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Welcome to the Pride & LBTQ+ History Month research guide!

This research guide was designed to celebrate Pride Month (June) and LGBTQ+ History Month (October) and to highlight both RCBC Library's resources and other freely available resources for our students.

New Books!

Hijab Butch Blues

A queer hijabi Muslim immigrant survives her coming-of-age by drawing strength and hope from stories in the Quran in this "raw and relatable memoir that challenges societal norms and expectations" (Linah Mohammad, NPR). "A masterful, must-read contribution to conversations on power, justice, healing, and devotion from a singular voice I now trust with my whole heart."--Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed AN AUDACIOUS BOOK CLUB PICK * WINNER: The Brooklyn Public Library Book Prize, the Stonewall Book Award, the Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, Autostraddle, Book Riot, BookPage, Harper's Bazaar, Electric Lit, She Reads When fourteen-year-old Lamya H realizes she has a crush on her teacher--her female teacher--she covers up her attraction, an attraction she can't yet name, by playing up her roles as overachiever and class clown. Born in South Asia, she moved to the Middle East at a young age and has spent years feeling out of place, like her own desires and dreams don't matter, and it's easier to hide in plain sight. To disappear. But one day in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam that changes everything: When Maryam learned that she was pregnant, she insisted no man had touched her. Could Maryam, uninterested in men, be . . . like Lamya?   From that moment on, Lamya makes sense of her struggles and triumphs by comparing her experiences with some of the most famous stories in the Quran. She juxtaposes her coming out with Musa liberating his people from the pharoah; asks if Allah, who is neither male nor female, might instead be nonbinary; and, drawing on the faith and hope Nuh needed to construct his ark, begins to build a life of her own--ultimately finding that the answer to her lifelong quest for community and belonging lies in owning her identity as a queer, devout Muslim immigrant.   This searingly intimate memoir in essays, spanning Lamya's childhood to her arrival in the United States for college through early-adult life in New York City, tells a universal story of courage, trust, and love, celebrating what it means to be a seeker and an architect of one's own life.

Loving Mountains, Loving Men

A Gay man chronicles his relationship to his native Appalachian culture and society. Appalachians are known for their love of place, yet many LGBTQ+ people from the mountains flee to urban areas in search of community and broader acceptance. Jeff Mann tells his story as one who left and then returned, who insists on claiming and celebrating both regional and sexual identities. In memoir and poetry, Mann describes his life as an openly gay man who has remained true to his mountain roots. Mann recounts his upbringing in Hinton, a small town in southern West Virginia, as well as his realization of his homosexuality, his early encounters with homophobia, his coterie of supportive lesbian friends, and his initial attempts to escape his native region in hopes of finding a freer life in urban gay communities. Mann depicts his difficult search for a romantic relationship, the family members who have given him the strength to defy convention, his anger against religious intolerance and the violence of homophobia, and his love for the rich folk culture of the Highland South. His character and values shaped by the mountains, Mann has reconciled his sexuality with both traditional definitions of Appalachian manhood and his own attachment to home and kin. Loving Mountains, Loving Men is a compelling, universal story of making peace with oneself and the wider world.


Transister is the story of a family in transition. Not a prescriptive narrative but an affirming one. A raw, honest, sometimes humorous account of author Kate Brookes's journey as her young child grapples with gender identity and becomes her authentic self.    Brookes has longed to become a mother for as long as she can remember. And for almost as long, she has harbored a fierce determination to parent her children differently--better--than her own mentally ill mom parented her. To create the "normal" family she's always wished for. And when she gives birth to twins after two years of fertility struggles, she is, admittedly, hugely relieved that she's found herself with two boys. There will be no need for her, a decidedly un-girly girl, to braid hair, buy Barbie dolls, or pick out party dresses for her kids. Boys. Easy. Right? But by the time her twins are eight, Brookes has had two realizations: 1) her obstetrician's "it's another boy" announcement was flat-out wrong, and 2) there is no such thing as a "normal" family--and that's a beautiful thing.

Gay Lives

Gay Lives gives a voice to more than eighty people from all over the world and from all walks of life. It is a fascinating portrait of LGBTQ+ people throughout time, whose lives have influenced society at large, as well as today's varied LGBTQ+ culture. It includes poets and philosophers, rulers and spies, activists and artists. Alongside such celebrated figures as Michelangelo, Frederick the Great, and Harvey Milk are lesser-known but no less surprising individuals: Dong Xian and the Chinese emperor Ai, whose passion flourished in the first century BCE; the unfortunate Robert De PĂ©ronne, burned at the stake for sodomy; Katharine Philips, writing protolesbian poetry in seventeenth-century England; and Aimee and Jaguar, whose love defied the death camps of wartime Germany. Often colorful, sometimes tragic, but all in some way extraordinary, these life stories reflect, and have helped shape, contemporary attitudes toward same-sex intimacy. Gay Lives will entertain, give pause for thought, and celebrate the diversity of human history.

