There's a Book for That: Pride Month


Happy Pride Month! June, 2024 marks the 54th annual LGBTQ+ Pride tradition. The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970 on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan – a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.

In celebration of  Pride Month, we recommend the following recent and acclaimed memoirs featured below, including finalists for this year’s LAMBDA Literary Awards (the Lammys are in NYC on June 11th). We’d also like to draw your attention to the Pride in Your Words website, an ever-expanding collection of books from queer authors, where you can also request a Pride in Your Words Zine digital issue. Enjoy!


Lesbian Love Story by Amelia PossanzaLESBIAN LOVE STORY: A MEMOIR IN ARCHIVES by Amelia Possanza

2024 LAMBDA Finalist: Lesbian Memoir/Biography

For readers of Saidiya Hartman and Jeanette Winterson, Lesbian Love Story is an intimate journey into the archives—uncovering the romances and role models written out of history and what their stories can teach us all about how to love. At the heart of this riveting, inventive history, Possanza asks: How could lesbian love help us reimagine care and community? What would our world look like if we replaced its foundation of misogyny with something new, with something distinctly lesbian?


Hijab Butch Blues by Lamya HHIJAB BUTCH BLUES: A MEMOIR by Lamya H

2024 LAMBDA Finalist: Lesbian Memoir/Biography

A queer hijabi Muslim immigrant survives her coming-of-age by drawing strength and inspiration from stories in the Quran in this daring, provocative, and radically hopeful memoir. These searingly intimate essays, spanning Lamya’s childhood to her arrival in the United States for college through early-adult life in New York City, tells a universal story of courage, trust, and love, celebrating what it means to be a seeker and an architect of one’s own life.


Leading Lady by Charles BuschLEADING LADY: A MEMOIR OF A MOST UNUSUAL BOY by Charles Busch

2024 LAMBDA Finalist: Gay Memoir/Biography 

A poignant, deliciously anecdotal account of a talented artist’s Oz-like journey in the worlds of Off-Broadway, Broadway, and Hollywood. In wonderfully readable chapters, by turns comic and moving, Charles writes how ever since his mother’s death when he was seven, he has sought out surrogate mothers in his life. In his teens, Charles moved to Park Avenue in Manhattan to live with his Auntie Mame-like Aunt Lil, who encouraged and nourished Charles’ talents and dreams, and eventually he discovered his gifts for writing plays and performing as a male actress.



2024 LAMBDA Finalist: Gay Memoir/Biography

When his mother, Barbara, turned seventy, Jedidiah Jenkins was reminded of a sobering truth: Our parents won’t live forever. For years, he and Barbara had talked about taking a trip together, just the two of them. They disagree about politics, about God, about the project of society—disagreements that hurt. But they love thrift stores, they love eating at diners, they love true crime, and they love each other. They landed on an idea: retrace the thousands of miles Barbara trekked with Jedidiah’s father, travel writer Peter Jenkins, as part of the “Walk Across America” book trilogy that became a sensation in the 1970s. Beginning in New Orleans, they set off for the Oregon coast, listening to podcasts about outlaws and cult leaders—the only media they could agree on—while reliving the journey that changed Barbara’s life. Jenkins discovers who she was as a thirty-year-old writer walking across America and who she is now, as a parent who loves her son yet holds onto a version of faith that sees his sexuality as sin.   Tender, smart, and profound, Mother, Nature is a story of a remarkable mother-son bond and a moving meditation on the complexities of love.


All Down Darkness Wide by Seán HewittALL DOWN DARKNESS WIDE: A MEMOIR by Seán Hewitt

All Down Darkness Wide is a perceptive and unflinching meditation on the burden of living in a world that too often sets happiness and queer life at odds, and a tender and honest portrayal of what it’s like to be caught in the undertow of a loved one’s deep depression. As lives are made and unmade, this memoir asks what love can endure and what it cannot.


I Felt the End Before It Came by Daniel Allen CoxI FELT THE END BEFORE IT CAME: MEMOIRS OF A QUEER EX-JEHOVAH’S WITNESS by Daniel Allen Cox

“I spent eighteen years in a group that taught me to hate myself. You cannot be queer and a Jehovah’s Witness—it’s one or the other.”

With great candour and disarming self-awareness, Daniel Allen Cox takes readers on a journey from his early days as a solicitous door-to-door preacher in Montreal to a stint in New York City, where he’s swept up in a scene of photographers and hustlers blurring the line between art and pornography. The culmination of years spent both processing and avoiding a complicated past, I Felt the End Before It Came reckons with memory and language just as it provides a blueprint to surviving a litany of Armageddons.


Diary of a Misfit by Casey ParksDIARY OF A MISFIT: A MEMOIR AND A MYSTERY by Casey Parks

Part memoir, part sweeping journalistic saga: As Casey Parks follows the mystery of a stranger’s past, she is forced to reckon with her own sexuality, her fraught Southern identity, her tortured yet loving relationship with her mother, and the complicated role of faith in her life.



I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together by Maurice VellekoopI’M SO GLAD WE HAD THIS TIME TOGETHER: A MEMOIR by Maurice Vellekoop

I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together is that rarest of things: a book about coming out to a loving yet conservative family that is as heartrending to read as it is to look at. It’s an incredibly moving, funny, and ultimately triumphant account (spoiler alert!) of what can only be described as a magical fairy tale (pun totally intended!).”—Anderson Cooper


A Renaissance of Our Own by Rachel E. CargleA RENAISSANCE OF OUR OWN: A MEMOIR & MANIFESTO ON REIMAGINING by Rachel E. Cargle

In A Renaissance of Our Own, we witness the sometimes painful but always inspiring breaking points in Cargle’s life that fostered a truer identity. These defining moments offer a blueprint for how we must all use our imagination—the space that sees beyond limits—to live in alignment with our highest values and to craft a world independent of oppressive structures, both personal and societal. Cargle now invites you to acknowledge ways of being that stem from societal expectations instead of your personal truth, and to embark on a renaissance of your own. She provides the very tools and prompts that she used to unearth her own truth, tools that opened her up to being a more authentic feminist and purpose-driven matriarchal leader.


Coming Home by Brittney Griner and Michelle BurfordCOMING HOME by Brittney Griner, Michelle Burford

From the nine-time women’s basketball icon and two-time Olympic gold medalist—a raw, revelatory account of her unfathomable detainment in Russia and her journey home. Coming Home is more than Brittney’s journey from captivity to freedom. In an account as gripping as it is poignant, she shares how her deep love for Cherelle, her college sweetheart and wife of six years, anchored her during their greatest storm; how her family’s support pulled her back from the brink; and how hundreds of letters from friends and neighbors lent her resolve to keep fighting. Coming Home is both a story of survival and a testament to love—the bonds that brought Brittney home to her family, and at last, to herself.


Pretty by KB BrookinsPRETTY: A MEMOIR by KB Brookins

Informed by KB Brookins’s personal experiences growing up in Texas, those of other Black transgender masculine people, Black queer studies, and cultural criticism, Pretty is concerned with the marginalization suffered by a unique American constituency—whose condition is a world apart from that of cisgender, non-Black, and non-masculine people. Here is a memoir (a bildungsroman of sorts) about coming to terms with instantly and always being perceived as “other”




From Here by Luma MuflehFROM HERE by Luma Mufleh

In her coming-of-age memoir, refugee advocate Luma Mufleh writes of her tumultuous journey to reconcile her identity as a gay Muslim woman and a proud Arab-turned-American refugee.




For more information on these and related titles visit the collection Pride Month


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Posted: June 5, 2024