Pride 2020 looks pretty different. With June starting off with rightful unrest across the country and world, as well as the ongoing pandemic, the parades and parties that line the streets throughout the month will have to wait until next year. As if a mirror is being held up right now, the road to Pride parades and parties is paved with rightful unrest. One way to show up for the LGBTQ+ community this, and every, year is by honoring and learning about its history. From Stonewall to marriage equality, the writers below provide a great starting point for a Pride history lesson.
This excellent anthology, drawn from the NYPL archive, contains first-person accounts, contemporary newspaper and magazine articles, diary entries, and profiles of the many LGBTQ+ activists whose work leading up to and after the Stonewall Riots led to the LGBTQ+ liberation movement.
A beautiful companion book to The Stonewall Reader above, Love and Resistance collects the work of legendary photojournalists Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies. Focusing on images from the '60s and '70s that range from protest photos to candid, intimate moments, Love and Resistance takes the viewer to the front lines of the nascent movement for LGBTQ+ rights.
Gayle Pitman's The Stonewall Riots captures the best of both worlds: a meticulous history of the events leading up and following the Stonewall Riots, including many firsthand accounts, and lavish illustrations, photos, and reproductions of contemporary articles. If you're looking for an absorbing all-in-one take on the Stonewall Riots, this is a good place to start.
This 2012 Stonewall Award-winning history of America provides a fascinating, 500-year-long survey of the ways in which the LGBTQ+ community has been integral to the political, economic, and social development of the U.S.
This is without a doubt one of the most fun, least confusing introductions to queer theory out there. Great for students, but just as delightful for people seeking the best way to understand and discuss how we arrived at mainstream ideas of normative sex, sexuality, and gender.
The Gay Metropolis is an absorbing sociopolitical history of gay life in America, ranging from popular culture to the AIDS crisis to the recent legalization of gay marriage.
This gorgeously illustrated middle grade children's book offers a lovely introduction to the LGBTQ+ movement, highlighting key figures in the fight for equality.
This 2017 LAMBDA Literary Award winner is the absorbing autobiography of political activist Cleve Jones, who worked alongside Harvey Milk, founded the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and conceived of the revolutionary AIDS Memorial Quilt community art project. When We Rise offers a magnetic portrait of a city and a community that overcame resistance and tragedy to become a flourishing center of gay life in America.
How to Survive a Plague is a riveting account of the citizen activists and scientists who worked together to understand, contain, and treat HIV/AIDS, and advocate for those suffering from the disease.
This is a marvelous collection of interviews with and profiles of the icons and unsung heroes of the LGBTQ+ movement. Perfect for casual reading and educational settings.
The Gay Revolution spans LGBTQ+ history from the 1950s through the struggle for gay marriage. Faderman examines how politics, the military, and popular sentiment have shifted over the decades, impacted by the rights movement, the AIDS crisis, and popular culture.
Jim Obergefell and Debbie Cenziper share the ultimately redemptive story of Jim's legal fight to have his marriage recognized on his partner's death certificate. Love Wins is a rousing courtroom drama about one of the pioneers of marriage equality and a heartfelt (and heartbreaking) story about the galvanizing force of love.
Originally published in 1997, Transgender Warriors remains a groundbreaking history of the transgender community. In the words of critic Patricia Roth Schwartz, “[Transgender Warriors] leaves us with a sense that a transgendered concept of what it is to be fully human and psychologically whole is both valid and nothing new."
Chatty and diligently informative, Real Queer America is a hybrid travelogue-corrective that asks readers to reconsider their preconceptions about LGBTQ bias and violence in red-state America that succeeds on every level.