For Pride Month 2023, Aesop offers free books at its ‘Queer Library’

To celebrate Pride Month 2023, Aesop Queer Library offers free books by LGBTQIA+ writers at locations in the US, UK (until 2 July)) and Canada

Aesop Queer Library 2023
(Image credit: Aesop)

To celebrate Pride Month 2023, Aesop is offering great works of literature by LGBTQIA+ authors in store, with no purchase necessary. 

The initiative is fuelled by the precept that storytelling is our most powerful instrument of communication and that books, in particular, have a profound ability to expand our capacity for empathy and acceptance. 

Aesop Queer Library shares stories in Pride Month 2023

In the UK, The Aesop Queer Library will operate out of the Aesop Soho from 29 June – 2 July 2023. The books are supplied by the local London bookshop Gay’s The Word, as well as Pilot Press, a non-profit imprint specialising in contemporary and historic queer art and writing; Fourteen Poems, a London-based triannual queer poetry journal; and Cipher Press, an independent publisher of fiction and non-fiction by queer and trans-identifying writers. 

Aesop has also collaborated with Black-owned creative agency A Vibe Called Tech to host a roundtable discussion in-store and share two historical queer texts for free online: A Place for Us by Isabel Miller (1969), which tells the story of a lesbian relationship in early 19th-century New England; and Escape to an Autumn Pavement by Andew Salkey (1960), which explores sexuality in Caribbean culture against the backdrop of bohemian Soho. 

Three locations in USA and Canada

In North America, The Aesop Queer Library will operate out of Aesop Williamsburg (New York), Aesop Silverlake (Los Angeles) and Aesop Yorkville (Toronto) from 20 – 25 June. The selection will focus on books that have been banned or challenged across the US and Canada in response to an increase in banned books locally. In a statement, Aesop noted that, ‘according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, 2022 saw a 38 per cent increase in titles targeted for censorship. Of those titles, the vast majority were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community or by and about Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of colour. In response, the Aesop Foundation has donated $100,000 (USD) to the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, which works to defend freedom of expression, both in the courts and beyond.’

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.