Walker's Bookshelf

Pride Month

This June marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, a turning point for the LGBTQ movement in the United States that has led to June’s designation as Pride month in an evolving form of celebration and reflection. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a New York bar populated by gay patrons. The raid spurred opposition to the discrimination, resulting in three days of riots that brought momentum to the fight for gay rights. After Stonewall, the last Sunday in June was designated as “Gay Pride Day,” and the gradual expansion of Pride focused primarily on political demonstrations for LGBTQ rights, and, later, consciousness-raising during the AIDS epidemic. Beginning in the 1990s, Pride took on a more celebratory tone, continued to this day in a series of events, including parades and concerts, spread across the month.

While Pride is generally marked by events that affirm and build community, its origins in a critical moment of struggle have not been forgotten. June also sees memorials held internationally to honor those members of the LGBTQ community who have died of AIDS or due to discriminatory violence. Amidst lively events, there is often reflection on how the experience of the LGBTQ community has evolved and might continue to do so. Pride is not about stasis but rather recognizes that there is still room and opportunity for change.

At the core of Pride in its current manifestation, and inherent in its very name, is a spirit of emphatic contentment with one’s own identity and a celebration of diversity and solidarity. Pride encompasses unapologetic pride in self and community that is not limited to any one population but can be an expansive and fluid celebration of identity. Though June brings parades and other festivities throughout the world, the path it opens for self-expression also harmonizes with the harnessing of the written word. These novels, memoirs, graphic novels, poems, and historical/social works of nonfiction offer a variety of perspectives on the LGBTQ experience, detailing both struggles and self-affirmation.


  • Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman
  • Another Country, James Baldwin
  • The House of Impossible Beauties, Joseph Cassara
  • Here Comes the Sun, Nicole Dennis-Benn
  • Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Less, Andrew Sean Greer
  • Speak No Evil, Uzodinma Iweala
  • The End of Eddy, Édouard Louis
  • Sugar Run, Mesha Maren
  • Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta
  • The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov, Paul Russell
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon
  • Annabel, Kathleen Winter
  • Orlando, Virginia Woolf
  • A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara


  • Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, ed. Kate Bornstein & S. Bear Bergman
  • Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, David Carter
  • The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, Lillian Faderman
  • Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity, ed. Mattilda
  • Transgender History, Susan Stryker


  • As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as A Girl, John Colapinto
  • Boy Erased, Garrard Conley
  • My Queer War, James Lord
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, Janet Mock
  • Not So Good a Gay Man, Frank M. Robinson
  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeanette Winterson

Graphic Novels

  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel
  • My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, Nagata Kabi
  • Luisa Now and Then, Carole Maurel
  • Love Is Love: A Comic Book Anthology to Benefit the Survivors of the Orlando Pulse Shooting, ed. Marc Andreyko, Sarah Gaydos & Jamie S. Rich
  • First Year Out, Sabrina Symington


  • Collected Poems, 1947-1997, Allen Ginsberg
  • The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde, Audre Lorde
  • I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014, Eileen Myles
  • Don’t Call Us Dead, Danez Smith
  • Night Sky with Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong

Written by Nora Curry