June Lobby Display: Pride!

The beginning of June marks the start of Pride Month, a celebration that has its roots in political activism, protest and riots. In the U.S the LGBT movement is attributed to the Stonewall riot that occurred in June 28th 1969. This riot was in response to a police raid that took place in the Stonewall Inn and is considered widely to be the most important event that catalyzed the gay liberation movement. By the 1980s, most major cities in the US held their own pride marches. Canada has its own specific history for pride marches. The first protest for gay rights took place in Ottawa and Vancouver in 1971. However, it was the Toronto Bathhouse Raids of 1981 that caused public outcry over police brutality and instigated community response and action. This resulted in midnight marches protesting police brutality in Yonge and Wellesley streets. Although the raids of Toronto bathhouses continued, one occurring as recently as September 2000, the organizing work done by the gay community led to Pride month becoming one of the most visible celebrations in Canada. This blog post will feature some books that bring attention to the different voices that make up the LGBT community.

Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community

This is a book that is oriented toward children (ages 9-14) and explains what Pride means to those who celebrate it beyond simply the commercial aspects. This book does a good job looking at Pride through a variety of global contexts and makes this all accessible to younger readers. Furthermore, this book also gives attention to groups within LGBT history that are often ignored such as non-normative gender identities, the transgender and intersex community. Importantly this book also places emphasis on youth involvement historically but also currently, and allows kids to see themselves on the pages.

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community

This 649-page book is an immense resource for trans and non-binary individuals. This project was started by Laura Erickson-Schroth, a psychiatrist, who wanted to change the disconnect that she saw between health-care providers and transgender people. The title echoes the book Our Bodies, Ourselves, which was put together in the early 70s at a time when 90% of physicians were men. It is both a resource for transgender people, as well as others who may not know the correct terminology, or how to support trans people in various stages of their lives. This book is also important to consider in the larger LGBT movement as often there can be a lot of focus on things such as marriage equality, but there isn’t often widespread awareness on very important issues affecting livelihoods such as housing, safety, and incarceration amongst others that disproportionately affect trans people.

Queer Voices from the Classroom

This book is the first volume in a new book series “Research in Queer Studies” that contains short essays of LGBTQ teachers and administrators who recount their experiences of being queer in the classrooms. This book focuses on topics such as gay curriculums, shame, celebrating diversity, visibility, queer e/affects of images etc. It is a valuable guide for queer teachers who are trying to navigate the classrooms, as well as for those who are wanting to support queer students in the classroom.

If you would like to check out these books, or look at other books in the Pride Display, you can visit the Lobby Display on the ground floor of the OISE Building until the end of June. Please ask if the staff at the circulation desk if you would like to take out one of the books from the display. Happy Pride Month!


About Subhanya Sivajothy

TALint (Toronto Academic Libraries Intern) at the OISE Library | Master of Information Candidate, 2020 | University of Toronto
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