Essential Queer Reads and Content | Milk Presents

Bush Associate Company – Milk Presents – give us their essential queer reads to inspire, educate and enjoy.

Queer destabilises everything around it, laughs until all that is set becomes disrupted. It is a political force, an identity, a blurring of fixed lines, of ideals, of hierarchies – a way of seeing the world and seeing yourself. It is big and complex and messy and joyous. It is a personal identity, an insult remoulded, an idea moving in relation to whatever is considered ‘normal’. It’s fun, sexy, present and – revolutionary.

It could express a person’s sexual, gender, political or social identity. As a gender-queer person I would use it to describe all of those things. Not in a ‘I’m living in Peckham and I’m totally fluid’ kind of way (I do live in Peckham and I do describe myself as fluid…), BUT also a way which is like waking up and feeling, genuinely, like a guy, or like a mix, even though my body looks more female. I feel comfy in the word queer, there’s room to manoeuvre, to spread out, to backtrack and change.

I run Milk Presents with Ruby Glaskin and Adam Robertson and we’ve put together a queer reading list to alongside Taylor Mac’s Hir. Have we read them all? No. We’re working on it! We put out a call out and asked as many people as we could to contribute and here’s the list so far. Feel free to tweet over suggestions to @milkpresents or @bushtheatre and we’ll add them on.

ALSO while you’re here, if you are or know any 16-21 year olds, we’ll be running a play-in-a-week residency at the Bush Mon 07 – Fri 11 Aug. We’ll be creating a post-gender world, mashed up with cabaret, devising and theatre – get involved! Book here.

– Leo vs Lucy J Skilbeck, Milk Presents


None Of Us Is Yet A Robot

A podcast made by excellent trans and non-binary folk discussing a range of subjects.

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Chris Goode and Co

A theatre maker’s perspective with tones of great interviews.

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For Book’s Sake: Championing Writing by Women

A podcast that champions the best emerging and established women writers with news, reviews, features and interviews.

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Working Class Queers

Issue #1 of Working Class Queers debuted at Queer Zine Fest London 2013 and is available in hard copy for £2.00 (postage included). Paypal money (and include yr address) to [email protected].

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Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self Love for Brown Bois

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Mixed Up!: A Zine About Mixed and Queer Feminist Experience by Lil Lefkowitz, Lee Naught & Lior Hadar (2013)

50 Zines by Queer People of Colour

Graphic Novel

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel (2006)

The Wicked + The Divine by Gillen McKelvie and Wilson Cowles

Comics and zines from Black Lodge Press (via Etsy)

Non Fiction

Confessions of a Transvestite Buddhist: A Quest for Manhood by Upasaka Devamitra (watch the book launch)

Close To The Knives by David Wojnarowicz

The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry

The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs

Oh Joy Sex Toy by Erika Moen

101 Alternatives to Suicide by Kate Bornstein

Redefining Realness – A Trans Girl’s Memoir | Janet Mock

Elephant Mag (here)

 Not In Front of the Audience: homosexuality on stage by Nicholas de Jongh (2002)

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (2004)


Queer TheoryGender Theory: An Instant Primer by Riki Wilchins

Performance in America: Contemporary U.S. Culture And The Performing Arts (Perverse Modernities: A Series Edited by Jack Halberstam and Lisa Lowe)

In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (Sexual Cultures) by Jack Halberstam

Trans: A Quick and Quirky Accounts of Gender Variability by Jack Halberstam

The Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam

Queering the Renaissance by Jonathan Goldberg

ASC Queer Theory: Disidentifications by Jose Muñoz

Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity Book by José Esteban Muñoz

An Archive of Feelings by Ann Cvetkovich

Feeling Backward by Heather Love


Testo Junkie by Paul Preciado


Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

Cool For You by Eileen Myles

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

The Well of Loneliness by Radcliffe Hall

Carol by Patricia Highsmith

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

(Re)sisters published by For Books Sake

Skin Lane by Neil Bartlett

Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Mundo Cruel: Stories by Luis Negrón

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (book/play)

The Female Man by Joanna Russ


Kim Reaper by Sarah Graley


Transgender Step Parent – Mama Lips – BlackLodge Press

Rat Queens

Paper Girls



Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Some Explicit Polaroids by Mark Ravenhill

Pronoun by Evan Placey

Angels in America by Tony Kushner (1993)

Rotterdam by Jon Brittain

Beautiful Thing by Jonathan Harvey (1993)

Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig (1985)

The Faith Machine by Alexi Kaye Campbell (2011)

Mother Clap’s Molly House

Southwark Fair

Neaptide by Sarah Daniels (1986)

Wig Out! by Tarell Alvin McCraney (2008)

Certain Young Men by Peter Gill (1999)

Bent by Martin Sherman (1979)

The Drag by Mae West (1927)

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