The first Pride was a riot. A riot against police.
This Pride, support Black Americans protesting for their rights. When you’re building your Pride TBR, support Black LGBTQ authors and Black-owned bookstores.
Is it even Pride if you’re not bombarded with rainbows from every direction? I am a tacky queer, so I love it all year round (although I have particular standards for rainbow: it’s not the same as multi-colored, and the colors should be in their proper order). If Pride to me means festooning myself with rainbows and reading queer books, why not combine them? Here are some of the sapphic (or LGBTQ as a whole) books I’ve found with rainbows on the cover. They seem to fall into three main categories: YA, Children’s, and Adult Nonfiction, with only a couple Adult Fiction titles–I guess we’re supposed to outgrow rainbows eventually?
So admire these colourful covers! I haven’t read all of them, so the blurbs are the publishers’ own. Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any of your favourite queer women books with rainbow covers!
Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared — for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; or for death in the theater.
Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it’s easy to say yes. But it’s hard not to be distracted when there’s a death at the theater — and then another — especially when Zara doesn’t know if they’re accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes. It’s hard not to be distracted when assistant lighting director Eli Vasquez, a girl made of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light, looks at Zara. It’s hard not to fall in love. In heart-achingly beautiful prose, Amy Rose Capetta has spun a mystery and a love story into an impossible, inevitable whole — and cast lantern light on two young women, finding each other on a stage set for tragedy.
The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods.
Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.
All the Invisible Things by Orlagh Collins
Ever since her mom died and her family moved to a new town four years ago, sixteen-year-old Vetty Lake has hidden her heart. She’d rather keep secrets than risk getting hurt–even if that means not telling anyone that she’s pretty sure she’s bisexual.
But this summer, everything could change. Vetty and her family are moving back to her old neighborhood, right across the street from her childhood best friend Pez. Next to Pez, she always felt free and fearless. Reconnecting with him could be the link she needs to get back to her old self.
Vetty quickly discovers Pez isn’t exactly the boy she once knew. He has a new group of friends, a glamorous sort-of-girlfriend named March, and a laptop full of secrets. And things get even more complicated when she feels a sudden spark with March.
As Vetty navigates her relationship with Pez and her own shifting feelings, one question looms: Does becoming the girl she longs to be mean losing the friendship that once was everything to her?
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
The night Cameron Post’s parents died, her first emotion was relief. Relief they would never know that hours earlier, she’d been kissing a girl.
Now living with her conservative Aunt in small-town Montana, hiding her sexuality and blending in becomes second nature to Cameron until she begins an intense friendship with the beautiful Coley Taylor.
Desperate to ‘correct’ her niece, Cameron’s Aunt takes drastic action. Now Cameron must battle with the cost of being her true-self even if she’s not completely sure who that is. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.
Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan
Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?
Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian.
Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested.
When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan and Robin Stevenson
Follow cousins on a road trip to Pride as they dive into family secrets and friendships in this contemporary YA novel — perfect for fans of David Levithan and Becky Albertalli.
As kids, Mark and his cousin Talia spent many happy summers together at the family cottage in Ontario, but a fight between their parents put an end to the annual event. Living on opposite coasts — Mark in Halifax and Talia in Victoria — they haven’t seen each other in years. When their grandfather dies unexpectedly, Mark and Talia find themselves reunited at the cottage once again, cleaning it out while the family decides what to do with it.
Mark and Talia are both queer, but they soon realize that’s about all they have in common, other than the fact that they’d both prefer to be in Toronto. Talia is desperate to see her high school sweetheart Erin, who’s barely been in touch since leaving to spend the summer working at a coffee shop in the Gay Village. Mark, on the other hand, is just looking for some fun, and Toronto Pride seems like the perfect place to find it.
When a series of complications throws everything up in the air, Mark and Talia — with Mark’s little sister Paige in tow — decide to hit the road for Toronto. With a bit of luck, and some help from a series of unexpected new friends, they might just make it to the big city and find what they’re looking for. That is, if they can figure out how to start seeing things through each other’s eyes.
The Summer of Jordi Pérez (And the Best Burger in Los Ángeles) by Amy Spalding
Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship.
But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She also unwittingly becomes friends with Jax, a lacrosseplaying bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in Los Angeles, and she’s struggling to prove to her mother—the city’s celebrity health nut—that she’s perfectly content with who she is.
Just as Abby starts to feel like she’s no longer the sidekick in her own life, Jordi’s photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight. Instead of feeling like she’s landed a starring role, Abby feels betrayed. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image others have of her?
