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Annotated Academic Book List

Alyson Almanac:  The fact book of the lesbian and gay community. 

Alyson Publications (1994-95)

Highly informative and entertaining book containing a treasury of information for the lesbian and gay community.  Historical, cultural, political, and social information included.


The Big Gay Book

Edited by John Preston, New York:  Plume

Both a resource to the highly varied gay community, and a record of its pulse.  Liberally illustrated, complete with reading lists, names and addresses of self-help organizations, and featuring interviews with community leaders across the United States.


The Gay Yellow Pages:  The National Edition

New York:  Renaissance House (1995)

This resource guide is updated annually and lists gay/lesbian owned and gay/lesbian affirmative resources:  businesses, publications, restaurants and inns, therapists, health care providers, AIDS services, legal services, religious groups, recreation & social groups, gay/lesbian bookstores, bars, etc.  Helpful in determining how to access the LGBT community for those who plan to move to a new location.


Is It a Choice?  Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Gays and Lesbians

Eric Marcus, Harper San Francisco

At a time when lesbian and gay culture is being covered daily by the mainstream print and electronic media, many people still don’t know the first thing about their gay and lesbian children, parents, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.  They don’t know what to ask or where to turn for the answers they need.  Marcus dispels myths, misunderstandings, and stereotypes with clear, concise, common sense answers.


The Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men: The Basic ACLU Guide to a Gay Person’s Rights 

Nan Hunter, E. Machaelson, & B. Stoddard

This is a careful survey of the rights of lesbians and gay men.  It covers freedom of speech and association, employment, housing, the military, family relationships, protest activities, criminal matters, security clearances, and HIV infection.


Being Homosexual

Richard Isay, MD, Avon Books            

Dr. Isay looks at he development of homosexuality as a normal process – not as a mental disease.  A clinical psychologist who has devoted years to counseling gay men, Isay dispels the myths about homosexuality.


Beyond Tolerance:  Gays, Lesbians, and Bisexuals on Campus

Edited by Nancy Evans and Vernon Wall, American College Personnel Association

Written especially for student affairs professionals, this pioneering book combines theory and practical applications for initiating programs.


Homophobia:  How We All Pay the Price

Edited by Warren Blumfeld, Boston:  Beacon Press, 1998

Explores the cost of homophobia in family relationships, religious institutions, and social policy.


In Search of Gay America:  Women and Men in a Time of Change

Neil Miller, New York:  Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989

A unique look at a wide variety of gay men and lesbians from across the country – a gay police officer with AIDS in San Francisco; a lesbian couple expecting a baby in Newton, MA; an openly gay major in Morgantown, WV; two gay dairy farmers in Wolverton, MN; an AIDS activist in North Dakota; and a gay American Indian in Rapid City, SD.  For the most part, the focus is outside big city enclaves of gay men and lesbians.


The New Loving Someone Gay

Don Clark, Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 1987

A gay clinical psychologist offers an introductory look at gay and lesbian life.  He includes a discussion of oppression and prejudice, love, growing up gay, conformity, pleasures of being gay, coming out issues (both on the telling and learning ends), and guidelines for helping someone gay.  Excellent for gay men; the predominant use of male examples makes it less useful for lesbians.


Positively Gay: New approaches to Gay and Lesbian Life

Edited by Betty Berzon, Celestial Arts

A new updated edition of the class anthology includes: “Achieving success as a gay couple,” “telling the family you’re gay,” “Gay issues in financial planning,” “Becoming a gay professional.”  Also:  The Positively Gay Discussion Guide, A curriculum for use with small groups.


Coming Out to Parents:  A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents

May Borhek, New York:  Pilgrim Press, 1983

The mother of a gay son draws on her experience to offer valuable and heartfelt advice for gay men, lesbians, and their parents.  A new, updated and expanded edition of the classical self-help coming out book.


