The Read Out (List): will be an annual list of curated reading suggestions that take the reader on a queer literary journey which, at its end, should move one further along in their understanding of the intersectional experiences of the various identities within the spectrum of our LGBTQ+ community.
Throughout the year we’ll find moments to make space for conversation and reflection—sometimes with authors, sometimes with thought leaders, sometimes just with friends. Semi-book club; for sure reading clutch; sometimes discussion group; always open to read…out.
Read Out 2021: Pride and Prejudice
The 1950s and 1960s in America were peppered with protest and moments of forward momentum; the Civil Rights movement was a response to America not hearing the continued alarm of oppression Black people in the United States were sounding. And in June of 1969 America had failed to hear the cries of the LGBTQ+ community’s humanity as their livelihoods and lives were being taken away in public sight.
The Stonewall Uprising were riots against police brutality…they were protests against the injustices enacted on a people–the LGBTQ+ community. It was Black and Trans people who served as the champions of change in that moment, the leaders of protests; Black and Trans people who had greater injustices enacted on their bodies than their white counterparts.
Today, in June, we observe LGBTQ+ Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, an uprising against police brutality that erupted in New York City in June of 1969. In 2020 Pride Month came as protests against the systemic criminalization and destruction of Black lives endure across the country and we are ever more profoundly reminded of this history. We owe the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement to the Black and Brown Trans people who sparked this rebellion that still persist 52 years later.
With this inaugural list we explore the intricate space of Black identities in American and Queer life and the communal internal reflection needed to do the intentional and continual work it takes to be anti-racist while learning to better appreciate the intersectional identities of the LGBTQ+ movement—our PRIDE.
Their Eyes Were Watching God
By Zora Neale Hurston – 1937
The Fire Next Time
By James Baldwin – 1963
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
By Audre Lorde – 1982
Parable of the Sower
By Octavia Butler – 1993
West Indian Immigrants: A Black Success Story?
By Suzanne Model – 2008
Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis
By Kevin Mumford – 2016
A Year Without You
By Julian J. Walker – 2018
Brown White Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion
By Nishta J. Mehra – 2019
Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland
By Jonathan M. Metzl – 2019
How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir
By Saeed Jones (recent transplant to Columbus) – 2019
If you plan to purchase these books, you’re encouraged to shop local, shop LGBTQ+, and BIPOC if and when you can; we also encourage you to consider shopping via Amazon Smile where a percentage of your purchase will support the selected charity of your choice—hopefully you’ll make that Stonewall Columbus!
Be sure to sign up for the Stonewall newsletter to receive updates on The Read Out activities and programs https://stonewallcolumbus.org/signup/.
An Antiracist Reading List: Ibram X. Kendi on books to help America transcend its racist heritage.
By Ibram X. Kendi
May 29, 2019
Best Black queer books, according to Black LGBTQ leaders
By Gwen Aviles
June 19, 2020
25 Black Queer Books to Honor Protests and Pride Month
June 12, 2020