Gay and Lesbian Pulp Fiction Goodies for Kitschy Queers

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It’s June, the most wonderful month of the year. Pride month is a time of celebration, of protest, of reflection. It’s a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come and face how far we have to go…and it’s also a time to dial our queer kitschy sensibilities up to eleven.

There’s nothing like the joy of seeing (or being) a newly out queer person decked head to toe in rainbow accessories, wearing a flag like a cape. You can’t be over the top during a Pride celebration: please, add another feather boa to that outfit. There’s something about the excess, the visual overload, the brashness of this aesthetic that is so very queer — but it’s not the only queer aesthetic.

If you, like me, are a kitschy queer, a strategy for all-year-round kitschy queer decor is to get really into gay and lesbian pulp fiction. These 1950s and ’60s paperbacks were trashy, disposable stories about the ~scandal~ of queerness, written as something between soap opera and smut. For the most part, they’re not quality literature — though they’re an integral part of queer literary history. They do, however, have the best campy covers.

I love lesbian pulp fiction. To me, its homophobia is so over the top that it comes back around again into queer affirmation. How can you not be delighted by a book cover that exclaims, “Satan was a lesbian!”? I have a collection that I display face-out in my office, and my house is decorated with lesbian pulp artwork. If you can relate, here are some great gay and lesbian pulp decor and accessories. (Sadly, bisexual and trans pulp is not common enough to turn up anything on Etsy — but I do have a pulp fiction book called My Bisexual 3 Years that I can’t wait to read.)

set of six posters of gay pulp covers
PulpArts at Etsy

Or make it a whole gallery wall by printing and framing these gay pulp covers available as a digital download! $11

a notebook with the cover of Satan Was a Lesbiana notebook with the cover of Satan Was a Lesbian
Image from TheHotwifeClub at Etsy

This is the most infamous lesbian pulp cover, and it’s one I have as a canvas print in my living room — but this Satan Was a Lesbian spiral notebook is also a great choice. $15

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