LGBTQIA+ Pride Month Picks

Each June we celebrate LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and all of the other sexualities, sexes, and genders that aren't included in these few letters) Pride Month to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York City. The purpose of this month is to both celebrate and recognize the impact and legacy of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

To help celebrate, we've collected a variety of fiction and nonfiction titles and themed films available through our catalog and on our streaming services.

If you'd like to take part in local Pride Month events, we recommend checking out the LOFT LGBTQ+ Center's schedule of events this June.

Books

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
Library Catalog: Print
OverDrive & Libby: eBook
It's 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a lesbian best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul's also got a secret: he's a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Paul transforms his body and his gender at will as he crossed the country––a journey and adventure through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is a riotous, razor-sharp bildungsroman whose hero/ine wends his/her way through a world gutted by loss, pulsing with music, and opening into an array of intimacy and connections.

When Brooklyn Was Queer by Hugh Ryan
Library Catalog: Print
OverDrive & Libby: eBook
“Queer history has always been piecemeal and canonless, Ryan writes. Happily, his new book brings many of those pieces together in a fascinating portrait of gay life in Brooklyn from 1855 to 1969. He begins his examination with Walt Whitman and, in that context, introduces his readers to the Brooklyn of the nineteenth century, especially its waterfront, which looms large in Ryan's history as almost a leitmotif. His work proceeds chronologically as it charts the evolution of queer life in the borough. A number of celebrated creative types figure prominently, and Ryan gives generous attention to the likes of poets Hart Crane, W. H. Auden, and Marianne Moore. Places as well as people are featured, notably the house at 7 Middagh Street that became home to Auden, Jane and Paul Bowles, Carson McCullers, Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Gypsy Rose Lee, and more. Greater attention is given, however, to those who, once influential, have now been forgotten. Bringing them alive again is one of the valuable services Ryan's fine work contributes to queer history.”–Booklist
Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters
Library Catalog: Print
OverDrive & Libby: eBook / audiobook
“Peters’s sharp comedy (after Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones) charts the shifting dynamics of gender, relationships, and family as played out in three characters’ exploration of trans femininity. Reese, a trans woman from the Midwest now living in New York City, is in the throes of an affair with a kinky, dominant, and married man. Ames, Reese’s ex who has detransitioned since their breakup three years earlier, is now with his boss, a divorced cis woman named Katrina. When Katrina gets pregnant, Ames must reckon with his gender once again.”–Publishers Weekly
Memorial by Bryan Washington
Library Catalog: Print
OverDrive & Libby: eBook / audiobook
“Benson and Mike, a mixed-race couple in Houston, search for the truth about themselves, each other, and their families. This debut novel from Washington–author of the award-winning story collection Lot (2019)–is split into three vividly written sections. The first and third are narrated by Benson, an African American man living in Houston with his boyfriend, Mike, who narrates the middle section. Benson and Mike are on the verge of breaking up, but their passion for each other keeps them from being able to fully pull away. Both men have families they feel distant from: Benson's father is an alcoholic who never fully accepted his son's homosexuality, and Mike's divorced parents have both left Houston for their native Japan.”–Kirkus
Who is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht
Library Catalog: Print
OverDrive & Libby: audiobook
New York City, 1962. Vera Kelly is struggling to make rent and blend into the underground gay scene in Greenwich Village. She's working night shifts at a radio station when her quick wits, sharp tongue, and technical skills get her noticed by a recruiter for the CIA. Next thing she knows she's in Argentina, tasked with wiretapping a congressman and infiltrating a group of student activists in Buenos Aires. As Vera becomes more and more enmeshed with the young radicals, the fragile local government begins to split at the seams. When a betrayal leaves her stranded in the wake of a coup, Vera learns the Cold War makes for strange and unexpected bedfellows, and she's forced to take extreme measures to save herself.

See hoopla's Pride Month Reading List here. See our OverDrive Pride Month collection here.

Films

Moonlight (2016 drama)
Library Catalog / Kanopy / hoopla
Directed by Barry Jenkins. Starring Alex Hibbert, Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Janelle Monae, Naomi Harris, André Holland.
Oscar-winner for Best Picture, MOONLIGHT is a moving and transcendent look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to adulthood, as a shy outsider dealing with difficult circumstances, is guided by support, empathy and love from the most unexpected places.

God's Own Country (2017 drama)
Library Catalog / hoopla
Directed by Francis Lee. Starring Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones.
Johnny Saxby works long hours in brutal isolation on his family's remote farm in the north of England. He numbs the daily frustration of his lonely existence with nightly binge-drinking at the local pub and casual sex. When a handsome Romanian migrant worker arrives to take up temporary work on the family farm, Johnny suddenly finds himself having to deal with emotions he has never felt before. An intense relationship forms between the two which could change Johnny's life forever.
Tangerine (2015 drama / comedy)
Library Catalog / Kanopy / hoopla
Directed by Sean Baker. Starring Karren Karagulian, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor.
Sin-Dee is back. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend was unfaithful during the days she was jailed, the sex worker and her friend, Alexandra, set out to get to the bottom of this. Their odyssey leads them through subcultures of Los Angeles.
Cloudburst (2011 comedy)
Kanopy
Directed by Thom Fitzgerald. Starring Brenda Fricker, Olympia Dukakis, Ryan Doucette.
This hilarious foul-mouthed, lesbian road movie co-stars Oscar(r)-winning actresses Brenda Fricker and Olympia Dukakis as Dot and Stella, a crackerjack lesbian couple on the run from a nursing home. Stella and Dot have been together for 31 years and have faithfully accompanied one another through life's ups and downs. Now in their seventies, Stella is hard of hearing and Dot is legally blind. Dotty's prudish granddaughter, Molly (played by Genie Award-winner Kristin Booth), decides the best place for Dot is a nursing home that will provide all the necessities. This forces Stella and Dot to make a bold decision: they will leave their hometown and make their way to Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal. It's a last-gap bid to stay together. En route to Canada, they pick up a young hitchhiker, Prentice, played by newcomer Ryan Doucette. A small-town boy turned modern dancer, he is returning to Nova Scotia to visit his dying mother. Despite his bravado, Prentice is a confused and wounded soul who has much to learn from Stella and Dot as they wage their own unexpected battle – after three decades, can they keep their family together?
We Were Here: The AIDS Years in San Francisco (2011 documentary)
Kanopy
Directed by David Weissman.
An intimate, yet epic history of the AIDS years in San Francisco, as told through the stories of five longtime San Franciscans. The film documents the coming of what was called the “Gay Plague” in the early 1980s. It illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed. WE WERE HERE offers a cathartic validation for the generation that suffered through, and responded to, the onset of AIDS. It opens a window of understanding to those who have only the vaguest notions of what transpired in those years and provides insight into what society could, and should, offer its citizens in the way of medical care, social services, and community support.
Check out Kanopy's Pride Month lineup here. Check out hoopla's Pride Month film lineup here.
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