Sexuality and Relationships

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We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir
Habib, Samra. We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir. Toronto: Viking, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A queer Muslim searches for the language to express her truest self, making peace with her sexuality, her family, and Islam. Growing up in Pakistan, Samra Habib lacks a blueprint for the life she wants. She has a mother who gave up everything to be a pious, dutiful wife and an overprotective father who seems to conspire against a life of any adventure. Plus, she has to hide the fact that she's Ahmadi to avoid persecution from religious extremists. As the threats against her family increase, they seek refuge in Canada, where new financial and cultural obstacles await them. When Samra discovers that her mother has arranged her marriage, she must again hide a part of herself–the fun-loving, feminist teenager that has begun to bloom–until she simply can't any longer. So begins a journey of self-discovery that takes her to Tokyo, where she comes to terms with her sexuality, and to a queer-friendly mosque in Toronto, where she returns to her faith in the same neighbourhood where she attended her first drag show. Along the way, she learns that the facets of her identity aren't as incompatible as she was led to believe, and that her people had always been there–the world just wasn't ready for them yet."– provided by publisher.
Out In Time: The Public Lives of Gay Men from Stonewall to the Queer Generation
Halkitis, Perry N. Out In Time: The Public Lives of Gay Men from Stonewall to the Queer Generation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"The civil rights of LGBTQ people have slowly yet steadily strengthened since the Stonewall Riots of June, 1969. Despite enormous opposition from some political segments and the catastrophic effects of the AIDS crisis, the last five decades have witnessed improvement in the conditions of the lives of LGBTQ individuals in the United States. As such, the realities and challenges faced by a young gay man coming of age and coming out in the 1960s is, in many profound ways, different from the experiences of a young gay man coming of age and coming out today. Out in Time explores the life experiences of three generations of gay men --the Stonewall, AIDS, and Queer generations-- arguing that while there are generational differences in the lived experiences of young gay men, each one confronts its own unique historical events, realities, and socio-political conditions, there are consistencies across time that define and unify the identity formation of gay men. Guided by the vast research literature on gay identity formation and coming out, the ideas and themes explored here are seen through the oral histories of a diverse set of fifteen gay men, five from each generation. Out in Time demonstrates how early life challenges define and shape the life courses of gay men, demarcating both the specific time-bound challenges encountered by each generation, and the universal challenges encountered by gay men coming of age across all generations and the conditions that define their lives."--Publisher's description

These are Love(d) Letters
Hawkins, Ames. These are Love(d) Letters. Made in Michigan writers series. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Ames Hawkins's These are Love(d) Letters is a genre-bending visual memoir and work of literary nonfiction that explores the questions: What inspires a person to write a love letter? What inspires a person to save a love letter even when the love has shifted or left? And what does it mean when a person uses someone else's love letters as a place from which to create their own sense of self? Beginning with the "simple act" of the author receiving twenty letters written by her father to her mother over a six-week period in 1966, These are Love(d) Letters provides a complex pictorial and textual exploration of the work of the love letter. Through intimate and incisive prose-the letters were, after all, always intended to be a private dialogue between her parents-Hawkins weaves her own struggles with gender, sexuality, and artistic awakening in relation to the story of her parents' marriage that ended in divorce. Her father's HIV diagnosis and death by complications related to AIDS provide the context for an unflinchingly honest look at bodily disease and mortality. Hawkins delicately and relentlessly explores the tensions in a father-daughter relationship that stem from a differently situated connection to queer identity and a shared struggle with artistic desire. In communion with queer and lesbian writers from Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf to Alison Bechdel and Maggie Nelson, Hawkins pushes exploration of the self with the same intellectual rigor that she critiques the limits of epistolarity by continually relocating all the generative and arresting creative powers of this found art with scholarly rhetorical strategies. Exquisitely designed by Jessica Jacobs, These are Love(d) Letters presents an affective experience that reinforces Hawkins's meditations on the ephemeral beauty of love letters. As poetic as it is visually enticing, the book offers both an unconventional and queer(ed) understanding of the documentarian form, which will excite both readers and artists across and beyond genres."

