Whether you’re in the mood for another behind-the-scenes bio of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, a thoughtful analysis of beards, a in-depth study of “straight” men who have sex with other men, or a poignant memoir of an activist’s struggles and successes, there’s something for everyone.
Check out these eleven great reading recommendations to scratch your literary itch this fall.
Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal by Jay Parini
It seems a new biography of Gore Vidal is released every couple of months, but Jay Parini’s draws on 30 years of friendship with the literary giant, offering a unique peek behind the glittering curtain of Vidal’s lavish life to reveal the complex emotional and sexual truths he kept buried under the surface.
Then Comes Marriage: United States V. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA by Roberta Kaplan, Lisa Dickey and Edie Windsor
Get an insider’s glimpse of the fight for marriage equality in the United States from Roberta Kaplan herself, the litigator who argued against the Defense of Marriage Act before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. This book is heralded as the “definitive account of one of our nation’s most significant civil rights victories.”
Beards: An Unshaved Story by Kevin Clarke
Bestselling author Kevin Clarke looks at beards from the queer perspective. Need we say more?
What Color Is Your Hoodie? Essays on Black Gay Identity by Jarrett Neal
Jarrett Neal delves into what it means to be a black gay men in the new millennium, examining classism, racism, representations of the black male body within gay pornography, and patriarchal threats to the survival of both black and gay men.
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
Read the novel before you see the movie. Loosely based on a true story, The Danish Girl tells the tale of Lili Elbe, a pioneer in transgender history, and the woman torn between staying loyal to her marriage or to her own dreams and desires. Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction, this one is an absolute must-read.
And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality by Mark Segal
Mark Segal made national news on December 11, 1973 when he interrupted a live broadcast of the CBS Evening News by yelling “Gays protest CBS prejudice!” at none other than Walter Cronkite. He was wrestled to the floor on live national television, an incident often credited as the beginning of the end of LGBTQ invisibility. In his new memoir, Segal looks back on that defining moment in history, as well as the many battles that followed.
Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men by Jane Ward
From “bro-j0b” author Jane Ward comes Not Gay, a study that thrusts deep into a world where straight guy-on-guy action is not a myth but a reality. From fraternity and military hazing rituals, where new recruits are made to grab each other’s penises and stick fingers up their fellow members’ anuses, to online personal ads, where straight men seek other straight men to masturbate with, Ward examines the long and clandestine history of straight men having sexual encounters with other men.
Until My Heart Stops by Jameson Currier
Assembled from more than fifty works of narrative nonfiction written over a 30 year period, including many published during the height of the AIDS epidemic, this memoir ultimately depicts the story of an artist finding his voice during very difficult times and coming to terms with being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition of excessive thickening of the heart muscle for which there is no apparent cause or cure.
Binge by Tyler Oakley
Pop-culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and popular YouTuber, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays that will have you LOLing.
Don’t Tell Me to Wait: How the Fight for Gay Rights Changed America and Transformed Obama’s Presidency Hardcover by
Gay rights has been a defining issue of Barack Obama’s presidency. Former Advocate reporter Kerry Eleveld examines in fascinating detail Obama’s evolution on the matter, and explains how it took intense pressure from LGBTQ activists to evolve from cautious gradualist to the equality champion he is today.