Proud edited by Juno Dawson
A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN.
A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.
Contributors: Steve Antony, Dean Atta, Kate Aziladeh, Fox Benwell, Alex Bertie, Caroline Bird, Fatti Burke, Tanya Byrne, Moïra Fowley-Doyle, Frank Duffy, Simon James Green, Leo Greenfield, Saffa Khan, Karen Lawler, David Levithan, Priyanka Meenakshi, Alice Oseman, Michael Lee Richardson, David Roberts, Cynthia So, Kay Staples, Jessica Vallance, Kristen Van Dam and Kameron White.
Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories edited by Michael Earp
What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #LoveOzYA collection, twelve of Australia’s finest writers from the LGBTQ+ community explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us. This inclusive and intersectional #OwnVoices anthology for teen readers features work from writers of diverse genders, sexualities and identities, including writers who identify as First Nations, people of colour or disabled. With short stories by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to young adult fiction including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin.
The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets by Gayle E. Pitman
This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.
The Lumberjanes find a treasure map that leads to them to a buried prize…which comes to life and threatens to drain all the magic from the woods around them. That definitely sounds like the opposite of what they wanted!
X MARKS THE SPOT…FOR TROUBLE!
Ripley found a treasure map! The Roanoke scouts are eager to hunt down what they hope might be some kind of mystical hoard of gems and jewels, rad dinosaur bones, or maybe even more treasure maps (that you have to piece together to find an EVEN BIGGER prize, obviously)! What they end up finding is scattered pieces of an ancient Greek statue of a woman, who, when assembled, comes back to life as a vindictive ex-goddess!n. And she’s looking to satisfy her hunger after thousands of years frozen in stone by draining any nearby magical resource…starting with the ‘Janes!
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Pride 123 by Michael Joosten
Celebrate and march along in the Pride Parade with this lively counting board book!
1 parade in the month of June
2 DJs spin fabulous tunes
3 families of all different types
4 activists fight the good fight
Teach your little ones about the Pride Parade with this colorful, energetic counting book! Featuring a diverse cast of characters and families, this board book highlights and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community, love, and standing up for who you are while counting to ten. Perfect for all families, this counting board book should be shared and read with pride!
Our Rainbow by Little Bee Books
In this beautiful, bold board book, children will learn about the colors of the iconic pride flag!
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and brown . . .
These are the colors of our rainbow flag. Do you know what they stand for?
Every young child is enchanted by the beautiful colors of the rainbow. Now, Our Rainbow can teach toddlers all about the meaning of each color of the pride flag. Told in simple, engaging text and paired with bright illustrations, this board book teaches the youngest of readers all about the colors of this rainbow and the simple acts of kindness that can brighten up our world! This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.
Spirit Day: A Book About Spreading Joy by Little Bee Books
In this beautiful, bold board book, children will learn all about Spirit Day and its mission to stop bullying.
Put on a purple shirt. It’s Spirit Day! Today’s a day to be super-kind and stand up to bullying. Because everyone has a right to feel safe.
Spirit Day is an annual LGBTQ awareness day established in 2010 to rally people against bullying. Spirit Day reinforces the importance of kindness, while also providing young readers with strategies to be a supportive friend. Published and created in partnership with GLAAD, this book aims to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.
Pride Colors by Robin Stevenson
Through gentle rhymes and colorful photographs of adorable children, Pride Colors is a celebration of the deep unconditional love of a parent or caregiver for a young child. The profound message of this delightful board book is you are free to be whoever you choose to be; you’ll always be loved.
Celebrated author Robin Stevenson ends her purposeful prose by explaining the meaning behind each color in the Pride flag: red = life, orange = healing, yellow = sunlight, green = nature, blue = peace and harmony, and violet = spirit.
Love Makes A Family by Sophie Beer
This fun, inclusive board book celebrates the one thing that makes every family a family . . . and that’s LOVE.
Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what’s most important in each family’s life is the love the family members share.
This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman
This day in June…. Parade starts soon…. Rainbow arches…. Joyful marches!
In a wildly whimsical, validating, and exuberant reflection of the LGBT community, This Day In June welcomes readers to experience a pride celebration and share in a day when we are all united.
