Pride-Worthy Reads

RainbowFlag_300pxJune is LGBTQ Pride month - a time for the community to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, while also celebrating and standing up for all that we are, all that we have done, and all that we have yet to accomplish. I truly love this time of the year - cities across the globe kick off their festivities, and people spanning all lifestyles and labels come together to simply…be. And so, in the Pride-spirit of celebrating and educating, here are some of my favorite LBGTQ titles:

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Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown - This one is at the top of the list because it was the first LGBT novel I ever read (thank you, Rita Mae Brown!). This is the story of witty and beautiful Molly Bolt, who lives life true to herself and thrives against all odds. This novel was groundbreaking when it was published in 1973 and remains life-changing to this day.
 

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Maurice by E.M. Forster - Another novel (and author) very much ahead of its time, Maurice by E. M. Forster was published in 1971 - although Forster wrote it around 1914. This story follows 14-year-old Maurice Hall through high school and Cambridge; eventually he lands a job in his father's prestigious firm. A young man, conventional and predictable in most ways, except for his sexuality.
 

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This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel - A book about a family with five boys, where the youngest feels he's something different: a girl. While a work of fiction, the heart and soul of this novel was birthed through the author's real-life experience of having a child born a boy but who now identifies as a girl - a truth that comes through the page and speaks to you through laughter and tears.
 

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Eleanor and Hick by Susan Quinn is a vivid portrait of love and a revealing look at how an unlikely romance influenced some of the most consequential years in American history. As Eleanor Roosevelt was facing the very daunting and public life of her husband's presidency, she found a lifeline in a feisty campaign reporter from the Associated Press, Lorena Hickok. What followed was a beautiful 30-year relationship between two fiercely compassionate women.
 

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The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff - You may have heard about this one. Adapted into an Academy Award-winning movie, The Danish Girl is a deeply moving account of love, marriage, loyalty, and a desire to follow your true self.
 

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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? By Jeanette Winterson - Winterson is a literary titan in my book. Many of her novels, starting with her first (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit), have not only been bestsellers but have also become classic must-reads. In Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? she switches it up and tells her own story of a life's search for happiness in the fierce, wise, and masterful way that only Winterson can.
 

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I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson - I feel like this is already a classic even though it was just published in 2014. A Printz Award Winner and Stonewall Honor Book, this teen/young adult novel is important for all ages to read. Twins Jude and Noah - once inseparable, now estranged - tell their stories across the years, and between their perspectives, the reader is caught rooting for them both and holding on to the hope that they can find their way back to each other and remake their world.
 

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 Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality by Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell - The last few years have seen major court cases regarding LGBTQ issues. Love Wins looks at Obergefell v Hodges, the 2015 landmark case for marriage equality. History book at times, deeply affecting personal narrative at others, this book chronicles how a grieving man and his lawyers introduced (arguably) the most important gay rights case in U.S. history.
 

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