Pride Parade in Princeton, NJ, June 22, 2019. Photograph by Edwin J. Torres / NJ Governor’s Office. Courtesy of Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Exploring LGBTQ Pride Month

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer (or Questioning) Pride Month. This month offers an opportunity to explore the stories and perspectives of those who identify as members of the LGBTQ community. Princeton Public Library aims to include such topics in programming and content throughout the year, and this month serves as a chance to focus our efforts.

What we now know as LGBTQ Pride Month began as a grassroots effort to commemorate the June 1969 Stonewall Uprising, when LGBTQ patrons of a New York City gay bar and their supporters fought back against police officers raiding the establishment. In the years after Stonewall, many celebrated what they called Gay Pride Day on the last Sunday in June. Celebrations varied from place to place and went on to include monthlong activities and events across June. In the mid-1990s, education organizations joined forces to formalize June as LGBT History Month. President Bill Clinton was the first U.S. president to issue a proclamation acknowledging Pride Month, with Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden following suit.

Programs | Learn | Educator Resources


Programs at the Library and Beyond

On June 3, the library will co-host the second annual Princeton Community Pride Picnic at the Princeton Shopping Center courtyard. Celebrate Princeton’s LGBTQ community with music, games, activities, giveaways and more at this family-friendly event featuring local nonprofits and community groups. The picnic will be followed by a Pride Dance at the Princeton Arts Council. Rain date is June 5. Learn more here.

Library staff will be marching in the Princeton Pride Parade, held on June 18 and organized by the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice. The parade route will go primarily through the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood before ending at the Princeton Family YMCA for an after-party. Click here for further details. We welcome anyone in the community looking to take part in the parade to join us as we march along the parade route.

On Thursdays in June at 7 p.m., the library will screen movies as part of a film series in observance of Pride Month. The films will be presented in person in the library’s Community Room, and no registration is required. Click below to learn more:

  • June 9: The documentary “Ahead of the Curve” traces the power of lesbian visibility and community from the early ‘90s to present day through the story of Franco Stevens’ founding of Curve magazine. Not rated. 1 hour, 37 minutes.
  • June 16: “Jump, Darling” follows a rookie drag queen, reeling from a break-up, as he escapes to the country to find his grandmother in steep decline yet desperate to avoid a nursing home. Not rated. 1 hour, 30 minutes.
  • June 23: In “Saturday Church,” a 14-year-old boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process. Not rated. 1 hour, 22 minutes.

Join the library’s Virtual Story Room as staff celebrate and share books created by LGBTQIA+ authors and illustrators.


Learn about LGBTQ History and Experiences

See below for lists of nonfiction and fiction and essays geared toward adult readers and centered around LGBTQIA+ experiences and perspectives.

To learn more about the Stonewall Uprising, watch a recording of a 2020 virtual library program with Jason Baumann, New York Public Library’s coordinator of humanities and LGBTQ collections. Baumann discusses the anthology of first-person accounts of the Stonewall uprising he curated from the library’s archives. Published in 2019, the 50th anniversary of the uprising that started the fight for American LGBTQIA+ rights, “The Stonewall Reader” chronicles some of the gay liberation movement’s most iconic moments and figures in the years before and after those tumultuous events.

 

For teens, kids, and the youngest readers, below are lists of books that highlight varied narratives and perspectives of those in the LGBTQIA+ community.


Online resources include:

  • Resources from the Library of Congress
  • Materials from the National Archives and Records Administration


Resources for Educators

See the materials below for potential starting points for engaging learners. You’ll find lesson plans, digital tools, curricula, and more.


Content made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities