LBGTQ+ history: 3 Articles

World AIDS Day

December 1 is World AIDS Day. Established in 1988 by the United Nations’ World Health Organization, World AIDS Day is the first ever international day for global health. Every year, United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV.  This year’s theme is End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics.  (https://www.unaids.org/en/World_AIDS_Day) In observance of World AIDS Day, we’re spotlighting books that focus on HIV/AIDS and LBGTQ+ history.  Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by Rob Sanders From the blanket that his great-grandmother made for him as a boy, to the friends he gathered together in San Francisco as a young man, to the idea for a monument sewn of fabric and thread, Cleve Jones’ extraordinary life seems to have been stitched together bit by bit, piece by piece. This evocative biography is a touching tribute to Jones’ life of advocacy, the positive effects of a community working towards a common goal, and an inspiring story for young readers.  ★ “This neatly woven picture book biography features Cleve Jones (b. 1954), a white gay man who moved to San Francisco, became a mentee of Harvey Milk, and eventually came up with the idea for the AIDS Memorial Quilt.”  —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW Read an excerpt from Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Evelyn Hooker and the Fairy Project by Gail E. Pitman, PhD This evocative biography tells the story of Evelyn Hooker, the extraordinary woman behind the research, advocacy, and allyship that led to the removal of the “Homosexuality” diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A pioneering psychologist, Hooker was also a poet herself and a towering figure in LGBTQ+ rights.  “A true story of true allyship… this offers helpful materials for young researchers and audiences curious about LGBTQ+ history… Offers interesting information on a lesser-known hero.”  —Kirkus Reviews Read and excerpt from Eveyln Hooker and the Fairy Project. Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD Follow the journey of a boy from a small Kansas town who made his gray life sparkle, unfurling a rainbow of color to galvanize the gay rights movement. “A colorful tribute to Gilbert Baker...creating the rainbow flag after a conversation with Harvey Milk. The art is beautiful and bright, transitioning powerfully from a subdued Kansan landscape to a flamboyant Bay Area...It's clear this book has a lot of love for the flag's promise.” —Kirkus Reviews When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community by Gayle E. Pitman, PhD When You Look Out the Window tells the story of Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, one of San Francisco's most well-known and politically active lesbian couples. Describing the view from Phyllis and Del's window, this book shows how one couple's activism transformed their community — and had ripple effects throughout the world. "Extensive information about Lyon and Martin's activism, marriage equality,

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World AIDS Day 2021-11-30T18:12:51-05:00

Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally

Evelyn Hooker is the extraordinary woman behind the research, advocacy, and allyship that led to the removal of the “Homosexuality” diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A pioneering psychologist, Hooker was also a poet and a towering figure in LGBTQ+ rights.  Evelyn Hooker and the Fairy Project, written by Stonewall award-winning author Gayle Pitman, captures Hooker’s groundbreaking work like never before. At the end of the book, a “Note to Readers” provides information about how to be an effective ally to LGBTQ+ people; other end matter included are a timeline, discussion questions, reading list, and additional resources, all written by Sarah Prager. Here’s an excerpt from the “How to be a LBGTQ+ Ally” section: Limerick for Dr. Bieber There once was a doctor named Irving whose theories were rather unnerving. It seems so cliché that moms made their sons gay. A theory that’s not worth preserving! Evelyn Hooker wasn’t gay, but she helped gay people live better lives through her actions. That’s what an ally does--advocate on behalf of a group of people they are not a part of. Someone inside the LBGTQ+ community who advocates for gay rights isn’t an ally, they’re an activist. You have to be outside the group to be an ally. The word comes from war talk--your ally in a war is not your own armed forces, but forces that fight on the same side against a common enemy. Here are ways to be an effective Ally: Be Inclusive: This book focuses on gay people because that’s where the discussion was centered at the time. The LBGTQ+ community is made up of many more kinds of people than just gay and lesbian people. To be an ally to one, you should be an ally to the whole extended community. Be a Follower:  Being an ally is often about listening. Allies don’t tell their LBGTQ+ friends what they should do or how they should do it; they help their friends carry out what their friends want...they just help where they are needed and follow the direction of the group they want to  help. Be Proactive:  While following is important in many situations, so is taking initiative in other contexts. Don’t expect an LBGTQ+ person to explain everything about being LBGTQ+ to you. Try to do your own research before asking. It’s also the job of an ally to speak up for LBGTQ+ people in a situation where someone says something mean or incorrect about them. You can speak up without speaking over or instead of LBGTQ+ people. Be a Student:  Learn from your mistakes and realize that you’ll always be learning. Learn about: LBGTQ+ history, gender-neutral pronouns, and current issues important to the LBGTQ+ community. When you make a mistake, own it, apologize, and move on. Be a Friend:  Like you would for anyone, be a kind friend to LBGTQ+ people around you. Listen, offer support, respect people’s pronouns and identities, and show up when you are asked to. In the

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Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally 2021-10-26T18:08:27-04:00

Celebrate LBGTQ+ History with Stitch By Stitch

✩ “Its story is beautifully captured in the book’s smooth pacing and brief paragraphs. Readers will follow its journey from that march as it becomes both a monument to mourning and a means of changing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS… the book is pretty darn impressive. Storytelling and history, beautifully stitched together.” —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews From the blanket that his great-grandmother made for him as a boy, to the friends he gathered together in San Francisco as a young man, to the idea for a monument sewn of fabric and thread, Cleve Jones’ extraordinary life seems to have been stitched together bit by bit, piece by piece.  Mentored by Harvey Milk, Jones first had the vision for what became the AIDS Memorial Quilt during a candlelight memorial for Milk in 1985. The AIDS Memorial Quilt grew to be one of the largest public arts projects ever and helped grow awareness of HIV and AIDS.  The picture book biography, Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt by Rob Sanders, is a touching tribute to Jones’ life of advocacy and the positive effects of a community working towards a common goal. The book includes a discussion guide, glossary, more information about Cleve Jones and Gert McMullen, and a timeline. An excerpt from the discussion guide provides strategies for sharing nonfiction with children and sample answers to questions that children may have after reading the book.   When reading any book of nonfiction, questions may arise. It is also to be expected that children’s questions will go deeper and deeper with each reading of a book. Create an atmosphere where children feel their questions are welcome by being honest, succinct, and by providing answers based in fact.  Feel free to ask the child, “What do you think?” or “How are you feeling?” Remember, you don’t have to have the answers to every question. There’s nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know.” or “Let me think about that.”  The following are some sample answers to questions that children might have after reading Stitch by Stitch. Q: Is there a cure for AIDS today? A: Since the 1980s, thanks to medical advances, medication has helped people living with HIV live full lives. However, people who aren’t treated can still die of complications from AIDS. Q: How do people get HIV/AIDS? A: HIV/AIDS is hard to get. It’s not like a cold or the flu. HIV/AIDS can be passed from person to person through unprotected sex, sharing needles, and in other ways. The most important things to know is that transmission HIV/AIDS can be prevented, that there are treatments if someone is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and that you can be friends with someone with HIV/AIDS and not worry. Q: Was HIV/AIDS just a disease that gay men got? A: It may have seemed that way at first, but over time doctors and scientists realized that anyone could contract the disease. The doctors and scientists also discovered that the disease could

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Celebrate LBGTQ+ History with Stitch By Stitch 2021-10-12T14:54:31-04:00