Pride Month Picks: Books to Celebrate LGBTQIA+ History and Rights

June marks Pride month for the LGBTQIA+ community, and June 28 marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 that is recognized as a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in the United States. If you’re prepping book displays, looking for titles to support lessons and curriculum, or are simply seeking books that reflect LGBTQIA+ experiences, we’ve got several stellar picks below!

Plus, check our the recording of our webinar “LGBTQ+ History in Children’s Lit” to hear from children’s & YA book creators discussing their books and the importance of queer history in literature for today’s young readers.

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18 Books to Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

by Lara Neel, Trade Marketing Manager

June is celebrated as Pride Month by the LGBTQIA+ community, and many Pride events occur on the last Sunday in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City on June 28, 1969.

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Pride Round-Up

June is Pride Month! We’ve got books for your readers to educate, entertain, and acknowledge LGBTQIA+ history and rights. Check out our list below!

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Celebrate Pride Month with Award-Winning eBooks and Audio books

Special thanks to digital intern Amy Richardson for the following post!
On June 28th 1969, protests carried out by the gay community against police raids in New York City started a nationwide conversation about LGBTQ rights. The Stonewall Riots made history by serving as a catalyst for future activism within the LGBTQ movement. As a result, June is now recognized as “Pride Month” — a month dedicated to celebrating and spreading awareness for the LGBTQ community.
This June, you can participate in LGBTQ Pride Month by checking out some of Lerner’s eBooks which feature LGBTQ protagonists, informative facts about the progression of the LGBTQ movement, and both fiction and nonfiction narratives from the LGBTQ community.
Nonfiction titles from Twenty-First Century Books provide an informative and in-depth look at the real lives of those who identify as LGBTQ and are perfect for anyone looking to learn more and gain a better understanding about the LGBTQ community.

         

·         In LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality, Kirstin Cronn-Mills highlights athletic achievements of well-known members of the LGBTQ community and explores the struggles that LGBTQ athletes have faced during their sports-related careers.
·         Kirstin Cronn-Mills tells the inspiring stories of seven transgender individuals in Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices. Readers will better understand the lives of transgender people in America, including the challenges they face before, during, and after their transitions.
·         Prom: The Big Night Out by Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge includes a detailed chapter discussing the evolution of high school proms, from strictly heterosexual events to eventually becoming inclusive to LGBTQ students.
Darby Creek’s high/low chapter books are engaging for even the most reluctant readers. Titles such as On Guard by Patrick Jones, Archenemy by Paul Hoblin (available as an Audisee eBook with audio), and The Alliance by Gabriel Goodman (available as an Audisee eBook with audio) feature strong and relatable LGBTQ protagonists and true-to-life storylines that young adult readers will love.
   
Finally, Lerner’s picture books provide an opportunity for younger readers to join in during Pride Month as well. The Flower Girl Wore Celery by Meryl G. Gordon centers on a little girl that is the flower girl for a wedding with two brides. My Family, Your Family by Lisa Bullard follows Makayla as she learns love is what makes a family, as she visits a diverse families including one with two dads and her neighbors, a lesbian couple. Both of these titles celebrate our differences in families and as individuals, as well as reveal our commonalities. They are a great way to introduce children to an understanding of the LGBTQ community.
                           
Readers of all ages can utilize Lerner’s digital collection this June to celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month.

Know the T in LGBT

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Kirstin Cronn-Mills, winner of this year’s ALA Stonewall Award for her YA novel Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, will be signing her newest YA nonfiction title, Transgender Lives (TFCB, Fall 2014), at the Lerner Publishing Group booth (#623) at ALA-Las Vegas at the end of this month. Be sure to stop by the booth on Sunday June 29 between 10:00 and 11:00 am to meet Kirstin!

In the meantime, here are some thoughts from Kirstin about her new book in the context of this month of LGBT Pride:

During this month of Pride, the acronym “LGBT” or “GLBT” is a phrase we hear a lot.  If you unpack the letters, you know that the LG and B (lesbian, gay, and bisexual) relate to sexual orientation—the people we love.  The T, on the other hand, is about gender.  The label “transgender” describes an enormous range of experience and gender identities. Lots of people with lots of genders and gender expressions choose to describe themselves with this word.  But gender identification and expression is separate from sexual orientation; gender has to do with how we see ourselves, not who we see ourselves partnered with. For this reason, many people question whether it makes sense to lump gender and sexual orientation into one acronym. The verdict is still out. Ten different LGBT individuals are likely to have ten different answers for you. 

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The most important thing to know about the T in  “LGBT” is that being transgender affects your entire life: you clothes and your pronouns, your names and the public bathrooms you use, the boxes you check on various forms that ask about your gender, and how you deal with schools, government, your workplace, your medical doctor, and all sorts of other bureaucracies.  If you’re looking for more information about the T in “LGBT,” please consider  Transgender Lives: Complex Stories, Complex Voices.  This nonfiction YA title in the TFCB imprint comes out in September and considers the intricacies of being transgender by focusing on the life stories of seven individuals who identify (in several different ways) as transgender. They talk about growing up, finding their way, and what their identity means for their future. The book also offers information about trans* history, language, medical and legal challenges, and the bullying and violence many trans* individuals face.

Librarian Kelly Jensen includes Transgender Lives in a roundup of great new books about diversity for YA readers in the Book Riot blog entry of May 22. In this month of Pride, take some time to learn about your fellow Americans who identify as the T in “LGBT.”   Transgender Lives will teach you about what it means to be true to yourself.  Isn’t that a lesson we can all use?