11 Books to read with Pride
June marks Pride Month! It’s been fifty years since the Stonewall Riots, and Pride is celebrated around the world to honour the past and love the present. We can help champion queer voices through the printed word so check out these 11 books, all by and/or about LGBTQ+ people.
The Gay Heritage Project by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn & Andrew Kushnir
Three of Canada’s most gifted performers, Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir, go on a search for the history of gay people. Through their own lineages, and other places too, the trio discover forgotten stories and some well-known ones to compile an extraordinary history lesson that shines a new light on contemporary gay culture.
Body Politic by Nick Green
The Body Politic was a newspaper on the forefront of the LGBTQ+ movement in 1970s Toronto. Now, Phillip, who was a reporter for the paper, is an aging journalist who's trying to figure out how to use Grindr. Told in two alternating timelines, Phillip recounts his story about the paper and leading the LGBTQ+ movement.
Late Company by Jordan Tannahill
One year after their son Joel’s suicide, Debora and Michael Shaun-Hastings sit down to dinner with Joel’s bully and his parents. They’re looking for closure, but the powder keg has been lit and accusations are thrown around for everyone’s real or imagined part in the tragedy.
I Have AIDS! by Sky Gilbert
When stand-up comic Prodon tells his lover Vidor that he has AIDS, this news barely interrupts dinner. And it shouldn’t. They live in an age where AIDS isn’t a death sentence, and many gay men live and deal with the condition. Following Prodon through the five stages of acceptance—Denial, Partying, Loss of Control, Religious Conversion, and Acceptance—I Have AIDS! Is a black comedy about gay men that is neither tragic nor sad.
Lilies by Michel Marc Bouchard
In 1912, two boys at a Catholic college fell in love while working on a play about St. Sebastian. Their story ends tragically: one boy is sent to prison and the other dies. Years later, as the remaining inmate is about to be released, he is visited by the monsignor, who was also party to the events as a boy. The inmate stages a show of the event, and forces the monsignor to admit his role in the tragedy.
Gertrude and Alice by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton with Karin Randoja
Visiting the reader in the present day, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas come to find how history has treated them. The couple recounts stories from their forty-year relationship, meeting iconic writers and artists, and Alice’s long-lasting and never wavering devotion to Gertrude. Before they go, they find out what has become of their artistic and cultural influence, and how their lives and work are—or are not—remembered.
Outside by Paul Dunn
Daniel is ready to talk. And his friends, Krystina and Jeremy are ready to help him. Speaking to his new school, Daniel talks about the bullying and depression that drove him from his old school, while simultaneously Krystina and Jeremy set up for their first gay–straight alliance meeting while dealing with the feeling that they didn’t do enough to help their friend. Told in two narratives that intertwine, the teens find comfort in perspective and power in numbers.
Freda & Jem’s Best of the Week by Lois Fine
Freda and Jem have an unconventional family. Jem is a butch dyke from Montreal who never saw herself marrying and having kids, until she meets Freda. Freda shows Jem’s vulnerabilities, something Jem surprisingly likes, and they build a life and family together. Years later, as their dynamic shifts, Freda and Jem have to figure out how to exist with each other while accepting their new reality.
Queer/Play: An Anthology of Queer Women's Performance and Plays edited by Moynan King
This anthology includes plays, performances, and interviews by emerging and established queer artists. This collection is diverse and finds itself at the intersection of queer life and art, examining the resulting cultures and identity. Queer/Play features work by Shaista Latif, Nathalie Claude, Alex Tigchelaar, Jazz Kamal “Nari,” d’bi.young anitafrika, d’bi.young anitafrika, Hope Thompson, Flerida Peña, Gein Wong, and Evalyn Parry.
Q2Q: Queer Canadian Performance Texts edited by Peter Dickinson, C.E. Gatchalian, Kathleen Oliver & Dalbir Singh
This anthology is a look at contemporary queer performance practices—from solo performance to political allegory to family melodrama to intersectional narratives that combine text, movement, and music. Q2Q: Queer Canadian Performance Texts features work by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Katie Sly and Jonathan Seinen, Shawn Wright, Minh Ly, lee williams boudakian and Kamee Abrahamian, Sunny Drake, and d’bi. young anitafrika.
Two-Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances edited by Jean O’Hara
The plays within this anthology—by Muriel Miguel, Kent Monkman, and Waawaate Fobister—touch on desire, identity, and community as they tackle misunderstandings of the Indigenous people and explores what it means to be a queer and Indigenous.
Want more? Check out our LGBTQ+/Queer Category!