The Library Celebrates Pride Month with Book Lists Inspired by the Pride Flag and More

Thursday, June 6, 2024
pride month made of colorful books

Happy Pride!

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in June — sparked by the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York’s Greenwich Village, a tipping point for the gay rights movement in the United States.

The Library commemorates Pride Month with LGBTQIA+ book recommendations, book clubs, highlights from past programs, film offerings, and other resources. This month's programming also includes special storytimes, exhibitions, and conversations.

  • Visit the National Library of Medicine's traveling exhibition, Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture/Sobrevivir y Prosperar: Sida, Politica y Cultura, which opened June 7 and runs through July 27 near the entrance to 3N at the Central Library.
  • Stop by Friday Night Family Fun at the Plaza branch on June 14 for "Representation Matters: Celebrating Diversity in Children’s Books," mini-storytimes with the Kid Corner staff and UMKC's Pride Alliance.
  • Join the conversation on June 26 at 6 p.m. at the Plaza branch about No Place Like Home: The Struggle Against Hate in Kansas. Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Willmott directed the 2023 documentary sequel to C.J. Janovy's award-winning book of the same name, No Place Like Home, with a focus on LGBTQ rights. RSVP here.
  • LGBT Pride Display in Central Library
    LGBT Pride Display in Central Library
    LGBT Pride Display in Central Library
    Pride display at Central

    Reading & Watching with PRIDE

    Explore suggested LGBTQ Pride Month readings from Library staff and community-created lists in our catalog, including everything from history and nonfiction to popular fiction titles.

    Pride Month books on hoopla
    Watch with PRIDE

    Watch a selection of films celebrating LGBTQ 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

    Resources with PRIDE

    LGBT Studies in Video Learn more about LGBT history and culture with the LGBT Studies in Video database.

    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.

    Programs with PRIDE

    Listen to audio or watch video from some of the Library's past signature events discussing LGBTQ history and experiences.

    The Jewel Box Lounge postcard

    Show Me Love: Female Impersonation and Drag in Kansas City

    In a discussion drawing from his book, The Bars Are Ours: Histories and Cultures of Gay Bars in America, 1960 and After, author and scholar Lucas Hilderbrand spotlights two gay establishments on Kansas City’s Troost Avenue in the 1960s: the Jewel Box Lounge and the Colony Bar. He examines how these venues made the differences between drag shows and female impersonation apparent at a time when gay bars were emerging as visible and politicized spaces.


    Queer Eye event at Central Library

    Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life

    Near the end of four months of filming in Kansas City, the stars of Netflix’s 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.


    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.


    No Place Like Home book cover

    No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas

    C.J. Janovy, former editor of The Pitch and now the director of content at KCUR 89.3, the NPR affiliate in Kansas City, discussed her 2018 book No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas. Traveling through a state with a national reputation tied to Topeka’s gay-degrading Westboro Baptist Church, she 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. Since its publication, the book was awarded the 2019 Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for LBGTQ Nonfiction.


    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 also had an 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.