June is LGBT Pride Month


LGBT Pride Month is observed every year in June, while LGBT History Month takes place in October. Both have sparked year-round celebrations, events and nationwide efforts to increase awareness of issues important to the LGBT community. So, you may be wondering … Why is LGBT Pride Month celebrated in June?

To commemorate the historic Stonewall riots that ensued in response to police brutality aimed at the Gay community gathering at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969. This was a significant tipping point in history that ultimately led to the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement.

Check out these illuminating library and online resources that feature personal stories and so much more …

Stonewall: Breaking Out In The Fight For Gay Rights by Ann Bausum
Formats Available: Print | eBook | eAudiobook

That’s the Stonewall. The Stonewall Inn. Pay attention. History walks through that door. In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. It meant living a closeted life or surviving on the fringes of society. People went to jail, lost jobs, and were disowned by their families for being gay. Most doctors considered homosexuality a mental illness. There were few safe havens. The Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run, filthy, overpriced bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, was one of them. Police raids on gay bars happened regularly in this era. But one hot June night, when cops pounded on the door of the Stonewall, almost nothing went as planned. Tensions were high. The crowd refused to go away. Anger and frustration boiled over. The raid became a riot. The riot became a catalyst. The catalyst triggered an explosive demand for gay rights. Ann Bausum’s riveting exploration of the Stonewall Riots and the national Gay Rights movement that followed is eye-opening, unflinching, and inspiring

Outloud: Stories from the LGBTQ community, gathered by StoryCorps and heard on NPR 
Formats Available: Audiobook | eAudiobook

To mark the 45th annivesary of the Stonewall uprisings, StoryCorps launched Outloud, an effort to capture the voices of the LGBTQ community. The Stonewall riots were a response by gays to a 1969 police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, marking the beginning of the modern gay-rights movement. In this moving collection of Outloud recordings, NPR’s Ari Shapiro presents firsthand stories from young people, minorities and those who lived before the uprising, preserving the voices of the Stonewall generation as well as the diverse community that will carry forward is mission of equality for all.

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
Formats Available: Print | eBook | eAudiobook

Writing in the spirit of public intellectuals like Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, Nelson binds her personal experience to a rigorous exploration of what iconic theorists have said about sexuality, gender, and the vexed institutions of marriage and childrearing.

“Nelson’s vibrant, probing and, most of all, outstanding book is also a philosophical look at motherhood, transitioning, partnership, parenting, and family-an examination of the restrictive way we’ve approached these terms in the past and the ongoing struggle to arrive at more inclusive and expansive definitions for them.”―NPR

Bettyville by George Hodgman
Formats Available: Print | eBook | eAudiobook

A witty, tender memoir of a son’s journey home to care for his irascible mother — a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love. When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure — the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town crumbling but still colorful to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes To Their Younger Selves by Sarah Moon 
Formats Available: Print | eBook

Life-saving letters from a glittering wishlist of top authors.If you received a letter from your older self, what do you think it would say? What do you wish it would say?That the boy you were crushing on in History turns out to be gay too, and that you become boyfriends in college? That the bully who is making your life miserable will one day become so insignificant that you won’t remember his name until he shows up at your book signing? In this anthology, sixty-three award-winning authors such as Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom, Jacqueline Woodson, Gregory Maguire, David Levithan, and Armistead Maupin make imaginative journeys into their pasts, telling their younger selves what they would have liked to know then about their lives as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered people. Through stories, in pictures, with bracing honesty, these are words of love and understanding, reasons to hold on for the better future ahead. They will tell you things about your favorite.

Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan with Lisa Dickey
Formats Available: Print | eAudiobook

Roberta Kaplan’s gripping story of her defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the Supreme Court. Attorney Roberta Kaplan knew it was the perfect case. Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer had stayed together for better or worse, for forty-four years-battling through society’s homophobia and Spyer’s paralysis from MS. The couple married in Canada in 2007, but when Spyer died two years later, the US government refused to recognize their marriage, forcing Windsor to pay a huge estate tax. In this landmark work, Kaplan describes her strategy in the lower courts and her preparation and rehearsals before moot courts, and she shares insights into the dramatic oral argument before the Supreme Court justices. Then Comes Marriage is the story of the relationship behind the watershed case, Kaplan’s own difficult coming-out journey, and the fascinating unfolding of United States v. Windsor. Full of never-before-told details, this is the momentous account of a thrilling historic and political victory for gay rights.

Resources

Anti-Defamation League: LGBT Pride Month Curriculum Resources
American Civil Liberties Union: LGBT Rights
Amnesty International: LGBT Rights / Pride Month
Centerlink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Human Rights Campaign
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National LGBTQ Task Force
PFLAG — National and Toledo
Equality Toledo
Toledo Pride


Featured Image Credit: Rainbow flag breeze by Benson Kua — Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons license).

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