Mom, Dad.  I’m Gay:  How Families Negotiate Coming Out

Ritch C. Savin-Williams, American Psychological Association, 2001

As mainstream America becomes more aware of the nonheterosexual community, gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual teenagers are revealing their sexual identities to their parents at a younger age than ever before.  Often this happens while they are still living at home.  How common are the coming out “horror stories” published in the popular press.  Readers will find tips on how parents can be helped to negotiate the coming out process and learn to support their child’s emerging sexual identity.


Beyond Acceptance:  Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk About Their Experiences

C.W. Griffin, M.J. Wirth, & A.J. Wirth, New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 1986

Addresses anxieties of parents of gay men and lesbians and provides useful information to dispel myths that may cause many parents to reject their children.  Examines self blame/fear and uses research to address misconceptions about homosexuality.  The book is filled with stories of 23 parents who found help through Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays.  It is a valuable tool for parents dealing with the shock of learning that their children are gay, and for gay and lesbian people trying to understand their parents’ lack of understanding.


Now That You Know:  What Every Parent Should Know About Homosexuality (new edition)

Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward, New York:  Harocurt, Brace, Javonovich

Authored by the mother of a gay son and a mother of a lesbian daughter, this book draws on dozens of interviews with gay men and lesbians and their parents.  A resource for parents, this book is often a useful book for someone to share with parents after coming out as gay or lesbian to them.  It normalizes a variety of reactions as a parent and moves toward acceptance and offers answers to the myriad of questions a parent may have about the gay/lesbian world.  This book can also be useful for someone considering coming out to his/her family as preparatory material.  Highly recommended


Bi Any Other Name:  Bisexual People Speak Out

Edited by L. Hutching & L. Kaahumanu, Boston:  Alyson Publishing, 1991

The second collection of writing by bisexual people, this volume offers a variety of essays and poems which explore psychological issues, spiritual concerns, politics, and the creation of a bisexual community.  The quality of writing is uneven, but the power of the authors’ emotions are clearly expressed.  Useful as a source of affirmation for bisexual readers and can help in understanding the bisexual point of view.


The Final Closet – The gay Parent Guide for Coming Out to Their Children

Rip Corley, Miami, FL:  Editech Press, 1990

A comforting guide for lesbian and gay parents who are hesitant or confused about whether or not to come out to their children.  Corley is able to help parents make this decision with confidence and dignity.


The Lesbian and Gay Parenting Handbook

April Martin

Provides answers to the many questions and issues of lesbian  and gay parenting.


Families We Choose:  Lesbians, Gays, Kinship

Kath Weston, Columbia University Press.

Weston draws upon fieldwork in the San Francisco area to explore the ways gay men and lesbians are redefining kinship al discusses changes in gay communities that have shaped the gay family.


Conduct Unbecoming:  Lesbians and Gays in the U.S. Military – Vietnam to the Persian Gulf  Randy Shilts, New York:  St. Martin’s Press

An easy-reading history of the reality of the U.S. Military’s attitudes toward lesbians and gay men and a good collection of first-hand experiences.


A Legal Guide for Lesbian and Gay Couples

H. Curry & D. Clifford, Berkeley, CA: Nolo Press

Updated regularly.  Gay and lesbian couples can protect themselves in a variety of legal situations.  Contracts, renting, financial arrangements, insurance, buying a home, marriage/divorce, parenting and custody, adoption and artificial insemination, wills, medical emergencies, and durable power of attorney are discussed.


But Lord, They’re Gay

Sylvia Pennington

Originally a born-again evangelist who set out to “save and change” homosexuals, Pennington has become the pastor of a predominantly gay congregation.


The Church and the Homosexual

John J. McNeill, FSG

This book, originally published in 1976, convincingly establishes that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality and thus Father McNeill (Taking a Chance on God) brings comfort to thousands of gay and lesbian Christians.


Good News for Modern Gays

Sylvia Pennington

Pennington does not believe God is anti-gay.  She wants to help Christians see more clearly what God has to say about gayness.  Contains refutations to common scriptural references.


