25 Must-Read Works of LGBT Non-Fiction

Flavorwire compiles a list of page-turners that deserve a spot on every LGBTers book shelf.

To mark the release of Choire Sicha’s much-heralded Very Recent History, a tale about a group of gay men struggling to make ends meet in New York City during the late-2000’s recession, Flavorwire has compiled a list of other must-reads for fans of LGBT non-fiction. The list comprises 25 works, including recent offerings like Christopher Bram’s witty (and one of my personal faves) Eminent Outlaws and Justin Vivian Bond’s trans-experience autobiography, Tango. A handful of classics make the cut, too, like Randy Shilts’ And the Band Played On and 1968’s The Naked Civil Servant by gay icon Quentin Crisp. 

Check out the entire list below, including links to where you can buy each book from local LGBT bookstore Giovanni’s Room (you e-readers will have to do a little Google-ing). To see Flavorwire’s list, click here.

1. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser

2. The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up in a Straight Man’s World by Alan Downs

3. Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas

4. Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality by Patrick Moore

5. A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski

6. Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio

7. The Gentrification of the Mind: Witness to a Lost Generation by Sarah Schulman

8. Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration by David Wojnarowicz

9. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts

10. Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro by André Soares

11. Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America by Christopher Bram

12. Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights by Kenji Yoshino

13. Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

14. Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns by David Margolick

15. Tango: My Childhood, Backward and in High Heels by Justin Vivian Bond

16. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

17. Ceremonies by Essex Hemphill

18. Queer and Loathing: Rants and Raves of a Raging AIDS Clone by David B. Feinberg

19. Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us by Kate Bornstein

20. The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp

21. Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade by Justin Spring

22. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 by George Chauncy

23. Real Man Adventures by T Cooper

24. The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life by Michael Warner

25. Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua

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