LGBT History Month | Studying LGBTQ+ History (And Reading Queer Classics!)

It’s LGBT History Month! And I promised I was going to write at least one post about that, right? Well, I totally forgot… until now. WHAT EVEN IS MY LIFE.

This is going to be another one of those link-filled posts BECAUSE I LOVE THEM. I love writing actual thinky posts too, of course, but sometimes it’s a lot of fun to find cool articles and blog posts and stuff and show them to you! (Also, I’m writing that kind of post because I read approximately 500 pages from various books and textbooks today and my brain cannot handle writing anything more complicated than a linky post. So, there’s that.)

Enjoy!

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I found this open letter to parents of LGBTQ+ kids and, although the whole thing is awesome, this quote is just SO important:

“When your child is LGBT they are part of a minority. If you are like most parents and heterosexual, this is a minority that does not include you. Most of the time that’s not the case. Most minorities are based on race and religion – things that tend to run in families. History and stories are told from generation to generation. Politics are discussed over the kitchen table where everyone has the same stake.

This is different. You may not be LGBT, but it is now your job to become an expert in this minority. You need to learn LGBT history, LGBT current political issues and LGBT controversies. Because you need to know your child’s history, your child’s issues, your child’s reality. This might feel uncomfortable to you, maybe even a little alien, but this is not about you. This is about your child.

And your child needs you. Your child needs you and your unconditional support. LGBT kids are eight times more likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts. LGBT children who do not have family support are even more likely to commit suicide. If you want your child to grow to become an amazing adult, now is the time to put yourself aside and put your child first. Because you are a parent. Because it’s your job.”

AHHH. I JUST. I LOVE THAT SO FREAKING MUCH. I particularly love the bit about how, most of the time, when someone belongs to a minority group, the rest of their family does as well – but this is not necessarily true for queer people.

(Side note: I love reading/learning about families where more than one member was LGBTQ+! I mean, it’s genetic, so it really isn’t all that unlikely. And yes, this is basically just me fangirling about Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, which is an AMAZING graphic novel about a girl who grows up, realizes she’s a lesbian, and discovers her dad was gay. YOU SHOULD READ IT.)

Anyway. Yeah. It’s super important to study LGBTQ+ history, whether or not you’re LGBTQ+. I think this subject should be taught in schools (along with women’s history!) because it would clear up a lot of misconceptions people have and make them more understanding of differences.

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EEEE I MADE A (SHORT) LIST OF LGBTQ+ CLASSICS. BECAUSE I’M A BOOKWORM.

…this list is only eight books long, but it took a surprisingly long time to make it because it’s hard to find decent lists of this stuff on Goodreads! (Also, I’m still not quite satisfied with it. I feel like there’s something missing – certainly there was important stuff published between the 20s and 50s? I FEEL LIKE I’M FORGETTING SOMETHING IMPORTANT.)

Anyway, ENJOY YOUR VINTAGE GAYNESS.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890)
  • The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (1928)
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf (1928)
  • The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (1952)
  • Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin (1956)
  • Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown (1973)
  • Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden (1982)
  • Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson (1985)

Let’s be honest: I made this list as prep for an upcoming in-depth post about LGBTQ+ classics! I’d like to add more books to this list, obviously, but basically I want to list some older LGBTQ+ books and talk about their effect on the genre!

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…this post was going to be a lot longer, but all of a sudden my brain got super tired and said “NOOOOO NO ENGIE I DON’T WANNA WRITE ANY MORE.” So, yeah. BRAIN, WHY. Well, I hope you enjoyed this post anyway. I meant to go to the recent Spectrum meeting that was specifically about LGBT History Month so I could get more ideas/material for this post, but I was exhausted that day. OOPS.

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT MY BRAIN IS DOING ANYMORE. IT’S EXHAUSTED. BUT I WILL PROBABLY NOT GO TO BED ANYTIME SOON BECAUSE I WANT TO READ MORE AND ALSO I MAKE POOR LIFE CHOICES. Goodnight!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
This entry was posted in LGBTQ+, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to LGBT History Month | Studying LGBTQ+ History (And Reading Queer Classics!)

  1. I feel sad that I haven’t read many of the books on your list and that a couple I haven’t even heard of! (Well of Loneliness, Price of Salt) Have you read all of them? I’ve read “Dorian Gray” and “Annie on my Mind” and own Giovanni’s Room and Orlando for future reading. Also, “I’ll Get There — It Better Be Worth the Trip” from … 1965, I think? is supposedly the first YA book with a gay protagonist. Another one I own but have not yet read. :p Looking forward to your more in depth book on classic queerness.

    • nevillegirl says:

      No, I haven’t read all of them – actually, I’ve only read The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Price of Salt.

      I can’t believe I forgot I’ll Get There – It Better Be Worth the Trip! I’ve heard of it before, but completely forgot about when it was time to write this post… ugh, now I’m frustrated with myself, because I added Annie on my Mind specifically so that there would be a YA book on the list!

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