LGBTQI+ books to read during Amsterdam Pride

Pride Amsterdam 2019 is just around the corner and many people are looking forward to celebrating diversity and equality during the canal parade.

Parties and activities will take place all over the city between July 27th and August 04th. Pride is always a hugely important celebration but this year is particularly special as June 28th marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. On this day in 1969, a group of young gay men and drag queens stood up to the police raiding the Stonewall Inn, a monumental event which led to the protest that started the modern LGBTQI+ rights movement.

To celebrate this historic event and pay my small tribute to the many authors, artists, and activists that have fought for equality during this half-century, I would like to share with you three of my favourite LGBTQI+ themed books. 

My recommendations:

An Archive of Hope. Harvey Milk´s Speeches and Writings. Ed. Jason Edwards Black and Charles E. Morris.

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected American politician. Elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and was killed by Dan White, a homophobic fellow supervisor, less than a year after he took office. The speeches collected in this edition tell his story and views in his own words. His ideas, revolutionary in the 70´s, are still fundamental to the success of the modern equality movements.

A little life, by Hanya Yanagihara

This novel follows the lives of four friends in New York City from college through to middle-age. It focuses particularly on Jude, a lawyer with a mysterious past, ambiguous ethnicity, and unexplained health issues. Jude walks with a limp and suffers from severe nerve damage in his spine that causes him great pain, which he blames on a car injury he sustained as a child. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, he also habitually self-harms. 

Finalist of the US Man Booker and National Book Award, A little life,  delves into the archetypes of toxic masculinity and how it has affected the lives of men (homosexual or not) over decades. 

This Is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel

Claude is five years old and when he grows up he wants to be a girl. Lauri Frankel uses this premise to talk about acceptance, family, love, and parenting.

This is a novel about a transgender child but is also a novel about change and secrets- about what is private and what should be private but is not. Using the structure of mum-lit, the author opens a conversation about gender that is difficult to articulate but needs to be had.

The above is a very small and personal sample of my favourite LGBTQI+ books. Let us know in the comments if you have any other personal favourites, we would love to hear from you!