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LGBTQ+ History Month: Digital Resources

This October we celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month and National Coming Out Day. Click to learn more about LGBTQ+ icons and resources for coming out and being an ally.

Digital Collection

Visit our Digital Collection for this topic OR click on the e-books in the slideshow below!

E-books

The Children of Harvey Milk

Part political thriller, part meditation on social change, part love story, The Children of Harvey Milk tells the epic stories of courageous men and women around the world who came forward to make their voices heard during the struggle for equal rights. Featuring LGBTQ icons from America to Ireland, Britain to New Zealand; Reynolds documents their successes and failures, heartwarming stories of acceptance and heartbreaking stories of ostracism, demonstrating the ways in which an individual can change the views and voting behaviors of those around them. The book also includes rare vignettes of LGBTQ leaders in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean who continue to fight for equality in spite of threats, violence, and homophobia. A touchstone narrative of the tumultuous journey towards LGBTQ rights, The Children of Harvey Milk is a must-read for anyone with an interest in social change

Queer Images

Queer Images chronicles representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer sexualities over one hundred years of American film. The most up-to-date and comprehensive book of its kind, it explores the ever-changing images of queer characters onscreen as well as the work of queer filmmakers and the cultural histories of queer audiences--from the works of discreetly homosexual filmmakers during Hollywood''s Golden Age and classical Hollywood''s attempt to purge sex perversion from films, to queer exploitation and physique films, cinematic responses to AIDS, and how contemporary Hollywood deals with queer issues. An essential volume for film buffs and anyone interested in sexuality and culture. Visit our website for sample chapter

Black. Queer. Southern. Women

Drawn from the life narratives of more than seventy African American queer women who were born, raised, and continue to reside in the American South, this book powerfully reveals the way these women experience and express racial, sexual, gender, and class identities--all linked by a place where such identities have generally placed them on the margins of society. Using methods of oral history and performance ethnography, E. Patrick Johnson's work vividly enriches the historical record of racialized sexual minorities in the South and brings to light the realities of the region's thriving black lesbian communities. At once transcendent and grounded in place and time, these narratives raise important questions about queer identity formation, community building, and power relations as they are negotiated within the context of southern history. Johnson uses individual stories to reveal the embedded political and cultural ideologies of the self but also of the listener and society as a whole. These breathtakingly rich life histories show afresh how black female sexuality is and always has been an integral part of the patchwork quilt that is southern culture.

Queer Cinema in America: an Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Films, Characters, and Stories

This reference helps readers navigate the perilous odyssey those of an LGBTQ orientation had to face in an age less enlightened than our own, when an attraction to members of the same gender could lead to horrendous abuse. Just as American society has changed dramatically from decade to decade, so has queer cinema. Taking us from a time when LGBTQ characters were often represented as either caricatures or figures of farce, this lively yet authoritative reference explores the sea change ushered in by such stars as Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich in the 1930s and '40s, androgynous figures such as Montgomery Clift, James Dean, and Marlon Brando in the '50s, and closeted gay men such as Rock Hudson and Liberace, whose double lives were exposed by the scourge of AIDS.

Defining Documents in American History - Lgbtq+

As gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals have continued their fight for basic rights and equal treatment under the law, various court cases and challenges to those cases have continued to refine the debate. This new resource provides important analyses of over 80 documents significant to LGBTQ rights.

LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field

In 2015, the world watched as soccer star Abby Wambach kissed her wife after the US women's World Cup victory. Milwaukee Brewers' minor league first baseman David Denson came out as gay. And Caitlyn (born Bruce) Jenner, an Olympic decathlete, came out as transgender. It hasn't always been this way. Many great athletes have stayed in the closet their whole lives, or at least until retirement. Social attitudes, institutional policies, and laws are slow to change, but they are catching up. Together, athletes, families, educators, allies, and fans are pushing for competitive equity so that every athlete, regardless of identity, can have the opportunity to play at their very best.

