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The ReadDown

The Queer History Book List

Discover these nonfiction reads that honor the history of the LGBTQIA+ movement in the U.S.  and point to a more liberated future.

And this Pride Month, share your favorite book by an LGBTQ+ author and the words they wrote that inspired you to be you using #InYourWords on social media!

  1. 1
    We Are Everywhere Book Cover Picture
    We Are Everywhere Book Cover Picture

    We Are Everywhere

    by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown

    A rich and sweeping photographic history of the Queer Liberation Movement, from the creators and curators of the massively popular Instagram account @lgbt_history, released in time for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
    We Are Everywhere Book Cover Picture
    We Are Everywhere Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $40.00

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  2. 2
    How to Survive a Plague Book Cover Picture
    How to Survive a Plague Book Cover Picture

    How to Survive a Plague

    by David France

    A definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic, here is the incredible story of the grassroots activists whose work turned HIV from a mostly fatal infection to a manageable disease. How to Survive a Plague is an unparalleled insider’s account of a pivotal moment in the history of American civil rights.

    How to Survive a Plague Book Cover Picture
    How to Survive a Plague Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $19.95

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  3. 3
    Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution Book Cover Picture
    Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution Book Cover Picture

    Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution

    by Rob Sanders

    Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising with the very first picture book to tell of its historic and inspiring role in the gay civil rights movement.
    Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution Book Cover Picture
    Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $17.99

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  4. 4
    The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later Book Cover Picture
    The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later Book Cover Picture

    The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later

    by Moises Kaufman, Tectonic Theater Project, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti and Andy Paris

    On October 7, 1998, a young gay man was discovered bound to a fence outside Laramie, Wyoming, savagely beaten and left to die in an act of brutality and hate that shocked the nation. Matthew Shepard’s death became a national symbol of intolerance, but for the people of the town, the event was deeply personal. In the aftermath, Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie and conducted more than 200 interviews with its citizens. From the transcripts, the playwrights constructed an extraordinary chronicle of life in the town after the murder.
    The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later Book Cover Picture
    The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $15.00

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  5. 5
    Sister Outsider Book Cover Picture
    Sister Outsider Book Cover Picture

    Sister Outsider

    by Audre Lorde

    In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde’s philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published.
    Sister Outsider Book Cover Picture
    Sister Outsider Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $16.99

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  6. 6
    From the Closet to the Courtroom Book Cover Picture
    From the Closet to the Courtroom Book Cover Picture

    From the Closet to the Courtroom

    by Carlos A. Ball and Michael Bronski

    Engaging and largely untold, From the Closet to the Courtroom explores how five pivotal lawsuits have altered LGBTQ history. Law professor Carlos Ball traces the parties from their communities to the courtroom, while deftly weaving in rich sociohistorical context and analyzing the lasting legal and political impact of each judicial outcome.

    From the Closet to the Courtroom Book Cover Picture
    From the Closet to the Courtroom Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  7. 7
    What Was Stonewall? Book Cover Picture
    What Was Stonewall? Book Cover Picture

    What Was Stonewall?

    by Nico Medina and Who HQ

    How did a spontaneous protest outside of a New York City bar fifty years ago spark a social movement across America? Find out about the history of LGBTQ rights in this Who HQ title.
    What Was Stonewall? Book Cover Picture
    What Was Stonewall? Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $5.99

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  8. 8
    Stonewall Book Cover Picture
    Stonewall Book Cover Picture

    Stonewall

    by Martin Duberman

    In Stonewall, renowned historian and activist Martin Duberman tells the full story of this pivotal moment in history. With riveting narrative skill, he re-creates those revolutionary, sweltering nights in vivid detail through the lives of six people who were drawn into the struggle for LGBTQ rights. Their stories combine to form an unforgettable portrait of the repression that led up to the riots, which culminates when they triumphantly participate in the first gay rights march of 1970, the roots of today’s pride marches.
    Stonewall Book Cover Picture
    Stonewall Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  9. 9
    Speak Now Book Cover Picture
    Speak Now Book Cover Picture

    Speak Now

    by Kenji Yoshino

    Kenji Yoshino, a renowned legal scholar, tells the definitive story of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the groundbreaking federal lawsuit against Proposition 8, that stands as the most potent argument for marriage equality.

    Speak Now Book Cover Picture
    Speak Now Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $17.00

    Also available from:

  10. 10
    Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag Book Cover Picture
    Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag Book Cover Picture

    Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

    by Rob Sanders

    In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world.
    Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag Book Cover Picture
    Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag Book Cover Picture

    Hardcover
    $17.99

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  11. 11
    The Stonewall Reader Book Cover Picture
    The Stonewall Reader Book Cover Picture

    The Stonewall Reader

    by

    The Stonewall Reader is a collection of first accounts, diaries, periodic literature, and articles from LGBTQ magazines and newspapers that documented both the years leading up to and the years following the riots. Most importantly the anthology spotlights both iconic activists who were pivotal in the movement, such as Sylvia Rivera, co-founder of Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (STAR), as well as forgotten figures like Ernestine Eckstein, one of the few out, African American, lesbian activists in the 1960s.
    The Stonewall Reader Book Cover Picture
    The Stonewall Reader Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  12. 12
    Forcing the Spring Book Cover Picture
    Forcing the Spring Book Cover Picture

    Forcing the Spring

    by Jo Becker

    A groundbreaking work of reportage by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring is the definitive account of five remarkable years in American civil rights history, when the United States experienced a tectonic shift on the issue of marriage equality.

    Forcing the Spring Book Cover Picture
    Forcing the Spring Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $18.00

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  13. 13
    Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights Book Cover Picture
    Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights Book Cover Picture

    Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights

    by Ann Bausum

    In 1969 being gay in the United States was a criminal offense. It meant living a closeted life or surviving on the fringes of society. People went to jail, lost jobs, and were disowned by their families for being gay. Most doctors considered homosexuality a mental illness. There were few safe havens. The Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run, filthy, overpriced bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, was one of them.
    Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights Book Cover Picture
    Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $9.99

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  14. 14
    A Queer History of the United States Book Cover Picture
    A Queer History of the United States Book Cover Picture

    A Queer History of the United States

    by Michael Bronski

    A Queer History of the United States Book Cover Picture
    A Queer History of the United States Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $20.00

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  15. 15
    Transgender Warriors Book Cover Picture
    Transgender Warriors Book Cover Picture

    Transgender Warriors

    by Leslie Feinberg

    “[Transgender Warriors] leaves us with a sense that a transgendered concept of what it is to be fully human and psychologically whole is both valid and nothing new. A brief review cannot do justice to this amazing resource, not only for our communities, but for the world.”–Lambda Book Report

    Transgender Warriors Book Cover Picture
    Transgender Warriors Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $24.95

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  16. 16
    Hidden from History Book Cover Picture
    Hidden from History Book Cover Picture

    Various Authors

    by

    This richly revealing anthology brings together for the first time the vital new scholarly studies now lifting the veil from the gay and lesbian past. Such notable researchers as John Boswell, Shari Benstock, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Jeffrey Weeks and John D’Emilio illuminate gay and lesbian life as it evolved in places as diverse as the Athens of Plato, Renaissance Italy, Victorian London, jazz Age Harlem, Revolutionary Russia, Nazi Germany, Castro’s Cuba, post-World War II San Francisco.
    Hidden from History Book Cover Picture
    Hidden from History Book Cover Picture

    Paperback
    $37.00

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