience of the individual like Amrou Al-Kadhi’s Life as a Unicorn. We also wanted to ensure that our material covered history and culture from multiple parts of the world, so we have included books on LGBTQ+ history in China, Russia, the US, Africa, Latvia, the UK, India, and more.
Creating this display has been a fascinating and inspiring experience. The vast amount literature written about LGBTQ+ history from multiple areas of study just goes to show how important this history is when it comes to gaining a better understanding of the world and the human experience. It is crucial that we continue to showcase and celebrate LGBTQ+ voices, stories, and history, and I look forward to seeing our LGBTQ+ history collection grow and flourish in the future!
As a College Library trainee my days can vary a lot. During term time our Library is always busy, with students coming in and out all day (literally – we are open 24/7) to study, to find and borrow books, and to make use of our other Library services – such as our wide selection of borrowable board games!
As I’m writing this it is fourth week – almost half way through term! This is a pretty typical term time day, though with more chocolate than is normal…
9am – Sorting, Shelving, Socials
I start by scanning my own and the shared Library email inboxes for anything which needs urgent attention. I’m part of a team of three here at Teddy Hall (me – Heather, Emma – Assistant Librarian, and James – Librarian); we all share responsibility for monitoring the Library inbox and responding to queries which come in there. I then process the returns which come in overnight. In the middle of term there are rarely huge piles of books: I’d guess around 20 each morning.
Next I turn to our Click and Collect requests. The Library started offering this during 2020 to support students who were in isolation but needed to access books from the Library. Students submit a request either via email or SOLO (the University’s book-finding-website – literally, Search Oxford Libraries Online), and we find the book and deliver it either to their pigeon hole or directly to their room. Then it’s time for some shelving! I actually find shelving books a nice way to start the day: there is something very grounding about sorting everything into its rightful place. Shelving also gives me a chance to have a walk around the Library and do some general tidying – I’ll also check there is paper in the printer, free period products in the bathroom, pens in the pen pot, and staples in the stapler.
My final morning task is to check the Library social media accounts: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I’ll check whether we have any planned content to go out today, or which I need to prepare for later in the week.
10am – Blind Date with a Book
On Monday this week (7 Feb 2022) we launched Blind Date with a Book – Teddy Hall students, staff and Fellows request a book, telling us a little bit about what they like to read, and we set them up with something we think they’ll love. To celebrate Valentine’s Day and LGBTQIA+ History Month, we are selecting books with themes of gender, sexuality, and romance. Blind Date is always extremely popular, and on Monday alone we had 15 requests! This morning Emma, James and I shared ideas for what to give people who had requested books from poetry, to fantasy fiction, to a humorous and fun-to-read non-fiction. This is a really fun part of the day, and I inevitably end up with a list of books I want to read!
We wrap the books, affix a Valentine’s chocolate to the cover, and pop them in pigeon holes to await their dates…
11am – Desk Duty
I enjoy sitting at the Issue Desk, as I can help students with any queries they may have. Sometimes this can feel a bit like detective work! For example, today a student came to the desk with two items on her reading list which she and her classmates were struggling to find. The only information provided was an author name, a date, and a mysterious acronym… After some SOLO-searching, some googling and some guess work I found both articles – one of which we had in a physical book in the library. If you’re interested, the acronyms were the names of the journals in which the articles were published! Students are always really grateful for any help you can give, and so even when I feel stumped, I remember that any progress I can make in searching something out is time saved for them, and that is a good thing.
12.30pm – Lunch
You may have heard it before, but it’s worth reading again: college library jobs mean a free college lunch. These are consistently yummy, and because we all eat together, lunch in college is a really great way to chat to the rest of the Library team and also to other college staff. Today this chat covered the important topics of planetariums, dodgy ideas for fusion food, and Cadbury World.
1.30pm – Books, Books, Books
By lunchtime we’ve usually had some new books delivered, which I’ll collect from Porter’s Lodge and process. As these are often student requests, I will then almost immediately take the books back to the Lodge to put them in student pigeon holes!
2pm – Book Shopping (yes, seriously)
One of the best parts of my job is going to Blackwell’s for books. We are so lucky to have Blackwell’s as a resource and it is just a short walk from Teddy Hall, so when we can, we buy our books directly from there. This also means we can turn any requests around as quickly as possible! Today, as well as picking up a student request I am keeping my eyes open for anything which might be a great Blind Date book! I do find a personal favourite lock down read of mine: Mackenzi Lee’s The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. As it’s a LGBTQIA+ love story, a Teddy Hall Blind Date requester should be expecting this in their pigeon hole soon!
