4 Holiday Titles to Get You in the Spirit

With Thanksgiving past, marking the official start of the holiday season, we have put on display some of our favorite holiday titles that will make visions of sugar-plums dance in your head!

1453802630.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Christmas in Graymoor Mansion
by Mark A. Roeder
Written by Bloomington resident, Christmas in Graymoor Mansion tells the story of friends and family who gather in stately Graymoor Mansion to celebrate the holiday season, but a blizzard traps them in the massive Victorian home Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day. To entertain themselves, the guests take turns sharing their Christmas memories and special holiday stories. Join Sean, his family, and friends in their Christmas celebration. There’s plenty of food, including wonderful desserts, Christmas cookies, and steaming hot cocoa to go with this set of Christmas tales. This is a collection of previously unpublished Christmas tales to be read year after year.

51j2QPiSLhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A Little Fruitcake: A Childhood in Holidays
by David Valdes Greenwood
Ah, the sweet memories of Christmas. Gifts under the tree. Cookies for Santa. And, of course, the annual fruitcake. For young David Valdes Greenwood, the indomitable “little fruitcake” at the center of these tales, nothing is sweeter than the promise of the holidays. A modern-day Tiny Tim, he holds fast to his ideal of what Christmas should be, despite the huge odds against him: Sub-zero Maine winters. A host of eccentric relatives. And his constant foil: a frugal, God-fearing Grammy who seems determined to bring an end to all his fun. A book that’s “fa-la-la-licious” (Louisville Courier Journal) and filled with funny, charming Yuletide memories (from building a Lego® manger to hunting for the perfect Christmas tree), A Little Fruitcake will inspire even the biggest Grinches around.

51yQgQ8RDUL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The Christmas Truck
by J. B. Blankenship, illustrated by Cassandre Bolan
Authored by a former GLBT office intern, if you are in need of Christmas cheer or have some cheer to spare, here is a book to warm your heart, a gift for friends to share. So settle in and know, my friend, before you turn the page, that this is a story for everyone: for friends of every age.
When celebrating a special Christmas tradition things go awry. Papa, Dad, their amazing kid, and one fabulous grandmother work together and implement a plan to save Christmas for a child they have never met. It’s a story where joy is found in giving and selfless acts unite families.

MV5BNzc5MTM5Mjc0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzI0MTcxMw@@._V1_SY317_CR6,0,214,317_AL_Make the Yuletide Gay (2009)
Olaf “Gunn” Gunnunderson, an out-and-proud gay college student, crawls back into the closet to survive the holidays with his family. He keeps his cool as his quirky Midwestern-hearted parents try to set him up with his high school sweetheart, Abby. But when his boyfriend, Nathan, shows up at their doorstep unannounced, Gunn must put on a charade to keep the relationship a secret. With pressure mounting from all sides, will Gunn come out before the truth does?

Celebrate Halloween with Some Spooky Reads

halloweenGet ready for a fright, folks! I’ve gathered our some of our best spooky reads to get you in the spirit for Halloween!

1590212398.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Queer Hauntings: True Tales of Gay & Lesbian Ghosts
by Ken Summers
An exclusive collection of eerie locales worldwide with a queer bent. This guidebook combines historical fact and unearthly encounters from across the United States, as well as around the globe.
The stories range from the serious, from brutal murders in rural Georgia, to the light-hearted, including the male spirit who enjoys unzipping men’s trousers at a British pub. Ghosts of legendary celebrities intermingle with ordinary individuals. Along with these queer spirits are many businesses, either gay-owned or catering to a gay/lesbian clientele, experiencing hauntings.

