You can still participate in Pride Month even if you cannot go to a pride parade. There are even ways of participating that avoid pinkwashing or whitewashing of the pride movement. While PRIDE may seem like the furthest thing from your present-day reality, there is a lot of history that is salient to your current reality. For instance, you may want to check out How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS by David France, or Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel’s film Happy Birthday Marsha! about Marsha P. Johnson, the legendary black trans woman activist and organizer who is credited as being one of the individuals that fought back at the original 1969 Stonewall Rebellion.
Here are some exciting young authors that are on my Pride reading list:
Carmen Maria Machado's newest book is In The Dream House, where she recounts her experience in her early twenties surviving queer intimate partner violence in a relationship. Machado is a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania (she calls Philly home). This is her second book and her first, Her Body and Other Parties, is a collection of short stories. She has received impressive accolades for her work including being a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize.
Ocean Vuong’s novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is also the author’s second book. His first book is a collection of poetry entitled Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he now teaches at UMass Amherst as an Assistant Professor for the MFA for Poets and Writers. He is a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award recipient and the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous tells a story parallel to Ocean’s own, of a Vietnamese-American immigrant in his twenties, and deals with issues of race, class, masculinity, sexuality, addiction, and trauma.
Gabby Rivera is a proud "Bronx-born, queer Puerto Rican author" and is the first Latina author to write for Marvel Comics. Her debut novel also has significant parallels to her own life. Juliet Takes a Breath is a coming-out story narrated by Juliet Milagros Palante, a young Bronx-born Puerto Rican lesbian moving across the country to work for her feminist icon. Rivera currently resides in California where she continues her important advocacy for QTPOC youth.
For up-to-date information on the Free Library of Pride, please visit www.freelibrary.org/pride and follow the Free Library of Pride Facebook page.