Read and Learn with Pride: Celebrating LGBTQIA+ Stories

Monday, June 7, 2021
Pride Month

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.

View full list in catalog >

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.

View full list in catalog >

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.

View full list in catalog >

Queer Fantasy & Sci-Fi
A list of fantasy and sci-fi novels featuring Queer characters and storylines

View full list in catalog >




All Modes Are Open to Us

Saturday, June 3, 2023 to Saturday, August 12, 2023
Central Library  |  Guldner Gallery, First Floor

All Modes Are Open to Us imagines new forms of “queer magic” through themes of domestic life, archives, and decoration in the work of Philadelphia artist Amy Cousins and Kansas City educator and printmaker Ruben Castillo. See quilts inspired by nature and domesticity and wallpaper-backed textual artifacts that point to alternate forms of connection and sexuality.





A Rabid Sense of Hope: From the Artists’ Perspective

Saturday, June 3, 2023  |  2 p.m.
Reception: 5:30 p.m.  |  Program: 6 p.m. 

Central Library 

Philadelphia artist Amy Cousins and Kansas City educator and printmaker Ruben Castillo talk to the Library's Anne Kniggendorf about their work and their collaboration on the Library exhibition All Modes are Open to Us, which imagines new forms of “queer magic” through themes of domestic life, archives, and decoration. The exhibition is on display in the Central Library’s Guldner Gallery through August 12, 2023.

Details & RSVP

AIDS in KC: Facing the Challenge

Sunday, June 18, 2023  |  2 p.m.
Plaza Branch

The Library and Kansas City PBS offer a screening and discussion of the 30-minute film AIDS in KC: Facing the Challenge 1987-1992, chronicling the story of individuals and organizational allies in Kansas City who came together during a frightening time to save lives and educate.

Details & RSVP


All Boys Aren't Blue

In 2022, 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.


Find the book in our catalog

What's Your Pronoun? Beyond He & She

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.


Find the book in our catalog


The Ordinance Project: KC’s LGBT Landmark

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.


No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas

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.

Find the book in our catalog
Related blog: FYI Book Club Spotlights C.J. Janovy’s No Place Like Home and LGBT Advances in Kansas

Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life

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.


We're Here, We're Queer: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Kansas City

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.


Book Group Discussions

Queer Voices Book Group Reads The Stonewall Riots

Tuesday, June 20, 2023  |  Online discussion: 6 - 7 p.m.

Plaza Branch's Queer Voices Book Group's latest pick is The Stonewall Riots, by Gayle E. Pitman, which is available to borrow in our catalog or through hoopla. Join in the online discussion by RSVPing; participants will receive a Zoom link prior to the event date.

All Library book groups >



Kanopy film screenshot   

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.

Pride Month films on Kanopy
About Kanopy

Pride Month films on hoopla
About hoopla


Library Resources:

Learn more about LGBT history and culture with the LGBT Studies in Video database. All you need is your Library card to get started.   

LGBT Studies in Video

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.

Archives of Sexuality & Gender

This page on our website lists a collection of LGBTQIA resources for the Kansas City community.

Kansas City Resources for LGBTQIA Community Members   Download PDF handout