On June 28, 1969, a group of LGBTQ+ people, led by transgender women of color, fought back against an anti-LGBTQ+ police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City . The ensuing riots are called the Stonewall Riots or Stonewall Uprising. This year, we commemorate 50 years since the riots that most people agree launched the modern LGBTQ+ Rights Movement. Since 1971, the American Library Association has honored books portraying the LGBTQ+ experience with the Stonewall Book Awards. Here are a few Stonewall Book Award winners to check out as Pride Month draws to a close.
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt – Becoming Nicole introduces us to Wayne and Kelly Maines, who adopted twin baby boys. As the twins grew up, one of them, Nicole, came out as transgender and began presenting as a woman. Becoming Nicole relates the transformations Nicole, her family, and their community underwent and the prejudices they overcame.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – Alison Bechdel is a lesbian cartoonist and author known for various graphic novels. In Fun Home, Bechdel explores her childhood living in a funeral home, her growing self-realization and acceptance of being gay, and her relationship with her late father, who kept his sexuality closeted for most of his life.
How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS by David France – During the 1980s and 1990s, hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ people contracted HIV, and hundreds of thousands died of AIDS complications. In How to Survive a Plague, David France relates the stories of activists who created, funded, smuggled, and distributed life-saving medications to LGBTQ+ people nationwide. This book was adapted from the documentary film of the same name.
A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski – In A Queer History of the United States, Michael Bronski shows us how lesser-known LGBTQ+ activists have been fighting for rights in America decades and centuries before the Stonewall Riots of 1969.
Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager – Numerous LGBTQ+ people have left their mark on world history. In Queer, There, and Everywhere, Sarah Prager introduces us to some of these people–including gender-defying holy warrior Joan of Arc, American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, and transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, who was present at the Stonewall Riots and became a founder of the Gay Liberation Front.
Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron – In Raising My Rainbow, blogger Lori Duron tells us about C.J., her gender-creative son, who loves playing with Disney princesses, wearing tutus, and singing Lady Gaga’s catchy songs. Duron takes us through the difficulties and joys of raising a child who goes against traditional gender norms.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock – Janet Mock is a transgender activist, writer, and television producer. She worked as an editor for the magazines Marie Claire and People and currently is a producer, director, and writer on the FX series Pose. In this frank memoir, Mock takes us through her turbulent childhood and her journey for self-determination as a transgender woman of color.
Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum – The uprising at the Stonewall Inn was complex and had roots in sexual, gender, racial, and class oppression. To learn more about this pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history, try Stonewall by Ann Bausum.