An annual celebration and affirmation of the LGBTQIA+ community in the United States, June is Pride Month! Beginning as a riot on June 28th, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn after a police raid targeted members of the LGBTQ community, Pride represents a commemoration of that day, and a celebration of the community. At the first Pride parade in New York, it was stated:
“That the Annual Reminder, in order to be more relevant, reach a greater number of people, and encompass the ideas and ideals of the larger struggle in which we are engaged—that of our fundamental human rights—be moved both in time and location.” Here at the library, we welcome everyone and always seek diversity in our collection. A way to show support for the community during Pride Month and beyond is to share and hear their stories. Whether it’s a newer book that’s written as #OwnVoices, meaning the author shares this diverse perspective, or it is considered a classic in LGBTQIA+ literature, we have something for you to read as well as films to watch! These picks are just a small sampling of what the library can offer through Overdrive, Hoopla, and what you can order through CLEVNET and our library system to celebrate Pride as well as the LGBTQIA+ community.
- The Queens’ English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases by Chloe O. Davis: With the rise of social media and the internet, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Yaaass Queen!” Where did it come from? Find out with this reference book that not only celebrates queer culture, but also explains the phrases we use in pop culture today.
- David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music by Darryl W. Bullock: If you are a music lover, this book is for you! Discussing the influence of LGBT artists on the music industry of the last 100 years, this book dives in from discussing jazz, as well as the influence of musical artists like Elton John and Lady Gaga today.
- The Guncle by Steven Rowley: Warm and funny, this novel surrounds Patrick (or Gay Uncle Patrick, GUP for short) who loves his niece and nephew while visiting, but when a family crisis arises, has to step up and temporarily have guardianship over the two.
- Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride: A profound and brave memoir, meet Sarah McBride, a transgender activist, who became viral after announcing her transition to the students of American University. Now one of the most prominent activists in the country, read of her journey, as well as important political and cultural milestones in the transgender community.
- Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life by Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez: If you are a fan of pop culture, then there is no denying that you have been exposed to the world of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has been on television for over a decade. That being said, not only is it considered one of the queerest shows in the history of television, but it also serves as a museum of documenting queer culture. Read up on the lasting legacy of Drag Race, and also get a snapshot of what queer culture is like in this modern age.
- Less by Sean Andrew Greer: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize! Meet Arthur Less, failed novelist who is almost fifty years old, and rather than accepting a wedding invitation to his ex-boyfriend of nine years, decides to embark on a journey to half-baked literary events around the world.
- Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan: A young adult story of two young women, one an openly gay track star that has to switch schools after being gay is against her Catholic school’s code of conduct, and a closeted bisexual teen girl who fixes up cars and competes in beauty pageants. Neither can deny their feelings for one another, but both are coming to terms with their sexuality on very different journeys. A beautiful and romantic story.
- Pumpkin by Julie Murphy: Set in the same world Dumplin’ and Puddin’ by author Julie Murphy, Pumpkin is about Waylon Russell Brewer, a fat and openly gay senior stuck in Clover City, Texas. After a terrible breakup, his sister helps him record an audition tape to his favorite drag tv show, which is then leaked to the whole school. As a joke, Waylon is then nominated for Prom Queen. His sister’s girlfriend is then nominated as prom king. Rather than turning it down, Waylon decides to run for Prom Queen, and finds out there’s more to prom than meets the eye! Julie Murphy is one of my favorite authors, and each of her stories has created beloved characters and a great universe. She is an author to read!
- Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: A Stonewall Honor Book, meet Felix Love, a black, queer, and transgender teen who has never been in love (and yes, fully appreciates the irony in that). After an anonymous student begins to send him transphobic messages, Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What’s not in the plan? A quasi-love triangle. Full of self-love and discovery, this is a perfect read for Pride!
- The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta: A Stonewall Book Award Winner! A book written in accessible verse, journey with Michael, who is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. Never quite fitting in, he eventually finds the Drag Society, and the Black Flamingo is born!