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.  (

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, and San Francisco itself (contained in a readers’ note) offers a useful overview of LGBTQ history and women’s rights.”  —Publishers Weekly

Explore other Magination Press books about the LBGTQ+ community.