Each year in late June, LGBT Pride (often known as Gay Pride or simply Pride) kicks off, with festivals, parades, readings and more. Begun by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered – or Queer - community to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969, Pride has evolved into a celebration of diversity in sexual orientation, represented by the rainbow flag. Stonewall was the first time the LGBT community fought back against a routine police raid on a New York City gay bar on June 28th, 1969.
AbeBooks Review: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel › Play Video
The LGBT community has certainly had a diverse impact on literature. In 1895, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labor for his sexuality.Without Tennessee Williams there would be no A Streetcar Named Desire. Alice Walker gave us The Color Purple. Walt Whitman, Thornton Wilder, Sarah Waters, Virginia Woolf - all gay or bisexual, all tremendously important writers. And that's just some of the W's.
Like non-fiction? Peter Wildeblood's 1955 Against The Law, a now out-of-print book which played a key role in the decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK, is a true account of Wildblood's arrest for indecent acts (which back then, simply meant being gay and acting on it), trial, imprisonment and release after a year in prison.
The landmark book, published in 1955, argues that sex between consenting adults should not be illegal and claims imprisonment actually encourages homosexuality. It was the first book to explain what it meant to be homosexual to a mass audience of Britons. First editions of Against the Law are collectible and surprisingly affordable.
If biography is your thing, read Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton the British novelist and playwright murdered by his distraught partner in 1967. Or The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, the openly gay politician in San Francisco in the 1970s and the tremendous strides he and his office made toward LGBT representation in politics. For memoirs, try Family Outing by Chastity Bono, about growing up not only gay, but with Sonny and Cher for parents.
Want your funny bone tickled? Naked by David Sedaris is among his best (second only, in my opinion, to Me Talk Pretty One Day) and includes the essay 'I Like Guys'. Also hilarious are My Trip Down the Pink Carpet by Leslie Jordan and Don't Get Me Started by legendary lesbian comedian Kate Clinton.
There are countless books written by LGBT authors, countless books about the LGBT community, and countless ways to celebrate Pride 2009 with a good read.
Here are some of our diverse choices - we hope you enjoy.
Funny Boy: A Novel in Six Stories
Tipping the Velvet
The Ballad of Reading Gaol
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
All Families Are Psychotic
Living by the Word
A Boy's Own Story
The Girl with the Golden Eyes
Honore de Balzac
Where the Stress Falls
Bastard Out of Carolina
The Tail of the Tip-Off
Rita Mae Brown
The Happy Prince
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules
David Sedaris (ed.)
Stone Butch Blues
The Book of Salt
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
Patricia Nell Warren
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Sappho: The Poems
Katherine V. Forrest
Poetry and Commitment
Go Tell it On the Mountain
William S. Burroughs