There was some books that I wanted to recommend before the end of Pride. However, they are less of fictional stories and more of a history lesson. Considering where Pride started through, that is important.
Why is it important?
Because Pride started as a Riot.
While Pride definitely seems to be more of a party now than anything else, the history is incredibly important. We don’t get to celebrate because the powers that be just decided to give LGBTQ* people equal rights. No, those who came before us fought for them. They forced governments into granting us the rights that others have.
But the fight is not over. While Canada may have a pretty good head start for what those rights look like, there is still a way to go. So every year at Pride, I try to take some time to remind people that our fight is not over.
Last year, I wrote a post about some of this history. I included the events of the Holocaust and the Stonewall Riots. There is even some history about the pride flag itself. You can find that post here. As a side note, you can also find my post about why it is homo-phobic to say ‘no homo’ here. That is really just some background for you and not the real reason for this post.
Today, I want to recommend two books that delve deeper into the history of our Gender and Sexually Diverse (GSD) communities.
The first book is about the Stonewall Riots. It is called Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights. It is by Ann Bausum and covers a lot of great topics. Some horribly depressing ones, of course, but that comes with the territory when you consider the time. The book discusses the police raid that resulted in the breaking point for the community and the riots that would follow. There are chapters on how these riots developed into the pride we know today and how AIDS impacted this time of history – it was known as the gay plague.
It is a book meant for young adults, but I found that can be a good thing. It doesn’t presume that the knowledge there and shares information freely in a way that is easy to understand.
The second book I want to recommend is Transgender History by Susan Stryker. While the previous book has a more general focus, I wanted to narrow that down a bit. This book does include a section about Stonewall, but it also captures the history of transgender people.
There is a chapter that discusses terms and some basic ideas that you should have before reading the book. There is also a well-deserved scathing bit about the transphobia that has existed in the feminist movement. For a movement that is supposed to be about equal rights, feminism did a horrible job of welcoming people from the gender diverse community at first. There are off-shoots that purposefully exclude these parts of the community. Frankly, it is frustrating because dividing the minorities does not actually help anyone. Intersectionality is incredibly important to our movement as a whole. I’ll hop off my soap box now.
This book covers a large range of topics, which I have only briefly touched on here. It is not a young adult history book though, so the content is a bit more dense than my previous recommendation. This is probably for the best though as there is a lot of information to get through.
I hope you check out these awesome history books and keep them in mind as you enjoy Pride festivities.