1573440124.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_A Ghost in the Closet: A Nancy Clue and Hardly Boys Mystery
by Mabel Maney
With their fearless crime-fighting, good manners, and manly fashion sense, the Hardly boys are the pride of Feyport, Illinois. In A Ghost in the Closet, dark-haired, muscular Frank and his lovable kid brother Joe return from a gay trip to Europe to find that their parents — world-famous detective Fennel P. Hardly and his wife, Mrs. Hardly — have been kidnapped! Even worse, so have six poodles from the Lake Merrimen Dog Show! Pals Nancy Clue, Cherry Aimless, R.N., and Police Detective Jackie Jones help the Hardly boys track down the criminals — and in the meantime, pick up useful tips on fingerprinting, evidence retrieval, and the laundering of sporty twill slacks.

1551522519.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire
Edited by Amber Dawn
Fist of the Spider Woman is a revelatory anthology of horror stories by queer and transgressive women and others that disrupts reality as queer women know it, instilling both fear and arousal while turning traditional horror iconography on its head.
In this collection, horror (including gothic, noir, and speculative writing) is defined as that which both titillates and terrorizes, forcing readers to confront who they are.
Subversive, witty, sexy—and scary—Fist of the Spider Woman poses two questions: “What do queer women fear the most?” and “What do queer women desire the most?”

1555839746.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Triptych of Terror: Three Chilling Tales by the Masters of Gay Horror
by John Michael Curlovich, David Thomas Lord, and Michael Rowe
Combining the storytelling talents of three modern masters of gay horror, Triptych of Terror invites readers into a night of mystery and intrigue, the very time when the fabric of time and space separating the world of the living and the dead is forgotten. A night called Halloween.
The stories involve a televangelist who attempts to reclaim Halloween by banishing a closeted minister to a haunted church, a bullied teen who turns to the occult to protect him from harassment, and a man who’s Celtic background may not be enough to save him from the temptation of one of the fairy folk.

In the Beginning, There was a March

imageOn Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.  It is often referred to as “The Great March” and involved protests in front of the Internal Revenue Services Court, along with the unveiling of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.  The demonstration results in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization.  Rob Eichberg, founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that The Great March to mark it.  National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was born. Logo_ncod_lg

This Saturday marks the 26th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day.  NCOD serves as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out.  According to Human Rights Campaign, one out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian, and for transgender people, that number is only one in ten.

Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, creating new advocates for equality.  I’ve gathered some materials and resources to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally.

1. Check out some of our favorite coming out books and movies, including:

Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories
Testimonies by Karen Barber
Testimonies by Karen Barber







2. The Human Rights Campaign celebrates National Coming Out Day on this YouTube video.

3. Check out R U Coming Out, a site dedicated to inspire, support, and unite those who are living their lives either completely, or partially in the closet.  The main focus of the site is the stories: people from all over their world share their own personal accounts of Coming Out.  The purpose of this site is not to encourage people to Come Out before they are ready or to make them feel under any pressure to do things in a particular way; it is simply a source of first hand accounts from people who have already been through, and are still going through, the process themselves.

4. Check out coming out guides and other resources provided by the Human Rights Campaign.

5. If you’re a straight ally, check out Coming Out as a Straight Supporter.

6. And finally, check out some of the more creative ways to come out of the closet courtesy of BuzzFeed: 24 Awesomely Creative Way to Come Out of the Closet. and 41 Awesome Ways to Come Out to Your Friends and Family

Ableism and Language

IMAG0259For a number of years, we’ve had this sign on display in our office (click photo above to enlarge).  Originally, the sign was created to stop the use of “gay” as a negative slur.  However, we recently found a note on it, which stated:

“Insane” and “crazy” are ableist and they’ve historically been used to gaslight victims of abuse.
They are not better than homophobic slurs.  Please stop encouraging people to use these words.

Well, we did take the sign down, it had good intentions, but the individual was right. The sign was quite dated and as language evolves, we do too, in response.  We’re still learning as an office, and we work hard to be as responsive and welcoming to our community as possible.

As such, I’d like to take a moment to recognize this minority that is sometimes marginalized. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 60 million people or one in five Americans is living with at least one disability and most Americans will experience a disability at sometime during the course of their lives.” One in a five is a huge number. In facts, it’s the largest minority group in America.   Brownworth notes:

Millions of Americans are trying to get through every day without someone discovering they have something seriously wrong with them, without someone discovering they aren’t normal, without someone looking at them as if they are somehow damaged, less than, broken, sick.

