Three great books for LGBTQ summer reading

book cover of "Trans New York" by Peter Bussian
Book cover of "Trans New York" by Peter Bussian

There’s no mystery date where reading material is concerned

Folks may not be sure whether the summer of 2020 will be a dream or a dud. But there is no mystery date where great reading material is concerned. Here are three recent releases from Sunstone Press and Apollo Publishers. While you are social distancing, you can raise consciousness or peruse some pretty pictures by the sea, or in the mountains, and have sparking conversation in your next Zoom happy hour with friends.

Book cover of "GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet" by Allan D. Hunter
Book cover of “GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet” by Allan D. Hunter

Allan D. Hunter’s GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet is an eye-opening first-person account of Derek, born male, who identifies as a girl. While this hardly raises an eyebrow in the 21st century, in the 1970s, Derek had no role models and no points of reference. While the Library of Congress table at the beginning of the book labels this “biography,” this is clearly an insider’s story of what truly “different” felt like in a very closeted time. Hunter’s Derek tells us an unvarnished, unflinching memoir that spins its web in your psyche.

If you are of a generation with Derek, give or take, you thrill with him at his first car, put wings on his heart. You feel the rush of first love, and first touch, when attraction becomes physical. You feel the pain of rejection and being misunderstood.

You may not be able to read the book in one sitting—it takes time to absorb. There is a moment where Derek, who is devoted to music, mis-recalls the artist of a song his sister embodies; it is a reminder that recollection has amber light and is not perfect. And perfection is sometimes in the flaws that make a work of art even more beautiful.

This book is from Sunstone Press and available from Amazon and other retailers.

ISBN 978-1-6329-3290-7 (paperback)/ISBN 978-1-6113-9584-6 (epub)

Apollo Publishers gifted us with a dynamic duo just in time for the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Pride March in New York City. Peter Bussian’s Trans New York is a timely and important look at 50 of New York City’s trans folks.

book cover of "Trans New York" by Peter Bussian
Book cover of “Trans New York” by Peter Bussian

Trans New York includes a foreword by Abby Chava Stein, essays by Iranian-American activist and Actor Pooya Mohseni, Executive Director of Princess Janae Place Jevon Martin and author and educator Grace Detrevarah. Peter Bussian provides an introduction to frame the photographs we are about to see that are as real as gets, showing us trans icons in iconic New York places. Each portrait documents the truth and the beauty of the subject. You may have passed someone on a gritty street in summer or met around a windy corner, yet in this frozen moment, we experience mystery, courage, anger, and fierce, fierce love.

Keep this book handy. You will want to open it at random then page through in order. No matter how you view it, you’ll never forget it. Get two—someone will borrow the first one and forget to give it back.

ISBN 978-1-9480-6256-5 (hardcover)

2020 may go down in history as the year Pride went viral. COVID-19 has changed everything we do, every way we approach the world. June 2019, Heritage of Pride, who hosts New York City’s Pride celebration, also hosted millions of friends from around the world to the party known as Stonewall 50 and World Pride! This event took an annual event of already gargantuan proportions to have the first March ever that began in June and ended in July.

Book cover of "People of the Pride Parade" by Alyssa Blumstein
Book cover of “People of the Pride Parade” by Alyssa Blumstein

Renowned photographer Alyssa Blumstein gives us a look at select hundreds of the millions who turned out for Stonewall 50 in her new book People of the Pride Parade . Technically, NYC Pride calls the event a march because it is political, but there is no doubt that this parade of beauty and power is a moveable feast. If you have attended any Pride event, this will light your heart up like a holiday!

If you attended Stonewall 50, then you’ll want to have this book for all the pictures you couldn’t take yourself. From the deliciously sublime to the certifiably silly, this book is just right to experience Pride even in the depths of winter. I half expected confetti to fly out when I opened it! Joie de vivre.

People of the Pride Parade is in hardcover. Get yours today! ISBN 978-1-9480-6258-9