In June we celebrate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) 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.”
LGBTQ+ Pride 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.
To honor this community, here is a selection of titles that can be shared with students.
A Queer History of the United States for Young People
It is crucial for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth to know their history. But this history is not easy to find since it’s rarely taught in schools or commemorated in other ways. A Queer History of the United States for Young People corrects this and demonstrates that LGBTQ people have long been vital to shaping our understanding of what America is today.
In this fresh, funny, and fearless debut novel, Randa Jarrar chronicles the coming-of-age of Nidali, one of the most unique and irrepressible narrators in contemporary fiction. Born in 1970s Boston to an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, the rebellious Nidali—whose name is a feminization of the word “struggle”—soon moves to a very different life in Kuwait. There the family leads a mildly eccentric middle-class existence until the Iraqi invasion drives them first to Egypt and then to Texas. This critically acclaimed debut novel is set to capture the hearts of everyone who has ever wondered what their own map of home might look like.
Dustin Lance Black wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk and helped overturn California’s anti–gay marriage Proposition 8, but as an LGBTQ activist he has unlikely origins—a conservative Mormon household outside San Antonio, Texas. There he was raised by a single mother who, as a survivor of childhood polio, endured brutal surgeries as well as braces and crutches for life. This heartfelt, deeply personal memoir explores how a mother and son built bridges across great cultural divides—and how our stories hold the power to heal.
A heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and giggle-inducing memoir about what it’s like to grow up not sure if you’re (a) a boy, (b) a girl, (c) something in between, or (d) all of the above.
There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question—How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she’s not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer—what’s sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet’s coming out crashes and burns, she’s not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.
Three generations of Taiwanese American women are haunted by the myths of their homeland in this spellbinding, corporeal debut about one family’s queer desires, violent impulses, and buried secrets.
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LGBTQIA+ Fiction & Literature
LGBTQIA+ History and Memoir