ALA President Offers Reading Suggestions for Gay Pride Month

June is when many gay and lesbian Americans celebrate their sexuality. In recognition of Gay Pride Month, Loriene Roy, President of the American Library Association tells listeners about books that highlight the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender experience. Read &/or Listen at NPR.

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Celebrate their sexuality?

How does one celebrate their sexuality? I mean so that others will know you are celebrating your sexuality without getting arrested.

Is there a heterosexual or celebite reading list?

If I read this list correctly the first book 'celebrates' infidelity, the second book 'celebrates' who knows what as it seemed a bit of nonsense about dogs, scarecrows and some bizarre incestious relationship between cousins by a Nazi member of the Waffen-SS.

The third book is an autobiography of a gossip columnist who insists on telling the world with whom he engaged in dalliances.

The fourth book offers a fictionalized account of the relationship between Hardy and Ramanujan (of course not to be confused with Ranganathan). Since Ramanujan had a wife, it can't be the characters who are celebrating their sexuality, but perhaps because the author is gay it is included in the list. Why the sexuality of the author should make any difference perplexes me.

Mississippi Sissy seems to be one of the few books on the list that offers any value beyond the author's sexual escapades. It does indeed, as the reviews suggest, delve into a young white boy's growing up in the segregated 1960's south. For that reason I would read the book, not because the author is gay, then again I wouldn't avoid the book because the author is gay. I simply don't care.

The next book seems to be the author attempting to provide mental health services to persons who desperately need more than some woman telling them her life story.

The last book is a fantastic story about the woman who made the pot brownie famous.

You want books by gay people, sure I can suggest some that are great.
Are You Somebody by Nuala O'Faolain. I picked that up at a used bookstore in my city because the name was familiar. I recall her as being a journalist from RTE in Ireland. I read it on a recent plane flight and was disappointed the flight ended before I could finish the book and had to put it away and go to work. Ms. O'Faolain recently died.

Try some Rita Mae Brown, I like the mysteries she co-authors with her cat. (look if the LOC can have the spirit of John Lennon as an author I can think a cat writes books). She also wrote Rubyfruit Jungle, but I have not read that yet.

Perhaps some Harper Lee, Truman Capote; perchance Remembrance of Things Past, Brideshead Revisited, these are literature but not such that celebrating one's sexuality is the theme.

Why anyone would need to celbrate their sexuality is a mystery to me. It seems to be like celebrating digestion, or respiration. Something everyone has but really not talked about in polite company.

I don't care who is or is not gay, lesbian, bisexual, or any of the other letters being added to the acronym of diversity. Can't some things remain a mystery. Often the mystery is more intriguing than reality.

the gay gayness

Just because you don't understand why something is important doesn't mean it's not important.

Books about being gay have intrinsic value because the special and unfortunate place they have in our culture. I believe that makes the books worth reading just based on the "gayness."

I think people need to celebrate their homosexuality when they live in a country where it is accepted and sometimes popular to deny them their human rights. It's a reaction.

Even if you don't care if someone is gay or straight that doesn't mean that hundreds of millions of Americans don't care. They sure seem to care as far as I can see.

The social context makes these books relevant on the basis of the gay themes in them.

p.s. I think the great Hardy was gay. In 19th century Cambridge that's a story in itself. Barely out of the days when one had to be a minister (technically) to teach at either Cambridge or Oxford.

Celebrate?

Everybody is something, gay, not gay, not participating, dead. Why is there a need to celebrate any of it.

If we celebrate one should we not celebrate them all. In the PL where I worked I put up a gay pride display (mostly to be a pain in the arse because the next county over - Hillsborough- had a commissioner -Storms- get her knickers in a twist over on in her county) . I put ip displays for the Jewish High Holy days, Eid al-Fitr, Solstices, Christmas, Arbor day.

I didn't put one up for heterosexual day because I don't think there is one (and I checked Chase's).

However I don't consider the sexual identity of the author a factor when choosing a book (or a plumber, or an employee). I find it odd that others would.

Can we celebrate our sexuality by hiring only transgendered people, or lefty's, I don't think so.

Why do we feel the need to celebrate any of this nonsense? Why do we have to make ourselves feel good? Why can't we just be happy the way we are without having to celebrate being a lesbian or a Presbyterian or anything else.