Also included is a Note to Parents and Other Caregivers with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways as well as a Reading Guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture. This Day in June is an excellent tool for teaching respect, acceptance, and understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager
Rainbow Revolutionaries brings to life the vibrant histories of fifty pioneering LGBTQ+ people from around the world. Through Sarah Prager’s (Queer, There, and Everywhere) short, engaging bios, and Sarah Papworth’s bold, dynamic art, readers can delve into the lives of Wen of Han, a Chinese emperor who loved his boyfriend as much as his people, Martine Rothblatt, a trans woman who’s helping engineer the robots of tomorrow, and so many more!
This book is a celebration of the many ways these heroes have made a difference and will inspire young readers to make a difference, too. Featuring an introduction, map, timeline, and glossary, this must-have biography collection is the perfect read during Pride month and all year round.
This beautiful, bold book celebrates the achievements of LGBT people through history and from around the world. It features full-color portraits of a diverse selection of 52 inspirational role models accompanied by short biographies that focus on their incredible successes, from Freddie Mercury’s contribution to music to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this title will show children that anything is possible.
Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle by Robin Stevenson
Like the original version, this new edition of Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle celebrates the LGBTQ+ community’s diversity and the incredible victories of the past 50 years―but it also has a larger focus on activism, the need to keep fighting for equality and freedom around the world and the important role that young people are playing. The new edition has been updated and expanded to include many new Proud Moments and Queer Facts as well as a profile of LGBTQ+ refugees from Indonesia, a story about a Pride celebration in a refugee camp in Kenya and profiles of young activists, including teens from a Gender and Sexuality Alliance organizing Pride in Inuvik and a trans girl from Vancouver fighting for inclusion and support in schools. There is also a section on being an ally, a profile of a family with two gay dads (one of them trans) and much, much more!
A small prairie community is blown apart when an audacious teenaged girl challenges long-held views of spirituality and sexuality. Suspected of being gay, she is brutalized by her classmates. This searing drama of bigotry and transcendence challenges the fallout of the Catholic Church’s response to the same-sex marriage rulings in Canada.
Award-winning playwright and actor Lucia Frangione has emerged as an important post-feminist voice in the theater, boldly questioning the institutions of religion, sexuality, and the family. Her accessible and entertaining plays utilize satire as a tool for critical thought and tackle complex themes with wit and courage.
Lakshmi, a bright student who grew up in poverty, marries and immigrates to the United States from India to provide a better life for herself and her family. Clinging to her cultural realities, she forces her American daughter, Pooja, into an arranged marriage, creating a rift of resentment. Pooja’s daughter, Deepa, is an out lesbian to everyone but her family. The woman Deepa loves presents an ultimatum—come out to Pooja or break up—and Deepa is forced to confront her greatest fear. Three generations of Indian and Indian-American women navigate the harsh slums of Chennai to the bustle of New York City, struggling through a cathartic generational collision to try to come together as a family.
All I Want for Summer by Clare Lydon
Everyone loves Pride season, right? Not quite.
Tori & Holly are back! Join London’s favourite lesbian couple as they head to the south coast to soak up the sunshine for Brighton Pride.
The snag is, Pride and Holly have never seen eye to eye, but eternal optimist Tori is determined to make this year different. Will she succeed? Not if Holly’s ex Jen has anything to do with it…
Read the fourth, action-packed instalment in the All I Want series today and get your Tori & Holly on!
Keep Faith edited by Gabriela Martins
Keep faith, in the broad sense of the word. It doesn’t have to be a religion, unless you want it to be. It doesn’t have to speak about the universe, unless you want it to. It doesn’t have to be about anyone but yourself. Keep faith, in other planets and other houses; be it in the face of danger, grief, or while you spread your arms and laugh. Keep faith the same way you keep hope, bright and shiny, ever present. Keep faith in all your queer, beautiful self. Because you deserve it.
This is an anthology of 14 short stories, by 14 queer authors, where faith and queerness intersect. Incidental, purposeful, we-exist-and-that’s-why queerness. And faith meaning whatever you want it to mean.
Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe
An inspiring, uplifting and sympathetic story about sexuality and self-acceptance, Lucy Sutcliffe’s debut memoir is a personal and moving coming out story. In 2010, at seventeen, Lucy Sutcliffe began an online friendship with Kaelyn, a young veterinary student from Michigan. Within months, they began a long distance relationship, finally meeting in the summer of 2011. Lucy’s video montage of their first week spent together in Saint Kitts, which she posted to the couple’s YouTube channel, was the first in a series of films documenting their long-distance relationship. Funny, tender and candid, the films attracted them a vast online following. Now, for the first time, Lucy’s writing about the incredible personal journey she’s been on; from never quite wanting the fairy-tale of Prince Charming to realising she was gay at the age of 14, through three years of self-denial to finally coming out to friends and family, to meeting her American girlfriend Kaelyn.
