Tuesday, June 9, 2015

American Library Association now On-Board with GLBT Book Month!

Welcome to Unabridged Andra's LGBT Tuesday!
This is a weekly meme designed to foster discussion about books that have LGBT main characters, or prominent side characters, and have LGBT themes in them. It is my hope that by reading about of LGBT people, a better understanding, empathy, and compassion will start to exist in the mainstream culture. Each week, there will be a discussion post that deals with issues from the LGBT community, some info on what's going on in the real-world with LGBT issues, and reviews of a book that I've read that has something to cool to bring to the table.  I also have a few of my awesome gay friends popping in from time to time to make their fabulous presence known. Rcmember to link up YOUR reviews of LGBT books, and I will go check them out! 
Welp, it's American Gay Pride Month! That should be a great time to start revving up LGBT Tuesdays I think! 

Last Wednesday, the American Library Association announced that it will be participating in GLBT Book Month this year! This month is a great time to celebrate all of the books during the previous year which explore, analyze, or simply celebrate all things that go on in the LGBT community. That means a lot of YA books about coming out, several very steamy romance reads that focus on same sex couples, and lots more!  

So what is GLBT book month? Well, it's been put on by libraries and librarians across the country and focuses on spotlighting LGBT issues. It's about awareness, and I definitely admit that books like Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan and Luna by Julie Ann Peters completely revolutionized my perspective of Gay and Trans teenagers and in some ways really changed my life. That sounds a bit over-dramatic, but coming from a very religious household and being exposed to LGBT kids for the first time was a terrifying and confusing experience for me when I was in high school. I went from a Catholic school of 76 kids per class to a bustling, thriving deluge of diversity that involved some 2000 kids in my graduating class. You read that right. 

While GLBT Book Month isn't exactly new (it was originally launched in the early 1990's) this is the first time that the American Library Association has fully and officially thrown it's support and participation behind the movement. Good on you ALA! Only a few decades late :) But better late than never. 

While this may be the first year of all-out support, the ALA has long had ties to the LGBT community. In fact, they issue a yearly post about the best LGBT books of the year called The Rainbow List! This is a great place to find LGBT books in all flavors and genres, though YA contemporary fiction is most often the one highlighted. I admit that I usually find quite a few of my own LGBT books on this list and have found some amazing gems that way! 

So how will you be celebrating GLBT Book Month? Hopefully by exploring and finding some great books featuring great characters that just so happen to be LGBT.  Let me know some of the greats that you've found and how you found out about them! 

Next Week on LGBT Tuesday: TV Review of Amazon Prime's Transparent and ABC Family's Becoming US.

Are you an author of a really AWESOME LGBT themed book? Are you a reader or follower who has read a groundbreaking LGBT novel or cool thoughts to share with/about the LGBT community? Let me know!  Feel free to contact me at andralynn7@gmail.com, because I am ALWAYS looking for new books to read and new folks to talk to! If you have written a book with LGBT characters or themes, you can be featured on LGBT Tuesday in an interview or guest post. Just let me know what you would have time for, and we will get things rolling! 

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