For anyone who may not already know, June is Pride Month! It’s a time for members of the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate their identities and commemorate events such as the Stonewall Riots (June 1969) in the United States and the Toronto Bathhouse Raids (Feb. 1981) in Canada, both of which sparked new revolution and resistance in the fight for equality and acceptance. The LGBTQ+ community contains people from every background imaginable, and whether you’re part of this community or not, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your knowledge. I’ve put together a brief list of educational resources for Pride Month so we can all continue to learn and be inclusive the other eleven months out of the year.
The Queeriodic Table: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Culture by Harriet Dyer. This is a great introductory read. It’s a small book, at only 126 pages, but it contains subjects such as Queer history, influential Queer individuals, information on global Pride events, Queer works of art, and more. One of my favourite things about this book is that it includes additional resources for you to discover, such as films, music, and books.
Queer Progress: From Homophobia to Homonationalism by Tim McCaskell. This is a much more academic book, looking specifically at the LGBTQ+ history of Toronto, Canada, from 1974 to 2014. McCaskell dives into activism and resistance, while also looking at the ways in which the community today still faces injustice.
Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner. This book takes a look at bisexual politics, tackling issues such as beliefs that bisexuals are too promiscuous, and that one cannot claim to be bisexual unless they have engaged romantically and sexually with both men and women. A powerful read, this will make any bisexual feel seen and heard.
How to Survive a Plague (2012). This documentary follows U.S. activists and their advocacy during the AIDS epidemic while the government and drug companies failed to make any progress in responding to it. This work contains archival footage and interviews which add a powerful impact to the audience.
Two Spirits: Sexuality, Gender, and the Murder of Fred Martinez (2009) follows the story of Fred Martinez, a two spirit individual murdered at the age of 16. It also looks at Navajo beliefs around gender and spirituality, and reveals a history before colonization of the ways in which two spirit people held places of honour in Indigenous communities.
Paris is Burning (1990) looks at the ballrooms of New York during the 1980s. It’s a well rounded tale about the fun, glamour, and drama, and the racism, transphobia, and homophobia of this environment.
And as always, remember to support LGBTQ+ artists! Casey Plett is a transgender Canadian author who writes compelling poetry and exciting prose; Hayley Kiyoko is a lesbian music artist with an incredible voice who advocates for the LGBTQ+ community through her songs; Jaik Puppyteeth is a Queer Canadian visual artist who creates beautifully haunting pieces.