Historically, Pride month marks the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the raid by NYC cops on a gay bar in Greenwich Village. Although the movement for gay rights had already been active for decades, the raid, typical of the harassment suffered by the gay community, sparked outrage and catalyzed the movement. The next year saw the first Pride march to commemorate the riots, and every year since you can find marches and parades in cities across the U.S.
For years I worked at a bookstore on the northside of Chicago that specializes in feminist and gay and lesbian literature. Not only was the store a destination for all Queer reading essentials, we hosted regular author and community events. Although all the big name authors would tour in the fall, June was always packed with Pride events featuring local LGBT poets, historians, activists, and artists. The energy was palpable–the store would be filled with members of a supportive, thriving community. I haven’t been to a parade in a few years, but for me, Pride month is still about community.
Whether you identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, or are a friend, family member, or ally of someone who is, Pride month offers the opportunity for celebration, reflection, and political action.
You can find books that provide a historical context for the contemporary LGBT movement…
Or you can just have some fun reading well-written gay characters in one of my favorite graphic novels, Marvel’s Young Avengers.
If you’re not sure where to find your favorite Queer author, or are interested in a particular aspect of LGBTQI culture or history, or need to find local resources that support the LGBTQI community, please stop by the Library reference desk.