Under Consideration

Under Consideration for December 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Non-fiction

Adamczyk, Amy. Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality: Examining Attitudes Across the Globe. University of California Press, 2017.

Brown, Arch. A Pornographer. Chelsea Station Editions, 2017.

Crimp, Douglas. Before Pictures. University of Chicago Press, 2016.

LeVay, Simon. Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Liete, David. Notes On a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression. Dey Street, 2016.

Maupin, Armistead. Logical Family: A Memoir. Harper Collins, 2017.

Meneghetti, Monica. What the Mouth Wants: A Memoir of Food, Love and Belonging. Dagger Editions, 2017.

Morris, Bonnie J. The Disappearing L: Erasure of Lesbian Spaces and Culture. State University of New York Press, 2016.

Murtaugh, Daniel J. Good Night, Beloved Comrade: The Letters of Denton Welch to Eric Oliver. University of Wisconsin Press, 2017.

Pfeffer, Carla A. Queering Families: The Postmodern Partnerships of Cisgender Women and Transgender Men. Oxford Universtiy Press, 2017.

Road, Cristy C. Indestructible: Growing Up Queer, Cuban, and Punk in Miami. Microcosm Publishing, 2017.

Ruberg, Bonnie. Queer Game Studies. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Ruti, Mari. The Ethics of Opting Out: Queer Theory’s Defiant Subjects. Columbia University Press, 2017.

Schreiber, Michael. One-Man Show: The Life and Art of Bernard Perlin. Bruno Gmünder, 2016.

Solomon, Jeff. So Famous and So Gay: The Fabulous Potency of Truman Capote and Gertrude Stein. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Snorton, C. Riley. Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Stellar, Stanley. Into the Light: Photographs of the NYC Pride Parade from 1970 till Today. Bruno Gmuender, 2017.

Passet, Joanne. Indomitable: The Life of Barbara Grier. Bella Books, 2016.

Rupp, Leila J. Understanding and Teaching U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History. University of Wisconsin Press, 2017.

Viloria, Hida. Born Both: An Intersex Life. Hachette, 2017.

Waite, Stacey. Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017.

 

Fiction and Literature

Arndt, Jess. Large Animals. Catapult, 2017.

Bryant, Kris. Forget Me Not. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

Davis, Theresa. Drowned: A Mermaid’s Manifesto. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016.

Dennis-Benn, Nicole. Here Comes the Sun. Norton/Liveright, 2016.

Donnelly, Lara Elena. Amberlough. Tor, 2017.

Frank, Ella. Tease. EverAfter Romance, 2017.

Hassell, Santino. Insight. Riptide Publishing, 2017.

Kingsbridge, Cordelia. Kill Game. Riptide Publishing, 2017.

Long, JC. Hearts in Ireland. Dreamspinner Press, 2017.

Lynch, Lee. Rainbow Gap. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

Plakcy, Neil S. The Next One Will Kill You. Diversion Books, 2016.

Purnell, Brontez. Since I Laid My Burden Down. Feminist Pres, 2017.

White, Arisa. You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened. Augury Books, 2017.

Wilson, Jon. Club Arcana: Operation Janus. Bold Strokes Books, 2017.

Wilson, Kai Ashante. Taste of Honey. TOR, 2016.

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Under Consideration for November 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Non-fiction

Gaines, Steven. One of These Things First. Delphinium, 2017.

Mock, Janet. Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me. Bloomsbury USA, 2017.

 

Fiction and Literature

Louis, Édouard. The End of Eddy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

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Under Consideration for October 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Literature

Brown, Rita Mae. Cakewalk. Bantam Books, 2016.

Lain, Tara. Return of the Chauffeur’s Son. Dreamspinner Press, 2017.

 

Non-fiction

Ortleb, Charles. Truth to Power: New York Native 1980-1997. Rubicon Media, 2016.

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Under Consideration for September 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Literature

Argent, Sam. Witches for Hire. DSP Publications, 2017

Crocker, Eva. Barreling Forward: Stories. Astoria/House of Anansi Press, 2017.

