May 22, 2023 – BOSTON, MA – To celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the Boston Public Library (BPL) is releasing the We Are Pride booklist, hosting a variety of programs across BPL locations, and highlighting items from the Special Collections department during the month of June.
The We Are Pride booklist contains 75 recently published fiction and non-fiction titles for children, teenagers, and adults from authors such as Janelle Monáe, Akwaeke Emezi, Andrew Holleran, Maulik Pancholy, Casey McQuiston, Joshua Whitehead, and Danica Roem. Genres on the list include science fiction, horror, romance, poetry, memoir, and history. It is compiled by BPL librarians from the Brighton Branch, the Central Library, the Chinatown Branch, the Lower Mills Branch, and the Roxbury Branch.
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 digitally as an eBook and/or audiobook.
Along with the booklist, the BPL will also honor LGBTQ+ Pride Month with author talks and lectures, performing arts events, film screenings, book group discussions, arts and crafts workshops, and more. Patrons can find the full list at bpl.org/events.
Pride month programming includes:
chrysalis — Concerts in the Courtyard Series | June 14, Central
- Isa Ansin, known professionally as chrysalis, is a Boston-based singer-songwriter currently attending Berklee College of Music. chrysalis fuses together an indie-pop sound with hints of folk and neo-soul. They strive to integrate their love for music with their passion for queer liberation by writing about their life and being backed by an all-queer band.
James Egan: Wild About Harry Film Screening and Q&A, plus book signing with Dan Perdios, author of "A Golden Retriever & His Two Dads An Adventure on Cape Cod" | June 3, Central
Join producer and Wild at Heart Films founder James Egan for a screening of the film Wild About Harry (PG13), with an audience Q&A to follow.
Afterwards, attendees can stay for a book signing with PEN Grant award-winning journalist Dan Perdios, who will sign his book A Golden Retriever & His Two Dads: An Adventure on Cape Cod—a story that takes place on the set of Wild About Harry.
- Join producer and Wild at Heart Films founder James Egan for a screening of the film Wild About Harry (PG13), with an audience Q&A to follow.
Author Talk: Dr. Wendy L. Rouse — Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement | June 12, Online
- Author Dr. Wendy L. Rouse discusses her 2022 non-fiction book Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, which explores the important role of queerness and queer suffragists in the fight for the vote.
Building Ecological Wealth: A Queer Perspective on a Climate Future | June 13,Central
- Gen Z Environmental Justice Educator and Founder of QueerBrownVegan Isaias Hernandez will converse with BPL President David Leonard. Their 60-75 minute conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A from both the in-person and virtual audiences.
Film Screening: Dating Amber | June 29, Central
- The Consulate General of Ireland in Boston will partner with the BPL on a special screening of the 2020 Irish film Dating Amber (2020 | Not Rated | 1 hour 32 minutes). Set in mid 1990s Ireland, Dating Amber is a comedy about two closeted queer school friends who start a pretend straight relationship in an effort to fit in with their peers.
Documentary Club: Kiki | June 6, Mattapan
- Join Documentary Club for a screening and discussion of the film Kiki, a 2016 documentary that provides an intimate look into the daily lives of a group of LGBTQ+ youth as they prepare for and perform at fierce and exuberant ballroom competitions in New York City.
Family Book Club: The Best Liars in Riverview | June 8, Brighton
- Children in grades 3-6 and their adults are invited to join Brighton’s Family Book Club for an activity and a discussion of the book The Best Liars in Riverview by Lin Thompson. The book follows twelve-year-old Aubrey recalling the events preceding their best friend’s disappearance and quietly questioning their own gender identity.
Crafternoon: Pride Rainbow Crown | June 8, Jamaica Plain
- Children ages four and up are invited to make rainbow crowns to celebrate Pride Month! Join us to support the Pride community and express yourself!
Book Bi Book: A Bisexual Book Club | June 22, West End
- Join the BPL for a book discussion of Bi: The Hidden Culture, History, and Science of Bisexuality by Julia Shaw.
Craftivism 101 | June 24, West End
- Craft-based activism has been used as a tool of resistance, coalition building, and even espionage! Shannon Downey—a leader in the modern craftivism movement — will provide an introduction to the history of craftivism and ways you can get involved in the modern movement. Shannon will then teach attendees how to embroider. Pride-inspired patterns and all supplies will be provided.
Additionally, BPL’s Special Collections Department will host a Pride Month Special Collections Sampler. Patrons will be welcomed to the Special Collections Reading room for a hands-on experience, exploring notable objects from BPL's collections that represent the history and experiences of the LGBTQ+ communities.
The sampler includes a map of the location of more than 60 sites in the Boston area related to LGBTQ+ history; a 1945 autographed vocal score of Peter Grimes - a three-act opera written by English gay composer Benjamin Britten; a copy of Wanderfolk in Wonderland (1903) - a children’s book written by former North End librarian Edith Guerrier and illustrated by her partner Edith Brown; and an extremely rare edition of the text of a 1611 stage play, The Roaring Girle, or, Moll Cut-Purse, as it Hath Lately Beene Acted on the Fortune-Stage by the Prince His Players, which fictionalizes the life of Mary Frith, known in London as “Moll Cutpurse.” Frith - the “roaring girle” in the play’s title - defied the binary gender roles and social mores of early 17th-century London.
The Special Collections department will host an open house for the Pride Month Sampler on Tuesday, June 6 from 2-4pm 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 to use in the Special Collections reading room, Wednesday – Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm, with no appointment necessary.
Other distinguished pieces depicting LGBTQ+ history and achievements from the BPL collection will also be highlighted on BPL’s social media platforms during June.
Physical copies of the We Are Pride booklist will be available at all BPL locations starting June 1, 2023, and the digital booklist and information about Pride Month programs appear on the BPL website at bpl.org and the BPL social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
The Boston Public Library also produces curated booklists and holds educational and celebratory events for Black History Month in February, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–Oct. 15), and National Native American Heritage Month in November. BPL also maintains an online archive of prior affinity booklists.