LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Celebrate the impact of writers in the LGBTQ+ community and their work!

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month and we have a number of resources available to help you discover, celebrate, and honor the vast contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and non-binary writers, both past and present.

The American Writers Museum recognizes that sexual identity is an inherently personal matter and it is important to honor that. With that in mind, the AWM curators chose not to “out” writers in our exhibits who were not open with their identities during their lifetimes. Though, through scholarly research and literary analysis—combined with our current understanding and acceptance of sexual identity—we can look at these writers’ lives with a modern lens. It is also important to note that terminology relating to sex, gender, and sexual attraction has shifted and grown through the years, and continues to do so. Many authors just didn’t have access to the language to define their identities. But now we do.

  • Explore virtual exhibits like Pauli Murray: Survival with Dignity, focused on the life and legacy of Pauli Murray, a hugely influential poet, lawyer, priest, activist, educator, and closeted member of the LGBTQ+ community. Learn how Murray used various forms of writing to understand her sexual identity and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Watch past program videos with contemporary authors like Rigoberto González, T Kira Madden, and more.
  • Listen to informative and engaging podcasts with leading writers such as Saaed Jones, or learn about writers of the past like Margaret Wise Brown and James Baldwin.
  • Book a group tour of the AWM with a focus on LGBTQ+ writers and how writing has helped shift the landscape of gender and sexual identity through the years.

Explore Online Exhibits

Pauli Murray: Survival With Dignity

Pauli Murray: Survival with Dignity

Pauli Murray (1910-1985) was a poet, a lawyer, a priest, a freight hopper, Eleanor Roosevelt’s friend, arrested for refusing to comply with bus segregation laws, a closeted member of the LBGTQ+ community, a professor, and so much more. Their work has influenced Supreme Court decisions, the Civil Rights movement, and countless individual people, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Get to know the life and work of Pauli Murray and see how they used writing to fight for justice for all oppressed communities.

Classroom resources are available to download as well.

My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today

In our special exhibit My America, available both online and in person, contemporary immigrant and refugee writers explore themes of home, community, language, duality, and what it means to be “American.” Acclaimed writers like poet Rigoberto González, novelist R. O. Kwon, and author Akwaeke Emezi share insights into their craft and how their gender and sexual identities overlap with their respective immigrant experiences.

Classroom resources are available to download as well.

American Writers Museum podcasts
All three series in the AWM Podcast Network include episodes featuring or about writers who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Dive into some of them below, and view our full lineup of podcast episodes here.

Nation of Writers

  • Rachel Carson: Dr. Sandra Steingraber, herself a nature writer and member of the LGBTQ+ community, shares how Carson’s work and life has inspired her own.
  • Margaret Wise Brown: Amy Gary, author of a biography about Brown, details how the prolific children’s book author loved freely and challenged gender stereotypes with her stories.

ALL EPISODES

AWM AUTHOR TALKS

  • Award-winning poet Saeed Jones discusses his memoir How We Fight For Our Lives, which tells his story of a young, Black, gay man from the south fighting to carve out a place for himself in the world.
  • Graphic novelist Ngozi Ukazu chats about her popular Check Please! series, a hilarious and stirring coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself.

ALL EPISODES

DEAD WRITER DRAMA

  • Lorraine Hansberry: Recorded live at the American Writers Festival, Hansberry biographer Soyica Diggs Colbert shares insights into the radical life of the iconic playwright.
  • James Baldwin: Robert Jones, Jr., bestselling author of The Prophets, shares how Baldwin’s fearlessness and writing has impacted his own life and work.

ALL EPISODES

Photo of Allen Ginsberg with quote: "America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel."

WATCH

Over on our YouTube channel we’ve put together an LGBTQ+ Pride Month playlist for your viewing pleasure.

YOUTUBE PLAYLIST

Photo of Audre Lorde with quote: "We know what it is to be lied to, and we know how important it is not to lie to ourselves. We are powerful because we have survived, and that is what it is all about — survival and growth."

READ

Hit the American Writers Museum blog for more LGBTQ+ Pride Month content.

AWM BLOG HOME

BOOK RECS

Add to your To Be Read pile with various LGBTQ+ themed book recommendation lists.

READING RECOMMENDATIONS