Kudisch, Erica. Don’t Feed the Trolls. Riptide Publishing, 2017.

Madison, Sarah. Unspeakable Words. Dreamspinner Press, 2017.

North, Vanessa. Summer Stock. Riptide Publishing, 2016.

Statovci, Pajtim. My Cat Yugoslavia: A Novel. Pantheon, 2018.

Sebastian, Cat. The Lawrence Browne Affair. Avon Impulse/Harper Collins, 2017.

Smith, Danez. Don’t Call Us Dead. Graywolf Press, 2017.

Thom, Kai Cheng. A Place Called No Homeland. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017.

Non-fiction

Mayo, Cris. Gay-Straight Alliances and Associations Among Youth in Schools. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

 

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Under Consideration for August 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Literature

Aciman, André. Enigma Variations. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2017.

Dempsey, Joan. This Is How It Begins. She Writes Press, 2017.
Frankel, Laurie. This Is How It Always Is: A Novel. Flatiron Books (Macmillan Books), 2017.
James, Renee. Seven Suspects. Oceanview Publishing, 2017.
Miaojin, Qui. Notes of a Crocodile. New York Review Books, 2017.
Raisin, Ross. A Natural. Random House, 2017.
Satyal, Rakesh. No One Can Pronounce My Name. Picador/Macmillan, 2017.
Sebastian, Cat. Ruin of a Rake. Avon Impulse/Harper Collins, 2017.
Wilde, Jen. Queens of Geek. Swoon Reads, 2017.
Non-fiction
Albrecht, Donald. Gay Gotham:  Art and Underground Culture in New York. Rizzoli/Skira, 2017.
Borders, Ila Jane and Ardel, Jean Hastings. Making my Pitch: A Woman’s Baseball Odyssey. University of Nebraska Press, 2017.
Halley, Jean and Eshleman, Amy. Seeing Straight:  An Introduction to Gender and Sexual Privelege. Rowman and Littlefield, 2016.
Lawson, Wenn B. and Beatrice M. Transitioning Together:  One Couple’s Journey of Gender and Identity Discovery. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.
Humann, Heather Duerre. Gender Bending Detective Fiction: A Critical Analysis of Selected Works. McFarland and Company, 2017.
Rosenberg, Rosalind. Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray. Oxford University Press, 2017.
Sedaris, David. Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977-2002). Little, Brown, and Company, 2017.

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Under Consideration for July 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Literature

Boylan, Jennifer Finney.  Long Black Veil:  A Novel. Crown, 2017.
Hart, Ellen.  Fever in the Dark:  A Jane Lawless Mystery. Minotaur Books, 2017.
Pederson, David S.  Death Goes Overboard.  Bold Strokes Books, 2017.
Non-fiction

Evans, Andrew.  The Black Penguin.  University of Wisconsin Press, 2017.

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Under Consideration for June 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Literature

Alameddine, Rabih. The Angel of History. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2017.

Beck, Christian. The Last Enemy. DSP Publications, 2016.

Chen Chen. When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities. BOA Editions, Ltd., 2017.

Eubanks, Tom. Ghosts of St. Vincent’s. TOMUS Publishing, 2017.

Irani, Anosh. The Parcel. Knopf Canada, 2016.

Murphy, Tim. Christadora: A Novel. Grove Press, 2016.

Woods, Chavisa. Things to Do When You’re Goth in the Country and Other Stories. Seven Stories Press, 2017.

Zomparelli, Daniel. Everything is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017.

Non-fiction

Ahmed, Sara. Living a Feminist Life. Duke University Press, 2017.

Bell, Matt, Editor. The Boys in the Band: Flashpoints of Cinema, History, and Queer Politics. Wayne State University Press, 2016.

Edwards, Chris. Balls: It Takes Some to Get Some. Greenleaf, 2016.

Johnson, Fenton. Everywhere Home: a Life in Essays. Sarabande Books, 2017.

