June is the 50th anniversary of National LGBTQ Pride Month, originally organized by the ‘Mother of Pride’ Brenda Howard, who first scheduled it in 1970 to commemorate the Stonewall demonstrations the previous year. While it is painful this year to have so many public celebrations of LGBTQ identity curtailed or cancelled for health reasons, a movement so dedicated to the incredible diversity in how people come together and love each other cannot truly be kept apart.
The library offers many digital resources to inform and educate us all about sexual identity, from videos to books to databases and other educational materials. Our Libguide is a great place to start, and databases like Archives of Sexuality & Gender: LGBTQ History and Culture and GenderWatch are outstanding tools that include magazines, newspapers, government documents, reports, and primary sources like personal correspondence and interviews. Video databases such as AVON offer even more, such as American Experience’s Stonewall Uprising documentary series.
June is also celebrated by the American Library Association as Rainbow Book Month. Our dependable academic book collection offers a variety of topics and titles like Speaking for Our Lives: Historic Speeches and Rhetoric for Gay and Lesbian Rights by Robert B. Ridinger, Creating a Place for Ourselves: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community Histories edited by Brett Beemyn, An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk’s Speeches and Writings, and Right to Be Out: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in America’s Public Schools by Stuart Biegel.
But at this moment, with most libraries physically inaccessible, the HathiTrust has opened its catalog to member libraries (of which Indiana University is one) – after logging in (select Indiana University as your partner institution), click on Temporary Access, the click Check Out to use these books. It includes lots more great academic titles such as When we fight, we win: Twenty-first-century social movements and the activists that are transforming our world by Greg Jobin-Leeds, Stonewall by Martin Duberman, and Other kinds of families: embracing diversity in schools edited by Tammy Turner-Vorbeck.
Hathi Trust also contains many other types of books not typically found in academic databases, including books for young adults and children, like Hero by Perry Moore, All-American boys by Frank Mosca, and Lesléa Newman’s Heather has two mommies, Saturday is Pattyday, and Gloria goes to Gay Pride. For those with a child at home who have already read everything in the house, this can be a phenomenal teaching and bonding tool.
Even if we are apart, we can still celebrate Pride Month by learning. As we read, or listen, or watch, we can be present with the wisdom and insight of others across distance or decades.
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