Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events.  From Library of Congress About Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month.

See also President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s June 1, 2021 Proclamation on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, 2021.

For this Summer Reading post I am going to include a variety of books for your LGBTQ Pride Month reading. But please – don’t limit your reading of these books to just one month of the year! I’m including a wide range of titles so hopefully there will be something for everyone!  There will be fiction – new and classic. There will be nonfiction – for those that find that to be great summer reading. There will be a mix of adult and young adult titles from various genres, and there will be some memoir and poetry too!

          Posted by Julie – one of your Kirkwood Librarians!

Click the title for a catalog link for more information and to see if the book is currently available for checkout.

Update: The first title on this list was just added to the Kirkwood library as an ebook after the list was posted. It is available to student and staff that have a current k#.

Understanding the Well-being of LGBTQI+ Populations by Charlotte J. Patterson, Martín-Jose Sepúlveda, and Jordyn White, editors. The increase in prevalence and visibility of sexually gender diverse (SGD) populations illuminates the need for greater understanding of the ways in which current laws, systems, and programs affect their well-being. The recommendations of Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI+ Populations aim to identify opportunities to advance understanding of how individuals experience sexuality and gender and how sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status affect SGD people over the life course.

The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World by Mason Funk, Call Number: 306.76 F982b  Meet the Book of prideleaders and activists on the front lines of the LGBTQ movement, from the 1960’s to the present, through stunning interviews and compelling black and white photographs compiled and presented by OUTWORDS, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the stories of LGBTQ people.

He/she/they-us: Essential Information Vocabulary and Concepts to Help You Become a Better Ally to the Transgender and Gender Diverse People in Your Life by Jessica Soukup, Call Number: 306.76 S721h This book is glue to hold people together through the process of self exploration. It covers basic vocabulary, concepts, challenges and some ways to be a supportive ally. It was written for the layperson not well versed in the terms and language of gender and transition. It attempts to begin to provide some answers for the questions everyone has.

The Pride Guide: A Guide to Sexual and Social Health for LGBTQ Youth by Jo Langford, Call Number: 306.76 L278p Jo Langford offers a complete guide to sexual and social development, safety, and health for LGBTQ youth and those who love and support them. Written from a practical perspective, the author explores the realities of teen sexuality, particularly that of trans teens, and provides guidance and understanding for parents and kids alike. Real Queer America

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States by Samantha Allen, Call Number: 306.766 A429r A transgender reporter’s narrative tour through the surprisingly vibrant queer communities sprouting up in red states, offering a vision of a stronger, more humane America.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, Iowa City Campus Call Number: 813.54 B181gi Baldwin’s haunting and controversial second novel is his most sustained treatment of sexuality, and a classic of gay literature. In a 1950s Paris swarming with expatriates and characterized by dangerous liaisons and hidden violence, an American finds himself unable to repress his impulses, despite his determination to live the conventional life he envisions for himself.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Call Number: 813.54 E87m 2011 Middlesex tells the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides, and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family, who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City and the race riots of 1967 before moving out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret, and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, Call Number: 813.54 M452t San Francisco, 1976. A naïve young secretary, fresh out of Cleveland, tumbles headlong into a brave new world of laundromat Lotharios, pot-growing landladies, cut throat debutantes, and Jockey Shorts dance contests. The saga that ensues is manic, romantic, tawdry, touching, and outrageous—unmistakably the handiwork of Armistead Maupin. The Kirkwood library has several other books in this “Tales of the City” series

The Selected Works of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde, Call Number: 814.54 L867se Edited and with and Introduction by Selected Works of Audre LordeRoxane Gay A definitive selection of prose and poetry from the self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” for a new generation of readers. Audre Lorde is an unforgettable voice in twentieth-century literature, one of the first to center the experiences of black, queer women. Her incisive essays and passionate poetry-alive with sensuality, vulnerability, and rage-remain indelible contributions to intersectional feminism, queer theory, and critical race studies.

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, Call Number: Popular Books BEC Graphic Novel memoir. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve. Hearts Invisible Furies

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne, Call Number: BOY Adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple who remind him that he is not a real member of their family, Cyril embarks on a journey to find himself and where he came from, discovering his identity, a home, a country, and much more throughout a long lifetime. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit. 

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, Call Number: CAL From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender comes a revelatory YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time. 

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender, Call Number: Children’s Literature 813.6 C157k Twelve-year-old Kingston King and the DragonfliesJames is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy–that he thinks he might be gay. “You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay too, do you?”

Legendary Children: The First Decade of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Last Century of Queer Life by Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez,  Call Number: Popular Books: FIT A definitive deep-dive into queer history and culture with hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race as a touchstone, by the creators of the popular pop culture blog Tom and Lorenzo

This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel, Call Number: Popular Books FRA  When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it’s another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. City We Became

The City We Became by N. K. Jemison, Call Number: Popular Books: JEM Fantasy/Urban Fantasy. Five New Yorkers must come together in order to save their city from destruction in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin. Several of the characters in this book are on the LGBTQ spectrum.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, Call Number: Popular Books MAK A dazzling novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago during the AIDS crisis and contemporary Paris

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, Call Number: Popular Books MCQ As United States President Red White and Royal BlueClaremont kicks off her reelection bid, her son Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Prince Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you? 

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera, Call Number: Popular Books RIV Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer?

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Call Number: Popular Books RON Fantasy. The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic. Black Sun has been described as a deeply Indigenous and deeply queer epic fantasy.

Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley, Call Number: 306.766 C752b When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. stonewall reader

The Stonewall Reader by Jason Bauman, ed., Edmund White, writer of foreward, and The New York Public Library, ed , Call Number: 306.766 S881 For the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an anthology chronicling the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ rights in the 1960s and the activists who spearheaded it, with a foreword by Edmund White.

My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family by Zach Walls, Call Number: 306.87 W137m An advocate and son of same-gender parents recounts his famed address to the Iowa House of Representatives on civil unions, and describes his positive experiences of growing up in an alternative family in spite of prejudice.

James Merrill: Life and Art by Langdon Hammer, Call Number: 811.54 M571h The first biography of one of the most important poets in the second half of the twentieth century, whose life story is unparalleled in its narrative interest. The story of James Merrill (1926-1995) is that of a young man escaping, but inevitably reproducing, the energies and obsessions of glamorous, powerful parents (his father founded Merrill Lynch); of a gay man inventing his identity against a shifting social and sexual backdrop; and of a brilliantly gifted poet testing the redemptive potential of his art.

Gay & Lesbian Poetry in Our Time: An Anthology  by Joan Larkin and Carl Morse, eds., Call Number 811.54 G285 Published in 1988 this collection presents the best gay and lesbian poetry written from 1950 to the present (1988), with some 200 poems by 94 writers. Cutting across class, gender, and color lines like nothing else in American literature, this anthology offers a thoroughly refreshed report and exploration of our deepest social, sexual, political, and spiritual realities.

Indigo by Ellen Bass, available as an ebook to those with a current k# Indigo, the newest collection by Ellen Bass, merges elegy and praise poem in an exploration of life’s complex grey areas. Whether her subject is oysters, high heels, a pork chop, a beloved dog, or a wife’s return to health, Bass pulls us in with exquisite immediacy. How to Write and Autobiographical

How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays by Alexander Chee, Call Number 814.C515h How to Write an Autobiographical Novel is the author’s manifesto on the entangling of life, literature, and politics, and how the lessons learned from a life spent reading and writing fiction have changed him. In these essays, he grows from student to teacher, reader to writer, and reckons with his identities as a son, a gay man, a Korean American, an artist, an activist, a lover, and a friend.