Book of the Week – First Spring Grass Fire

spoonTransgender indie singer-songwriter Rae Spoon’s first novel is memoir-esque in its intimacy and candidness, and with its powerful revelations of a life.  The young narrator grows up queer in the urban wilds of Calgary, in a conservative Christian family headed by a violent and ill father.  The voice is plain-spoken and poetic, with an often devastating understanding of the outsider’s life: “I couldn’t run away from home in a city that was so expansive and cold.  You could run for half an hour and not even get to the end of your neighbourhood, and all of the neighbourhoods looked the same, so it didn’t really feel like escaping at all.”

While the story is full of struggle, both internal and external, it nevertheless offers glimmers of hope, a possibility of a better and bigger life.  Here, there are Nirvana songs, religious revivals, Bible verses, tragic losses, first loves, and mountains both real and metaphorical.  A coming-of-age book whose protagonist smolders quietly and then becomes a flame.

Pride Film Festival Highlight – Tel Aviv is Very Gay

We recently added selections from the Bloomington Pride Film Festival from years past to our collection. Here is one of the new additions!

Tel Aviv Is Very Gay


In a part of the world often engulfed with constant cultural conflict, this film takes a look at the vibrant LGBT community within Tel Aviv, Israel. The documentary follows several gay rights activists putting on a city supported pride parade, survivors of a shooting at a gay community center, and other Tel Aviv activists speaking out about the queer issues in the Middle East. Numerous members of local GLBT groups in the community fight against the dominant culture and government, demonstrating that Tel Aviv is not as socially conservative as it seems.

Book of the Week – Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America

outinthecountryThere are numerous publications that focus on queer, urban life in locations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. In her book Out in the Country, Mary L. Gray expands the scope of study on queer living by providing an ethnography and cultural exploration of queer youth in Appalachia and rural Kentucky. Gray illustrates how LGBT youth and their allies contend with the economic and social confines of the public places in their neighborhoods. Additionally, she discusses how they network online in order to find resources and connect with queer individuals across the country. Gray works to deconstruct the stereotypes attached to rural life and encourages the reader to think critically about the notion of American spaces.

Book of the Week – The Geography of Love: Same-Sex Marriage & Relationship Recognition in America (The Story in Maps)

1481178865.01._SX450_SY635_SCLZZZZZZZ_The Geography of Love is a brief (at only 36 pages), but concise overview of the legal and political history of same-sex relationship recognition — from the first lawsuit filed in 1970 in Minnesota to the new marriage laws approved by voters in November 2012. Additionally, the publication details and maps out information including: which states permit same-sex couples to marry or enter into other types of legal unions; the extent to which same-sex relationships entered into one state are recognized by other states; and which cities and counties have domestic partnership registries and equal benefits ordinances. Nicolas and Strong present the data in an accessible manner so that all readers, regardless of their knowledge of the law, can understand their discussions.

Book of the Week – 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live

50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live takes a personal approach to exploring some ofthe United States’ most LGBTQA*-friendly cities, and what makes each of them unique.

50 Fabulous Gay-friendly Places to Live Book Cover

If you’re a student, you might want to look into some of these cities to contemplate where to focus your job search. If you’re a recent graduate, chances are you’ll be moving soon – why not find out a potential new place to call home?

This volume covers what makes each city so special to both vacationers and permanent residents, and includes information like local politics & policies, nightlife, cultural insights, and health programs, to help make transitioning to these cities as smooth as possible.

Book of the Week – Gay Pride: A Celebration of All Things Gay & Lesbian

Rainbow Flag

It’s Pride month! A time when festivals, parades, and rainbow-themed events are happening in almost every city in the US.

But what do LGBTQIA* individuals have to be proud about? You mean besides the fact that they embraced their identity despite the current social climate and the possibility of discrimination? Well you might want to take a look at Gay Pride: A Celebration of All Things Gay & Lesbian, then.

Gay Pride Book Cover

From the ancient Greeks to San Francisco, from Alan Turing to the LGBT ally next door, this book sings the praises of the queer pioneers, past and present, who have made the world a braver, bolder, and better place–for everyone!

More recent additions to the library!

Here are some more of our recent acquisitions, just waiting to jump from our shelves into your hands! Want to find something you read about here? Search our Library Thing catalog, or email!

Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America – by Christopher Bram

Eminent Outlaws Book CoverThis volume explores how the trailblazing, post-war gay literary figures, including Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Allen Ginsberg, paved the way for newer generations, including Armistead Maupin, Edmund White, and Edward Albee that are so familiar to the literary-minded LGBT readers of today.






