Book Review: “Stonewall’s Legacy: A Poetry Anthology” Is An Outstanding and Historic Dedication for LGBTQ Folks Young & Old
Dec 6, 2019 · 3 min read

by Ryan Cassata

Some books have the magical ability to make the reader laugh out loud, cry, relate, grow and learn. Stonewall’s Legacy: A Poetry Anthology is one of those books. Brilliant poets from all walks of life, across the LGBTQ spectrum and across generations, came together to complete this meaningful collection of poetry. Diving into the pages, these poems teach lessons about important moments in LGBTQ history that can never be forgotten. Poets share their experiences and stories in a way that is touching and humanizing. If you are LGBTQ, you will certainly feel yourself relating to many of the authors as you read through the poems. If you aren’t LGBTQ, you will certainly learn more about our beautiful, diverse, and vibrant community.

Below I discuss a few of the topics, of so many, that are written about. The AIDS epidemic is written about several times in this collection, through the lens of poets who suffered from HIV/AIDS themselves or had close friends who did. The writers share their experiences openly and honestly with details that will bring the reader to tears (many of these poems brought me to tears).

The Stonewall Riots/Rebellion are another topic of discussion and according to Stonewall’s Legacy: A Poetry Anthology publisher Local Gems Poetry Press, this book serves as a celebration of progress in the LGBTQ movement, and a memorial to those in the LGBTQ community we have lost throughout time due to HIV/AIDS, and anti-LGBTQ violence. Both young and old folks share words on the Stonewall Riots.

The common themes throughout many of the poems are love and pride. Folks talk about coming out, about being disowned, about finding a chosen family, about falling in love, about crushing on someone of the same gender, about transitioning to happiness, and so many more human topics.

This book is a celebration of community. It’s a memorial. It’s a thank you to Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera and all that were there and part of the early movement. It’s a collection of LGBTQ history told firsthand from those who experienced it. It’s also proof that times are changing as the young and old share different experiences. It’s proof that so many of us make up the LGBTQ community and we are all so diverse, with different experiences, yet united by the oppression of society and the fight for our rights and lives.

If you are LGBTQ and want to feel better connected to all members in the LGBTQ community across the spectrum, and want to learn more about LGBTQ history and the Stonewall Rebellion, consider picking up a copy of Stonewall’s Legacy: A Poetry Anthology.

I was lucky enough to stumble across this anthology at a local trans pride festival on Long Island and I’m so glad that I bought one to read and love. June 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots/Rebellion. Click here to buy it.

About the Author:

Ryan Cassata is an award winning singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer and LGBTQ activist & motivational speaker based in Los Angeles. With features in Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Daily News, Ryan has made the most of his young career, which started when he was just 13.

As a musician with over 550 performances touring across the United States and internationally, including dates on the Van’s Warped Tour, SXSW and at the worlds biggest pride festivals, Ryan has been praised by The Advocate saying he’s a “Transgender singing sensation”, Paper Magazine put him on the “50 LGBTQ Musicians You Should Prioritize” list, LOGO put him on the “9 Trans Musicians You Need To Get Into” list and Billboard put him on the “11 Transgender & Non-Binary Musicians You Need to Know” list and premiered his most recent music video for “Daughter.” He has also been heard on Sirius XM Radio, BBC Radio 4 and other radio stations around the world. MORE INFO AT:

Written by is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit? Email

Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation| Words by & for LGBTQ+ youth | #EraseHate | Want to submit for our publication? Email

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