November is Transgender Awareness Month! Seattle Public Library is excited to honor this celebration of transgender folks through events, book displays, and this book recommendation list of books by trans people.
The first book I would recommend reading this month is Transgender History by Susan Stryker, because the transgender community wouldn’t be where we are today without the community activists who have fought for our rights. The depth of Susan Stryker’s research combined with the personal touch of her strong connections to many trans activists make this book a fast and educational read. For those who prefer a documentary film to a book, Stryker also filmed Screaming Queens about a 1966 act of resistance by trans women in San Francisco. Continue reading “Celebrating Trans Lives”
“To select from the year’s publications, books that reflect gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans-gendered/queer-questioning (glbtq) experience for young people from birth to age 18 and to annotate selected titles.”
Ultimately that means for the past two years I have dedicated myself to reading and evaluating fiction and nonfiction titles for and about GLBTQ youth. A little while ago, I was asked to suggest fiction titles that included GLBTQ youth who are homeless. As I was asked this, I immediately thought about the fact that there are 1.6 million youth experiencing homelessness in America, 40% of those youth identify as LGBT when LGBT identified youth only make up about 7% of the total population of youth. The numbers are staggering – “more than 1 in 4 teens are thrown out of their homes” when they come out. If fiction were to reflect reality, it would mean that of all the books published about homeless youth, forty percent of those titles would include LGBT protagonists, and 1 in 4 fiction titles about LGBT youth would include these teens being asked to leave their home for revealing that they identify as LGBT.
June is LGBT Pride Month! There’s no need to wait for the gay pride parade to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Check out one of these local LGBT owned businesses!
On May 26th, the Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ) recognized the “2016 Outstanding Voices” for individuals and companies committed to workplace equality. Additionally, in partnership with the Greater Seattle Business Association, PSBJ is publishing their first LGBTQ-Owned Business Listmakers. Let’s show these businesses, with revenue of nearly $100 million and more than 1,000 employees, some extra love this month. Continue reading “Show your Pride! Support Local LGBT Businesses”
Here at Seattle Public Library we think a lot about how we can be a more inclusive resource for our communities. When the American Dialect Society announced in January that the singular “they” was the word of 2015, we started discussing in more depth the benefits of using gender neutral language when serving our patrons. We live in a world that attaches gender to everything: from toys to books to clothes, we’ve been socialized to see things as either masculine or feminine. We recognize that as professionals that interact with the public, it is second nature to assume gender in our brief interactions with you lovely humans. Instead of taking the easy route of relying on our assumptions about gender, we are challenging ourselves to use gender inclusive language to welcome our transgender and gender non-conforming patrons and create more space for gender diversity in our libraries. (We also really do not want to misgender, or use a word or pronoun that does not correctly reflect the gender with which an individual identifies, our patrons.) Continue reading “Embracing Gender Diversity”