Preview Shelf

All colors of the rainbow


How do we choose to learn the stories and experiences of people who surround us? How do we welcome those who we pass by every day (or only occasionally) at the grocery store, at work, and on the streets? How do we show we care about the people in our community?

At the Crawfordsville District Public Library it is part of our mission to provide our users with access to information that encourages the love of learning in our community. As we enter the month of June, we invite you to learn more about your community and gain insight into the origins, history, and meaning of the LGBTQ+ Pride movement, and the people whose lives it touches.

Cultivating a habit of listening to each other’s life stories and experiences may lead to a better understanding of worlds that are not mirrors of our own. Alice Walker once said, “no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended” (In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens). Our Pride Month display, “All Colors of the Rainbow,” is your invitation to listen to authors of various backgrounds, who identify as LGBTQ+ or have chosen to become allies. We have books and films, fiction and non-fiction materials that may provide you with an initial glance or a deeper understanding of the meaning of Pride Month.

“50 LGBTQI+ Who Changed the World” by Florent Manelli (306.7609 Man) will introduce you to the activists, personalities, writers, and artists who have advanced the movement, and celebrate those who have fought and continue to fight to create a more inclusive and tolerant world. “The LGBTQ+ History Book” (306.7609 LGB) presents the rich and complex history of LGBTQ+ people around the world – their struggles, triumphs, and cultural contributions. Finally, “Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution” by Susan Stryker (306.76 Str) is a timely second edition of the classic text on transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today that takes a chronological approach covering major movements, writings, and events.

The best way to understand a community as a whole is to first learn about individual experiences. There are countless memoirs by authors in the LGBTQ+ community, and we have highlighted just a few for you to peruse. “Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir” by Lamya H (921 H., L) tells the true story of a woman growing up both devoutly religious and lesbian in a Middle Eastern country. “How We Fight For Our Lives: A Memoir” by Saeed Jones (921 Jones, S.) details the life of a young black gay man in the South who struggles to find himself in an environment that does not accept him. For our graphic novel fans, Alison Bechdel beautifully illustrates her relationship with her mother in her memoir “Are You My Mother” (GN 921 Bechdel, A.).

Finally, representation in works of fiction is one way to understand the culture and history of historically marginalized groups. “Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin (FIC Bal) is a classic, detailing the inner turmoil of a man in the 1950’s who tries to suppress the feelings he has for his closest friend. If you’re looking for a book set even farther back in history inspired by Greek mythology, perhaps “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller (FIC Mil) is more your style. For readers more interested in present-day settings, “Chain-Gang Allstars” by Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (FIC Adjei-Brenyah) tackles relevant social issues while featuring LGBTQ+ characters.

The Crawfordsville District Public Library welcomes and encourages all in our community to use the materials in our collection in the pursuit of knowledge and growth. Our hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.


Ivette de Assis-Wilson is the Adult Services Department Manager at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.