The Pride List

Book Buys

There are many places in the world where book banning is a regular occurrence even in 2024!! It seems that many people claim free speech as the only entitlement we have as individuals until our ideal doesn’t meet their expectations, and then do everything in their power to take it away! We all know representation is vital for the wellbeing of young people exploring their sexual orientation and gender identity, but also helps all people of any age understand difference, and books or TV are really the only private outlets to do so.

So, we are going to fight this in our very own small way and celebrate those queer writers, queer stories and queer education and give our top picks each month.


Weekend by Jane Eaton Hamilton

In this intimate, sexy novel, two lesbian couples living next door to each other one summer in cottage country find each of their relationships at a crossroads. One woman celebrates her fiftieth birthday, which causes her to reconsider what she wants out of life and her partner; the other couple are the parents of a new baby, which cannot conceal the turmoil of their relationship. Weekend is a plaintive, moving exploration of the true nature of love, about trust, negotiation, and what’s worth keeping in the end.


The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

A rich tapestry of storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is an experience akin to looking at an intricate painting: the more you observe the more you discover. A beautifully written novel with a colourful cast of characters and a timeless message about the family we choose. Written by a trans man and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction and the ALA Stonewall Book Award. Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “folkloric, lyrical, and emotionally intense…gorgeous and alive” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a “stunning…vivid, visceral, and urgent” (Booklist, starred review)


The Other Mother by Jen Brister

Confused? Two years ago, my partner (a woman – we’re not solicitors) gave birth to twins. (I know! Believe me, I’m still reeling myself.) Like every new parent, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. Add ‘gay’ and ‘non-biological’ to the mix and what do you get? Not a weird box of detergent, but a panicked beige lesbian desperately googling, ‘Will my babies love me?’ at 3 a.m.

A very funny, very honest look at parenting life, from IVF awfulness to crying over the pages of sleep training manuals. A perfect gift for any parent who feels they don’t fit the mould of a traditional family.


Jenny lives with Eric & Martin

Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin, originally Mette bor hos Morten og Erik, is a black-and-white picture book by the Danish author Susanne Bösche, published in 1981 in Danish and in 1983 by Gay Men’s Press. It was perhaps the first English-language children’s book to discuss male homosexuality. Jane Severance’s When Megan Went Away preceded Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin. The story describes a few days in the life of a five-year-old named Jenny, her father, Martin, and his boyfriend Eric who lives with them. Jenny’s mother Karen lives nearby and often visits the household.

The resulting controversy made a major contribution towards the then Conservative administration’s subsequent passing of the controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988, which forbade the promotion of homosexuality by local government (an article about Section 28 in The Times of May 29, 1988, notes the then-current notoriety of the book). This conservative backlash was partially motivated by a wave of homophobia in Britain that had been spurred on by the public’s growing fear of HIV/AIDS. Much of the conservative outrage against the book stemmed from issues that conservatives had with the photos used to illustrate the book. These were photos of Bosche’s daughter with two of her friends who lived in the same building.

You can pick up your copy of this month’s books from your local Book:ish store in Abergavenny or Crickhowell or online here: https://www.book-ish.co.uk/ If these are unavailable at Book:ish, then you can find them online at https://www.queerlit.co.uk/ , the biggest queer bookshop in the UK.


Each month we will share a recommendation from one of us at Abergavenny Pride, be it music, audiobook or a podcast – basically anything that you can use your headphones for.

From Gay to Ze

An LGBTQ+ podcast from your queer mum and dad, Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley. Expect pop-culture and some parenting chat from the award-winning hosts and authors of The Queer Parent.

These are also bestselling authors of the Queer Parent: Everything you need to know from Gay to Ze

LGBTQ+ people have more options than ever before when it comes to starting a family, but a lack of both focused information and mainstream representation can leave parents, prospective parents, friends, and relatives in the dark. Authors Lotte Jeffs and Stu Oakley spoke to dozens of experts and queer families, and this hugely needed book is the product of those conversations and their own experiences of becoming parents through IUI and adoption respectively.

90% of queer parenting is just . . . parenting but being LGBTQ+ when you’re a parent does bring with it a host of conundrums that mainstream guides – which tend to assume heterosexuality – do not address. From adoption, surrogacy, fertility treatment and other routes to parenthood, to donors, trans parenting, how to deal with family-focused homophobia, coming out at the school gates and much more, The Queer Parent is a ground-breaking toolkit for LGBTQ+ parents, parents-to-be, and anyone looking to support their journey. It is a book that redefines the family for the modern age.

Astonishing Artists

Vicki Blight

We love all types of art here at Abergavenny Pride, whether it be music, poetry, paintings and everything else in between and I’m sure that’s the same for everyone. There’s always something for every mood and occasion so we are going to sing from the rooftops about queer artists and put them on stage, just for you.

This month we are very fortunate to be highlighting Vicki Blight. You may recognise Vicki as our esteemed Main Stage Host at our Pride events since the very first time we held one, but did you know Vicki is also a National Radio DJ who has presented shows on XFM, Heart, Absolute Radio, BBC Radio 1 and currently presents on Virgin Radio Anthems and BBC Radio Wales!

We love listening to you on the radio, what made you want to pursue this as a career? What’s your favourite part?

