June is Pride Month, which is a time of celebration for the LGBTQI community. Originally started as a commemoration of the Stonewall riots, it has now grown to a full month of LGBTQI awareness. This month is also supported by many politicians including President Barack Obama when he stated, “I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists.”
The LGBTQI community is flourishing both as a community and as a culture. In recent history the culture has really shown itself in the American landscape. Here at PSC we are celebrating Pride month with a display of our LGBTQI literature. Just to let you know we do have films too. Many of them have not been put on the shelf yet, but as soon as they are the list will be put up. To aid in the book you should read to celebrate Pride month here is my review of some of our LGBTQI books:
Out in Culture is a wonderful study on LGBTQI community and its impact on popular culture. Some of the essays touch on a variety of subject like the homosexual content in Alfred Hitchcock’s films, to the cultural politics involved in lesbian style. This is a good place to start if you are interested in Queer theory (a way of looking at literature or any work of art when criticizing it), or if you just want a new way to perceive much beloved icons then this book is a must read.
Becoming a Woman is the biography of Christine Jorgenson, who was the first widely known person to have sexual reassignment surgery. Born George William Jorgensen, Christine never felt comfortable as a male, and when she was capable decided to undergo a vaginoplasty. This, coupled with her openness, caused a HUGE media sensation (can you imagine that she did this during the 1950’s?!) causing Christine to be catapulted into the public spotlight where she became, and still is, a powerful transgender advocate and pop culture icon.
Fun Home is one the best graphic novels that I have read in a very long time. This is the autobiography of Alison Bechdel who has a prominent career in the comics industry. The book, in a narrow sense, revolves around the author and her relationship with her closeted father. But, what really grabs a reader is how open she is. Alison is very willing to be exposed and demonstrate her life in a way that is blatant and dignified.
The Catholic Church does not make secret its views concerning the LGBTQI community. In The Vatican and Homosexuality: Reactions to the “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” 25 Catholics respond to the official written response giving by the church to the world on it’s stance on homosexuality as well as HIV/AIDS. I am not going to lie some of the letters are hard to read, and there were times that I felt frustrated. But, it is important to me that all view points are considered and this book does try.
The Barbi twins (models from the early 90’s) were once interviewed and asked what it was like to be raised by lesbian parents. Their response, “They only thing “wrong” with being raised by our moms were the reactions that other people had.” In Daddy’s Roommate Michael Willhoite gives children a book that shows them that it is all right to grow up in a homosexual household. This book, and similar books, are very important, especially with the developments going on in gay rights for adoption and marriage, to show children growing up in these households that no matter what some uninformed people may think they are growing up in a loving home.