On June 28, 1969, police in Greenwich Village, New York raided the Stonewall Inn, a well-known gay bar. The police felt justified in their raid because the Inn was serving alcohol without a liquor license. The truth of the matter was that this was just one more instance of police discrimination against the gay community. What the police didn’t plan on was that the gay community would fight back. As the officers tried to load Inn patrons into their vans, bottles were thrown and a riot ensued, spreading into nearby neighborhoods. Following this event, members of the LGBT community staged demonstrations all over New York for LGBT rights. In 2000, one of my favorite humans, Bill Clinton, became the first sitting President to acknowledge June as Pride Month. It is worthwhile to note that our current president has said nothing about LGBT month. Not that I am really surprised. Diversity must be actively promoted, embraced, and celebrated. Here’s to the books that celebrate equality for everyone.
One of my all time favorite YA authors, David Levithan, wrote an amazing book, Two Boys Kissing which is based on real events surrounding two young men who took part in a marathon kissing session in order to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
In 2014, Alan Cumming released his memoir, Not My Father’s Son. This book is snort out loud funny, at times. It is also cringe-worthy and raw and full of very real emotions. Cumming is an amazing stage actor, but this book proves he has a terrific voice on paper as well.
Luna, by Julie Ann Peters is a beautiful story of a transgender teen. Liam is not happy being a young man. He is happiest at night when he escapes to the basement of his home with his sister’s makeup and clothes, and transforms himself into Luna. The question becomes whether Liam’s family is ready to embrace his true self and accept Luna for who she is.
Stella Brings the Family, by Miriam B. Schiffer is a beautiful picture book about a little girl who wants to bring her daddies to school as they celebrate Mother’s Day in class. Stella is not a bit concerned about not having a mother per se…she simply wants someone to invite to the party. Holly Clifton-Brown’s illustrations just add to the whimsy of this terrific story of inclusion.
In 2005, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell released a lovely picture book, And Tango Makes Three. This is the story of a non-traditional family…two male penguins at the Central Park Zoo…who long for a family of their own. With the aid of an understanding zoo keeper, their wish comes true. One of my all-time favorite picture books, it will definitely give you the feels <3