Our nation’s history consists of various different people and groups struggling to make a way for themselves, testing what freedom really means. Many populations often times get overlooked or pushed off to the side. It is important that this October, we take the time as a culture to reflect on the LGBTQ community and its own rich history. In an era where equality is such a pervasive term, it is important that all populations be seen and heard. The NSVRC/PCAR library tries to fill its collection with a variety of resources that hopefully will educate those who are interested. I wanted to give a brief overview of a few books within the collection that may help recognize LGBTQ History Month.
- National Geographic Gender Revolution: The Shifting Landscape of Gender is a special issue that explores gender in science, in social systems, and in civilizations throughout history.
- A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski uses primary source documents, literature, and cultural history tochart the depth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history from 1492 through the 1990s.
- Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders allows young readers to trace the history the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activict Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s society.
- The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes who Changed the World by Mason Funk captures the true story of the gay rights movement from the 1960s to the present, through detailed interviews with the leaders, activists, and ordinary people who witnessed the movement and made it happen.
- Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager gives a voice to 23 people who invented, radicalized, and trailblazed in order to make history what it is. The true stories in this book demonstrate how rich and varied gender and sexuality have always been in every culture, in every millennium.
- Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples by Rodger Streitmatter reveals how some of these same-sex unions didn’t only improve the quality of life for the individuals involved, but also enriched the American culture. Among those noted in the book are Jane Addams and Mary Rozet Smith, literary icon Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, author James Baldwin and Lucien Happersberger, and artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.
- Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising that Changed America by Martin Duberman tells the story of the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Inn raid and riot. The five days of rioting changed forever the face of gay and lesbian life.
It is my hope that these books will be helpful to anyone wanting to know more about the LGBTQ community. I also continue to encourage those who are interested to check out the NSVRC/PCAR libraries for themselves. As always, I wish you all a fabulous day and happy reading!