LGBTQ memoirs

~posted by Frank

It’s Gay Pride month, and it’s time to take a look at some forthcoming and recently released memoirs celebrating the richness and diversity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lives.

For a good laugh, check out Bad Kid by David Crabb as he recounts growing up goth and gay in Texas in the 80s, and Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver, a self-deprecating look at life as a single gay man in New York City. You can read about the personal and professional life of pioneering, caustic politician Barney Frank in Frank, and join George Hodgman as he cares for the mother who never accepted that her son is gay in BettyvilleStories of inspiration can be found in A Work in Progress by YouTube vlogger Connor Franta and in Coming Out to Play by professional soccer player Robbie Rogers. And discover the obstacles that Big Freedia, reality star and ambassador to Bounce music (New Orleans hip hop), faced in his eponymous memoir.

In Whatever…Love is Love by actress Maria Bello, she recounts falling in love with her best friend and her son’s reaction: “whatever, mom, love is love.” Although it’s a few years old, Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, where she recounts growing up gay with a fervently religious adoptive family as she searches for her birth mother, is not to be missed. Same goes for Alison Bechdel’s seminal graphic memoir Fun Home, which was adapted on Broadway and just won the Tony Award for Best Musical. And consider End of Eve by Ariel Gore, publisher of Hip Mama magazine, as she recounts how caring for her dying mother nearly destroyed both their relationship, and her long-time lesbian partnership.

In 2011, Janet Mock came out as transgender in Marie Claire magazine; in 2014, she published Redefining Realness, which balances her struggles with her gender identity as a young person with her delight in realizing the person she was destined to be. The same year, Susan Kuklin interviewed six transgender and genderqueer teens in Beyond Magentareflecting on their diversity of experiences, their challenges and their hopes. And finally, be sure to consider Trans by Juliet Jacques, a writer for The Guardian who tackles issues of feminism and politics before and after her sex reassignment surgery at age 30.

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