Straight Jobs, Gay Lives

Annette Friskopp & Sharon Silverstein, Simon & Shuster, 1994

Based on a series of interviews with more than 100 gay and lesbian alumni of the Harvard Business School.  Examines issues such as coming out versus being closeted in the workplace, harassment, discrimination, health and other insurance benefits, resources and support groups.


Toward Acceptance:  Sexual Orientation Issues on Campus

Edited by Vernon A. Wall & Nancy J. Evans, University Press of America, 2000

An examination of the complex issues facing GLBT students on college campuses.  Offers proactive strategies for student affairs professionals, as they strive to increase sexual orientation awareness and support.


Out & About Campus

Edited by Kim Howard & Annie Stevens, Alyson Books, 2000

28 first-person accounts from lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered students from colleges and universities across the country.  A good mix of ethnic and college settings marks these essays, which are all tied together by the theme of coming out to oneself and to the community.  Some essays are heartbreaking and other triumphant; all are engagingly written.  A “must-read” for anyone providing services to university students.


Working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender College Students:  A Handbook for Faculty and Administrators

Ronni L. Sanlo, Greenwood Press, 1998

This handbook is intended for faculty and administrators who wish to create a welcoming and safe environment for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students on our campuses.  It will help readers, even those who may struggle personally with understanding non-heterosexual identities, gain a clearer understanding of the important issues facing these students.  This book is available in Sterne Library.


Out on Fraternity Row:  Personal Accounts of Being Gay in a College Fraternity

Edited by Shane L. Windmeyer, Alyson Books, 1998

What is it like to be gay and Greek?  Are fraternities safe places for gay brothers?  What kind of environment do fraternity houses provide homosexual members?  First-hand accounts of 30 gay men.  Each tale in this anthology gives a glimpse of the Greeks’ most invisible minority.


Poisoned Ivy:  Lesbian and Gay Academics Confronting Homophobia

Toni A. H. McNaron, Temple University Press, 1997

The author, who taught English, tells her own story and reports on the experiences of some 300 lesbian and gay academics.  Recalling her own terror of being identified as a lesbian, she describes how she awkwardly attempted to befriend other (probably closeted) faculty members, and stifled class discussions that veered too close to the topic of sexuality.


Completely Queer, The Gay and Lesbian Encyclopedia

Steve Hogan and Lee Hudson, Henry Holt and  Company, 1998

A one-volume reference work.   Here can be found much of the gay history, people, places, art, and ideas which are missing from most classrooms.  For those faculty members looking to create a more inclusive curriculum, this may be the place to start.


100 Best Companies for Gay Men and Lesbians

Ed Mickens, Pocket Books

A steadily growing number of companies seek to attract and cultivate talented employees regardless of their sexual orientation.  This guide includes strategies for companies and gay and lesbian employees in seeking productive and creative work environments.  Includes large, small, non-profit, publicly held, privately owned, and public agencies in a wide variety of industries.


Gay Issues in the Workplace

Brian McNaught, New York:  St. Martin’s Press

A concise and thoughtful book corporate consultant and educator McNaught shows business people and corporate managers how anti-gay bias impacts the entire work force and harms corporate productivity.  He presents a field-tested approach to coping with prejudice and eliminating destructive behaviors from the workplace.


The Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students’ Guide to Colleges, Universities, and Graduate Schools

Jan Mitchell Sherrill and Craig Hardesty, New York:  New York University Press, 1994

Presents results of surveys of current students relative to the campus environment, support systems, organizations, activities and dating, and many other topics of interest.


Gay Men and Women Who Enriched the World

Thomas Cowan, New Canaan, CT:  William Mulvey, 1988

Forty biographies of gifted men and women whose creativity has offered lasting benefits to humanity.  Subjects include:  Sappho, Plato, Bacon, Tchaikovsky, Willa Cather, Bessie Smith, and Yukio Mishima.  An Excellent source of role models; white males predominate among the subjects.



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