3pm – Ticking off Tasks
This afternoon I’m sat up in my office, working on some ongoing tasks. This week I’ve got three balls which I am juggling. First, I’m preparing a book display and blog post celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science by showcasing the work of our own college Fellows.
Second, I am working through a donation of books we received over Christmas vacation – over 2,500 of them! When they arrived, we spread the books out over the thankfully-student-free desks and then organised them roughly into subjects, before putting what we could onto available shelves. The rest were boxed up and are currently living at the very top of the Teddy Hall Library tower…! We have started making lists of the books in the donation, and will decide what we want to keep and what we will offer to other libraries. If it’s a quiet day during term I might spend some time on this, but mostly this will get picked up properly again at Easter.
Third, I am planning my own Trainee project. As part of the Traineeship, we all work on an individual project which we then present about at the end of the year. My project is all about making the Library more sustainable… I’m really looking forward to working on this – so watch this space!
5pm – “Home” Time
One of the best things about living in Oxford is just how much there is to do in the city – and I love to take full advantage of that! From catching up with the other Trainees for a drink, to attending a seminar about medieval culture (I did a Masters in Medieval English Literature!), to meeting friends for dinner, or playing in orchestra (optional seminars and orchestra?! Yes – I am a bit of a nerd), Oxford is a great place to be. And there is loads to do which won’t break the bank! Today, though, it’s straight home for a hot chocolate and to continue reading Ali Smith’s wonderful book ‘Spring’.
February is LGBTQ+ month and I’ve been putting together a display to celebrate LGBTQ+ in business for the Sainsbury Library. As always happens when digging into it, the past has proven more lively, varied, and knit with the present than expected. The pace of change is remarkable even knowing to expect it, and over the three decades covered here it is also mostly positive change. I hope you find it inspires you a little as it does me.
The books are presented as a timeline from left to right.
Top Row (1990s):
1991 – The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life – Kenneth J. Gergen. Social psychologist Kenneth J. Gergen is an example of academic ally-ship whose work at the start of the 1990s is as sophisticated as current ideas in its approach to LGBTQ+ issues. Although not an overtly queer work, The Saturated Self constructs a theory of modern identity that makes room for and obliges the legitimacy of LGBTQ+ identities. His work on The Social Construction and The Transformation of Identity Politics was also remarkably prescient in 1999 about where the discourse around these questions would go and how it would change in the subsequent two decades.
1994 – Ivan Massow’s Gay Finance Guide. In the UK during the 1990s Ivan Massow was able to use both a new, growing acceptance of homosexuals in public life and their continued stereotyping to his advantage. His London advisory firm completely changed the conversation around gay clients in the insurance industry, who during the AIDs epidemic were being shut out by discriminatory premiums. Off the back of this success he entered politics, shocking many of his left-leaning clientele by calling the Conservative party “the gayest party in Europe”, and was determined to change it from within. While he was briefly close to the Thatcher leadership, by the early 2000s his business was in danger of collapse and Massow agreed to become an agent for Zurich. The legal fall-out after Massow claimed Zurich refused to cover most of his clients almost bankrupted him.
1995 – The Apartheid of Sex: A Manifesto on the Freedom of Gender – Martine Rothblatt. Rothblatt is the founder and chairwoman of the board of United Therapeutics, making her the highest earning CEO in the biopharmaceutical industry. Written the year after Rothblatt’s gender reassignment surgery and as a prelude to beginning her PhD in medical ethics with a specialisation in xenotransplantation, The Apartheid of Sex not only argued for a continuum of gender from both biological and sociological grounds before the idea gained public prominence but also laid the groundwork for Rothblatt’s current radical arguments for high levels of financial and social investment in transhumanism.
1997 – Homo Economics: Capitalism, Community, and Lesbian and Gay Life – Amy Gluckman and Betsy Reed. Gluckman and Reed’s Homo Economics was the first thorough account of the relationship between gay people and the market. Drawing on experts in journalism, activism, academia, the arts, and public policy, it fully contextualised the state of mixed progress contemporary LGBTQ+ groups find themselves in as well as highlighting its fragility, demonstrating how both the continuation of modern capitalism in its current form and the looming threats of reduced social investment frustrate the LGBTQ+ movement in different ways.
2000 – Selling Out: The Gay and Lesbian Movement Goes to the Market – Alexandrea Chasin.Selling Out is an accessible, personal, agitative work that blends the academic and vox pop elements of works like Homo Economics and charted what effect the “embrace” of consumerism and capital was having on the LGBTQ+ community. An associate professor of literary studies at The Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, Chasin charts what had been gained and what had been lost in the mainstreaming of the LGBTQ+ movement, as well as what she feared and hoped might happen in the coming decade.
