Lesbrary Sneak Peek: Nonfiction

Lesbian nonfiction! Now, I’m going to be honest, the first book on that stack I only picked up because I got it for free. I am not a parent. It will be interesting, though, to hear about it from the other side. I’ve heard so many horrible stories about parents’ reactions to coming out (I luckily have a life that may be one of the most ideal to come out in) and I just can’t wrap my head around it. It was published in 1997, which you may say makes it outdated, but I say it makes it an interesting view into the attitudes of the past. These are based on interviews with PFLAG parents, so they should have a positive tone overall.

This article on glbtq literature (which I highly recommend, by they way) has a quick overview of the importance of coming out stories in the queer community. In fact, one of the first things queer people do once they get together is to tell our coming out stories. This collection is from 1980, and looks like it was one of the first of its kind. I’m looking forward to reading it.

Lesbian (Out)law was published in 1992 and tackles the relationship of lesbian to the law. According to the author’s website, “Robson argues that the law’s traditional categories and themes sacrifice and damage lesbians. She reveals the centuries of legal punishment of lesbians, hidden behind the myth of lesbian impunity.” I know that the law has changed in eighteen years, but with same sex marriage and DADT continuing to be big issues, I imagine a lot of this will still be relevant or at the very least interesting.

Now this one I was definitely happy to find. A lesbian nun! A lesbian nun in renaissance Italy! If that is not automatically a draw for you, we have very different tastes in books. I honestly can’t think of anything to say to improve on that. This is a true story and also looks like it will be a pretty easy read, too.

Hidden From History looks absolutely fascinating. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a fan of nonfiction and fiction alike, and this looks like it will be particularly good. It, as far as I can tell, attempts to sift through the past and bring up gay and lesbian narratives that have been forgotten or, as the title states, hidden. It also covers some non-Western history, which is refreshing. It’s a collection of essays, so there should be some variation. I’m very glad I could snap this up.

I’m not a historian… at all. I’m terrible with names, dates, and places. And yet, these queer history books are some of the finds I’m most interested in. Making History is more of a modern history than Hidden From History, focusing on the gay rights movement. I think it’s incredibly important, especially for someone like me, who’s had it pretty easy, to recognize and attempt to understand the struggles that lead us up to this point. This looks like it will be a good overview for me. Maybe I’ll pass it on to my girlfriend after so she no longer horrifies other lesbians by not knowing what Stonewall is.

Have you read Beyond Acceptance, The Coming Out Stories, Lesbian (Out)law, Immodest Acts, Hidden From History, or Making History (or its updated version, Making Gay History)?What did you think of them? Do you recommend any other lesbian nonfiction?

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