Essential Pride Month Reading List

This Pride Month, we invite our readers to honor the contributions of LGBTQ+ activists with this collection of some of our recent titles featuring a range of experiences within diverse contexts. For more titles, check out the full list of titles in our Sexuality Studies collection.

“Conexión a la Comunidad: Latinx LGBT Feelings of Connectedness”

By Robert B. Peterson

Over the past decade, progress among LGBT Americans has been impressive. However, are all subgroups experiencing that process equally? More specifically, for example, how connected to the larger/majority (white) LGBT community do Latinx LGBTs feel? Using a national sample of LGBT Latinx people, Peterson explores implications related to activism, nativity, racial identity, and city residency.

Queer and Trans Migrations: Dynamics of Illegalization, Detention, and Deportation

Edited by Eithne Luibhéid and Karma R. Chávez

More than a quarter of a million LGBTQ-identified migrants in the United States lack documentation and constantly risk detention and deportation. Luibhéid and Chávez’s collection feature The academics, activists, and artists in the volume center illegalization, detention, and deportation in national and transnational contexts, and examine how migrants and allies negotiate, resist, refuse, and critique these processes.

Available October 2020

From Jalsah to Jalsa: Music, Identity, and (Gender) Transitioning at a Hijra Rite of Initiation

By Jeff Roy

Roy investigates the connections among music making, identity, and belonging within the context of a jalsa, a celebratory rite of initiation for a Hijra (South Asian “third gender” individual) entering her gharana (family). This article is accompanied by an hour long film that was edited to convey the physical and emotional sensation of a nirvan hijra‘s journey.

Queering the Global Filipina Body: Contested Nationalisms in the Filipina/o Diaspora

By Gina K. Velasco

Contemporary popular culture stereotypes Filipina women as sex workers, domestic laborers, mail order brides, and caregivers. These figures embody the gendered and sexual politics of representing the Philippine nation in the Filipina/o diaspora. Using a queer diasporic analysis, Velasco asks: can a queer and feminist imagining of the diaspora reconcile with gendered tropes of the Philippine nation?

Available in November 2020

A Shelf of One’s Own: A Queer Production Studies Approach to LGBT Film Distribution and Categorization

By Bryan Wuest

Previously, queer films were considered too niche to warrant its own genre. Wuest follows queer films’ transition from “special interest” films to having their own category just as do those in horror or adventure.

Black Queer Freedom: Spaces of Injury and Paths of Desire

By GerShun Avilez

Whether engaged in same-sex desire or gender nonconformity, Black queer individuals live with being perceived as a threat while simultaneously being subjected to the threat of physical, psychological, and socioeconomical injury.  Avilez analyzes the work of diasporic artists who, denied government protections, have used art to create spaces for justice, focusing on how public and institutionalized spaces seek to confine Black queer bodies.

Coming in October 2020

“Why Arab American History Needs Queer of Color Critique”

By Charlotte Karem Albrecht

One of the core factors that contributing to the “otherness” of Arab Americans are perceived differences in gender and sexual identity and expression. Albrecht dissects how ignoring these views renders
attempts to challenge this dehumanization inadequate and why these narratives are mostly absent from Arab American history.

The Journalist of Castro Street: The Life of Randy Shilts

By Andrew E. Stoner

As the acclaimed author of And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts became the country’s most recognized voice on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. His success emerged from a relentless work ethic and strong belief in the power of journalism to help mainstream society understand not just the rising tide of HIV/AIDS but gay culture and liberation. At the same time, other gay writers and activists ridiculed his overtures to the mainstream and labeled him a traitor to the movement, charges the combative Shilts forcefully answered. 

“A Waning Queerscape: The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival”

By Qin Qin

Qin explores the importance of queer territories as depicted in cinema and in real life, in particular in Hong Kong. She discusses several tongzhi films to examine how LGBT Asians navigate their queer spaces.

Black Sexual Economies: Race and Sex in a Culture of Capital

Edited by Adrienne D. Davis and the BSE Collective

A daring collaboration among scholars, Black Sexual Economies challenges thinking that sees black sexualities as a threat to normative ideas about sexuality, the family, and the nation. The essays highlight alternative and deviant gender and sexual identities, performances, and communities, and spotlights the sexual labor, sexual economy, and sexual agency to black social life.