Middle Row (2000s):
2002 – The Pink Pages: The Gay and Lesbian Business and Services Directory. As with numerous previous marginalised groups, the LGBTQ+ community created guides to allow safe navigation through a world that was inherently hostile to them. As acceptance grew, a flurry of travel guides appeared in more public forms. Acting as the name suggests (a Yellow Pages for the queer community) The Pink Pages still operates as a list of ally tradespeople. Now replaced by pinkpagesonline and similar sites, this 2002 copy of the directory was the only print edition.
2005 – Business Not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market – Katherine Sender. In this work Katherine Sender, a professor in the Department of Communication and the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Cornell University, refutes two major pieces of conventional wisdom in this work. 1 – that the LGBTQ+ community exists independently of how it is marketed to, and 2 – that LGBTQ+ marketing exists independently of political action around that community. Sender shows how marketing as a form of media has helped construct the community as well as increased visibility for its members, while also inherently creating restrictions in its definition.
2006 – The G Quotient – Kirk Snyder. As inclusion and diversity of all kinds was gaining ground not just as a political and moral orientation but also as a strength of modern teams, Kirk Snyder followed up his 2003 Career Guide for the Gay Community with this work arguing that gay men were making the best managers precisely because their gay lives meant they understood inclusion and diversity best. Snyder’s work is focused around what the business community can learn from the LGBTQ+ community to change itself, rather than change them.
2008 – Queer Economics, A Reader – Joyce Jacobsen and Adam Zeller. Jacobsen and Zeller’s collection of academic works includes extracts from Homo Economics, recontextualised a decade later. Queer Economics presents the results of that intellectual provocation, and its movement into areas of demography, labour markets, consumer representation, political economy, and economic history.
2008 – Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity: Theory, Cases and Exercises – Kathryn A Cañas. Cañas began editing Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity in 2008 and new editions were produced until 2014. Cañas works as a member of the Management Department in the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, where she has helped shape the department since 1999, incorporating changes in attitudes towards diversity including towards the LGBTQ+ community. Opportunities and Challenges has been a core-text internationally for courses in Diversity, Organizational Behavior, and Human Resource Management Diversity and the Workplace.
Lower Row (2010s):
2014 – The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out is Good Business – John Browne. Browne was chief executive of BP between 1995 and 2007 and was known as the “sun king” by employees due to BP’s increased interest in renewables under his leadership. Having started his career as an apprentice with BP in 1966, his time as it’s CEO ended acrimoniously when allegations were printed in 2007 by the Mail on Sunday that he had mis-used company funds to support a partner during and after their relationship. Having fought injunctions to stop the allegations being published, Browne resigned. He described later that what “terrified” him was not the financial scandal or potential early retirement, but that his sexuality would become public knowledge. By the time he wrote The Glass Closet Browne was advocating for a wide-spread, top-down corporate policy of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness as proposed by Snyder in 2006.
2015 – Queer Business: Queering Organisation Sexualities – Nick Rumens.Queer Business took the thoroughly business-minded approach of seeing opportunity in problems. He identifies that, despite the developments over the past 25 years, there is a continued lack of association between business studies and LGBTQ+ issues when compared to other areas of scholarship, but argues that there are potential positives to this situation. Rumens describes management and organisational studies as a field in which queer theory may make new advances, and as an area where it “has yet to become exhausted and clichéd”.
2019 – Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level – Leander Kahney. Tim Cook is routinely cited as the most powerful LGBTQ+ leader in business. In 2014 he was the first Fortune 500 chief executive to come out as gay – a remarkable contrast to Browne’s experience just 7 years prior. While before coming out Cook was not overt in his support of the LGBTQ+ struggle, he has since admitted that in valuing his privacy he “was valuing it too far above what I could do for other people, so I wanted to tell everyone my truth” and ensure LGBTQ+ youth knew that he had relied on the work of people who had fought for their rights before him.
2019 – The Queering of Corporate America: How Big Business Went from LGBT Adversary to Ally – Carlos A. Ball. Covering street protests and boycotts during the 1970s, AIDS activism directed at pharmaceutical companies in the 1980s, and the push for corporate non-discrimination policies and domestic partnership benefits in the 1990s, Ball describes how LGBTQ+ activism has changed the business community’s understanding and treatment of the queer community. This is the current way the history of these two groups is being described and it’s vital to consider it in context of the works that have preceded it.
For more information about the month’s celebrations visit https://lgbtplushistorymonth.co.uk/