Levy, Ariel. The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir. Random House, 2017.

Sharman, Zena. The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.

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Under Consideration for May 2017

The following titles have been read and recommended for inclusion on the final list by at least one juror:

Fiction and Literature

Banias, Ari.  Anybody: Poems. W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.

D’abo, Christine. Working It: A Ringside Romance. Riptide Publishing, 2017.

Kelly, Donika. Bestiary. Graywolf Press, 2016.

Lennox, Cass. Blank Spaces. Riptide Publishing, 2016.

Luce, Ed. Wuvable Oaf: Blood & Metal. Fantagraphics Books, 2016.

Maclean, Dal. Bitter Legacy. Blind Eye Books, 2016.

Martinez, Angel. Uncommonly Tidy Poltergeists. Mischief Corner Books, 2017.

Mehta, Rahul. No Other World:  A Novel.  HarperCollins, 2017.

Nava, Michael. Lay Your Sleeping Head: A Henry Rios Mystery. Kórima Press, 2016.

Sater, Richard Compson. Rank. Bold Strokes Books, 2016.

Style of Attack Report. Metropolarity, 2017.

Walker, Philip Dean. At Danceteria and Other Stories. Squares & Rebels, 2016.

Non-fiction

Coyote, Ivan E.  Tomboy Survival Guide.  Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.

Clare, Eli. Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure. Duke University Press, 2017.

Grace, Laura Jane. Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout. Hachette Books, 2017.

Harrison, B. F., & Michelson, M. R.  Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Hayes, Bill. Insomniac City:  NY, Oliver and Me. Bloomsbury, 2017.

Jones, Cleve. When We Rise: My Life in the Movement. Hachette Books, 2016.

Lepore, Amanda. Doll Parts. Regan Arts, 2017.

Liberge, E., Delalande, A., & Homel, D. The Case of Alan Turing: The Extraordinary and Tragic Story of the Legendary Code Breaker. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016.

Patterson, Pat. Accepted:  How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE. ECW Press, 2016.

Wright, iO Tillet. Darling Days: A Memoir. HarperCollins, 2016.

 

 

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2017 Over the Rainbow Fiction/Literature Nominees

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. HarperCollins, 2016. For August, friendship was everything. It was the 1970s in Brooklyn. She and her three best girlfriends lived confident of their talents, dreaming of the future. But their Brooklyn was a dangerous place, where dreams were fleeting, and growing up female was not easy.  Woodson’s latest novel is an epic poem, honoring memories of girlhood, fragile community, and fate.

Beijing Comrades by Bei Tong. Translated by Scott E. Myers, forward by Petrus Liu. Feminist Press, 2016. This classic forbidden love story has a modern twist, beginning shortly before the protests in Tiananmen Square. A businessman in China makes contact with a younger man over the internet and the romance that follows changes his life in ways that hold a mirror up to the tumult occurring in his country.

Call Me By My Other Name by Valerie Wetlaufer. Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016. A true story of a transgender man in the 1890s, his short incarceration, and discovery as a biological female, his wife, the people around him who react to the discovery of his gender assigned at birth, and a modern response to a tale that has repeated for over a century. The language reads like truth carved in whispers and blood on the heart.

The Cosmopolitans by Sarah Schulman. Feminist Press, 2016. Schulman tells a story of neighbors: Earl, a closeted, black gay man, and Bette, a middle-aged lesbian. She evokes the time and the atmosphere of midcentury Greenwich Village. Their thirty-year friendship is the story of chosen families, as well as the history of a city where they, and queer people arriving from around the United States, tried to be themselves.

Dig by Bryan Borland. Stillhouse, 2016. This slim collection of poetry from Borland, the 2015 Lambda Literary Fellow in poetry, rings of painful and joyful truth. From incisive views on his family’s acceptance of his husband (Easter in Your Hometown) to quiet personal moments of pain (My Cat) to life and death (The Jumpers) to love and loss (Gold and Silver Mixed to One), his voice is clear, fierce, and lingers in the reader’s mind.

