I’ve been in a nerdy mood recently, wanting to take a break from fiction and jump into some real world, educational, inspirational non-fiction. So for April, here are three recent LGBT-focused non-fiction works that have intrigued me. You can also take this as my way-delayed tribute to Women’s History Month. I might be a month behind, but who’s counting? (For those who aren’t non-fiction fans, don’t worry, I promise to jump back into lesbian romance in May.)
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, Susan Kuklin (February 2014; Candlewick Press)
Part non-fiction text, part photography project, in this book Kuklin interviews and documents the lives of six transgender or gender-neutral young adults, each unique in their own way. She tells their stories through a combination of narrative, family pictures, portraits, and gosh, am I just so excited to get this book in my hands. I have a few friends who have already read it, and they’ve all given it five stars. I hope all school libraries start adding it to their shelves.
Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the United States Since World War II,
Daniel W. Rivers (August 2013; University of North Carolina Press)
In debates over LGBT family rights in the last couple decades, the opposing side seems to talk about the LGBT family as if it’s a new invention, a fact that they use to prove its unnaturalness. But Rivers lays out extensive research, as well as interviews with more than 130 families, about the long history of non-heterosexual families, documenting all the things that have evolved over the last 50 years. (I’d even be interested in the history BEFORE the World War II era, but I assume the research is not as rich—or perhaps just suitable for another volume.)
Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution, Shiri Eisner (July 2013; Seal Press)
Encompassing queer, feminist, and transgender theories, Eisner breaks down the prejudices against and myths about bisexuals, including the tough coin toss of being perceived as “too bisexual”—too promiscuous—or “not bisexual enough”–not carrying out relations with both genders equally, making you a “liar.” It’s both a comprehensive history of bi politics and a call to action to change how we view sexuality and social conventions in general. I’ve seen it on “must read” lists for months, and so I’m finally adding it to our own!
Which sounds most interesting to you?
I’ll post the winner on Monday, March 31.