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The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage
Issenberg, Sasha. The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. New York: Pantheon Books, 2021. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, making same-sex unions legal across the United States. But the road to that momentous decision was much longer than many know. In this definitive account, Sasha Issenberg vividly guides us through same-sex marriage's unexpected path from the unimaginable to the inevitable. It is a story that begins in Hawaii in 1990, when a rivalry among local activists triggered a sequence of events that forced the state to justify excluding gay couples from marriage. In the White House, one president signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which elevated the matter to a national issue, and his successor tried to write it into the Constitution. Over twenty-five years, the debate played out across the country, from the first legal same-sex weddings in Massachusetts to the epic face-off over California's Proposition 8 and, finally, to the landmark Supreme Court decisions of United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges. From churches to hedge funds, no corner of American life went untouched.This richly detailed narrative follows the coast-to-coast conflict through courtrooms and war rooms, bedrooms and boardrooms, to shed light on every aspect of a political and legal controversy that divided Americans like no other. Following a cast of characters that includes those who sought their own right to wed, those who fought to protect the traditional definition of marriage, and those who changed their minds about it, The Engagement is certain to become a seminal book on the modern culture wars." - Publisher description.
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The Prophets: A Novel
Jones, Robert. The Prophets: A Novel. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
 "A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence"-- Provided by publisher.

Isaiah was Samuel's and Samuel was Isaiah's. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. When an older fellow slave seeks to gain favor by preaching the master's gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel's love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation's harmony. -- adapted from jacket
How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir
Jones, Saeed. How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Haunted and haunting, Jones's memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence--into tumultuous relationships with his mother and grandmother, into passing flings with lovers, friends and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another--and to one another--as we fight to become ourselves."
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Everybody Else is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes
Korn, Gabrielle. Everybody Else is Perfect: How I Survived Hypocrisy, Beauty, Clicks, and Likes. First Atria Paperback edition. New York: Atria Paperback, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"From the director of fashion and culture at Refinery29 comes a provocative and intimate collection of personal and cultural essays featuring eye-opening explorations of hot-button topics for modern women, including the uptick in internet feminism versus ongoing impossible beauty standards in media, the battle against anorexia, shifting ideals about sexuality, and much more"-- Provided by publisher.
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Gay Bar: Why We Went Out
Lin, Jeremy Atherton. Gay Bar: Why We Went Out. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Strobing lights and dark rooms, drag queens on counters, first kisses, last call; the gay bar has long been a place of solidarity and sexual expression. Now they are closing, a cultural demolition that has Jeremy Atherton Lin wondering: Could this spell the end of gay identity as we know it? In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and dazzling as a disco ball, the author embarks on a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. Gay Bar time-travels from Hollywood nights in the 1970s to a warren of cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s; from chichi bars in the wake of AIDS to today's fluid queer spaces; through glory holes, into Crisco-slicked dungeons and down San Francisco alleys. Atherton Lin charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out--and a chance encounter one restless night that would change his life forever. The journey that emerges is an inquiry into the link between place and identity, inviting us to go beyond Stonewall and enter the underground"--adapted from book jacket.
My Queer War
Lord, James. My Queer War. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A powerful story of sexual awakening during the Second World War from the noted memorist and critic.

In My Queer War, James Lord tells the story of a young man's exposure to the terrors, dislocations, and horrors of armed conflict.

In 1942, a timid, inexperienced twenty-one-year-old Lord reports to Atlantic City, New Jersey, to enlist in the U.S. Army. His career in the armed forces takes him to Nevada, California, Boston, England, and, eventually, France and Germany, where he witnesses firsthand the ravages of total war on Europe's land and on its people. Along the way he comes to terms with his own sexuality, experiences the thrill of first love and the chill of disillusionment with his fellow man, and in a moment of great rashness makes the acquaintance of the world's most renowned artist, who will show him the way to a new life.

My Queer War is a rich and moving record of one man's maturation in the crucible of the greatest war the world has known. If his war is queer, it is because each man's experience is strange in its own way. His is a story of universal significance and appeal, told by a wry and eloquent observer of the world and of himself." - provided by publisher.

