LGBT Pride Month is celebrated every year in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in Manhattan. In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided a Greenwich Village bar that had a largely gay clientele. Patrons, who were angry about the frequent raids, fought back and soon a crowd of more than 400 people gathered in the streets. News of the event spread and inspired others to mobilize in support of gay rights.
The Westchester Library System has a growing collection of books with LGBT themes. For this post, I will spotlight three fiction writers who have made LGBT content an important part of their writing.
Sarah Waters writes historical fiction for adults:
The Paying Guests: In 1922 London, economics force a widow and her daughter Frances to take in lodgers . Their lives are profoundly changed after they rent to a young couple and Frances has a dangerous clandestine affair with the wife.
Fingersmith: Sue Trinity, an orphan raised by thieves, is recruited by a con man to help in his quest to marry Maude, a wealthy heiress. Sue agrees to pose as a maid to gain Maude’s confidence, but finds herself falling in love with her.
Tipping the Velvet: At a London music hall in 1887, a male impersonator falls in love with her dresser.
Affinity: Visiting a grim Victorian London prison as part of rehabilitative charity work, Margaret Prior, a woman recovering from a suicide attempt, is drawn in by an inmate who asks Margaret to help her escape.
Bill Konigsberg writes young adult novels:
Openly Straight: Tired of being known as “the gay guy,”Rafe Goldberg decides to assume a new persona when he enters an elite prep school, but trying to deny his identity has both complications and unexpected consequences. Honestly Ben: The sequel to Openly Straight tells Ben’s side of his relationship with Rafe.
The Porcupine of Truth: Seventeen-year-old Carson Speier is bored of Billings, Montana, and resentful that he has to help his mother take care of his father, a dying alcoholic whom he has not seen in fourteen years–but then he meets Aisha, a beautiful lesbian who has run away from her own difficult family.
Out of the Pocket: Star quarterback Bobby Framingham, one of the most talented high school football players in California, hides the fact that he’s gay from his teammates.
Nina LaCour also writes young adult fiction:
We are Okay: Marin tries to leave her past life behind when she goes to college, but when her high school friend Mabel visits she is forced to face the truth about the tragedy that happened in the summer before she left.
You Know Me Well: Mark and Kate sit next to each other at school but are barely acquainted until they meet at a club during Pride Week and connect over each others forbidden loves.
Everything Leads to You: Feeling unfulfilled in her romantic life, a talented L.A. set designer discovers a mysterious letter at an estate sale that prompts her investigation into a movie star’s hidden life.
Another resource: Since its founding in 1983, the LOFT Community Center in White Plains has been serving the LGBT community in Westchester County through political advocacy, education and celebration. Check out their website: www.loftgaycenter.org