We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride In The History of Queer Liberation by Leighton Brown & Matthew Riemer
Have pride in history.
A rich and sweeping photographic history of the Queer Liberation Movement, from the creators and curators of the massively popular Instagram account @lgbt_history, released in time for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
Through the lenses of protest, power, and pride, We Are Everywhere is an essential and empowering introduction to the history of the fight for queer liberation. Combining exhaustively researched narrative with meticulously curated photographs, the book traces queer activism from its roots in late-nineteenth-century Europe–long before the pivotal Stonewall Riots of 1969–to the gender warriors leading the charge today. Featuring more than 300 images from more than seventy photographers and twenty archives, this inclusive and intersectional book enables us to truly see queer history unlike anything before, with glimpses of activism in the decades preceding and following Stonewall, family life, marches, protests, celebrations, mourning, and Pride. By challenging many of the assumptions that dominate mainstream LGBTQ+ history, We Are Everywhere shows readers how they can–and must–honor the queer past in order to shape our liberated future.
David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music by Darryl W. Bullock
From Sia to Elton John, from Billie Holiday to David Bowie, LGBT musicians have changed the course of modern music. But before their music―and the messages behind it―gained understanding and a place in the mainstream, how did the queer musicians of yesteryear fight to build foundations for those who would follow them? David Bowie Made Me Gay is the first book to cover the breadth of history of recorded music by and for the LGBT community. Darryl W. Bullock reveals the stories of both famous and lesser-known LGBT musicians, whose perseverance against the threat of persecution during decades of political and historical turmoil―including two world wars, Stonewall, and the AIDS crisis―has led to some of the most significant and soul-searching music of the last century. Bullock chronicles these struggles through new interviews and archival reports, dating from the birth of jazz in the red-light district of New Orleans, through the rock ‘n’ roll years, Swinging Sixties, and disco days of the ’70s, right up to modern pop, electronica, and reggae. An entertaining treasure-trove of untold history for all music lovers, David Bowie Made Me Gay is an inspiring, nostalgic, and provocative story of right to be heard and the need to keep the fight for equality in the spotlight.
Queer X Design: 50 Years of Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art of LGBTQ by Andy Campbell
The first-ever illustrated history of the iconic designs, symbols, and graphic art representing more than 5 decades of LGBTQ pride and activism.
Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion by Ryan Conrad
When “rights” go wrong.
- Does gay marriage support the right-wing goal of linking access to basic human rights like health care and economic security to an inherently conservative tradition?
- Will the ability of queers to fight in wars of imperialism help liberate and empower LGBT people around the world?
- Does hate-crime legislation affirm and strengthen historically anti-queer institutions like the police and prisons rather than dismantling them?
The Against Equality collective asks some hard questions. These queer thinkers, writers, and artists are committed to undermining a stunted conception of “equality.” In this powerful book, they challenge mainstream gay and lesbian struggles for inclusion in elitist and inhumane institutions. More than a critique, Against Equality seeks to reinvigorate the queer political imagination with fantastic possibility!
LOVE FALLS ON US: A STORY OF AMERICAN IDEAS AND AFRICAN LGBT LIVES BY ROBBIE COREY-BOULET
The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman
The sweeping story of the struggle for gay and lesbian rights—based on amazing interviews with politicians, military figures, and members of the entire LGBT community who face these challenges every day: “This is the history of the gay and lesbian movement that we’ve been waiting for” (The Washington Post).
The fight for gay and lesbian civil rights—the years of outrageous injustice, the early battles, the heart-breaking defeats, and the victories beyond the dreams of the gay rights pioneers—is the most important civil rights issue of the present day. In “the most comprehensive history to date of America’s gay-rights movement” (The Economist), Lillian Faderman tells this unfinished story through the dramatic accounts of passionate struggles with sweep, depth, and feeling.
The Gay Revolution begins in the 1950s, when gays and lesbians were criminals, psychiatrists saw them as mentally ill, churches saw them as sinners, and society victimized them with hatred. Against this dark backdrop, a few brave people began to fight back, paving the way for the revolutionary changes of the 1960s and beyond. Faderman discusses the protests in the 1960s; the counter reaction of the 1970s and early eighties; the decimated but united community during the AIDS epidemic; and the current hurdles for the right to marriage equality.
