"Queer not as being about who you're having sex with (that can be a dimension of it); but queer as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it and has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live." — bell hooks
WHO WE ARE
The Queerish Bookshop is an LGBTQ+ bookshop based in the North East of England, in Darlington, County Durham.
We specialise in radical and LGBTQ+ literature, but we do stock the odd book that may not necessarily fall into either category (the ish in Queerish).
You can find us in our bright pink shop at 39a Bondgate, Darlington, County Durham, DL3 7JJ.
The Queerish Bookshop is about community, curiosity, and change.
We’re here for the Darlington queers, to give space for the community outside of Pride.
We’re here for those who are curious, questioning, who have so much to explore about themselves and the world.
We’re here for the allies, who want to learn and grow with us, to fight by our side.
But most importantly, we’re here for people who like reading damn good books.
HOW WE CAME TO BE
The idea for the Queerish Bookshop came about primarily because I (Megan, she/they) was fed up of queer spaces only existing in cities. I went to Leeds in 2021 for the Queer Film Festival and visited the LGBTQ+ bookshop, The Bookish Type, and, while it was a lovely experience with my friend, I craved that kind of community when I came home.
So, I was left with two choices: 1) I could move to a city where queer events and spaces already existed, or 2) I could create some in my hometown. You can take a guess at which one I picked 😂
I started the Rainbow Screen film club at the Forum Music Centre in September 2022, helped re-start the Phoenix Trans group shortly after, and have now created The Queerish Bookshop.
During the process of opening, quite a few people have expressed concern that they didn't know if there was the audience for this kind of bookshop in Darlington. I wholeheartedly believe there is, given how popular Darlington Pride Weekender has been; we just need a permanent space to exist. Now we have somewhere to go, a community bookshop base, let's get to building a thriving community, together.