One or two things about the collection

Books, for me, have always been one of the primary tools to relate to the world. In my inner lexicon, inevitably influenced by the Catholic culture that surrounds Italian existence, books are my church. The place to come back to myself and from which to look beyond, higher. The presence of books, therefore, has always had a very important significance. In this sense, my reflections on gender identity, sexual identity and the search for my place in the world, had to necessarily pass, and linger, on the written page.

Collage of a Dutch book on book collecting by Bibliografica Quir. It reads:
Collecting queer books is also an art
Immortality in Pink history

Until a few years ago, the number of lesbian, gay or queer books in my library was minimal. This for two reasons, I didn’t know what they were and I didn’t know where to find them. Sure, there were stories, hints of authors and events that revolved around the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans * and homosexual world in general, but what was missing was my awareness of their importance and their meaning.

I was not lucky enough to have a guide in this context in compulsory school or even at university. In the lazy life of the Italian province there were no obvious references to a theme, a subject, a gay existence, except for those few brave people who were out and around which generalized homophobia had accumulated like a fog, making them in my eyes very far from (my) reality.

I started by myself to collect the clues, to try to re-construct an image and a context for these stories, these productions, these objects, books, which can keep a secret even while wide open before our eyes. Lgbt+ themed books were like books written in an incomprehensible foreign language, difficult to trace, as if disconnected from the normal flow of stories and information.

This lack, like a space of incomprehensibility, affected the construction and acceptance of my identity.

The search for queer books, the decision to form a collection around the theme, the enthusiasm and the challenge of finding hidden messages and bringing them to light, went hand in hand with the affirmation of my existence and finally gave me the pleasure to feel like a complete person, a proud and integral part of this world.

I realize that the world of lesbian, gay and queer books and the stories they contain is somehow still submerged, although efforts are multiplying to bring it out. This collection and the reflections around it are a way to replace that space of incomprehensibility with a connection with the past and with those who were part of it. And of course, they are part of my personal quest for happiness.

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