Reclaiming Queer

Reclaiming Queer is an examination of the rhetorical linkage of queer theory in the academy with street-level queer activism in the 1980s and early 1990s. The late 1980s and early 1990s were a defining historical moment for both queer activism and queer theory in the United States. LGBT communities, confronted with the alarming violence and homophobia of the AIDS crisis, often responded with angry, militant forms of activism designed not merely to promote acceptance or tolerance, but to forge identity and strength from victimization and assert loudly and forcefully their rights to safety and humanity. The activist reclamation of the word "queer" is one marker of this shift in ideology and practice, and it was mirrored in academic circles by the concurrent emergence of the new field of "queer theory."

Building Fires in the Snow

Diversity has always been central to Alaska identity, as the state's population consists of people with many different backgrounds, viewpoints, and life experiences. This book opens a window into these diverse lives, gathering stories and poems about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer life into a brilliant, path-breaking anthology.             In these pages we see the panoply of LGBTQ life in Alaska today, from the quotidian urban adventures of a family--shopping, going out, working--to intimate encounters with Alaska's breathtaking natural beauty. At a time of great change and major strides in LGBTQ civil rights, Building Fires in the Snow shows us an Alaska that shatters stereotypes and reveals a side of Alaska that's been little seen until now.  

Every True Pleasure

Some of North Carolina's finest fiction and nonfiction writers come together in Every True Pleasure, including David Sedaris, Kelly Link, Allan Gurganus, Randall Kenan, and more. Within the volume--featuring writers who identify as gay, trans, bisexual, and straight--are stories and essays that view the full spectrum of contemporary life though an LGBTQ lens. These writers, all native or connected to North Carolina, show the multifaceted challenges and joys of LGBTQ life, including young love and gay panic, the minefield of religion, military service, having children with a surrogate, family rejection, finding one's true gender, finding sex, and finding love. One of the only anthologies of its kind, Every True Pleasure speaks with insight and compassion about living LGBTQ in North Carolina and beyond. Contributors include Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Brian Blanchfield, Belle Boggs, Emily Chavez, Garrard Conley, John Pierre Craig, Diane Daniel, Allan Gurganus, Minrose Gwin, Aaron Gwyn, Wayne Johns, Randall Kenan, Kelly Link, Zelda Lockhart, Toni Newman, Michael Parker, Penelope Robbins, David Sedaris, Eric Tran, and Alyssa Wong.

Work!

From the haute couture runways of Paris and New York and editorial photo shoots for glossy fashion magazines to reality television, models have been a ubiquitous staple of twentieth- and twenty-first-century American consumer culture. In Work! Elspeth H. Brown traces the history of modeling from the advent of photographic modeling in the early twentieth century to the rise of the supermodel in the 1980s. Brown outlines how the modeling industry sanitized and commercialized models' sex appeal in order to elicit and channel desire into buying goods. She shows how this new form of sexuality--whether exhibited in the Ziegfeld Follies girls' performance of Anglo-Saxon femininity or in African American models' portrayal of black glamour in the 1960s--became a central element in consumer capitalism and a practice that has always been shaped by queer sensibilities. By outlining the paradox that queerness lies at the center of capitalist heteronormativity and telling the largely unknown story of queer models and photographers, Brown offers an out of the ordinary history of twentieth-century American culture and capitalism.

Camp TV

Sitcoms of the 1950s and 1960s are widely considered conformist in their depictions of gender roles and sexual attitudes. In Camp TV Quinlan Miller offers a new account of the history of American television that explains what campy meant in practical sitcom terms in shows as iconic as The Dick Van Dyke Show as well as in more obscure fare, such as The Ugliest Girl in Town. Situating his analysis within the era's shifts in the television industry and the coalescence of straightness and whiteness that came with the decline of vaudevillian camp, Miller shows how the sitcoms of this era overflowed with important queer representation and gender nonconformity. Whether through regular supporting performances (Ann B. Davis's Schultzy in The Bob Cummings Show), guest appearances by Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly, or scripted dialogue and situations, industry processes of casting and production routinely esteemed a camp aesthetic that renders all gender expression queer. By charting this unexpected history, Miller offers new ways of exploring how supposedly repressive popular media incubated queer, genderqueer, and transgender representations.

