1. Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith, and Family
By Garrard Conley
Special thank you to Penguin Books for donating this book to our LGBTQ library!
The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality. When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness.
By confronting his buried past and the burden of a life lived in shadow, Garrard traces the complex relationships among family, faith, and community. At times heart-breaking, at times triumphant, Boy Erased is a testament to love that survives despite all odds.
2. Public Sex: The Culture of radical Sex
By Pat Califia
Public Sex collects the best of Pat Califia’s work published over the past 20 years. Providing both a chronicle of the radical sex movement in the United States, as well as the definitive opinions of America’s most consistent and trenchant sexual critic, Public Sex is must-read material for anyone interested in sexual practices, feminism, censorship, or simply the art of the political essay.
3. Evolution’s Rainbow – Diversity, Gender, And Sexuality in nature and people
By Joan Roughgarden
In this innovative celebration of diversity and affirmation of individuality in animals and humans, Joan Roughgarden challenges accepted wisdom about gender identity and sexual orientation. A distinguished evolutionary biologist, Roughgarden takes on the medical establishment, the Bible, social science—and even Darwin himself. She leads the reader through a fascinating discussion of diversity in gender and sexuality among fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, including primates. Evolution’s Rainbow explains how this diversity develops from the action of genes and hormones and how people come to differ from each other in all aspects of body and behavior. Roughgarden reconstructs primary science in light of feminist, gay, and transgender criticism and redefines our understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality. This is a witty, playful, and daring book that has revolutionized our understanding of sexuality.
4. My Dear Boy – Gay Love Letters through the Centuries
By Rictor Norton
DEAR BOY is an anthology of gay love letters between illustrious men for almost 2,000 years. Correspondents include Marcus Aurelius, St. Anselm, Erasmus, Calvacanti, Michelangelo, Sir Phillip Sydney, King James I & VI, Thomas Gray, von Kleist, Byron, Hans Christian Andersen, Melville, Whitman, Tchaikovsky, Wilde, Henry James, Frederick Wm Rolfe, Wilfred Owen, Hart Crane, T. E. Lawrence, Cocteau, Auden, Pasolini, Allen Ginsberg, Wm Burroughs, among others.
5. The Paying Guests
By Sarah Waters
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa—a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants—life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.
With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life—or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.
6. The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal
By E.K. Weaver
E.K. Weaver’s critically-acclaimed road trip romance comic is collected here in this award-winning, commercially-successful omnibus edition. Less Than Epic tells the story of Amal (just out of the closet and freshly disowned by his parents) and TJ (a mysterious and eccentric vagrant) and their journey across the continental United States.
7. Positive Pictures: A Gay History
By Paul Schulz & Christian Lutjens
How HIV Changed Our World Aids changed everything about the way gay men live: how we love, how we make love, how we see ourselves and others. Paul Schulz and Christians Lutjens collect images from three decades of fighting, fucking and winning. Heartbreaking, moving, inspiring.
8. On Christopher Street: Trans-Gender Stories
Photographs by Mark Seliger
On Christopher Street there are all kinds of sexual orientations and gender identities, endless possibilities of potential selves: transgender, transsexual, non-binary, genderqueer, femme, butch, cross-dresser, drag kings, drag queens, and many other identities that shift, adapt, and challenge our understanding of gender. This street nestled in the middle of New York City’s Greenwich Village is heralded as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. Today, the intersection at Christopher and Hudson Streets has been renamed “Sylvia Rivera Way,” after the pioneering trans-activist and the annual LGBTQ pride parade ends its procession on Christopher Street, where the revolution began at the Stonewall Inn.