Penguin Random House UK is launching a new campaign to celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) author community called Penguin Pride.
The online campaign, celebrating both authors past and present, will coincide with the start of this summer’s UK Pride events in June, when LGBTQ authors that have "inspired, informed and supported readers over the years" will be curated and showcased across Penguin.co.uk and its Penguin Books and Penguin Platform social channels.
New and exclusive content, comprising "essential LGBTQ reading lists" and essays on sexuality and the gender debate, will be published as part of the campaign, including from poet Andrew McMillan and playwright and journalist Matthew Todd, whose book Straight Jacket - How To Be Gay and Happy is also out in June (Bantam Press).
Others, including Colm Toibin and Ali Smith, will share extracts from books such as Giovanni’s Room (Everyman's Library) and How to be Both (Penguin) that, say Penguin, "have played an important role in shaping positive attitudes within and towards the gay community".
Penguin Pride will also involve independent bookshops across the UK by providing "essential" reading lists from PRH UK editors that will be available to buy in a number of bookshops nationwide during the Pride summer celebrations. Twitter and Instagram users will be invited to share selfies with books from their LGBTQ reading lists under #LGBTQLibrary throughout the summer.
PRH UK will also invite young adults to join the weekly #UKYA Twitter chat with "Queen of Contemporary" book blogger Lucy Powrie to talk about their LGBTQ heroes and the LGBTQ classics are on their to-read pile on 10th June (8pm-9pm).
Further, as part of the campaign, transgender YouTuber Alex Bertie will be talking about books and the importance of seeing personal experience reflected in culture on Penguin Platform, and Stonewall chief executive, Ruth Hunt, will contribute a guest piece to Penguin.co.uk.
A Penguin Pride team will also be joining the London Pride march on 25th June, handing out branded bookmarks to spectators along the way.
Last year marked the final Stonewall Awards, after naming Welsh Tipping the Velvet Virago author Sarah Waters 2015's 'Writer of the Decade', to make way for something "more inclusive", as yet to be revealed.
Tom Weldon, c.e.o., PRH UK, who earlier this year pledged to help make the publishing industry more inclusive by 2020, commented: “We are celebrating the authors and books that have had an enormous influence within the gay community and beyond over the years - books that have inspired, educated, and comforted; books that have the power to change lives. I hope our Penguin Pride campaign will introduce readers to voices they may not have heard before, and perhaps even inspire a new generation of brilliant LGBTQ writers.”