Consider These 10 International LGBTQ Bookshops While Making Your 2022 Travel Plans
While gay bars are an obvious go-to for LGBTQ folks, there is something so soothing about spending time in LGBTQ bookshops. Places where we can come together and discuss art, news, our communities and ourselves are always going to be a necessary and welcome addition to our lives as queer people.
We’ve rounded up some of the best international LGBTQ bookshops (in no particular order) so you can plan your next trip accordingly.
1. GinGin Store (Taipei)
Established in 1999, GinGin is the first store of its kind serving a Chinese-speaking LGBTQ community — designed not only to be a place of business, but also a safe space for queer people in Taiwan to meet up and hang out. In addition to books, they also sell apparel, art, video and binders.
2. Gay’s The Word (London)
The UK’s oldest LGBTQ bookshop, Gay’s the Word was established by gay socialists in 1979. It hosts meetings organized by groups like Trans London and the Lesbian Discussion Group.
3. Hares & Hyenas (Melbourne)
Queer bookshop by day and performance venue by night, Hares & Hyenas is truly one of a kind. Based in Melbourne, like many LGBTQ bookshops, this one specializes in queer identity and sexuality but sells popular fiction as well.
4. Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room (Philadelphia)
The oldest of all LGBTQ bookshops in the United States, the goal of Philly AIDS Thrift is to donate proceeds from earnings into local organizations involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The shop has donated over $3 million to date!
5. Berkana (Madrid)
Another “first,” Berkana, which opened in 1993, was the first establishment in Madrid to specialize in queer topics during commercial business hours. Now Berkana sells books of all genres as well as information on queer hotels and restaurants around the world, plus merchandise like mugs and lighters.
6. Fabulosa Books (San Francisco)
Previously Dog Eared Castro, Fabulosa Books specializes in queer history and LGBTQ books. This shop also sells new and used books.
7. Prinz Eisenherz Buchladen (Berlin)
Founded in the late ’70s, this LGBTQ bookshop and gallery space is a focal point of queer culture in Berlin. It also holds author readings and discussions, and maintains an active relationship with the Gay Museum.
8. Firestorm Books & Coffee (Asheville)
This queer collective’s mission as an anarchist community bookstore is to provide a welcoming and thoughtful space for one another. In addition to selling books, Firestorm hosts events and workshops as well.
9. Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium (Vancouver)
Not just one of our favorite LGBTQ bookshops, Little Sister’s offers sex toys, erotica, binders and greeting cards as well, and the shop prides itself on a non-judgmental, chill environment.
10. Voces en Tinta (Mexico City)
Big and welcoming, this LGBTQ bookshop in the Zona Rosa neighborhood focuses on gender and gender roles. Like several other LGBTQ bookshops on our list, it also hosts groups and workshops.