Each June, LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated throughout the world. “The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally (taken from www.loc.gov)” while also recognizing the everyday fight for equal rights in these communities around the globe. June was selected as Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, which occurred in Greenwich Village in 1969. Began as a response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, these riots served as a catalyst for the Gay liberation movement.
The Library has put together a book display to celebrate Pride Month, and here are a few standout titles:
“Faderman (Naked in the Promised Land ), a scholar of lesbian history and literature, renders the slow transformation of culture into a sweeping narrative of the American struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights. She digs deep into media and legislative archives to construct a comprehensive narrative, beginning in the 1950s with the scapegoating of homosexuals under “vag-lewds” law and the first formulation of homosexuals as a minority group, and continuing to the current and recent legal fights around the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), hate crime legislation, and marriage equality. Faderman depicts the struggle as a conflict between “suits and streets,” offering balanced coverage of both meticulous lobbying from the government, military, and professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association, and the rapid changes wrought by historical radicalizations such as the Stonewall riots, the Harvey Milk riots, and the aggressive medical activism of ACT UP. First-person accounts from over 100 interviews conducted as original research for the book punctuate this extraordinary story. Faderman’s immense cultural history will give today’s LGBTQ activists both a profound appreciation of their forebears and the motivation to carry the struggle forward.” Staff (Reviewed July 6, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 27, p)
“Poet Jones (Prelude to Bruise) explores sexual identity, race, and the bond between a mother and child in a powerful memoir filled with devastating moments. As a gay African-American boy growing up in Texas, Jones struggled to find his way. In 1998, at age 12, “I thought about being gay all the time,” he writes, but at home the subject was taboo. Here, Jones candidly discusses his coming of age, his sexual history, and his struggle to love himself. He describes engaging in destructive behavior in college, including repeated relations with a sadistic, racist man, and their encounters graphically illustrate how sex and race can be used as weapons of hate. Jones writes that, at that grim time in his life, he appeared to others to be a happy young man: “Standing in front of the mirror, my reflection and I were like rival animals, just moments away from tearing each other limb from limb.” Jones beautifully records his painful emergence into adulthood and, along the way, he honors his mother, a single parent who struggled to support him financially, sometimes emotionally, but who loved him unconditionally until her death in 2011. Jones is a remarkable, unflinching storyteller, and his book is a rewarding page-turner.” –Staff (Reviewed 06/17/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 24, p)
“An acclaimed essayist’s memoir about finding personal redemption in female friends and lovers after growing up in a wealthy but dysfunctional Florida family. Born out of wedlock to a white shoe mogul father and a Chinese-Hawaiian ex-model, Madden was a lonely child who longed for “love the size of a fist.” To comfort herself, she wrote stories about an alter ego named Joni Baloney and developed a pen-pal relationship with a 51-year-old man who found her through an ad she had placed in TigerBeat magazine. Her parents began living together, and eventually, Madden’s father moved her and her mother from Coconut Grove to Boca Raton. The union granted the author access to privileges that included an exclusive private school education, riding lessons, and horses of her own. However, living with her father also brought her face to face with his alcoholism. The rampages that sometimes resulted often meant brutal beatings for her mother, who developed her own addiction to painkillers. While her parents suffered in an unstable relationship, Madden struggled to find sustaining friendships and love among the drinking, drugging, silver-spoon youths of Boca Raton. For a brief time, she became part of what she calls “the tribe of fatherless girls ,” a small group of fierce female outcasts who showed her the affection she lacked at home while unexpectedly stirring queer longings the author did not realize she had. In her late teens, Madden moved to New York City. There, she studied fashion design and pursued lesbian relationships that not only helped her heal, but also face the challenges of losing the father she loved and discovering the older half sister her mother had given up for adoption more than a decade before Madden’s birth. Though the author’s aching emotional rawness sometimes makes for difficult reading, this is a deeply courageous work that chronicles one artist’s jagged—and surprisingly beautiful—path to wholeness. Affecting, fearless, and unsparingly honest.” (Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2019)
“This moving account of an activist’s coming of age opens in 2012, on the day McBride came out as a trans woman. She was at the end of her term as student body president at American University in Washington, D.C. As a young person active in politics who had wrestled for years with a growing awareness of her gender identity, McBride knew her decision to come out at age 21 would “define the course of the rest of life,” and her candid memoir charts that whirlwind course in the subsequent five years. McBride writes of her internship in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House during the Obama administration, her work advocating for the passage of Delaware’s Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act of 2013, and her 2016 address before the Democratic National Convention: “It’s impossible to express the profound liberation of being able to do something as your true self when, for years, you’ve never been able to actually be yourself.” Inextricably linked to her work for LGBTQ rights is the story of the romance between her and her late husband, Andrew Cray, a fellow activist whom she met in 2012 and married in 2014—just four days before Cray’s death from cancer at the age of 28. McBride’s intimate story of fighting for social justice in the midst of heartbreak will resonate with many readers.” (Mar.) –Staff (Reviewed 02/05/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 6, p)
If you have any questions about putting these books on hold, please leave a comment below, call the Reference Desk at 732-873-8700 ext. 111, or send us a message on our chat service.
Thanks for reading,