“Readers will find a straightforward, documented, nonsensational celebration of the contributions of LGBTQ people in the US . . . No previous knowledge is assumed: definitions are provided, context is established, and quaint contemporary mores are explained . . . Above all, there is continuous reassurance that the definition of ‘normal’ has always been in flux, that numerous LGBTQ people have been important figures in American history, and that young LGBTQ people of today will make crucial contributions to future queer history.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“This adaptation for teens of the author’s 2012 Stonewall Award–winning A Queer History of the United States is doubly valuable; it serves well as a general read and fills a clear curricular need. Each carefully selected profile bolsters the case for queer leadership and activism as a driving force of progress.”
—School Library Journal, Starred Review
Queer history didn’t start with Stonewall. This book explores how LGBTQ people have always been a part of our national identity, contributing to the country and culture for over 400 years.
It is crucial for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth to know their history. But this history is not easy to find since it’s rarely taught in schools or commemorated in other ways. A Queer History of the United States for Young People corrects this and demonstrates that LGBTQ people have long been vital to shaping our understanding of what America is today.
Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers, of all identities, to feel pride at the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future. The stories he shares include those of
* Indigenous tribes who embraced same-sex relationships and a multiplicity of gender identities.
* Emily Dickinson, brilliant nineteenth-century poet who wrote about her desire for women.
* Gladys Bentley, Harlem blues singer who challenged restrictive cross-dressing laws in the 1920s.
* Bayard Rustin, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s close friend, civil rights organizer, and an openly gay man.
* Sylvia Rivera, cofounder of STAR, the first transgender activist group in the US in 1970.
* Kiyoshi Kuromiya, civil rights and antiwar activist who fought for people living with AIDS.
* Jamie Nabozny, activist who took his LGBTQ school bullying case to the Supreme Court.
* Aidan DeStefano, teen who brought a federal court case for trans-inclusive bathroom policies.
* And many more!
With over 60 illustrations and photos, a glossary, and a corresponding curriculum, A Queer History of the United States for Young People will be vital for teachers who want to introduce a new perspective to America’s story.