October has always heralded celebration in Atlanta, with the crisp autumnal air signaling the start of the city’s many neighborhood festivals. One key October celebration that we take note of at Emory Libraries is LGBTQ+ History Month, which acknowledges the history making contributions of LGBTQ+ people in our society. Started by Missouri high school teacher Rodney Wilson, the month of October was selected because it coincided with National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11), which in turn was the anniversary of the historically significant Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987. Every October is an opportunity to discover how past struggles for sexual freedom and gender expression shape our present day.
Since both Emory and Atlanta have been such focal points for LGBTQ+ activism, I highly encourage anyone interested to explore the Rose Library’s archival collections on LGBTQ+ politics and culture. In addition, our catalogers have been hard at work implementing Homosaurus, a LGBTQ+ focused controlled vocabulary that makes queer studies research more comprehensive. Our new exhibit on literature recognized by the Lambda Literary Awards is another great way to engage with these topics.
There’s no more fitting way to mark this month than immersing yourself in some research! The following books and documentaries are also a good start.
- Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993 by Sarah Schulman
- Sex Between Men: An Intimate History of the Sex Lives of Gay Men Postwar to Present by Douglas Sadownick
- Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology before Stonewall by Marie Cartier
- The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America by Eric Cervini
- Transgender History by Susan Stryker
- The Times of Harvey Milk
- Tongues Untied: Giving a Voice to Black Gay Men
- Stonewall Uprising
- Your Mother’s Comfort
- Golden Gate Girls
—Russ Peterson, head of instruction and engagement, Robert W. Woodruff Library