Say Gay: A Reading List

Veronica S.
Friday, June 9, 2023
Say Gay: A Reading List
Over the last few years we’ve seen a rise in attacks targeting communities, classrooms, cultural spaces, and more in school districts, cities, and states across the country. These attacks are made through legislation, bans, and the rewriting of curriculum that seek to dehumanize minority groups and skew the telling of history—from bills that criminalize gender-affirming care to attempts to censor the teaching of history to a shocking increase in book bans. In the face of this censorship and attempts to restrict dialogue and scholarship, we’re naming the issues, saying them out loud, and sharing a series of reading lists that provide a deep dive into topics that are in the spotlight.
From photobooks celebrating the rich diversity of the queer community and anthologies documenting the legacy of Black Lesbian writers to conversations with legal experts involved in the policies and laws affecting LGBTQ communities, explore The New Press’s reading guide for understanding and honoring the vibrant history and ongoing work of LGBTQ activism.
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By Elizabeth F. Schwartz
Leading gay rights attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz spells out the range of practical considerations couples should address before tying the knot in this “must-have preparatory reference book for anyone contemplating a marital union with the same or the opposite sex” (The Bay Area Reporter). With cameos from some of the most prominent LGBTQ professionals, Schwartz explains all of the implications of marriage from name changes and getting a license to taxes, insurance, Social Security, and much more.
By Lola Flash
The seventeenth volume in a groundbreaking series of LGBTQ-themed photobooks from The New Press, Believable draws on the extraordinary body of work that renowned photographer and LGBTQIA+ activist Lola Flash has created over four decades, from their iconic “Cross Colour'' images from the 1980s and early 1990s to their more recent photography, which uses the framework of Afrofuturism to examine the intersection of Black culture and technoculture and science fiction. The New York Times called this stunning full-color collection an experience that invites the viewer to “come face to face, eye to eye, with a subject who will not stay on the margins or in the shadows.”
By Gabriela Herman
For the past four years, award-winning photographer Gabriela Herman, whose mother came out when Herman was in high school and was married in one of Massachusetts’s first legal same-sex unions, has been photographing and interviewing children and young adults in America with one or more parent who identifies as lesbian, gay, trans, or queer. Featuring more than fifty portraits of children raised by gay parents in America, The Kids builds on images featured in the New York Times Sunday Review and The Guardian to bring a vibrant energy and sensitivity to a wide range of experiences.
By David Deschamps and Bennett Singer
LGBTQ Stats chronicles the ongoing LGBTQ revolution, providing the critical statistics, and draws upon and synthesizes newly collected data. Deschamps and Singer—whose previous books and films on LGBTQ topics have won numerous awards and found audiences worldwide—provide chapters on family and marriage, workplace discrimination, education, youth, criminal justice, and immigration, as well as evolving policies and laws affecting LGBTQ communities. In a starred review, Booklist called LGBTQ Stats “an important and indispensable research tool for every library collection.”
By Delphine Diallo
A beautiful series of full-color portraits of LGBTQ people over the age of fifty, this collection of the work of French-Senegalese photographer Delphine Diallo centers on the voices and lives of older LGBTQ people in the United States, a generation that has been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic but has also been instrumental in extraordinary progress in LGBTQ rights and visibility in this country. Explore photographs and quotes from the photobook in Curve magazine.
Edited by Kevin M. Cathcart and Leslie J. Gabel-Brett
Victory may sometimes look like a sudden revolution when, in truth, it rests on years of struggle. The June 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was a sweeping victory for the freedom to marry, but it was one step in a long process. Including firsthand accounts from the attorneys and advocates who brought the historic cases and fought to secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, Love Unites Us is the history of activists’ passion and persistence in the struggle for marriage rights for same-sex couples in the United States, told in the words of those who waged the battle. Read an excerpt from Love Unites Us in Out magazine.
Edited by Briona Simone Jones
A groundbreaking collection tracing the history of intellectual thought by Black Lesbian writers, including Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Jewel Gomez and Beverly Smith, Mouths of Rain was included on Ms. magazine’s list of the best books of the year, which described how “this outstanding collection honors the legacy and contributions made by Black lesbian writers throughout the last two centuries.” Mouths of Rain was also included on Literary Hub’s list of the 101 best covers of 2021. Read an excerpt from Mouths of Rain by writer and scholar Alexis Pauline Gumbs.
By Jurek Wajdowicz
More than forty years have passed since members of the LGBTQ community took to the streets of New York City on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots for the world’s first march for gay rights. From its modest, though ambitious, beginnings, the annual event has grown into an all-encompassing celebration of queer culture, drawing more than a million people. A celebration of the New York City Pride Parade documented in a dazzling series of photographs, Pride & Joy includes interviews with members of the queer community about their relationship to the march, offering a startling variety of responses to this integral part of New York life.
By Sarah Schulman
Hailed as “a cri de cœoeur woven into a utopian vision” by Susan Brownmiller (author of Against Our Will), Ties That Bind is the highly praised work of prizewinning writer and professor Sarah Schulman on “familial homophobia,” a phenomenon that, until now, has not had a name but is nevertheless an integral part of most people’s experience. Ties That Bind invites us to understand familial homophobia as a cultural crisis, rather than a personal or an individual problem. Ambitious, original, and deeply important, Schulman’s book draws on her own lived experience, her research, and her engagement with active social change to articulate a practical, attainable vision of transformation that can begin today.
We hope that these titles shed light on the issues, provide nuance and understanding, and spur the kinds of conversations that lead to reflection and change. 
The New Press is able to fulfill its mission of publishing books for a more inclusive, just, and equitable world through the support of readers, foundation grants, and contributions from individual donors.


Blog section: 
Article related book(s): 
Before I Do
The Kids
Lived Experience
Love Unites Us
Mouths of Rain
Pride & Joy
Ties That Bind