God in Pink by Hasan Namir. Arsenal Pulp Press, 2015. The story follows Ramy, a devout Muslim college student in Iraq in 2003, who copes with being gay in the context of war, family tragedy, state-sanctioned murder, torture, and rape. He struggles with faith and sectarian violence, before finding enlightenment and peace in a strange weaving of the real and the metaphysical worlds.

Guapa by Saleem Haddad. Other Press, 2016. The strength of the characters in this debut novel makes up for a few small problems in the execution of the plot. One day in the life of a gay man in today’s Middle East, grounded in personal history after his grandmother discovers him with his male lover and his life implodes.

If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There by Dave Madden. Break Away Books, 2016. A variety of short stories that Madden brings to life with relatable specificity and subtleness of everyday life that make the stories feel real. The stories range from a young woman struggling to gain independence to a man choosing faith over love.

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Decoded by Jim Ottaviani, illustrated by Leland Purvis, Abrams Comic Arts, 2016. A realistic, imaginative, well-drawn graphic novel exploring the life and death of the great mathematician and pioneer of artificial intelligence and computer science,  Alan Turing. His incredible feats during and after WWII were overshadowed by his prosecution for being homosexual. As Ottaviani notes, “I wish I lived in a world that benefited from decades more of Alan Turing alive and well, thinking and discovering.”

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera. Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016. The coming-of-age story of a young woman learning what it is to be who she is.  Lesbian, Puerto Rican, New Yorker Juliet is running to something that isn’t what she expected and running from problems that follow along with her. A great story for anyone who has ever felt that love can’t replace understanding, that understanding comes in ways you never expected, and that heroes are what you make of them.

Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón. Translated by Victoria Cribb. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016. In 1918, Reykjavik, Iceland was still an isolated place, but its isolation ended in a war to the south and with the arrival in the port of a Danish ship of the deadly Spanish Flu.  Moonstone is a miniature epic about isolation, both geographic and personal. Its protagonist, Máni, lives and survives on silent films, fantasy, and sexual adventures with men met in the shadows.

Our Young Man by Edmund White. Bloomsbury, 2016. A late 20th century Dorian Gray, Guy arrives from small-town France into the world of modeling. His looks are so perfect he demands top fees well into his 30s. White tells his story and the story of the vapid world of fashion at the beginning of the AIDS crisis with a wry sensibility that makes him part of the “gay canon.”

A Thin, Bright Line by Lucy Jane Bledsoe. University of Wisconsin Press, 2016. A fictionalized reimagining of the life of the author’s aunt, Lucybelle Bledsoe is a scientist working during the Cold War. While her skills and knowledge offer her a promising career, her private life as a lesbian may not hold up to government scrutiny.

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2017 Over the Rainbow Non-fiction Nominees

Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory, 2nd ed. by Qwo-Li Driskill. University of Arizona Press, 2016. Both a brutal history of colonial intrusion on native peoples and a call to action for asegi (strange spirited) indigenous people to reclaim an ancient, non-binary history of sexuality, the author (Cherokee, poet, historian) uses primary documents to illuminate a world invaded under the justification that ‘savage’ cultures had to be ‘civilized’… and part of that ‘savagery’ was the existence of gender identity Westerners couldn’t understand.

Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls by Lindsay King-Miller. Plume, 2016. A series of essays about lesbian life based on the advice column of the same name. Topics are written to address both queer and straight readers and include dating, sexual relationships, being out at work, and finding allies.

Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman. Viking, 2015. A richly crafted memoir about a gay son and his aging octogenarian mother. As her health declines, the son returns to the small Missouri town and the house he grew up in, from New York City, to care for her. Despite the passage of time and the decline of both Betty’s and the town’s health, not much has changed in their relationship.

A Body Undone: Living On After Great Pain by Cristina Crosby. “Sexual Cultures.” NYU Press, 2016. One month after her fiftieth birthday, the author becomes a quadriplegic after breaking her neck in a bicycle accident. In this memoir, she writes about her changing feelings toward her body, her relationship, and her own sense of self.

