Staff Picks: Pride Month

20170609_075916_HDRWhen looking for a book to read, do you have to stop and think whether or not you’ll be able to see yourself in the pages? A common idea about what makes a book great is how easy it is for readers to relate to the characters or plot. While this usually rings true, many readers are often left feeling like something is missing. Where is my experience? Where are my people? Where am I? 

The Pride Month collection – presented by Library Services Associates Alexandra Friedman, Lorraine LaPrade, Hadley Todoran, and myself – was curated in an attempt to highlight these questions. We gathered texts across genres, reading levels, and cultures that feature queer people and their narratives as a way to showcase materials at the library that offer a broader understanding of the nuances of queer life and the struggles that come with it, and a sense of belonging for those who know these matters firsthand.

Our goal as members of the Library Services Team is to celebrate Pride Month with an intersectional approach. If there’s a text that helped you find yourself or broadened your understanding of issues faced by LGBTQ people that isn’t featured here, we’d love to hear about it. You can view the full listing of books on display and browse links for e-resources in our collection that have been selected with this month’s theme in mind. As always, you can make a request for a material that is not yet in our collection. The library is here to represent you!

The educational celebration doesn’t stop when you step out of the second floor reading room; with TC Student Affairs organizing the We Are Proud Team for the NYC Pride March on June 25 and the New York Public Library promoting its #RainbowReading Pride events all month long, there are tons of ways to connect with people and texts of all kinds. Summer session is the perfect time to experience what the university and the city have to offer.


Materials on Display

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

“Perhaps my eagerness to claim him as ‘gay’ in the way I am ‘gay’, as opposed to bisexual or some other category, is just a way of keeping him to myself. I think of his letter, the one where he does and doesn’t come out to me. ‘I am not a hero.’ “

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole

“In the zoo there are all kinds of animal families. But Tango’s family is not like any of the others.” An adorable true story about a baby penguin and her two dads.

My Princess Boy: A Mom’s Story About a Young Boy Who Loves to Dress Up by Cheryl Kilodavis, illustrated by Suzanne DeSimone

“If you see a Princess Boy… Will you laugh at him? Will you call him a name? Will you play with him? Will you like him for who he is?”

I Am Jazz! by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, pictures by Shelagh McNicholas

“Mom said that being Jazz would make me different from the other kids at school, but that being different is okay. What’s important, she said, is that I’m happy with who I am.”

It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr

Affirmations for all kinds of people and families accompanied by a rainbow of illustrations that teach not just acceptance, but celebration of differences. A must-have for readers in preschool and beyond!

Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite

“Being gay is just one more kind of love.”

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

“Now I’m tucked in nice and tight. Mommy and Mama kiss me goodnight.”

The Principal’s Challenge: Learning from Gay and Lesbian Students by Nicholas J. Pace

“I had concluded that my experience as principal represented some kind of one in a million outlier — the tiny Midwestern town where people were okay with the gay kid […] So, I was not surprised to hear about serious struggles and challenges…”

Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology edited by E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson

“Home is a four letter word and the practice of black queer/quare studies embodies all its double meanings” (Hollan xii).

Sappho Was a Right-On Woman: A Liberated View of Lesbianism by Sidney Abbott and Barbara Love

“Under present conditions, a Feminist may well ask: Is heterosexuality a valid life-style? Feminists who cannot tolerate traditional male dominance have good reason to see heterosexuality as masochistic and Lesbianism as rational.”

That’s So Gay!: Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community by Kevin N. Nadal

“If you knew that you could make even a little difference to help an LGBT person to avoid a lifetime of psychological distress, wouldn’t you want to make that difference?”

A guide to microaggressions and how those within and outside the LGBTQA community can combat them.

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa

“The switching of ‘codes’ in this book from English to Castillian Spanish to the North Mexican dialect to Tex-Mex to a sprinkling of Nahuatl to a mixture of all of these, reflects my language, a new language-the language of the borderlands” (Preface).

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

“The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feeling” (Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power* 53).

Mom, Dad. I’m Gay: How Families Negotiate Coming Out by Ritch C. Savin-Williams

“We simply want all families to love.”

The Shared Heart: Portraits and Stories Celebrating Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young People photographs by Adam Mastoon

“Open this book. Look into the eyes of these young people. See if you can find the essence of your best friend, your sister or brother, your son or daughter. See if you can find yourself.”

Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community edited by Gerard Sullivan and Peter A. Jackson

A collection of essays centered around LGBTQA communities and identity study in various Asian countries; A wonderful resource for communities often gone overlooked in queer study and the movement as a whole.

Troubling Intersections of Race and Sexuality: Queer Students of Color and Anti-Oppressive Education by Kevin K. Kumashiro

“Ironically, our efforts to challenge one form of oppression often unintentionally contribute to other forms of oppression, and our efforts to embrace one form of difference often exclude and silence others.” (“Queer Students of Color and Antiracist, Antiheterosexist Education: Paradoxes of Identity and Activism,” Kevin K. Kumashiro)

Growing Up Gay: A Literary Anthology edited by Bennett L. Singer

“People do not choose their sexual orientation – but gay and lesbian people can choose to take pride in who they are, to respect themselves, and to end the isolation and solitude that come with invisibility. It is my hope that Growing Up Gay will inspire gay and lesbian young people to make that choice.”

Gay Parents/Straight Schools: Building Communication and Trust by Virginia Casper and Steven B. Schultz

“Both teachers and parents could be helped to discuss gay family constellations if the fact that lesbian and gay people exist is a more readily available concept.”

Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa by Rigoberto González

“Deep down inside I suspected that I would never become that different person, and that I’d always be me no matter where I went or what I did.”

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

“I felt as if I were meeting parts of myself in the gay people I read about.”

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

“I was mostly invisible. I think I liked it that way. And then Dante came along.”

Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstein

While some of the language is outdated, Gender Outlaw is a witty and honest portrayal of a transgender woman’s story in her own words.

Transgender 101 by Nicholas M. Teich

“By now you may be yelling out loud, ‘I just know! I’ve always known!’ Well, that is probably the truest answer you can give. The proof of what gender you are lies within your brain.”

 


E-Resources

Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives edited by Karli June Cerankowski and Megan Milks

Coming Out Under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War II by Allan Bérubé, forward by John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman

Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York by Kai Wright

Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive by Julia Serano

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Aging by Douglas Rose Kimmel and Steven Tara David

Mean Little Deaf Queer by Terry Galloway

Queer Blues: The Lesbian and Gay Guide to Overcoming Depression by Kimeron Hardin and Marny Hall, foreword by Betty Berzon

Queer Migrations: Sexuality, U.S. Citizenship, and Border Crossings edited by Eithne Luibhéid and Lionel Cantú Jr.

Out Behind the Desk: Workplace Issues for LGBTQ Librarians edited by Tracy Marie Nectoux

Out Online: Trans Self-Representation and Community Building on YouTube by Tobias Raun

Responsive School Practices to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Families by Emily S. Fisher and Kelly S. Kennedy

The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television by Maria San Filippo

There Goes the Gayborhood? by Amin Ghaziani

Transforming Citizenships by Isaac West

Transgender Employment Experiences: Gendered Perceptions and the Law by Kyla Bender-Baird