The Book of Queer Prophets: 21 Writers on Sexuality and Religion edited by Ruth Hunt
Is it possible to believe in God and be gay? How does it feel to be excluded from a religious community because of your sexuality? Why do some people still believe being LGBT is a sin?
The book of Queer Prophets contains modern-day epistles from some of our most important thinkers, writers and activists: Jeanette Winterson tackles religious dogma, Amrou Al-Kadhi writes about trying to make it as a Muslim drag queen in London, John Bell writes about his decision to come out later in life, Tamsin Omond remembers getting married in the middle of a protest and Kate Bottley explains her journey to becoming an LGBT ally.
Celebrate the LGTBQ community with this small but perfectly formed guide to Pride.
What began as a protest for gay rights following the Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York has grown to become a global celebration of LGBTQ culture. In the 50-odd years since the original protest, and what is now widely accepted to be the first Pride march—Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970—Pride events are now attended by millions each year, celebrating how far we’ve come, recognizing where we have to go, and highlighting important causes in the queer community.
The Little Book of Pride proves that size definitely doesn’t matter by squeezing everything you need to know about Pride into 144 pages. Inside, you will find the history, the key people involved, the best Pride events around the world, inspirational quotes from famous queers, Pride facts, and a fun Pride survival guide.
In recent years, there has been substantial progress on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights in the United States. We are now, though, in a time of incredible political uncertainty for queer people. LGBTQ Social Movements provides an accessible introduction to mainstream LGBTQ movements in the US, illustrating the many forms that LGBTQ activism has taken since the mid-twentieth century.
Covering a range of topics, including the Stonewall uprising and gay liberation, AIDS politics, queer activism, marriage equality fights, youth action, and bisexual and transgender justice, Lisa M. Stulberg explores how marginalized people and communities have used a wide range of political and cultural tools to demand and create change. The five key themes that guide the book are assimilationism and liberationism as complex strategies for equality, the limits and possibilities of legal change, the role of art and popular culture in social change, the interconnectedness of social movements, and the role of privilege in movement organizing.
This book is an important tool for understanding current LGBTQ politics and will be essential reading for students and scholars of sexuality, LGBTQ studies, and social movements, as well as anyone new to thinking about these issues.
Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker
Activist-academic Meg John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking non-fiction graphic novel. A kaleidoscope of characters from the diverse worlds of pop-culture, film, activism and academia guide us on a journey through the ideas, people and events that have shaped ‘queer theory’.
From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged.
Along the way we look at key landmarks which shift our perspective of what’s ‘normal’, such as Alfred Kinsey’s view of sexuality as a spectrum between heterosexuality and homosexuality, Judith Butler’s view of gendered behavior as a performance, the play Wicked, which reinterprets characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, or moments in Casino Royale when we’re invited to view James Bond with the kind of desiring gaze usually directed at female bodies in mainstream media.
Sensible Footwear is a glorious political and personal history that gives Pride a run for its money; but, like Pride, it wears its heart at the centre, making the invisible visible, and celebrating lesbian lives from the domestic to the diva. Before today’s LGBTQI universe expanded from the Big Bang of Stonewall, postwar Britain was like so much of the world today, hostile towards and virtually in denial (and worse) to anything we might now call queer. In 1950 male homosexuality carried a custodial sentence; blackmail, violence and the fear of exposure were ever-present. Female homosexuality had never been an offence in the UK, effectively rendering lesbians even more invisible than they already were – often to themselves. Most who knew they were ‘different’, or came to that realisation later on, often felt they were the only ones to feel that way. Growing up in the North was a rich and colourful experience for Kate Charlesworth, but at the time there were very few signposts to difference. Like countless other girls and women, Kate took what role models were on offer, and failing that, made them up, in the spirit of that classic old dyke joke: ‘What do lesbians use?’ ‘Their imagination…’
In part two of “Queerly Loving”, our authors bring you short stories with characters across the fantastic queer spectrum, with endings that will leave you warm and smiling. Trans love interests, demisexual characters trying to find their way in the world, bisexual characters dealing with a heartbreak in the best way, and lesbians on escapades. Dragons roar into life, dystopian futures unfold, mermaids enjoy space voyages, and modern-day adventures will curl your toes and make you cheer. There are first kisses, friends that are like kin, and aromantic characters discovering their place among a queer-normative family. Get ready for your queer adventure.
Looking for more queer rainbow covers? I made a video including other queer books:
Also check out Rachel Brittain’s post on Book Riot!