If one in five Americans are disabled, then everyone knows someone with a disability–in every family, school, workplace, friend group, etc. One in five LGBT people has a disability, and we think it’s important to think about and to recognize the issues surrounding disability.  I invite you to explore some of our materials about LBGT and disability, including moving memoirs by Terry Galloway and Connie Panzarino. Just click on the images to see their catalog entry.

Queer Crips: Disabled Gay Men and Their Stories
Queer Crips: Disabled Gay Men and Their Stories
The Me in the Mirror by Connie Panzarino
The Me in the Mirror by Connie Panzarino
Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway
Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir by Terry Galloway
Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability by Robert McRuer
Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability by Robert McRuer
Sex and Disability by Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow
Sex and Disability by Robert McRuer and Anna Mollow













Albeism is a form of discrimination against people with disabilities. It is the practices and dominant attitudes in society that devalues and limit the potential of persons with disability.  Brownworth comments: “The Americans With Disabilities Act is an unreliable farce, and those of us who are disabled …must battle with employers and landlords, doctors and health insurance companies to get what we need. We have to be activists whether we want to be or not, and yet all the while we must do our best to hide who we really are from those on whom we depend for survival.”  One in five. We all know someone with a disability, it’s time we start thinking about our words and work towards creating a fully inclusive society.

For further reading, please check out Victoria A. Brownsworth’s article “Coming Out As…Disabled.” Additionally, head over to Autistic Hoya for a glossary of ableist phrases and why they’re problematic, and to see just how much ableist language pervades our society, check out Thought Catalog’s “15 Crazy Examples of Insanely Ableist Language.”

The Disability Services for Students (DSS) is dedicated to providing a welcoming and supportive environment for student with disabilities at Indiana University Bloomington. You can find more information about their office here.

Children’s Books

We often get donations to add to our collection as people try to downsize their current home library, after evaluating the materials, books that we cannot add to our own collection, we take to Boxcar Books.  Yesterday, we received two big boxes of donations; I wish I had thought to take a picture, so I could share with you all the sheer number of books we received.  When sorting through all of the donated materials, I came across this classic, which we already had in our collection:



“Each family is special.  The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.”


Heather Has Two Mommies written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Diana Souza was first published in 1989.  Google Books described the book as the “first lesbian-themed children’s book ever published.”  The story is about a child, Heather, who is raised by lesbian women: her biological mom, Jane, who gave birth after artificial insemination, and her mother’s partner, Kate.  At Heather’s playgroup, her family situation is discussed simply and positively, as are those of other children in non-traditional family units.  In the 2000 reprint, the artificial insemination facts have been removed.

Newman later related:

“The idea for Heather came about one day when I was walking down Main Street in Northampton, Mass., a town know for its liberalism, tolerance of difference, and large lesbian population.  On this particular day I ran into a woman who, along with her female partner, had recently welcomed a child into their home. ‘We have no books to read to our daughter that show our type of family,’ the woman said. ‘Someone should write one.’
Well, I thought, I’m somebody.

Fun facts:

Other children’s books we have with LGBT Themes:


“God Loves Uganda” Screening


Mark your calendars, folks.  On Sunday, September 7th, the GLBT office is cosponsoring a free screening of the film God Loves Uganda at 3 p.m. at IU Cinema.

“A searing look at the role of American evangelical missionaries int he persecution of gay Africans” – The New York Times

God Loves Uganda is a powerful documentary that explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry.God-Loves-Uganda-get-involved4

The film follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda along with politicians and missionaries as they attempt the task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity.

God Loves Uganda records the culture clash between enthusiastic Midwestern missionaries and world weary Ugandans. It features a heartbreaking interview with gay activist David Kato shortly before he was murdered. It tells the moving story of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a minister excommunicated, ostracized and literally spat on for being tolerant – and chronicles his remarkable campaign for peace and healing in Uganda.

