Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation


When We Rise: Books about LGBTQ Movement History


Christopher Street Liberation Day
Christopher Street Liberation Day, June 20, 1971. All images from the Diana Davies photographs.

This week was the premiere of Dustin Lance Black's new historical miniseries When We Rise, a chronicle of LGBTQ activist movements from the 1970's to now directed by Black, Gus Van Sant, Dee Rees, and Thomas Schlamme. We are glad that the stories of these brave individuals are getting a share of the spotlight as the miniseries airs this week on ABC. If you want to learn more about LGBTQ activism from the 1970’s and beyond, check out these histories, biographies, and databases from collections on the activists and movements that shifted American politics in the time period.

Christopher Street Liberation Day
Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1971.

Movement Histories

Dudley Clendinen and Adam Nagourney. Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America

Jim Downs. Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation

Lillian Faderman. The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

Linda Hirshman. Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution

Alethia Jones and Virginia Eubanks, with Barbara Smith. Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.

Eric Marcus. Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights

Kevin J. Mumford. Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis

Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz. Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism

Susan Stryker. Transgender History

Gay Be-In
Gay "Be-In," Sheep Meadow, Central Park, June 28, 1970.

Activist Biographies and Memoirs

Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands (La Frontera)

Kelly Cogswell. Eating Fire: My Life as a Lesbian Avenger

Jeanne Cordova. When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love and Revolution

Karla Jay. Tales of the Lavender Menace: A Memoir of Liberation

Audre Lorde. Zami, a New Spelling of My Name

Kevin K. Kumashiro. Restoried Selves: Autobiographies of Queer Asian-Pacific-American Activists

Mario Martino. Emergence : A Transsexual Autobiography

Renée Richards. No Way Renee: The Second Half of my Notorious Life

Michael Schiavi. Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo

Mark Segal. And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality

Gay Liberation Front
Gay Liberation Front pickets Time, Inc.


Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity Database (Available from home with a library card)

Diana Davies Photographs



Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Post new comment