Bodies of Evidence

Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Queer Oral History is the first book to provide serious scholarly insight into the methodological practices that shape lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer oral histories. Each chapter pairs an oral history excerpt with an essay in which the oral historian addresses his or her methods and practices. With an afterword by John D'Emilio, this collection enables readers to examine the role memory, desire, sexuality, and gender play in documenting LGBTQ communities and cultures.The historical themes addressed include 1950s and '60s lesbian bar culture; social life after the Cuban revolution; the organization of transvestite social clubs in the U.S. midwest in the 1960s; Australian gay liberation activism in the 1970s; San Francisco electoral politics and the career of Harvey Milk; Asian American community organizing in pre-AIDS Los Angeles; lesbian feminist "sex war" cultural politics; 1980s and '90s Latina/o transgender community memory and activism in San Francisco; and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.The methodological themes include questions of silence, sexual self-disclosure and voyeurism, the intimacy between researcher and narrator, and the social and political commitments negotiated through multiple oral history interviews. The book also examines the production of comparative racial and sexual identities and the relative strengths of same-sexuality, cross-sexuality, and cross-ideology interviewing.

Out in the Union

Out in the Union tells the continuous story of queer American workers from the mid-1960s through 2013. Miriam Frank shrewdly chronicles the evolution of labor politics with queer activism and identity formation, showing how unions began affirming the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers in the 1970s and 1980s. She documents coming out on the job and in the union as well as issues of discrimination and harassment, and the creation of alliances between unions and LGBT communities.    Featuring in-depth interviews with LGBT and labor activists, Frank provides an inclusive history of the convergence of labor and LGBT interests. She carefully details how queer caucuses in local unions introduced domestic partner benefits and union-based AIDS education for health care workers-innovations that have been influential across the U.S. workforce. Out in the Union also examines organizing drives at queer workplaces, campaigns for marriage equality, and other gay civil rights issues to show the enduring power of LGBT workers. 

The Boys in the Band

The Boys in the Band's debut was revolutionary for its fictional but frank presentation of a male homosexual subculture in Manhattan.The scholars assembled here bring an invigorating variety of methods to their considerations of this singular film. Coming from a wide range of academic disciplines, they pose and answer questions about the film in remarkably different ways. Cultural analysis, archival research, interviews, study of film traditions, and theoretical framing intensify their revelatory readings of the film. Many of the essays take inventive approaches to longstanding debates about identity politics, and together they engage with current academic work across a variety of fields that include queer theory, film theory, gender studies, race and ethnic studies, and Marxist theory. Addressing The Boys in the Band from multiple perspectives, these essays identify and draw out the film's latent flashpoints--aspects of the film that express the historical, cinematic, and queer-political crises not only of its own time, but also of today. The Boys in the Band is an accessible touchstone text in both queer studies and film studies. Scholars and students working in the disciplines of film studies, queer studies, history, theater, and sociology will surely find the book invaluable and a shaping influence on these fields in the coming years.

Queer Between the Covers

Queer Between the Covers presents a history of radical queer publishing and literature from 1880 to the modern day. Chronicling the gay struggle for acceptance and liberation, the book demonstrates how the fight for representation was often waged between the covers of books in a world where spaces for queer expression were taboo. The chapters provide an array of voices and histories from the famous, Derek Jarman and Oscar Wilde, to the lesser known and underappreciated, such as John Wieners and Valerie Taylor. It includes firsthand accounts of seminal moments in queer history, including the birth of Hazard Press and the Defend Gay's the Word Bookshop campaign in the 1980s. Queer Between the Covers demonstrates the importance of the book and how the queer community could be brought together through shared literature. The works discussed show the imaginative and radical ways in which queer texts have fought against censorship and repression and could be used as a political tool for organization and production.