You are unique, just like everyone else. Get on with your lives and stop celebrating your mere existance people.

When the ALA president puts out a list of books celebrating straight or Catholic authors then I think they are balanced, until then they are just a bunch of loonies to me.

However I don't consider the

However I don't consider the sexual identity of the author a factor when choosing a book (or a plumber, or an employee). I find it odd that others would.

Then the book selections for Gay Pride Month might not be for you. Whaddyathink?

Can we celebrate our sexuality by hiring only transgendered people, or lefty's, I don't think so.

????????????

Why do we feel the need to celebrate any of this nonsense? Why do we have to make ourselves feel good?

Because everyone does it just about different things. Puerto Rican Pride Parade, St. Pat's parades, Irish dancing competitions, Black History Month, Mt. Carmel Societies, etc. Seems pretty common. People just get their nose out of joint when it comes to homosexuals.

Why can't we just be happy the way we are without having to celebrate being a lesbian or a Presbyterian or anything else?

If you ask a lesbian or Presbyterian they will likely tell you that it is a BIG part of "the way they are."

Get on with your lives and stop celebrating your mere existence people.

As long as we are doling out advice "Mind your own business" is a pretty good one too.

When the ALA president puts out a list of books celebrating straight or Catholic authors then I think they are balanced, until then they are just a bunch of loonies to me.

The theory here is that straight people are accepted because they are the majority and Catholic authors are not rare nor persecuted.

The celebration of gay authors is an acknowledgment that gays are marginalized, harassed and muzzled as part of the culture at large.

Acknowledgment?

The celebration of gay authors is an acknowledgment that gays are marginalized, harassed and muzzled as part of the culture at large.

By whom? I don't believe that is true. Sure, perhaps in Iran where they have no gay people according to their president, but in the US, heck it is trendy to be gay.

The celebration of gay

The celebration of gay authors is an acknowledgment that gays are marginalized, harassed and muzzled as part of the culture at large.

By whom? I don't believe that is true.

By the same kind of religious lunatics they have in Iran and Saudi Arabia, that are hanging or beheading homosexuals, or shooting them dead in their own doorways. The only difference is that the lunatics here are christo-fanatics, instead of islamo-fanatics, and they would not have the backing of the state and would be prosecuted for it.

If the U.S. is supposed to be such a bastion of freedom for homosexuals then why aren't homosexuals allowed to marry each other and to have and raise children as they see fit? There is only a small percentage of states that respect homosexuals as human beings in that regard, and your federal goverment does not respect them as human beings at all. In the U.S., as in most industrialized countries, gays are marginalized, harassed and muzzled as part of the culture at large. They are, simply because they are not mainstream.

Get over yourself and admit to the bigotries of your fellow man.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Marry? Raise children?

Your arguments are absurd. Homosexuals have the same rights to marry as anyone else. I can't marry my cat, but that does not deny me the right to marry the woman down the block.

Raise children, I work with plenty of gay and lesbian people who have very nice children, and seem to be raising them them as they wish. Is there some rule that they have to send them to private school that I don't know about because it seems all of my co-workers send their kids to private schools. Is that what you mean by raising their kids the way they want.

There cannot be laws and regulations for certain groups to which people wish to self identify. Everyone has to follow the same laws. The fewer the laws that restrict our freedoms the better.

Of course there are bigots, I am most certainly one of them as I found my plumber because of the advertisement on the back of my church bulletin so I perfer a Roman Catholic plumber.

We are allowed to be as nutty as we want to be, and if I were to go around saying homosexuality will make you burn in hell (which I don't, and it won't) that would be fine, because we are free to be as stupid as we want to be.

However with the right to think and believe as we wish me must also learn to ignore the idiots.

I wholeheartedly agree with the UDHR, and even that does not require that persons of the same gender be allowed to marry. I do feel that people may assign power to make medical decisions, and visitation rights when incapicated, and the like to anyone, and designate their heirs and the custody of their children, and these directives would differ little from those thrust upon married couples. These directives would apply to anyone, not just gay people.

So celebrate anything you want, but until the ALA comes out with suggested readings for Easter or Heterosexual week I will think they are buffoons.

N.B. Their selection of 'gay' books was pretty poor, mine was much better if you must have a list of gay books. I am a librarian after all and I can meet the needs of patrons no matter how I may feel about their reading choices.

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