LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way in the last few decades, but we still have plenty of work to do. On June 15, 2020, the US Supreme Court ruled employers cannot fire any employees for being gay or transgender. BBC News reported “in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court said federal law, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, should be understood to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The ruling is a major win for LGBT workers and their allies." This is one great way to celebrate Pride Month, but it is important to remember the fight is not over.
With the current global situation and riots happening in multiple countries, it is extremely important to remember Pride began as a riot. We owe black trans and queer people the beginning of our rights and, when we celebrate, we need to honor their memory and the work they did for us. For that reason, many magazines, blogs, and media outlets have created lists with books to read to educate yourself on LGBTQ+ history. I have compiled a list of four of the most relevant and important lists I have found online.
PinkNews created the “10 best LGBT history books: Learn lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender history." Their main goal was to discuss LGBTQ history because they believed it is “seldom discussed and more needs to become known." With this short list, they aim to educate people on the history of discrimination and ongoing fight for equality among people of different sexualities and identities. I believe this is a great way to start learning and it can be used by LGBTQ+ people and allies.
NBC News published on June 11, 2020, an edited version of their article “Pride 2020: 17 must-read books about LGBTQ history." For them, Pride Month is about celebration and reflection, particularly under the current climate. “Many are confronting the past in order to better understand and address current affairs," and that is why they composed a list of 17 books that shed light on significant historical moments. In my opinion, this list is very important when it comes to better understand how the LGBTQ+ rights movement was born.
In 2019, on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Penguin Random House listed 10 books you had to read to honor the history of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the US. “The Queer History Book List," includes multiple titles related to Stonewall and what happened after this incredible moment in history. What I like the most about this list is that it directs you to the books so you can buy them and have them delivered to you as soon as possible. Any of them could be a great gift for LGBTQ+ youth and allies who want to learn more.
Last but not least, Book Riot put together a much longer list for people to read different authors who aim to educate on Pride Month and LGBTQ+ history. “50 Must-Read Books About LGBTQ History for Pride Month," was created in 2018 but is still very much relevant to today’s situation. They state their list is a good place to start but “is by no means a comprehensive list of books, as the history of LGBTQ+ people is intrinsically interwoven with, well, everything—but feeling connected to our past helps us connect to each other now. We celebrate not only the freedom we have found, but the work it took to get there." To me, this is one of the most complete lists I have found online and I believe every single one of those books is worth the read.
Pride Month is an incredible and colorful celebration of life and love. We need to keep celebrating it and showing the world why it is so important. For that reason, everyone needs to remember why it started and what it represents. LGBTQ+ history is extremely relevant and everyone should know what has happened throughout the years. Hopefully these four lists will give you a great start and will motivate you to keep reading and educating yourself.
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