“Israel/Palestine and the Queer International,” August 28, 2013

By Sarah Schulman and Karma R. Chávez

One of the most vocal groups against the Israeli occupation of Palestine are LGBT or queer activists, argues Schulman and Chávez. This interview delves into a queer critique of Israel and Palestine.

Queer Timing: The Emergence of Lesbian Sexuality in Early Cinema

By Susan Potter

Potter offers a counter-history that reorients accepted views of lesbian representation and spectatorship in early cinema. Potter sees the emergence of lesbian figures as only the most visible but belated outcome of multiple sexuality effects. Early cinema reconfigured older erotic modalities, articulated new–though incoherent–sexual categories, and generated novel forms of queer feeling and affiliation.

“Mythgarden: Collaborative Authorship and Counter-Storytelling in Queer Independent Film”

By David R. Coon

Coon takes a look at the process of taking a story or stories from the lived experiences of real people, channeling them into the existence of a fictional character, and then sharing that experience with a mass audience via a mediated text in the context of queer independent films.

Rocking the Closet: How Little Richard, Johnnie Ray, Liberace, and Johnny Mathis Queered Pop Music

By Vincent L. Stephens

The all-embracing, “whaddya got?” nature of rebellion in Fifties America included pop music’s unlikely challenge to entrenched notions of masculinity. Within that upheaval, four prominent artists dared to behave in ways that let the public assume—but not see—their queerness. Appealing to audiences hungry for novelty and exoticism, the four pop icons used performance and queering techniques that ran the gamut.

“In the Life: On Black Queer Kinship”

By Kai M. Green

Green stages a poetic and performative conversation between himself and the black queer figures he imagines as his chosen-family tree. This piece is an attempt to linger in the black queer inventiveness that is as much tethered to a real and imagined past as it is to all possible radical black futures.

Lana and Lilly Wachowski

By Cáel M. Keegan

Visionary films like The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas have made the Wachowskis the world’s most influential transgender media producers, and their coming out retroactively put trans* aesthetics at the very center of popular American culture. Keegan views the Wachowskis’ films as an approach to trans* experience that maps a transgender journey and the promise we might learn “to sense beyond the limits of the given world.”

“Three Dollar Cinema: The Down and Dirty DIY of Queer Production”

By Curran Nault

The history of queer production is by and large a history of do-it-yourself (DIY) practice, a fact born out of both necessity and design. The result is a signature unpolished style that sets queer cinema apart from sleek mainstream production.

Ugly Differences: Queer Female Sexuality in the Underground

By Yetta Howard

What would it mean to turn to ugliness rather than turn away from it? Indeed, the idea of ugly often becomes synonymous with non-white, non-male, and non-heterosexual physicality and experience. That same pejorative migrates to become a label for practices within underground culture. Howard reveals how the things we see, read as, or experience as ugly productively account for non-dominant sexual identities and creative practices.

“‘We Shouldn’t Have to Trend to Make You Listen’: Queer Fan Hashtag Campaigns as Production Interventions”

By Annemarie Navar-Gill

As a natural evolution from older forms of fan campaigning, queer audiences use hashtags Navar-Gill examines how fan hashtag campaigns seek to intervene in production processes through both advocacy and fans’ command of the very platforms that industry uses to measure audience engagement.

Marching Dykes, Liberated Sluts, and Concerned Mothers: Women Transforming Public Space

By Elizabeth Currans

From the Women in Black vigils and Dyke marches to the Million Mom March, women have seized a dynamic role in early 21st century protest. The varied demonstrations–whether about gender, sexuality, war, or other issues–share significant characteristics as space-claiming performances in and of themselves beyond their place in any broader movement. Drawing on observation, interviews, and archival and published sources, Currans shows why and how women utilize public protest as a method of participating in contemporary political and cultural dialogues.

“LGBTQ Music Educators: External Mentoring Between Student Teachers and In-Service Teachers”

By Donald M. Taylor

This instrumental case study examines what LGBTQ student teachers in music classrooms might learn from LGBTQ music teachers who served as external mentors outside the classroom setting.  Findings are discussed regarding the varied sociopolitical contexts LGBTQ music educators may encounter.

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