Great reads for Pride Month
By Lauren on June 15th, 2012
June is Pride Month, and cities around the country are celebrating with many different kinds of LGBTQ events. In honor of the festivities we’ve put together a great reading list of books that explore a variety of points of view on the LGBTQ experience.
The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves (May 2012) is an anthology containing 64 award-winning LGBT author and illustrators’ letters to their younger selves. This is truly a project of passion, of personal stories, and of reaching out to some of the most vulnerable youth to offer hope, encouragement, and community. Readers from all walks of life will identify with the messages of discovering who you are and who you are meant to be, and of holding out for, and fighting for, a brighter future whatever your present circumstances. The astonishing list of artists who have participated in this anthology include: Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City), Gregory Maguire (Wicked), Michael Cunningham (The Hours), Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret), Terrence McNally (Ragtime; The Full Monty; Love! Valour! Compassion), Paige Braddock (Jane’s World), David Levithan (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), Linda Villarosa (award-winning journalist and former executive editor of Essence magazine), the book’s publisher Arthur A. Levine, and many, many more. Best of all, proceeds from the book support The Trevor Project.
A transgender beauty queen, a plane crash, and a national beauty pageant—Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (May 2011) has it all. When the Miss Teen Dream Pageant plane goes down over the ocean, there are only a handful of pageant contestant survivors. The girls are divided—should they keep practicing their routines and wait for rescue? Or should they buckle down and try to survive in the tropical jungle they’ve been dropped down in? And what will they do when a band of sexy pirates show up? Or when they find the secret headquarters of The Corporation—sponsor of The Miss Teen Dream Pageant? And what exactly will happen now that they are separated from everything they’ve ever known including eyeliner, high heels, and parents with high expectations? Not to mention the lack of food and water. Libba Bray takes readers on an adventure that will make you laugh, make you think, and make sure you never see beauty the same way again. (13 and up).
What happens when a brother and sister fall in love with the same boy… who may or may not be a vampire? Gemini Bites (March 2011) is a twisexual love story that puts a seductive, hilarious twist on the vampire genre. Judy and Kyle Renneker are sixteen-year-old fraternal twins in a rambling family of nine. They have a prickly history with each other and are constantly in fierce competition. Kyle has recently come out of the closet to his family and feels he might never know what it’s like to date a guy. Judy is pretending to be born-again on order to land a boyfriend who heads his own bible study. When their parents announce that the family is going to take in a fellow student for a month, both Kyle and Judy can’t help but sit up and take notice. Garret Johnson just moved to town a year ago, is a mysterious goth loner…and he claims to be a vampire. He’s not an easy person to get to know, but the twins find him both strange and alluring. (13 and up)
Twelve Long Months by Brian Molloy is a smart and funny novel about boys who love boys…and the girls who love them. Molly Swain is hopelessly in love. Mark is mysterious, smart, attractive, artistic…basically, the only interesting thing in their small Minnesota town. She wonders if they’ll ever be more than lab partners, until she discovers that they both have plans to move to New York after graduation. Perfect! Right? Wrong. Mark has been keeping a secret in Minnesota and Molly discovers the truth in New York. She’s not Mark’s type. She’s not even the right gender. If only falling out of love with him was as simple. (15 and up)
Absolutely, Positively Not by David LaRochelle is a riotously funny novel for anyone who’s ever gone to the limit to try and fit in. Steven’s a 16-year-old boy with two obsessions: sex and getting his driving license. The problem is, Steven’s not thinking girls when he’s thinking sex. Could he be — don’t say it — gay? Steven sets out to get in touch with his inner he-man with Healthy Heterosexual Strategies such as “Start Hanging Out with the Guys,” and “Begin Intensive Dating.” But are Steven’s tactics going to straighten him out, or leave him all twisted up? Absolutely hilarious. Positively sidesplitting.
How are you celebrating Pride Month? Let us know in the comments!
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