Boy Erased: A Memoir by Garrard Conley. Riverhead, 2016. Conley, a son of a pastor, tells how his struggle with his sexuality brought him to checking into an ex-gay conversion therapy program during his late teens in 2004. He gives a stark look into how he survives the abusive program, struggles with his faith, and comes to terms with his sexuality.

The Cambridge Companion to Lesbian Literature Edited by Jodie Medd. Cambridge University Press, 2016. Representations of lesbian identities, sexuality, and communities in literature from the medieval era to the present are examined as only the Cambridge Companions can, with academic, yet accessible articles on essential authors such as Willa Cather and Audre Lorde, and literary movements, theoretical arguments, and periods. This text is a useful introduction to the variety of lesbian writing.

The Courts, the Ballot Boxes, and Gay Rights: How Our Governing Institutions Shape the Same-Sex Marriage Debate by Joseph Mello. University of Kansas Press, 2016. This well-written and organized book examine how issues, such as same-sex marriage, are shaped by the political system. In offering an extended analysis of the conservative opposition to marriage equality, the author illuminates for us how a political advantage at the ballot box shifts once the courts become involved.

Cursed Legacy: The tragic life of Klaus Mann by Frederic Spotts. Yale, 2016. Klaus Mann, son of Thomas Mann, was one of the first German writers to openly write gay plays and novels, and one of the first to criticize Nazism. He stood by his principles even as he was vilified both by the Germans and later, because he was an outspoken gay writer, by the Americans. He died too young, and this biography attests to both his genius and our loss.

Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes Are Claiming Their Rightful Place in Sports by Cyd Zeigler. Edge of Sports, 2016. A foremost expert in LGBTQIA athletics, Zeigler offers a perspective on the difficulties encountered by these athletes, as well as looking at key moments which have shaped their experiences. While LGBTQIA athletes have made tremendous strides, Zeigler points out how much remains to be done.

The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice by Patricia Bell-Scott. Knopf, 2016. A chronicle of the friendship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Pauli Murray: granddaughter of a mixed-race slave, lawyer, civil rights activist, minister, and co-founder of the National Organization for Women. The book explores the professional and social cost of Murray’s race and gender, in the context of her correspondence with Roosevelt, mentions issues of her gender fluidity and same-sex relationships, and Roosevelt’s use of Murray’s advocacy for racial equality in her public writings.

Forward: A Memoir by Abby Wambach. Dey St/William Morrow, 2016. Memoir of the Olympian and titan of women’s soccer, Abby Wambach, who in 2015 set the record for most goals scored for anyone, men, and women. Her voice comes through strongly, detailing her love/hate relationship with the game, relationships with her wife and close friends, struggles with addiction, and charting her own course through life.

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks. Knopf, 2015. In the last days of his life, the renowned physician and professor of neurology reflect on ideas that shaped his outlook and those things that gave him joy in these four essays that describe his life as a gift and do not view his terminal illness as a medical failure.

Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World by Gregory Wood. Yale University Press, 2016. The word, “homintern” popularized in the 1930s, refers to an international conspiracy of homosexuals. Spanning continents, cultures, and the century since the trial of Oscar Wilde, this entertaining, impeccably researched text is filled with history, gossip, a well-curated selection of illustrations, and ultimately proves Woods’ thesis, that gay men and lesbians, through art and tenacity, did indeed liberate the modern world.

Hoover’s War on Gays: Exposing the FBI’s “Sex Deviates” Program by Douglas M. Charles. University Press of Kansas, 2015. A scholar on the history of J. Edgar Hoover’s reign of the FBI, Charles chronicles the wide-reaching efforts of intimidation and harassment of gays and lesbians, as well as the organizations that supported them. The FBI’s ‘Sex Deviates’ program amassed more than 330,000 pages of information, which were destroyed in the late 1970s.This work fills an important gap in history.

