bob walker from London, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10 LGBTQ Bookshops Around the World

By Beau
Beau is the founder of Apollo Social. He recently relocated to Melbourne with his husband and has begun a love affair with the city.
Hornet have rounded up 10 of the world's best queer bookshops to consider when making your next travel plans.

In addition to gay bars, queer bookstores are a great place to visit when exploring a city to get a sense of its gay culture. They have usually been around for decades and have become intricately connected into the city's queer scene.
Hornet have compiled ten of the best from around the world (in no particular order). It's great to see Hares and Hyena's doing Melbourne proud and making the list.

  • GinGin Store (Taipei) serves the Chinese-speaking LGBTQ community of Taiwan.
  • Gay’s The Word (London). Established in 1979, Gay's The Word is the British capital's oldest LGBTQ bookshop.
  • Hares & Hyenas (Melbourne). Queer bookshop by day and performance space by night.
  • Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room (Philadelphia). Giovanni's Room opened in 1973 and is the oldest bookstore in the US.
  • Berkana (Madrid). The first establishment in Madrid to specialize in queer topics during commercial business hours.
  • Fabulosa Books (San Francisco). This list wouldn't be complete without an entry from the Castro in San Franscisco. Fabulosa Books specializes in queer history and LGBTQ books.
  • Prinz Eisenherz Buchladen (Berlin). Bookshop and gallery space capturing the unique queer culture in Berlin.
  • Firestorm Books & Coffee (Asheville, North Carolina). Collectively-owned radical bookstore and community event space.
  • Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium (Vancouver). A beloved bookstore capturing the queer heart and soul of the city.
  • Voces en Tinta (Mexico City). LGBTQ bookshop in the Zona Rosa neighborhood focuses on gender and gender roles.

There are only two bookstores we at Apollo would add to this list.

  • Glad Day Bookshop (Toronto). The first queer-focused Canadian bookstore, and the oldest queer bookstore worldwide (established 1970).
  • The Darlinghurst Bookshop (Sydney). Serving the LGBTQ community since 1982. It nearly folded in 2020 but the community rallied to save it and now it is a beloved fixture on the Golden Gay Mile.