The Male Gazed

Featuring deep dives into thirst traps, drag queens, Antonio Banderas, and telenovelas--all in the service of helping us reframe how we talk about (desiring) men--this insightful memoir-in-essays is as much a coming of age as a coming out book Manuel Betancourt has long lustfully coveted masculinity--in part because he so lacked it. As a child in Bogotá, Colombia, he grew up with the social pressure to appear strong, manly, and, ultimately, straight. And yet in the films and television he avidly watched, Betancourt saw glimmers of different possibilities. From the stars of telenovelas and the princes of Disney films to pop sensation Ricky Martin and teen heartthrobs in shows like Saved By the Bell, he continually found himself asking: Do I want him or do I want to be him? The Male Gazed grapples with the thrall of masculinity, examining its frailty and its attendant anxieties even as it focuses on its erotic potential. Masculinity, Betancourt suggests, isn't suddenly ripe for deconstruction--or even outright destruction--amid so much talk about its inherent toxicity. Looking back over decades' worth of pop culture's attempts to codify and reframe what men can be, wear, do, and desire, this book establishes that to gaze at men is still a subversive act. Written in the spirit of Hanif Abdurraqib and Olivia Laing, The Male Gazed mingles personal anecdotes with cultural criticism to offer an exploration of intimacy, homoeroticism, and the danger of internalizing too many toxic ideas about masculinity as a gay man.

Gay Fathers, Twin Sons

The January 2018 headline story in the Los Angeles Times was riveting. Andrew from the United States and Elad Dvash-Banks from Israel married in Canada in 2010 when gay couples could not marry in these countries. The couple conceived fraternal twins, Aiden and Ethan, with a Canadian surrogate by means of egg and sperm donation. The two boys were born just four minutes apart. Aiden was conceived with a donated egg and Andrew's sperm cell, and Ethan was conceived with a donated egg (from the same woman) and Elad's sperm cell. Andrew and Elad wished to raise their children in the United States, but when they arrived at the American Consulate in Toronto to apply for citizenship, a staff member fired off a series of "shocking" and humiliating questions, and informed the couple of her authority to require a DNA test to determine each parents' relatedness to each twin--she warned that without these tests neither twin would be granted US citizenship. Andrew and Elad knew which twin each had fathered and had planned on keeping this information confidential. They knew this because DNA analyses had already been performed, but the consulate insisted that these costly tests be repeated using their designated laboratory. Having no alternative, DNA testing was arranged, and results submitted to the consulate. Soon, two envelopes arrived at their home, bearing both welcome and dreaded news: United States citizenship was offered to Aiden, whose father was a US citizen, but not to Ethan, whose father was Israeli. And, thus, their ground-breaking legal journey began. The couple's high-profile lawsuit nearly reached the US Supreme Court, capturing worldwide attention along the way. Nancy Segal brings the story to life through firsthand accounts of each father's life history and analysis of the legal intricacies that threatened to deny US citizenship to one of their twin sons.

The Men with the Pink Triangle

For decades, history ignored the Nazi persecution of gay people. Only with the rise of the gay movement in the 1970s did historians finally recognize that gay people, like Jews and others deemed "undesirable," suffered enormously at the hands of the Nazi regime. Of the few who survived the concentration camps, even fewer ever came forward to tell their stories. This heart wrenchingly vivid account of one man's arrest and imprisonment by the Nazis for the crime of homosexuality, now with a new preface by Sarah Schulman, remains an essential contribution to gay history and our understanding of historical fascism, as well as a remarkable and complex story of survival and identity.

Black and Queer on Campus

An inside look at Black LGBTQ college students and their experiences Black and Queer on Campus offers an inside look at what life is like for LGBTQ college students on campuses across the United States. Michael P. Jeffries shows that Black and queer college students often struggle to find safe spaces and a sense of belonging when they arrive on campus at both predominantly white institutions and historically black colleges and universities. Many report that in predominantly white queer social spaces, they feel unwelcome and pressured to temper their criticisms of racism amongst their white peers. Conversely, in predominantly straight Black social spaces, they feel ignored or pressured to minimize their queer identity in order to be accepted. This fraught dynamic has an impact on Black LGBTQ students in higher education, as they experience different forms of marginalization at the intersection of their race, gender, and sexuality. Drawing on interviews with students from over a dozen colleges, Jeffries provides a new, much-needed perspective on the specific challenges Black LGBTQ students face and the ways they overcome them. We learn through these intimate portraits that despite the gains of the LGBTQ rights movement, many of the most harmful stereotypes and threats to black queer safety continue to haunt this generation of students. We also learn how students build queer identities. The traditional narrative of "coming out" does not fit most of these students, rather, Jeffries describes a more gradual transition to queer acceptance and pride. Black and Queer on Campus sheds light on the oft-hidden lives of Black LGBTQ students, and how educational institutions can better serve them. It also highlights the quiet beauty and joy of Black queer social life, and the bonds of friendship that sustain the students and fuel their imagination.

LGBTQ+ Literature in the West

A survey, within one volume, of the history of critical responses to LGBTQ literature from the beginning to the present day, this book explores changes in attitudes, literature and criticism over a period of two and a half thousand years. For various reasons it focuses on literature of 'the West', trying to give readers a clear sense, within a relatively short compass, not only of the development of 'queer' literature (perhaps the most encompassing of all terms) but especially of critical responses to that literature, notably during the past century and particularly the past fifty years. All in all, this book offers a roadmap to much of the excellent scholarship concerning LGBTQ literature that has arisen in the last half-century - an era of unparalleled interest in the topic and an era that has moved the topic from the distant sidelines of literary study to a place ever closer to the center of things.

Holding Space

The first book by one of the most in-demand photographers of our time, Holding Space shares one hundred stunning photographs of queer, inter-racial couples, with first-person text about their relationships in this current time period. After the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, and during the Covid pandemic, photographer Ryan Pfluger set out to capture queer, inter-racial couples across the US. It was (and is) a time of intense upheaval and reckoning and Ryan wanted to capture that in the lives and on the bodies of these friends and strangers. The photographs, and the people in them, can be startling in their vulnerability, playful in their poses, and tender to the core. The interviews produce a range of short, revealing stories about the couples.

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