When remembering the Stonewall Uprising, it’s important to reflect on its origin. The riots began “in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City (Source).” Gay men and women, drag queens, transgender individuals such as Marsha P. Johnson and Storme DeLarverie fought back against those who attempted to oppress the LGBTQIA+ community. Because of their bravery and the actions of the community that followed, the Stonewall Riots “are now widely considered to be one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States (Source).” Thank you, Stonewall rioters. Thank you.

Below is a list of nonfiction books for those who weren’t previously aware of Stonewall and want to learn more. I’m also providing some recommended books by trans* and nonbinary authors that we have at Fountaindale Library!

Stonewall Riot History

Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising That Changed America
by Martin B. Duberman

Renowned historian and activist Martin Duberman now tells for the first time the full story of what happened at Stonewall, recreating in vivid detail those heady, sweltering nights in June 1969 and revealing a wealth of previously unknown material. This landmark book does even more: it unforgettably demonstrates that the Stonewall riots were not the beginning—just as they were certainly not the end—of the ongoing struggle for gay and lesbian rights. Duberman does all this within a narrative framework of novelistic immediacy. Stonewall unfolds through the stories of six lives, and those individual lives broaden out into the larger historical canvas.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
by Ann Bausum

A dramatic retelling of the Stonewall riots of 1969, introducing teen readers to the decades-long struggle for gay rights.


Trans* & Nonbinary Authors: Fiction

Freshwater
by Akwaeke Emezi

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heart-wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.

An Unkindness of Ghosts
by Rivers Solomon

Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world. Aster lives in the low deck slums of the HSS Matilda; a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot—if she’s willing to sow the seeds of civil war.

The Black Tides of Heaven
by JY Yang

Mokoya and Akeha, the Protector’s twin children, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While Mokoya received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What’s more, they saw the sickness at the heart of their mother’s Protectorate. A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the state’s power. Unwilling to continue as a pawn in their mother’s twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond they share with their twin?


Trans* & Nonbinary Authors: Poetry & Nonfiction

Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems
by Danez Smith

Smith’s unflinching poetry addresses race, class, sexuality, faith, social justice, mortality, and the challenges of living HIV positive at the intersection of black and queer identity. The collection opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved on earth. “Dear White America,” which Smith performed at the 2014 Rustbelt Midwest Region Poetry Slam, has as strong an impact on the page as it did on the spoken word stage. Smith’s courage and hope amidst the struggle for unity in America will humble and uplift you.

Sorted: Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place
by Jackson Bird

Internet creator and activist Jackson Bird demystifies the transgender experience by sharing his own story while debunking trans history milestones and educating readers with Transgender 101 facts.

Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us
by C.N. Lester

A personal and culture-driven exploration of the most pressing questions facing the transgender community today, from a leading activist, musician, and academic. In Trans Like Me, CN Lester takes readers on a measured, thoughtful, intelligent yet approachable tour through the most important and high-profile narratives around the trans community, turning them inside out and examining where we are in terms of progress. From the impact of the media’s wording in covering trans people and issues, to the way parenting gender-variant children is portrayed, Lester brings their charged personal narrative to every topic and expertly lays out the work left to be done. Trans Like Me explores the ways that we are all defined by ideas of gender—whether we live as he, she, or they—and how we can strive for authenticity in a world that forces limiting labels.

How to Be You: Stop Trying to be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life
by Jeffrey Marsh

This book is about how to finally give up on feeling bad about yourself and discover the best person you can be. An interactive experience, How to Be You invites you to make the book your own through activities such as coloring in charts, answering questions about how you do the things you do, and discovering patterns in your lives that may be holding you back. Through Jeffrey’s own story of “growing up fabulous in a small farming town”—along with the stories of hero/ines who have transcended the stereotypes of race, age, and gender—you will discover that you are not alone, can deepen your relationship with yourself, and find the courage to take a leap that will change your life.