Boston Public Library Celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month

BPL celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride Month with new booklist, special events, and highlighted Special Collections items

BOSTON, May 30, 2024 - To honor LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the Boston Public Library (BPL) is releasing its We Are Pride booklist, a booklist of recent titles about the diverse experience of the LGBTQ+ community. Observed annually in June, LGBTQ+ Pride Month honors and explores the influence and legacy of members of the LGBTQ+ community. The BPL will also observe LGBTQ+ Pride Month by hosting special events for all ages across branches and by highlighting notable items in the BPL collections.

The We Are Pride booklist, featuring selected books written either by LGBTQ+ authors or about LGBTQ+ history and culture, is compiled by staff librarians from the Brighton, Chinatown, Jamaica Plain, Lower Mills, North End, Parker Hill, and South Boston branches, along with staff from the Central Library in Copley Square. The 75 titles comprising the We Are Pride booklist highlight selections for adults, teenagers, and children by authors such as Keah Brown, Michael Denneny, Leah Johnson, Helen Elaine Lee, Elliot Page, Sonora Reyes, and Martha Shelley. Genres from this collection include fiction, nonfiction, memoirs, expressions, and poetry.

Each book on the list contains a synopsis and is accompanied by an image of the book cover as well as classification information. In addition to print books, select titles are available as eBooks or audiobooks.

Along with the booklist, the BPL will celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month with author talks and lectures, performing arts events, film screenings, book group discussions, arts and crafts workshops, and more. The full list of programs can be found at Highlights include:

  • Author Talk: Sarah Boyer - Coming Out, Becoming Ourselves | June 6, Jamaica Plain | Sarah Boyer discusses her 2024 nonfiction book, Coming Out, Becoming Ourselves: Lesbian Stories from the Boston Daughters of Bilitis, 1969-1999, which contains interviews with members of the Boston-Cambridge chapter of the Boston Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian civil and political rights organization.
  • Drag Queen Bingo for 16+, opens a new window | June 6, Brighton | Join hosts Rose Quartz and Amanda Playwith for a fantastic program featuring performances, a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture, and maybe a little bingo in between. 
  • Queer Zine Making Workshop, opens a new window | June 6, Grove Hall | Learn how to make, publish, and distribute your very own, very queer zine in this hands-on workshop that also takes a brief look at the history of zines and discusses the present-day zine scene. 
  • Make Your Own Pride Coaster, opens a new window | June 7, Mattapan | Make your own Pride-themed Perler bead coasters while listening to a playlist of queer hits. 
  • The History Project: Pride Was a Riot, opens a new window | June 11, Faneuil | Joan Ilacqua, Executive Director of The History Project, explores the history of Boston’s LGBTQ+ community and Pride, with a focus on the activists and organizations who have shaped the LGBTQ+ movement. From rebellions that pre-date the Stonewall Riots to current movement-building, we'll discuss how Pride has evolved in its over 50-year history. 
  • Panel: SpeakOUT for Pride, opens a new window | June 17, Codman Square | SpeakOUT Boston has been telling the stories of LGBTQ+ lives for over 50 yearsA panel of speakers from SpeakOUT will raise awareness about current issues of the LGBTQ+ community as well as share their personal stories about their own lives. 
  • Celebrate Pride Month with Drag Queen Story Hour with Ms. Patty, opens a new window| June 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 26, and 28, various locations | Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is a program that raises awareness of gender diversity, promotes self-acceptance, and builds empathy through an enjoyable literary experience. This program will be led by Ms. Patty who will sing songs and read picture books. 
  • Celebrate Pride Month with Drag Queen Story Hour with Just JP, opens a new window | June 20 and 27, Connolly and Roxbury | Just JP will sing songs and read picture books during these Drag Queen Story Hours. 
  • Pride Month Family Concert with Carrie Ferguson, opens a new window| June 27, Egleston Square and Roslindale | Non-binary artist Carrie Ferguson leads a jubilant sing-along dance party, highlighting themes of inclusivity, social justice, Earth stewardship, and LGBTQ+ youth/family pride with original music for children and their parents that is creative, positive, thoughtful, beautifully crafted, and catchy as cake!  

Additionally, BPL's Special Collections department welcomes patrons to a hands-on experience in the Special Collections reading room. The Special Collections Sampler for LGBTQ+ Pride Month will allow patrons to explore notable objects from the BPL's collections highlighting LGBTQ+ authors' and creators' contributions to society.

Items highlighted and celebrated include selections from the Jerome Grossman papers, which contain collected ephemera from local and national activist organizations, including the Massachusetts chapters of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Homophile Community Health Services; three framed posters from the Triangle Theater Company productions in the 1990s; a 1996 exhibition poster titled Public Faces / Private Lives: Boston’s Lesbian and Gay; and an inscribed 1947 first edition of John Horne Burns' The Gallery.

Patrons can delve deeper into the history of these objects at a Special Collections open house, opens a new window, to be held on June 25 from 2-4 p.m. in the Special Collections reading room at the Central Library in Copley Square. Special Collections staff will be available to answer questions as visitors explore these items up close. For those unable to attend the open house, the items will be available throughout the month of June for use in the Special Collections reading room, Wednesday - Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., with no appointment necessary. Other distinguished pieces from the BPL collection depicting LGBTQ+ history, culture, and achievements will be featured on the BPL's social media platforms during LGBTQ+ Pride Month. 

Physical copies of the We Are Pride booklist will be available at all BPL locations starting June 1, 2024; it can also be accessed digitally, opens a new window. In addition, the booklist and information about LGBTQ+ Pride Month programs will also appear on the BPL website at, opens a new window and on the BPL social media accounts (Twitter, opens a new window, Facebook, opens a new window, Instagram, opens a new window). Many of these programs and resources are supported by The Howard Cooper LGBTQIA+ Endowment Fund.

Patrons can view many years' worth of prior affinity booklists, such as those from Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Native American Heritage Month in an online archive, opens a new window. 



Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is a pioneer of public library service in America. It was the first large, free municipal library in the United States; the first public library to lend books; the first to have a branch library; and the first to have a children’s room. 

The Boston Public Library of today is a robust system that includes the Central Library in Copley Square, 25 neighborhood branches, the Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, the Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center, and an archival center, offering public access to world-class special collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and prints, along with rich digital content and online services. 

The Boston Public Library serves nearly 4 million visitors per year and millions more online. All of its programs and exhibitions are free to all and open to the public. The Boston Public Library is a department of the City of Boston, under the leadership of Mayor Michelle Wu. To learn more, visit