gay pride

Friday Reads: Pride

In June we celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month), which honors the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan. First, President Bill Clinton declared June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month” on June 2, 2000. In 2009, President Barack Obama declared June Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

LGBT Pride Month events attract millions of participants around 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.

For this Friday Reads installment, we bring you some of the best biographies and memoirs on the topic, including historical perspectives and young readers titles:

  Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob SandersPRIDE: THE STORY OF HARVEY MILK AND THE RAINBOW FLAG by Rob Sanders, Steven Salerno Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Pride Flag with the very first picture book to tell its remarkable and inspiring history! In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable - and undertold - story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride.   Eleanor and Hick by Susan QuinnELEANOR AND HICK: THE LOVE AFFAIR THAT SHAPED A FIRST LADY by Susan Quinn In 1932, as her husband assumed the presidency, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. A lifeline came to her in the form of a feisty campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. Over the next thirty years, until Eleanor’s death, the two women carried on an extraordinary relationship: They were, at different points, lovers, confidantes, professional advisors, and caring friends, and at every turn, the bond these women shared was grounded in their determination to better their troubled world.   Boy Erased by Garrard ConleyBOY ERASED: A MEMOIR OF IDENTITY, FAITH, AND FAMILY by Garrard Conley A beautiful, raw and compassionate memoir about identity, love, and understanding from a survivor of ’ex-gay’ therapy. Soon to be a feature film this Fall.     Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis NuttBECOMING NICOLE: THE TRANSFORMATION OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY by Amy Ellis Nutt The Maines were a middle-class, hard-working, politically conservative New England couple whose lives felt complete when they adopted identical twin sons. As toddlers, Jonas was the son Kelly and Wayne Maines expected, but Wyatt was only interested in girls’ clothes and toys. By age five, this conflict was tearing Wyatt—and the family—apart. Today, Wyatt is Nicole. She and Jonas are now in college. This is the story of a journey that could have destroyed a family, but instead united them. It’s the story of a mother whose instincts told her her child needed love and help. It’s the story of a father who overcame confusion and fear to become a vocal advocate of trans rights. It’s the story of a brother who always loved and accepted his sister. And, especially, it’s the story of a young girl who found the courage to be herself.   Being Jazz by Jazz JenningsBEING JAZZ: MY LIFE AS A (TRANSGENDER) TEEN by Jazz Jennings Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series—I Am Jazz—making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults. In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen.   How I Learned to Snap by Kirk ReadHOW I LEARNED TO SNAP: A SMALL TOWN COMING-OUT AND COMING-OF-AGE STORY by Kirk Read With bold Southern humor, journalist and performer Kirk Read takes readers on a guided tour of his precocious and courageous adolescence. Recalling his years as an openly gay high school student, Read describes how he navigated the hallways with his sense of humor and dignity intact. How I Learned to Snap is a refreshingly victim-free story in which queer teenagers are creative, resilient, and ultimately heroic.   Before Night Falls by Reinaldo ArenasBEFORE NIGHT FALLS: A MEMOIR by Reinaldo Arenas, Dolores M. Koch The basis of Julian Schnabel's film of the same name, this is the shocking memoir by visionary Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas. It "is a book above all about being free," said The New York Review of Books--sexually, politically, artistically. Arenas recounts a stunning odyssey from his poverty-stricken childhood in rural Cuba and his adolescence as a rebel fighting for Castro, through his supression as a writer, imprisonment as a homosexual, his flight from Cuba via the Mariel boat lift, and his subsequent life and the events leading to his death in New York.   For more on these and related titles visit Pride 2018  
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