June is Pride Month

June is LGBT Pride Month – this is when cities across the country show support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights, culture, and communities. It’s currently celebrated each year in June to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan.

In June of 1969, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City, resisted the police harassment and staged an uprising. Why did people have to resist the police? Basically, through history (and in many other countries) gay bars were illegal in America and LGBTQ Americans didn’t have the same rights as other Americans.

The Stonewall uprising marks the beginning of the movement to outlaw discriminatory laws and practices against LGBTQ Americans.

The events that took place at the Stonewall Inn led to the first gay pride parades in the United States and in many other countries. Now, cities host events to commemorate the Stonewall Riots and bring awareness to the issues that LGBT+ Americans still face.

In 1998, President Clinton issued Executive Order 13087 expanding equal opportunity employment in the Federal government by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. On June 11, 1999 President Clinton issued Proclamation No. 7203 for Gay and Lesbian Pride Month:

Thirty years ago this month, at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a courageous group of citizens resisted harassment and mistreatment, setting in motion a chain of events that would become known as the Stonewall Uprising and the birth of the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement. Gays and lesbians, their families and friends, celebrate the anniversary of Stonewall every June in America as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.

On June 1, 2009, President Obama issued Proclamation No. 8387 for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. In this proclamation the President pointed to the contributions made by LGBT Americans both in promoting equal rights to all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and in broader initiatives such as the response to the global HIV pandemic. The President ended the proclamation by calling upon the people of the United States to “turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.” (From the Library of Congress).

The Central Library has new book club for the summer that will discuss books by and about people across the LGBT spectrum. It meets the last Tuesday of the month at 6pm at the Central Library. The June 26 meeting will discuss Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu.

Here are a few books to try out:

tellthewolvesTell the Wolves I’m Home (fiction) by Carol Kifka Brunt – “It is 1987, and only one person has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus — her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down.”

 

godsoftangoThe Gods of Tango (fiction) by Carolina De Robertis – “February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, clutching a suitcase and her father’s cherished violin, leaves her small Italian village for a new home (and husband) halfway across the world in Argentina. Upon her arrival in Buenos Aires, Leda is shocked to find that her bridegroom has been killed. Unable to fathom the idea of returning home, she remains in this unfamiliar city, living in a commune on the brink of destitution. She finally acts on a passion she has kept secret for years: mastering the violin. Leda knows that she can never play in public as a woman, so she cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and, as a young man, joins a troupe of musicians bent on bringing tango into the salons of high society.”

redefining

Redefining Realness (nonfiction) by Janet Mock – “An extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen–a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism. In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for People.com to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America.”

forcingthespring

Forcing the Spring (nonfiction) by Jo Becker – “Forcing the Spring begins on Election Night 2008, when a controversial California ballot initiative called Proposition 8–which removed the right of gay men and women to marry–passed alongside Barack Obama’s stunning victory. Forcing the Spring details how a small but determined group of political and media insiders took the fight for marriage equality all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Beyond the Binary at JMRL

y648At the Crozet Library, our focus for LGBT+* Pride Month 2017 is gender. We’re featuring fiction and nonfiction books about people who identify somewhere outside the cisgender man/woman binary system and inviting patrons to contribute their identity to our community board. Check out the display in our teen area for information, pronoun stickers, book selections, or to add to the board.

Looking for some great books to read for Pride, or want to educate yourself about gender identity? Check out these fiction, nonfiction, and memoir picks! Links will take you to the JMRL catalog, where you can place these books on reserve.

 

FICTION

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin – A genderfluid teen creates a blog to share thoughts and experiences about gender. When it goes viral, the responsibility and risk of exposure may prove to be too much.

Beast by Brie Spangler – A Beauty and the Beast retelling featureing fifteen-year-old Dylan (hairy, burly, outcast) and Jamie (witty, gorgeous, transgender) who meet when Dylan is assigned to a therapy group for self-harmers after an accident.

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky – A novel about twelve-year-old Grayson, who feels trapped under the weight of a life-long secret: “he” has always been a girl on the inside. A sweet and thoughtful story about friendship and support.

George by Alex Gino – George wants to play Charlotte in the annual school rendition of Charlotte’s Web, but she’s not allowed to audition because everyone sees her as a boy. With the support of her best friend, though, George comes up with a plan to embrace her true self and make her dream come true.

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills – Public access radio star Gabe is dealing with a lot: romance, parents, friendships, coming out as transgender, and an awesome opportunity to audition for a radio station in Minneapolis. The difficulty ramps even higher when several violent students discover that Gabe the popular DJ is also Elizabeth from school.

NONFICTION & MEMOIR

The ABCs of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell – This one isn’t strictly about gender, as it encompasses the entire scope of gender, sexual, and romantic identity, but it’s a must-read for anyone feeling out of their depth in the ever-more-complex world of identity. YouTuber Ashley Mardell presents what could be an overwhelming amount of information in a straightforward and easy-to-digest way, with complete definitions, personal anecdotes, and infographics.

Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrews / Being Normal by Katie Rain Hill – Two halves of the same story, told by two transgender teens who were dating during their respective transitions from male to female and female to male.

Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings – Young transgender activist (and now reality TV star) Jazz Jennings recounts her experiences growing up as a transgender child and her work to educate the world about gender issues.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out edited by Susan Kuklin – Author/photographer Susan Kuklin interviews six transgender or non-binary young adults as they work to understand themselves and their gender identities. Filled with beautiful photos and candid anecdotes.

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt – A family who adopted identical twin boys reexamined their deeply held views about gender identity when one of the twins turns out to be transgender.

Want more? Ask a librarian at any JMRL branch, chat with us via our website, or use our What Do I Read Next? tool. Happy reading!

* – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and more