Almost Perfect – by Brian Katcher

Almost Perfect Book CoverLogan Witherspoon recently discovered that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. But things start to look up when a new student breezes through the halls of his small-town high school. Sage Hendricks befriends Logan at a time when he no longer trusts or believes in people. Sage has been homeschooled for a number of years and her parents have forbidden her to date anyone, but she won’t tell Logan why. One day, Logan acts on his growing feelings for Sage. Moments later, he wishes he never had. Sage finally discloses her big secret: she’s actually a boy. Enraged, frightened, and feeling betrayed, Logan lashes out at Sage and disowns her. Once Logan comes to terms with what happened, he reaches out to Sage in an attempt to understand her situation. But Logan has no idea how rocky the road back to friendship will be.

Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama – by Alison Bechdel

Are You My Mother Book CoverAlison Bechdel’s Fun Home was a pop culture and literary phenomenon. Now, a second thrilling tale of filial sleuthery, this time about her mother: voracious reader, music lover, passionate amateur actor. Also a woman, unhappily married to a closeted gay man, whose artistic aspirations simmered under the surface of Bechdel’s childhood . . . and who stopped touching or kissing her daughter good night, forever, when she was seven. Poignantly, hilariously, Bechdel embarks on a quest for answers concerning the mother-daughter gulf. It’s a richly layered search that leads readers from the fascinating life and work of the iconic twentieth-century psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, to one explosively illuminating Dr. Seuss illustration, to Bechdel’s own (serially monogamous) adult love life. And, finally, back to Mother—to a truce, fragile and real-time, that will move and astonish all adult children of gifted mothers.

Body Outlaws: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity

Body Outlaws Book CoverIn a culture where plastic surgery has become nearly as routine as a root canal, we’ve all but erased the unmodified figure from our imaginations. Pick up a magazine, turn on the TV, and you’ll find few women who haven’t been fried, dyed, plucked or tucked. In short, you’ll see no body outlaws.

In fresh and incisive essays, the writers in Body Outlaws reveal a world where bodies come in all their many-splendored shapes, sizes, colors and textures. In doing so, they expand the national dialogue about body image to include race, ethnicity, sexuality and power – issues that, while often overlooked, are intimately linked to how women feel about their bodies. Filled with honesty and humor, this groundbreaking anthology offers stories by women who have chosen to ignore, subvert, or redefine the dominant beauty standard in order to feel at home in their bodies.

Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians – by Candace Chellew-Hodge

Bulletproof Faith Book CoverThis thoughtful, practical guide shows readers a way through the minefield of condemnation and persecution faced by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians and helps foster a faith that is bulletproof—impervious to attacks, yet loving and savvy in its approach. Bulletproof Faith is filled with useful insights and proven spiritual practices that deflect attacks and enhance and strengthen faith by turning attacks into opportunities for spiritual growth.




Conundrum – by Jan Morris

Conundrum Book CoverThe great travel writer Jan Morris was born James Morris. James Morris distinguished himself in the British military, became a successful and physically daring reporter, climbed mountains, crossed deserts, and established a reputation as a historian of the British empire. He was happily married, with several children. To all appearances, he was not only a man, but a man’s man.

Except that appearances, as James Morris had known from early childhood, can be deeply misleading. James Morris had known all his conscious life that at heart he was a woman.

Conundrum, one of the earliest books to discuss transsexuality with honesty and without prurience, tells the story of James Morris’s hidden life and how he decided to bring it into the open, as he resolved first on a hormone treatment and, second, on risky experimental surgery that would turn her into the woman that she truly was.

Cunt: A Declaration of Independence – by Inga Muscio

Cunt Book CoverAn ancient title of respect for women, the word “cunt” long ago veered off this noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving women the motivation and tools to claim “cunt” as a positive and powerful force in their lives. With humor and candor, she shares her own history as she explores the cultural forces that influence women’s relationships with their bodies.




Emerald City Blues – by Jean Stewart

Emerald City Blues Book CoverWhen the comfortable yuppie world of Chris Olson and Jenifer Hart collides with the desperate lives of Reb and Flynn, two lesbian runaways struggling to survive on the streets of Seattle, the forcast is trouble. A gritty, enormously readable novel of contemporary lesbigay life which raises real questions about the meaning of family and community, and about the walls we construct. A celebration of the healing powers of love.





