The following resources have been selected for several reasons. You will find artists, celebrities, authors, and athletes who are well-known in the LGBTQIA community and who have been advocates for openness and understanding.
Dan Savage: The First Gay Celebrity
There are many Dan Savages: the author of the Savage Love advice column, syndicated around the country; the radio essayist beloved by This American Life fans; the author of a best-selling book about his gay marriage, and another about his son’s open adoption; the prankster who ruined Rick Santorum’s life; and the founder of the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign. But never before have we glimpsed Savage’s whole life, from his Catholic-school days, raised by a Chicago cop and a housewife, to his current role as a unique American character. For he is unique: while there are many gay and lesbian celebrities, nearly all of them, from Ellen DeGeneres to Elton John, began their careers in the closet. Savage, on the other hand, has always been out and proud. He is thus a pivotal figure in LGBTQ history — and a fascinating man, brought vividly to life in this thrilling e-book.
LGBTQ+ Athletes Claim the Field: Striving for Equality
In 2015, the world watched as soccer star Abby Wambach kissed her wife after the US women’s World Cup victory. Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league first baseman David Denson came out as gay. And Caitlyn (born Bruce) Jenner, an Olympic decathlete, came out as transgender.
It hasn’t always been this way. Many great athletes have stayed in the closet their whole lives, or at least until retirement. Social attitudes, institutional policies, and laws are slow to change, but they are catching up. Together, athletes, families, educators, allies, and fans are pushing for competitive equity so that every athlete, regardless of identity, can have the opportunity to play at their very best.
Transgender Pioneers: Chaz Bono
Chaz Bono has been in the spotlight for the entirety of his life. As a child, he was a star on his parents Sonny and Cher’s variety show. In 1995, Bono’s role as a celebrity shifted after tabloids outed him as a lesbian. Bono embraced his potential and became an LGBTQ advocate. In 2009, Bono further advanced LGBTQ awareness by announcing his gender identity as a trans male. Since then, Bono has shared his struggles and triumphs through documentaries, interviews, and a very public life. This comprehensive biography celebrates the accomplishments of this celebrity activist who has broadened public perspective on LGBTQ issues.
Transgender Pioneers: Lana Wachowski
In 1999, two sibling directors hit it big with their second film, The Matrix. After achieving critical and commercial success with The Matrix, the Wachowskis went on to direct two sequels to that film and a string of other box office successes, including V for Vendetta and Jupiter Ascending. This title tracks the story of sister Lana, recipient of the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award in 2012 for having been the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender. Since making her transition public, Wachowski has become an important advocate, raising awareness of the unique challenges faced by transgender youth.
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a memoir about a life’s work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in a north England industrial town now changed beyond recognition; about the universe as a cosmic dustbin. It is the story of how a painful past, which Winterson thought she had written over and repainted, rose to haunt her later in life, sending her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother. It is also a book about other people’s literature, one that shows how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, a life raft that supports us when we are sinking.
Witty, acute, fierce, and celebratory, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a tough-minded search for belonging—for love, identity, home, and a mother.