Pride Month Is Over—But Pride Never Ends
W.I. Dykes Library Keeps the Pride Alive With Good Reads
By Laura Wagner
June has ended, and with it, Pride Month, the annual time set aside to celebrate and honor the vast community of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (sexual or gender identity), intersex, asexual/agender, and all others, including allies of the cause (+). Pride month is held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, an inflection point in LGBTQIA+ history.
But the end of June doesn’t signal the end of the battle for equality for LGBTQIA+ individuals, evidenced by the record number of anti-LGBTQIA+ bills introduced in state legislatures in the U.S. this year: 417 as of April 6. Americans are soon to celebrate the nation’s freedom from British rule—a good time to remember the challenges to freedom that remain for some groups of Americans. One simple way to support the LGBTQIA+ community year-round is through the written word.
Casey Froehlich, First-Year Experience and Instruction Librarian at UHD’s W.I. Dykes Library, prepared the library’s June display of LGBTQIA+ books. She has a few suggestions for those who want to read about LGBTQIA+ history, community, and culture.
In building the display, Froehlich explained, she “wanted to make sure that we had a wide variety of options, not just history, but fiction, poetry, and books about the cultural impact of the LGBTQIA+ community.” She added, “LGBTQIA+ individuals have deeply impacted all aspects of our society from fashion to spirituality and everything in between.” (A few of Froehlich's picks are shown below. For more, visit the W.I. Dykes Library on the fifth floor of One Main Building or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
“Pride is a reminder that freedom doesn't come without a fight, a fight that is still very much alive today,” Froehlich said. “But when we fight for each other, we emerge with a stronger, more nuanced understanding of ourselves, our relationships, and our collective future.”
Gender Queer: A Memoir, by American cartoonist Maia Kobabe. According to the author, she wrote the graphic novel to help her express her own feelings about her gender status at a time when she was “struggling to come out.” The American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom lists the book as the most frequently challenged book in U.S. school districts during the 2021-22 school year.
Love and Resistance: Out of the Closet into the Stonewall Era, photographs by Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, edited by Jason Baumann, from the New York Public Library Archives. More than 100 photographs showcase the people behind the LGBTQIA+ revolution of the 1960s and ’70s. Photojournalists Lahusen and Davies capture the diversity, passion, courage, and humanity of the individuals who braved incredible opposition to protest for the right to live freely as themselves.
A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson. This novella is a genre-bending fantasy tale of star-crossed (male) lovers trying to overcome social and familial obstacles to their happiness. Nominated for a Hugo Award, Nebula Award, Theodore Sturgeon Award, and a Locus Award, the book was also named by Wired magazine as one of the 20 Best Books of the  Decade.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.