June marks LGBT Pride Month, and while the parades and parties may have been cancelled, you can still celebrate at home with a good book. These eight titles offer a window into a wide range of experiences, both fictional and non-fictional. Every title is available for immediate digital checkout when you use Hoopla with your library card.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
2019 Booker Prize winner
(From Hoopla) “Girl, Woman, Other is a magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity and a moving and hopeful story of an interconnected group of Black British women that paints a vivid portrait of the state of contemporary Britain and looks back to the legacy of Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean.
Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative fast-moving form that borrows technique from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that shows a side of Britain we rarely see, one that reminds us of all that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.”
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu
2015 Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction
(From Hoopla) “At birth, Peter Huang is given the Chinese name Juan Chaun, “powerful king.” To his parents, newly settled in small-town Ontario, he is the exalted only son in a sea of daughters, the one who will finally fulfill his immigrant father’s dreams of Western masculinity. Peter and his sisters grow up in an airless house of order and obligation, though secrets and half-truths simmer beneath the surface. At the first opportunity, each of the girls lights out on her own. But for Peter, escape is not as simple as fleeing his parents’ home. Though his father crowned him “powerful king,” Peter knows otherwise. He knows he is really a girl. With the help of his far-flung sisters and the sympathetic souls he finds along the way, Peter inches ever closer to his own life, his own skin, in this darkly funny, emotionally acute, stunningly powerful debut.”
Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
A 2019 Stonewall Honor Book in Literature
(From Hoopla) “On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he’s a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer—an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders and the one person who seems not to judge him. … As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.
In the tradition of Junot Diaz’s “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah, Speak No Evil” explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people. As heart-wrenching and timely as his breakout debut, “Beasts of No Nation,” Uzodinma Iweala’s second novel cuts to the core of our humanity and leaves us reeling in its wake.”
Luisa: Now and Then by Carole Maurel
A 2019 Stonewall Honor Book in Literature
(From Hoopla) “A disillusioned photographer has a chance encounter with her lost teenage self who has miraculously traveled into the future. Together, both women ultimately discover who they really are, finding the courage to live life by being true to themselves. A time-traveling love story that turns coming-of-age conventions upside down, Luisa is a universal queer romance for the modern age.”
Non-Fiction & Memoir
Pride: Fifty Years of Parades and Protests from the Photo Archives of the New York Times
(From Hoopla) “It began in New York City on June 28, 1969. When police raided the Stonewall Inn-a bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, known as a safe haven for gay men-violent demonstrations and protests broke out in response. The Stonewall Riots, as they would come to be known, were the first spark in the wildfire that would become the LGBTQ rights revolution. Fifty years later, the LGBTQ community and its supporters continue to gather every June to commemorate this historic event.
Here, collected for the first time by The New York Times, is a powerful visual history of five decades of parades and protests of the LGBTQ rights movement. These photos, paired with descriptions of major events from each decade as well as selected reporting from The Times, showcase the victories, setbacks, and ongoing struggles for the LGBTQ community.”
Man Alive by Thomas Page McBee
2015 Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Non-Fiction
(From Hoopla) “What does it really mean to be a man? In Man Alive, Thomas Page McBee attempts to answer that question by focusing on two of the men who most impacted his life: one, his otherwise ordinary father who abused him as a child, and the other, a mugger who almost killed him. Standing at the brink of the life-changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these examples of flawed manhood and tells us how a brush with violence sent him on the quest to untangle a sinister past, and freed him to become the man he was meant to be. Man Alive engages an extraordinary personal story to tell a universal one-how we all struggle to create ourselves, and how this struggle often requires risks. Far from a transgender transition tell-all, Man Alive grapples with the larger questions of legacy and forgiveness, love and violence, agency and invisibility.”
Not Straight, Not White by Kevin J. Mumford
A 2017 Stonewall Honor Book in Non-Fiction
(From Hoopla) “This compelling book recounts the history of black gay men from the 1950s to the 1990s, tracing how the major movements of the times-from civil rights to black power to gay liberation to AIDS activism-helped shape the cultural stigmas that surrounded race and homosexuality. In locating the rise of black gay identities in historical context, Kevin Mumford explores how activists, performers, and writers rebutted negative stereotypes and refused sexual objectification. Examining the lives of both famous and little-known black gay activists-from James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin to Joseph Beam and Brother Grant-Michael Fitzgerald-Mumford analyzes the ways in which movements for social change both inspired and marginalized black gay men.”
Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
A 2020 Stonewall Honor Book in Non-Fiction
(From Hoopla) “In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em.
Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.
Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be non-binary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity-what it means and how to think about it-for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.”