The Evolution of Ethan Poe – by Robin Reardon

Evolution of Ethan Poe Book CoverEthan Poe, sixteen and gay, struggles for balance while his life conspires to pull him in many different directions. His parents are divorcing; his older brother Kyle is damaging his right hand in the name of purity; his best friend is a Jesus freak who prays for him to be straight; he’s desperate to get his driver’s license, but he can’t seem to get enough supervised driving time. He’s just starting to see light in the form of Max Modine, a boy he wants to know much better than he does, when his rural Maine town begins to explode around him. Against his intentions he gets pulled into a pitched and sometimes violent conflict about whether to introduce Intelligent Design into science classrooms. Friendships end, families are torn apart, and the school becomes a battleground. Always seeking elusive balance, Ethan finds his way through a maze of lost friends, new love, and the mysteries of tattoos and power animals, with help from quarters where he never expected to find it. And he gains something better than balance.

Feeling Wrong in Your Own Body: Understanding What it Means to be Transgender

Feeling Wrong in Your Own Body  Book CoverBoys who play with Barbie dolls. Girls who join the football team. What is gender? What are gender roles? What’s the difference between being a tomboy and being transgender? Is it possible to be in the wrong body?

Explore the answers to these questions with an easy-to-follow examination of what it means to be transgender, based on personal experiences of the men and women who have taken steps to transition. Learn from the experiences of transgender young people who make the significant choice to live openly as another gender while still in high school. Uncover the reality of this often-misunderstood group and how it fits into the gay community.

Book of the Week – Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

It’s finally summer break! Time to get some of that leisure reading in…

This week’s featured book just so happens to be set during a summer vacation in Italy. Call me by your name cover

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

Book of the Week – About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! It’s time to celebrate and honor the lives of those who have served in our military, especially those who have lost their lives during service.

In light of this holiday, our featured book this week is About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights by James E. Kennedy.

about face cover

Written in 1995, this book predates the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a huge step forward in equal rights for our military. It contains the personal account of the author – a former captain and lawyer in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (and a closeted gay man) who prosecuted and discharged LGBT soldiers. The book details his journey from closet to resignation and coming-out, to his work in the Clinton administration striving to change the military’s discriminatory policies.

Recent Additions to our Library

We have had a great number of book donations this semester, as well as the opportunity to purchase some new items from our wishlist (suggestions from several of our patrons made it into the library this spring)!

Over the next couple of weeks, there will be regular posts about our newest items! We hope that some of the books or movies will end up on your to-read or to-watch lists this summer!

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Miseducation of Cameron Post Book CoverWhen Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship–one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultra-religious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self–even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.

A Pirate’s Heart (Staff favorite!)

A Pirate's Heart Book Cover

When rare book librarian Emma Boyd searches for a pirate’s long-lost treasure map, she learns the hard way that pirates still exist in today’s world–and some modern pirates steal maps, others steal hearts.

The treasure map she seeks belonged to the Caribbean pirate Thomasina Farris, who disappeared in 1715 without a trace. Did Captain Tommy steal an entire treasure from a Spanish galleon and escape? Did she die by another pirate’s sword? Or did she die of a broken heart when the woman she loved disappeared? Emma’s and Tommy’s stories collide when Emma, after uncovering the truth about Captain Tommy’s fate, must decide her own…and the choice is between romance or revenge.

I am J

I am J book coverJ always felt different. He was certain that eventually everyone would understand who he really was; a boy mistakenly born as a girl. Yet as he grew up, his body began to betray him; eventually J stopped praying to wake up a “real boy” and started covering up his body, keeping himself invisible – from his family, from his friends…from the world. But after being deserted by the best friend he thought would always be by his side, J decides that he’s done hiding – it’s time to be who he really is. And this time he is determined not to give up, no matter the cost.



Mermaid Drowning

Mermaid Drowning book coverSam and Evelyn live the American dream north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Their dream is shattered when Sam discovers his wife’s secret – a secret that propels him down a path that violates his reason, his values, and his heart. As their once-perfect life unravels, Evelyn questions her decision to hide her past and struggles to make peace with the violence and death that were a part of it.

In the hope of gaining full custody of their children, Sam searches Evelyn’s past. His main focus turns to the murder of Evelyn’s friends when she was sixteen – a murder some suggest she committed. The man Evelyn accused of the slayings makes Sam a simple offer: if Sam joins him and helps destroy Evelyn’s life, he will make sure Sam gets the kids, wealth, and power.