The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 18th, 2013.

Learn more at about this Roger Ross Williams film. You can also join the Facebook event, and invite your friends!


2014-world-cup-logoThe end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching with the final this Sunday at 3 p.m. on ABC where Germany will face off against either the Netherlands or Argentina depending on the result of their game today at 4 p.m. We’re a little sad to see it end, too. It feels like it has been going on forever, and honestly, I don’t even remember what I watched before the World Cup took over my life. What do I watch when it’s over?

Fortunately, I went digging through our collection and found some materials to satisfy my soccer fix.

MV5BODIzMzc2MDkxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTYyNTY1Mw@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_ Lesbians of Buenos Aires (2004) directed by Santiago Garcia
This documentary tells the tale of Buenos Aires lesbians, focusing on three personal stories. A former militant woman who now devotes her time to feminine soccer; a young woman who is active so no girl has to go through what she went through, and a lesbian mother who recounts how hostile the laws are regarding the rights of lesbian women. In spite of the difficulties their characters go through, the stories have a lot of humor, a tour of the city, and some soccer!

And my personal favorite made all the more perfect for this World Cup season as it is from Germany, the country definitely in the final round…

index Guys & Balls (2004) directed by Sherry Hormann
Already under pressure for playing badly, Ecki is thrown off the soccer team when his homophobic team-members find out that he is gay. With the help of his sister, Susan, and a cranky former soccer star, Karl, he forms an all-gay soccer team and challenges his old team in a grudge match. Ecki’s journey into self-realization is filled with wonderful surprises and interesting characters in this delightful romantic comedy.


Need more soccer? Check out some of our soccer-related books:

And stay up to date on all things related to the World Cup on Twitter.

Youth Resources

We recently visited with Prism Youth Community, which is an inclusive space for teens celebrating all sexual orientations and gender identity expressions that meets twice a week, to talk about our office and resources.  For the meeting, we put together a list of our favorite LGBTQ teen novels and movies which prominently feature gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, or question characters; all the teens seemed really excited about our materials!

So we thought we’d share a little bit of our book list with you.

Our favorite book with a prominently GAY character…

aristotleanddanteAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


miseducationThe Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
When 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. Orphaned, Cameron comes to live with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt Ruth. There she falls in love with her best friend, a beautiful cowgirl. When she’s eventually outed, her aunt sends her to God’s Promise, a religious conversion camp that is supposed to “cure” her homosexuality. At the camp, Cameron comes face to face with the cost of denying her true identity.


boyfriendsBoyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
When Lance begins to date Sergio, who’s bisexual, he’s not sure it will work out, and when his best friend Allie, who has a boyfriend, meets Sergio’s lesbian friend, Kimiko, she has unexpected feelings which she struggles to understand. Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, and finding it impossible to believe that a gorgeous girl like Allie would be into her, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out.


lunaLuna by Julie Anne Peters
Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom, Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with the help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change–Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives?



openlyOpenly Straight by Bill Konigsburg
Rafe is a normal teenager from Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.
And oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. Tired of being known as “the gay kid,” when Rafe transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decided to assume a new persona. But trying to deny his identity has unexpected complication and consequences.


Check out our full lists: LGBT Youth Book Guide and LGBT Youth DVD Guide! Which books and movies do you recommend?

Yes, Poetry


Unless you’re enrolled in a summer English course, I’m going to bet you’re not reading too much poetry.  But I’m not sure I think of anything more refreshing to read during the summer than poetry. I love seeing words capitalized or uncapitilized in interesting ways or to see different forms of punctuation or even no punctuation! After reading countless pieces of prose in form of articles, manuscripts, textbooks, etc. and writing your own essays, reports, etc. where structure is demanded, sometimes it is nice to engage in something where rules are seemingly nonexistent and take joy in the captivating writing of poets.

