Celebrate Pride at The Library
June* is traditionally the month when the LGBTQ+ community celebrates Pride. It is also designated as Rainbow Book Month by the American Library Association (ALA). That makes this month the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community and the issues that affect their lives. So, whether you want to read a book, watch a movie or do some research, there is something for you at The Library.
Since I work in Information Services, I would be remiss if I did not suggest you start with our reference resources. The Great Events in History and the Great Lives from History series from Salem Press are amazing places to get an overview of an event or a person. Great Events even has a volume devoted specifically to LGBTQ+ events. While the print editions are reference books and can only be viewed in person, both series are available online in our Salem Press databases. Not sure where to start? Check out these articles about the Stonewall Rebellion and Harvey Milk.
Books and movies featuring LGBTQ+ characters have come a long way. Characters that once would have taken on the role of quirky sidekick or gay best friend are now the stars. Stories that always focused on or ended in tragedy now have happy endings. Regardless of your preferred genre, you can find titles with positive representations of LGBTQ+ people. Below you will find links to some great lists that feature LGBTQ+ related titles.
The James C. Hormel Center at the San Francisco Public Library has fantastic lists of staff picks that include fiction and nonfiction titles. Other places to find reading lists include the New York Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library and ALA’s The Booklist Reader. If you are looking for titles for kids or teens, check out the list created by Common Sense Media or this one from ALA’s Rainbow Book List blog.
Like reading award winning books? Every year Lambda Literary and ALA each present awards for outstanding LGBTQ+ literature. Lambda Literary awards “The Lammy” in 24 different categories. The list of the 2021 Lammy finalists can be found here and last year’s winners here. ALA’s Stonewall Book Awards give one prize one for fiction, one for nonfiction and one for children's and young adult literature. The 2021 Stonewall Book Award winners, as well as links to previous winners can be found here.
One of the biggest movements in literature right now is the focus on #OwnVoices. The hashtag was originally created by writer Corinne Duyvis on Twitter in 2015. It was used as a way to identify kids’ books about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group. Since then, #OwnVoices has grown to encompass just about every marginalized group and every genre. For some wonderful lists featuring LGBTQ+ #OwnVoices authors, visit the website of the Latin School of Chicago.
If you prefer movie and TV to books, I have some lists for you too. The British Film Institute put together a list of the 30 Best LGBTQ+ Films of All Time. A.frame (the blog for the organization that presents the Oscars) has a list of 6 Powerful LGBTQ+ Films The blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library has 7 LGBTQ Movies with Happy Endings.
If documentaries are more your speed, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has a list of films and documentaries to learn more about LGBTQ+ history. GLAAD also presents awards every year to recognize media that has shown fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the LGBTQ+ community. You will find a list of the 2021 nominees here. If you are looking for movies that are appropriate for teens and tweens, check out this list from Common Sense Media.
Many of the titles on these lists are available at The Library in either print or digital format. To find them, search the catalog by specific title, by subject (i.e. LGBTQ+, gay fiction, etc.) or by tag (i.e. Lambda Award winner). For any items that are not available, consider submitting an Interlibrary Loan request.
* Central Pennsylvania celebrates Pride in July. As part of the celebration, The Library is doing a virtual community tour. Check out our YouTube channel every Monday in July to learn more about of some of the LGBTQ+ businesses in Central Pennsylvania. Also, the July theme for the YA Virtual Book Club will be LGBTQ Pride. Teens from 13-18 can join the weekly discussion on Discord. For more information see the summer edition of the Compass. It is available at every library location and online.