I started out in Student Radio at Cardiff University and absolutely loved it! I was lucky enough to win Best Female Presenter at the National Student Radio Awards in 2002 and haven’t looked back since. Whilst finishing my degree in Biochemistry, I presented overnight shows on what is now Capital South Wales and read the travel bulletins for AA Roadwatch on a number of radio stations. I made contacts, learnt new broadcasting skills and then when I graduated I moved to the East Midlands to work as a radio presenter full time. My favourite part is creating a mood, a vibe, providing a sense of the day and ultimately a bit of company as you go about your day!

Are you a musical person and play any instruments? Or is it just you love music? What’s your favourite song/artist?

I have always loved music and grown up around music. Both my parents loved gigs and live music, they had a great vinyl collection when I was a kid. I learnt to play the drums at school and the bass guitar. The birth of Britpop coincided with my hitting my teenage years and I religiously bought the Melody Maker and NME each week! I’ve always loved music, watching it, listening to it, creating it. My favourite artist currently is Maggie Rogers, but one of my favourite songs of all time is Rufus Wainwright Beautiful Child.

Do you feel there is enough LGBTQ+ representation on the radio? If not, how would you like to see things change?

There has been a huge shift in representation on the radio. I remember when I started over 20 years ago, I was extremely scared to be out or known as ‘the lesbian DJ’. Lesbians were still very much ridiculed and stereotyped. It absolutely makes my heart sing now, since getting involved in the launch of Virgin Radio Pride a few years ago, that I can be confidently out on air and talk openly about my wife and how I personally identify. Things really have shifted in the last 5 years especially.

This issue is also about queer parenting and as a mum, how have you navigated the ridiculous cultural barriers to the one single way of being a mother? And any advice to other queer parents?

We’ve been extremely fortunate to experience, on the whole, support, kindness and a willingness to educate from friends, family and people we meet since starting our family. The journey wasn’t an easy one but we have been blessed with 2 children and try and never take for granted what we had access to in this country, compared to other parts of the world where it is extremely difficult when it comes to Queer parenting. I think sometimes it’s the paperwork that let’s things down…forms don’t always account for a same sex family wanting the ‘father’ listed…I’m sure this is changing year on year…let’s hope!

We know you do voiceovers and have been involved with podcasts such as Diva – what things can we listen to/watch to get to know you better?

I present 5 days a week on Virgin Radio Anthems which is available across the UK. I present early on a Saturday morning on BBC Radio Wales, you can always find my show on BBC Sounds. I’m presenting coverage of Bristol City in the WSL this season for BBC Radio Bristol and I also am the Executive Producer of Owain Wyn Evans on BBC Radio 2. Occasionally you might hear ‘Queen Vic’ referred to… that would be me! Ha!

Popcorn Picks
Who doesn’t love a cosy night in with a blanket, or a trip to the cinema both filled with the best snacks of your choice and a few hours of escapism from your everyday life? Here we will bring you a selection of worthy watches with queer storylines for whatever are your viewing pleasures.


Modern Family

Modern Family is an American sitcom television series, created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan for ABC. It ran for 11 seasons, from September 23, 2009, to April 8, 2020. Modern Family revolves around three different types of families (nuclear, blended, and same-sex) living in suburban Los Angeles, who are interrelated through wealthy businessman Jay Pritchett and his two children, Claire and Mitchell. As the show’s name suggests, it depicts a modern-day extended family; many episodes are comically based on situations that many families encounter in real life.



Transparent is a 2005 documentary film written, directed, and produced by Jules Rosskam. Its title is a play on the words “trans” and “parent” implying the invisibility of transgender parenting in society today.  Transparent follows the lives of 19 transgender men as they recall their encounters giving birth to and raising children while transitioning. For most, they did not view it as a weird concept to explain to their kids, especially at a young age, because none of the politics had to go into their explanation, they could simply state the facts and the children were accepting of that. For example, the common explanation to their children was that they were “born with a girl body but a boy heart.” In addition, they still felt as though they were their child’s mother because biologically, they were, they just were no longer a mother figure. However, most of them were still being referred to by their child as “mom.”


The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right is a 2010 American comedy-drama film directed by Lisa Cholodenko and written by Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg. It is among the first mainstream movies to show a same-sex couple raising two teenagers.s are Alright


Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Benning) are a long-married couple with two teenagers. When Joni (Mia Wasikowska) turns 18, younger brother Laser (Josh Hutcherson) convinces her to contact their biological father/sperm donor, thus bringing Paul (Mark Ruffalo) and assorted complications into their lives.



Shelter is a 2007 American romantic drama film produced by JD Disalvatore and directed and written by Jonah Markowitz. It stars Trevor Wright, Brad Rowe, and Tina Holmes. It was the winner of “Outstanding Film – Limited Release” at the 2009 GLAAD Media Awards, Best New Director and Favourite Narrative Feature at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, and the People’s Choice Award for Best Feature at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Shelter represents the feature directorial debut of Markowitz.


Forced to give up his dreams of art school, Zach spends his days working a dead-end job and helping his needy sister care for her son. In his free time, he surfs, draws and hangs out with his best friend, Gabe, who lives on the wealthy side of town. When Gabe’s older brother, Shaun, returns home, he is drawn to Zach’s selflessness and talent. Zach falls in love with Shaun while struggling to reconcile his own desires with the needs of his family.

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