Pride Month in June commemorates the Stonewall riots in New York's Greenwich Village, which ignited the gay rights movement in the United States in 1969. The Library offers a collection of book recommendations, events, films, and other resources that celebrate LGBTQIA+ voices and experiences.
Explore suggested Pride Month reading from Library staff and community-created lists in our catalog that includes everything from history and non-fiction to popular fiction titles.
Pride in Your Shelves: Nonfiction
In commemoration of the Stonewall Inn protests and Christopher Street Liberation Day, here is a list of notable titles about the history of LGBTQ+ people from Kansas City Public Library.
Pride in Fiction
Through fiction, readers can expand understanding and world view by engaging in stories that present different experiences from their own (that really aren't so different, after all). In recognition of Pride Month, here are notable novels and genre fiction featuring LGBTQ+ characters.
A Life full of Pride: LGBTQ+ Memoirs and Biography
Biographies and memoirs allow readers to 'read a mile in someone else's shoes'. In commemoration of Pride Month, Kansas City Public Library offers this list of notable books from and about members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Queer Graphic Novels for Adults
LGBTQIA+ voices in a visual storytelling medium!
Happy Pride Month! Youth Reads
June is all about love, joy, and Pride! All month long, we can celebrate and learn about our LGBTQ+ friends, families, and neighbors by reading books about some pretty amazing people.
Watch a selection of cinema celebrating LGBT Pride Month - documentaries, dramas, comedies, and more - streamed to your computer or mobile device using the Library's free digital services such as hoopla or Kanopy.
Writer and activist George M. Johnson joined Kansas City activist Justice Horn in discussing Johnson's 2020 memoir on growing up Black and queer and the controversy – in the Kansas City area and nationwide – that has erupted around it. All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto is among the titles being challenged by parents who deem the books’ content as inappropriate for students and want them removed from school libraries. Johnson and Horn were joined by students from the North Kansas City School District, who fought an attempt to remove All Boys Aren't Blue from the school library's shelves.
In a discussion of his 2020 book What’s Your Pronoun?, the University of Illinois' Dennis Baron examined the issue and lends some valuable historical context. The search for a gender-neutral pronoun actually goes back centuries; Shakespeare used the singular “they,” and people have been coining new gender pronouns (beyond “hir” and “zie”) for generations.
At the height of the AIDS crisis, the Kansas City City Council added “sexual orientation” to the local Civil Rights Ordinance, barring discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and people with HIV/AIDS. In June 2018, on the 25th anniversary of the ordinance, the Library hosted a program that explored its legacy and compared and contrasted the struggle for LGBT rights then and now.
Filmmaker Austin Williams moderated the conversation, kicking off the event with a clip from his in-development documentary, The Ordinance Project, about the lead-up to and passage of the revised ordinance in June 1993. Panelists included Katheryn Shields, a council member then and now, and longtime activists Jon D. Barnett, Lea Hopkins, and Kay Madden . The program was co-presented by the Gay and Lesbian Archives of Mid-America, Out Here Now: Kansas City LGBT Film Festival and the Kansas City Human Rights Commission Task Force on Gay and Lesbian Issues. Listen to an audio recording of the discussion here.
Traveling through a state whose national reputation is all too tied to Topeka’s gay-degrading Westboro Baptist Church, Writer C.J. Janovy found LGBT activists who fought in ways big and small for the respect of their neighbors, their communities, and their government, lending hope to those alarmed by the treatment of minorities in an increasingly polarized country. Janovy's 2018 book No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas was awarded the 2019 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for LBGTQ Nonfiction. Listen to audio from the presentation here.
Near the end of four months of filming in Kansas City, the stars of Netflix’ infectious reality series Queer Eye sat down at the Central Library in November 2018 to discuss their book Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life. Makeover specialists Bobby Berk (interior design), Karamo Brown (culture), Tan France (fashion), Antoni Porowski (food and wine), and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming) also reflected on their Kansas City experiences. Watch video of the discussion or check out the book.
In this program from 2014, a panel of local experts discussed how before the famous 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City sparked the modern gay rights movement, Kansas City had its own active gay rights community that was a meaningful participant in the larger national movement. Post-Stonewall, the city’s emerging gay and lesbian community strove to provide venues and services to address the growing needs of its members. Watch video of the discussion here.
Learn more about LGBT history and culture with the LGBT Studies in Video database. All you need is your Library card to get started.
The online Archives of Sexuality & Gender illuminates the experiences of not just the LGBTQ community as a whole but also individuals of different races, ethnicities, ages, religions, political orientations, and geographical locations.
This page on our website lists a collection of LGBTQIA resources for the Kansas City community.