A House in St. John’s Wood: In Search of My Parents by Matthew Spender. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. Son of famed World War I era poet, Stephen Spender and his renowned musician wife, Natasha, the author’s memoir is a quest to understand his parents’ relationship with a detailed biography of their marriage in upper class 1950’s London. Their house was filled with notables of the time. His father continued to have relationships with men, his mother infatuations. Through anecdotes and history, he captures life in a house full of tension and genius, and how ultimately, we are shaped by the strangeness of our families.

I Can Give You Anything But Love by Gary Indiana. Rizzoli/Ex Libris, 2015. The memories from this multifaceted writer and artist have an astringent, biting edge, as recounted here. The writing is eclectic, sometimes satirical, and always real. The author spares no sin in an explicit, unflinching look at his sex- and drug-fueled life, from the punk movement to the AIDS crisis, in his unmistakable voice.

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company, 2016. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist tries to find the truth when her father shocks her with the news of her sex-change surgery. Questions of identity, rage, and history haunt her story: Hungarian or American, Magyar or Jew, victim or victimizer, man or woman? In the end, “in the universe, there is only one true divide, one real binary: life or death.”  Everything else is open to interpretation, acceptance, or denial.

Masculinities under Neoliberalism Edited by Andrea Cornwall, Frank Karioris, and Nancy Lindisfarne. University of Chicago Press, 2016. Examines the effect of neoliberalism on men’s experience and understanding of gender on a global scale, from Russia, China, Brazil, Angola, the UK, the USA, and more countries, through the lens of working life, sports, religion, parenthood, and more. This work would be useful for sociologists, queer, feminist, and masculinity theorists, and postcolonial studies.

Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir by Joel Grey with Rebecca Paley. Flatiron, 2016. The accomplished actor’s memoir expounds upon his wide-ranging career, from small Jewish theaters with his father to Broadway and his Tony-award winning role in Cabaret that later earns him an Academy Award. In an engaging voice, he shares his struggles with his mother, the support from his father and friends, challenges within his marriage, and his open acceptance later in life as a gay man.

Murder Over a Girl: Justice, Gender, Junior High by Ken Corbett. Henry Holt, 2016. The emotionally-charged true story of a 14 year old murdering his transgender classmate at school, and the trial that followed. The author profiles the people affected by this tragedy, from the victim to the killer, to the families, classmates, and jurors involved in the case. He comes to a disturbing conclusion about our society, what we teach our children, and how we respond to hate crimes.

My Son Wears Heels: One Mom’s Journey from Clueless to Kickass by Julie Tarney, forward by Diane Ehrensaft. University of Wisconsin Press, 2016. At age two, Julie Tarney’s child stated ‘Inside my head, I’m a girl’. In the pre-Internet age, she felt disoriented but was determined to be a loving and supportive parent, doing the right thing for her child. This book chronicles the memorable mother-son relationship, which exemplifies trust, love, and best parenting.

New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics by Ramzi Fawaz. New York University Press, 2016. This work mines cultural theory to unveil the moral philosophy, political implications, and social semiotics woven throughout American comics in the 20th century. Densely-articulated readings of Fantastic Four, X-Men, New Mutants and other titles unpack the non-normative, outsider, queer, and excluded elements of American culture that readers connected with on a visceral level and that shaped society in ways the authors/artists/producers may never have envisioned.

Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis by Kevin Mumford. University of Minnesota Press, 2016. The author highlights a select few gay men, often obscured or forgotten, in the Civil Rights Movement.  Their voices have never been heard with such clarity. The author relies on primary documents, historicism, and social theory to explore how some men struggled with a culture of both racial and sexual oppression, from the 1960s into the 21st century.

Out of the Closet, Into the Archives: Researching Sexual Histories by Amy L. Stone and Jaime Cantrell, SUNY Press, 2016. This anthology reveals the archive as an ethnological exploration, from the community archives maintained by dedicated activists and enthused amateurs to the massively increasing university and college outposts. Researchers mine primary documents and ephemera for subtextual, contextual, and overt traces of gay, lesbian, and trans lives. “The case histories provided here testify to the value of innovative collections and the imaginative uses to which scholars can put them.”

Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics by Timothy Stewart-Winter. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. A case study of community activism and local politics examines how a movement that had been losing in the courts turned their record around and began to win. It focuses on three points: local context that coalesced the community; forging local partnerships for protection and later progress; and finally, how geographic co-location contributes or limits political power.

Queer Marxism in Two Chinas by Petrus Liu. Duke University Press, 2015. The two Chinas in the title are mainland China and Taiwan. The author of this academic work probes this important and often overlooked area of conflict between political and social spheres, analyzing how queer activists, engaging with the Marxist policies between and within the “two Chinas”, have formed unique and specific ways to resist oppression. Timely and instructive.

Romaine Brooks: A Life by Cassandra Langer. Abrams, 2015. A biography of the lesbian artist and expatriate American painter. Langer does not shy away from Brooks’ fascist leanings at the same time as she repositions Brooks as a cosmopolitan lesbian artist during a time when homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder.

Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That’s When My Nightmare Began by Alex Cooper and Joanna Brooks. HarperOne, 2016. The story of 15-year-old lesbian Alex, whose Mormon family enrolls her in an unlicensed residential treatment program in Utah where she is physically and verbally abused. After several months, she escapes, and with the help of a legal team in Salt Lake City, wins the right to live as an openly gay teen. This is an important story exposing the horrors of gay conversion therapy and rehabilitation centers.

Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues & Coming of Age Through Vinyl by Rashod Ollison. Beacon Press, 2016. Ollison tells his excruciatingly honest experience coming of age in Arkansas in a working-class family dealing with poverty. When Ollison’s father abandons the family, he leaves behind the music that helps to shape Ollison’s identity and gives him hope. He also explores how masculinity and becoming aware of his sexuality at a young age affects him.

Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation by Jim Downs. Basic Books, 2016. Downs has written an essential historical text on gay life during the “forgotten” time between 1969 and the beginnings of the AIDS crisis. Using documents from large metropolitan LGBT centers, he explores communities like the Metropolitan Community Church and those formed in book stores, proving the ‘70s were more than pride marches, sex, and discos.

A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire by Hiram Perez. Sexual Cultures Series. NYU Press, 2015. Scholarly, accessible work examines queer theory and shows how it has sidestepped the central concept of race. The author traces the history and impact of the eroticism of ‘brown bodies’ and its centrality in the purview of gay, white, Western colonialist thinking. The author’s close readings of queer theory texts and use of ‘brown’ mirroring, to some extent, the work of José Muñoz, help make this a revelatory work.

Undoing Monogamy: The Politics of Science and the Possibilities of Biology by Angela Willey. Duke University Press, 2016. The author takes the reader a step beyond the science: she gives an interdisciplinary reading of biopossibilities, politics, polyamory, and cultural norms with all their rigid failings, arriving not at a conclusion, but at an invitation to continue the debate. She ends with an explicit call for a “dyke science” to radically re-address how we approach the study of nature, culture, and community.

The Wedding Heard ‘Round the World: America’s First Gay Marriage by Michael McConnell with Jack Baker as told to Gail Langer Karwoski. University of Minnesota Press, 2016. A chronicle of the perils and triumphs of the first same-sex marriage to take place in the United States, which occurred on September 3, 1971. It explores the impact of their personal lives on their professional careers immediately and in the following decades.

Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality by Katherine Franke. Sexual Cultures Series. NYU Press, 2015. This academic work takes a legal and sociological perspective on gay marriage, making a dismaying case for sexual and racial exclusion under the guise of marriage rights. Shortly after slavery was abolished, laws were used to stoke hatred and restrict rather than protect rights; she warns of the possibility of similar outcomes, including the loss of an engaged and supportive GLBTQIA community, with legalizing same-sex marriage.

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