It’s the perfect little read to take with you on your summer journeys. You can easily read a short poem while riding the bus, while standing in line to get your coffee (iced nonfat hazelnut, please!), or while eating your favorite sandwich at lunch.

And here at the GLBT Library, we’ve got about 70 poetry books for you to choose from, but here’s some of our favorites:

Bite Hard by Justin Chin
Bite Hard by Justin Chin

In Bite Hard, poet Justin Chin explores his identity as an Asian, a gay man, an artist, and a lover. He rails against both his own life experiences and society’s limitations and stereotypes with scathing humor, bare-bones honesty, and unblinking detail. Whether addressing “what really goes on in the kitchen of Chinese restaurants” or a series of ex-boyfriends, all named Michael, Chin displays his remarkable emotional range and voice as a poet.


Inside the Money Machine by Minnie Bruce Pratt
Inside the Money Machine by Minnie Bruce Pratt

Inside the Money Machine is poetry for the immense majority for those who work for a living, out of the house or at home, from the laundromat to the classroom, from blue-collar construction sites to white-collar desk jobs. These fresh, gritty and passionate poems are about the people who survive and resist inside the money machine of 21st-century capitalism: those who’ve looked for work and not found it, who’ve held a job but wanted more out of life, who believe a better world is still possible.


October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman

On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old college student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a Wyoming bar by two young men, savagely beaten, tied to a remote fence, and left to die. October Mourning, a novel in verse, is her deeply felt response to the events of that tragic day. Using her poetic imagination, the author creates fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence Matthew was tied to, the stars that watched over him, the deer that kept him company, and Matthew himself.


upstairsSo please, help yourself to some of our great poetry selection. Laugh, cry, questions, learn, and wonder at the beauty composed by these artists. All of our poetry and drama selection can be found upstairs.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

High school is a time of changing friendships, shifting identities, and makiWillGraysonng baby steps toward establishing values and goals. Those of us for whom high school has faded into the rear-view mirror often assert that we wouldn’t go back for anything; yet we often find ourselves replaying the same dramas and feeling the same anxieties in our adult lives. This is the pull of young adult fiction for adults who are no longer so young: it reminds us of where we’ve been while simultaneously allowing us to indulge in our youthful emotional excesses through the lives of the characters we read about.

In Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan masterfully capture the angst and triumph that fill high school hallways, bringing to life a cast of teenage characters who feel isolated in their uniqueness but who will remind readers of people they’ve met: artists, worriers, loners, romantics, and boys-turned-men who hang all their hopes (and hearts) on their romantic relationships, declaring each new partner to be “the one.”

The teenage years are filled with discoveries that feel earth-shattering to the recipients of these realizations. Such moments are illustrated throughout the story:

“This is why we call people exes, I guess—because the paths that cross in the middle end up separating in the end. It’s too easy to see an X as a cross-out. It’s not, because there’s no way to cross out something like that. The X is a diagram of two paths” (277).

These simple but profound insights will resonate with teenage readers and pull adult readers back to a time when human interaction was filled with more mystery than familiarity, when every song on the radio delivered a new truth that prompted the thought, Yes, that’s exactly how I feel.

David Levithan (left) and John Green (right)

But beyond offering insight into human behavior and motivations, the authors tell an entertaining story. Two young men named Will Grayson find their paths crossing. They could simply notice the unlikely possibility of such an encounter, but fate has other plans for them: in each other’s group of friends, they find new romances and rivals, and each man is opened up as he is forced to confront his own assumptions about himself and those around him.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is ultimately a story of triumph. Feelings are messy; so are relationships, because people’s feelings get tangled up together. But the mess is worth it, and only when we allow others into our lives will we discover our potential for growth.

Written by Jamie, GLBTSSS Office Supervisor

For more information about John Green and other books he’s written, you can check out his website or Wells Reference’s blog post on him, and for more information about David Levithan and his other works, visit his website.  We have two of Levithan’s other works in our collection:

The Full Spectrum
How Beautiful the Ordinary: Twelve Stories of Identity