Socialist Realism
Low, Trisha. Socialist Realism. Minneapolis, Brookyln: Coffee House Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"As she recovers from a breakup with a lover who had meant everything to her, Trisha Low grapples with the meaning of everything, in memoir rich with theory and digression, but also in stark, gorgeous imagery and memorable, epigrammatic insight. Low, a young queer woman from a Singaporean family, must travel between the American coasts and experience debasement both routine -- in the form of sexist, racist world around her -- and extraordinary -- in the form of (for example) an S&M waterboarding workshop -- in order to come to terms with the end of her relationship and the beginning of the next chapter of her adult life"-- Provided by publisher.
The Paternity Test
Lowenthal, MIchael. The Paternity Test. Madison, WI: Terrace Books, 2012. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Having a baby to save a marriage--it's the oldest of cliches. But what if the marriage at risk is a gay one, and having a baby involves a surrogate mother? Pat Faunce is a faltering romantic, a former poetry major who now writes textbooks. A decade into his relationship with Stu, an airline pilot from a fraught Jewish family, he fears he's losing Stu to other men--and losing himself in their "no rules" arrangement. Yearning for a baby and a deeper commitment, he pressures Stu to move from Manhattan to Cape Cod, to the cottage where Pat spent boyhood summers. As they struggle to adjust to their new life, they enlist a surrogate: Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant married to Danny, an American home rebuilder. Gradually, Pat and Debora bond, drawn together by the logistics of getting pregnant and away from their spouses. Pat gets caught between loyalties--to Stu and his family, to Debora, to his own potent desires--and wonders: is he fit to be a father? In one of the first novels to explore the experience of gay men seeking a child through surrogacy, Michael Lowenthal writes passionately about marriages and mistakes, loyalty and betrayal, and about how our drive to create families can complicate the ones we already have. The Paternity Test is a provocative look at the new "family values."" - publisher description.

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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
Machado, Carmen Maria. Her Body and Other Parties: Stories. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2017. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Presents a collection of short stories about the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. A wife refuses her husband's entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store's prom dresses. One woman's surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in 'Especially Heinous, ' Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes." --Adapted from publisher description.
In the Dream House: A Memoir
Machado, Carmen Maria. In the Dream House: A Memoir. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"The author's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming."
Endangered Species: A Surly Bear in the Bible Belt
Mann, Jeff. Endangered Species: A Surly Bear in the Bible Belt. Amherst, MA: Lethe Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Jeff Mann's newest collection of personal essays speaks out against homophobia and the outdated ideas of masculinity demanded by life in Appalachia and the American South"–Back cover.
LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia
Mann, Jeff, and Julia Watts, ed. LGBTQ Fiction and Poetry from Appalachia. First Edition. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"This collection, the first of its kind, gathers fiction and poetry from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer authors from Appalachia. Like much Appalachian literature, these works are pervaded with an attachment to family and the mountain landscape, yet balancing queer and Appalachian identities is an undertaking fraught with conflict. This collection confronts the problematic and complex intersections of place, family, sexuality, gender, and religion with which LGBTQ Appalachians often grapple. With works by established writers such as Dorothy Allison, Silas House, Ann Pancake, Fenton Johnson, and Nickole Brown and emerging writers such as Savannah Sipple, Rahul Mehta, Mesha Maren, and Jonathan Corcoran, this collection celebrates a literary canon comprising writers who give voice to what it means to be Appalachian and LGBTQ"-- Provided by publisher.
Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights
Marcus, Eric. Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights. New York: Perennial, 2002. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"An updated edition of the personal account of the fifty-year fight for gay and lesbian rights recalls the struggle through the eyes of more than sixty participants."
Brown, White, Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion
Mehra, Nishta. Brown, White, Black: An American Family at the Intersection of Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion. New York: Picador, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Essays describe how the author's experiences as an Indian American, the wife of a white Christian woman, and the mother of an adopted black son have been challenged by rigid cultural family norms."
Quarantine: Stories
Mehta, Rahul. Quarantine: Stories. P.S. New York: Harper Perennial, 2011. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"With buoyant humor and incisive, cunning prose, Rahul Mehta sets off into uncharted literary territory. The characters in Quarantine--openly gay Indian-American men--are Westernized in some ways, with cosmopolitan views on friendship and sex, while struggling to maintain relationships with their families and cultural traditions. Grappling with the issues that concern all gay men--social acceptance, the right to pursue happiness, and the heavy toll of listening to their hearts and bodies--they confront an elder generation's attachment to old-country ways. Estranged from their cultural in-group and still set apart from larger society, the young men in these lyrical, provocative, emotionally wrenching, yet frequently funny stories find themselves quarantined."
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More
Mock, Janet. Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. New York: Atria Books, 2014. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"In a landmark book, an extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen--a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism. In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for People.com to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents' firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person--no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles. This powerful memoir follows Mock's quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn't until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don't fit the mold created for you"-- Provided by publisher.

Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story
Monette, Paul. Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story. San Francisco: Harper SanFrancisco, 1993. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Monette recalls his tortured youth as a gay man, during which he tried to imitate straight men and pursued heartbreaking affections, before his awakening to his own sexual orientation."

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