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders

She's not there book coverJennifer Finney Boylan tells a winning, utterly surprising story of a person changing genders. By turns hilarious and deeply moving, the author explores the territory that lies between men and women, examines changing friendships, and rejoices in the redeeming power of family.







The Big Gay Musical

The Big Gay Musical posterStarring in the Off-Broadway musical comedy, “Adam & Steve – Just the way God made ’em,” aspiring actors Paul and Eddie find their complicated lives mirroring their onstage characters. Through rousing musical numbers that feature scantily clad tap-dancing angels, a clever retelling of Genesis, creepy televangelists, and a camp that attempts to turn gay kids straight, everyone realizes that life gets better once they accept who they really are: just the way God made ’em!

One Nation Under God: The Religious Right and Their Crusade to “Cure” Gay People in America (documentary)

one nation under god coverOne Nation Under God takes on the history of the religious right in America and the techniques they’ve used over the past fifty years to try to change gays and lesbians into straight people.

The film provides a historical context as well as political analysis of the frighteningly large and well-financed anti-gay campaign being waged by the religious right and conservative political leaders, who are “curing” gays and lesbians in the name of Family Values, Morality and Patriotism. It analyzes the underlying social and cultural factors that have contributed to the persistent and harmful myth that gay people are somehow damaged and can be “fixed.”

Saint of 9/11 (documentary)

saint of 9/11 coverIn an enduring photograph of 9/11, a team of rescue workers carry a Franciscan priest’s body from the world trade center. The world came to know Father Mychal Judge in death as a symbol of courage and sacrifice.

Narrated by Sir Ian McKellan, Saint of 9/11 represents the turbulent, restless, spiritual and remarkable journey of Father Mychal. Compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten, and a beloved New York City Fire Department Chaplain, he was a humble priest who wrestled with his own private demons while touching others in powerful and miraculous ways.

Saint of 9/11 features friends and colleagues such as former president Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former New York Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen paying tribute to the quintessential Franciscan priest whose life’s work far eclipsed his heroic death.

Stonewall Uprising (documentary)

stonewall uprising coverVeteran filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner explore the dramatic event that launched a worldwide rights movement. Told by those who took part, from drag queens and street hustlers to police detectives, journalists, and a former mayor of New York, and featuring a rich trove of archival footage, this film revisits a time when homosexual acts were illegal throughout America, and homosexuality itself was seen as a form of mental illness. Hunted and often entrapped by undercover police in their hometowns, gays from around the U.S. began fleeing to New York in search of a sanctuary. Hounded there still by an aggressive police force, they found refuge in a Mafia-run gay bar in Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn. When police raided Stonewall on June 28, 1969, gay men and women did something they had not done before: they fought back. As the streets of New York erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations, the collective anger announced that the gay rights movement had arrived.

Perks of Being a Wallflower (We have the book AND the movie!)

perks cover

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is based on the wildly popular novel by Stephen Chbosky about a freshman named Charlie (Logan Lerman) who is always watching from the sidelines until two charismatic seniors take him under their wing. Beautiful, free-spirited Sam (Emma Watson) and her fearless stepbrother Patrick (Ezra Miller) shepherd Charlie through new friendships, first love, burgeoning sexuality, bacchanalian parties, midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the quest for the perfect song.

Prayers for Bobby (film)

prayers for bobby coverSigourney Weaver stars in this emotional true story about a deeply religious suburban housewife and mother who struggles to accept her son’s homosexuality. Mary Griffith (Weaver) is a devout Christian who has raised her children with a conservative religious perspective. When her son, Bobby (Ryan Kelley), reveals that he is gay to his older brother, the entire family dynamic is forever shifted. While Bobby’s father and siblings slowly come to terms with his homosexuality, Mary turns to her steadfast beliefs in an attempt to “cure” her son. Alienated and quickly becoming more detached from the safety of his close-knit family, Bobby’s depression drives him to take drastic – and tragic – actions. Based on the book Prayers for Bobby by Leroy Aarons (held by our library).

She’s a Boy I Knew (film)

she's a boy i knew coverShe’s a Boy I Knew is a comic, heartbreaking, uplifting autobiography that focuses on the interpersonal relationships of a family who unexpectedly find their bonds strengthening as they overcome their preconceptions of gender and sexuality.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer (all 7 seasons!)

buffy posterWatch Buffy and her friends (and enemies) mature from angsty teenagers to more self-aware and lovable characters – from charming season one to apocalyptic season seven.




Stop by between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday – Friday to check out any of these items! Not sure when you can make it in? Email to reserve the copy and have it ready to go when you can come pick it up!