Lavender Menace

Queer Books Archive

10 November 2023
Radical Book Fair
Kate Charlesworth, Sigrid Nielsen, Bob Orr, and Jo Clifford

Join cartoonist Kate Charlesworth and Lavender Menace Queer Books Archive For the launch of a new range of cards and bookmarks! Kate, author and illustrator of Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide has created exclusive portraits of queer writers for Lavender Menace.

Kate Charlesworth X Lavender Menace Art Launch

Today this is a big moment for Lavender Menace because some of you will remember two years ago when we introduced Kate Charlesworth’s cards there there were in the end 12 cards for queer writers and we were amazed that we couldn’t believe this was really us helping to create these
brilliant images. And now two years later we’re back with a new set of cards from
Kate, but it’s all different. Everything Has Changed.
Everything has changed in the archive and the cards are as you you’re going to see soon very
different as well.
Bob is just going to say a few words about the changes that we’ve had in the archive which have surprised even even us.
Hello there; my name’s Bob. I’m the co-founder with Sigrid of Lavender Menace Queer Books Archive. Four years ago um the archive was just a twinkle in our eyes as they say and we’ve come along such a long way in that time.
Even two years ago almost to the day when we were here launching Kate’s cards um we were still homeless but now we have our own premises. We are in St Margaret’s House at the the East End of London Road towards Portobello.
We have a fantastic team of volunteers. We’ve got up to 12 active volunteers and more that come and go um who are just without a doubt indefatigable in their dedication and their loyalty to the archive. And really I’m full of admiration for them. The most important thing that we’ve been
doing since we opened the premises and got all the books that we were collecting out of boxes and onto shelves was to collate a digital catalog. This has been an ongoing project since June 2022 and we are now ready to launch it online for people to be able to peruse over 2100 titles at the moment and that’s growing day by day. We’re we’re launching the catalog on the 25th of November so keep
an eye out on social media for the link and have a a look through this
amazing collection.
All this has really been as a result of um a three-year funding support from the National
Lottery Heritage Fund since last March and a little tranche of money from
Awards for All, which is helping us through as well. So thanks to them as
We have a project coordinator that works part-time with us. She is also ind-
Ind- de- fatica… why did I choose that word?
Because you knew you knew you couldn’t say it! You wanted to practice it!
Yeah… and she’s full of ideas and and just, just great. So thank you to the Lottery (National Heritage Lottery Fund) and thank you to Lottery players as well for their contributions.
Well if uh if you weren’t here two years ago you won’t perhaps have seen Kate’s
cards. I’ll tell you just a little bit about them. Kate has had a very long
career as a cartoonist and writer. Her cartoons have appeared in Gay News and the Pink Paper.
You have to be pretty old to remember Gay News but it was everywhere in those days and
that’s among many others. And she’s the author of Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s
Guide, which is a history of the past 50 years of of both UK LGBTQ+ history woven into her own autobiography.

The continuation of this transcript is available on the Youtube website.