Aesop Toronto offering free books to celebrate LGBTQIA+ authors during Pride Month

Jun 22 2021, 12:45 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Phil Birnbaum, a Toronto-based creative who enjoys photography, art, design, food, and exploring the city with his dog Pesto. 

To celebrate Pride Month, Aesop’s Queen West location is hosting the Aesop Queer Library, one of three pop-ups in North America offering a free book from selected LGBTQIA+ authors to its guests.

From June 21 to June 27, the Australian skincare brand has cleared its shelves and made space, both literally and figuratively, for more than 150 titles from LGBTQIA+ authors.

The weeklong program aims to “uplift the underrepresented voices of queer communities around the world, with a particular emphasis on BIPOC and trans authors: literature has a unique power to unite, liberate and empower—to raise awareness and foster empathy as well as compassion.”

queer library


More than 3,000 books were purchased from Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop and Women & Children First in Chicago. Additionally, Penguin Random House donated more than 2,300 books to the program.

The list of books includes some titles that might be familiar to book lovers, as well as a number of new titles spanning fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The wide variety of titles allows for further accessibility for readers, recognizing the breadth of topics and themes that resonate in LBTQIA+ literature.

Titles in the collection include: 

  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • The Guncle by Steven Rowley
  • Queer Love in Colour by Jamal Jordan
  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  • We are never meeting in real life by Samantha Irby
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • The Paying Quests by Sarah Waters
  • Lot by Bryan Washington
  • Under the rainbow by Celia Laskey

June is National Indigenous History Month and it’s worth noting three great books by Joshua Whitehead, a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1): FullMetal Indigiqueer, Jonny Appleseed, and Love after the end, an anthology of two-spirit and indiqueer speculative fiction, which was edited by Whitehead.

See also:

All visitors to the Aesop Queer Library will be offered a complimentary book when they visit the Aesop’s Queen West location in Toronto, as well as stores in New York and Los Angeles, through Sunday, June 27.


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The Aesop Queer Library is located at 880 Queen Street West and is running from June 20 to 27.

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