[Reading] ➿ The Book of Pride ➶ Mason Funk – Stevemiddleton.info
Mason Funk is the founder of the OUTWORDS Archive, a project which seeks to collect and promote oral histories from founders and contributors to the LGBTQ community This book is a selection from that collection Most histories are between two and four pages long, include both historical, personal, and current photos, and a brief biography of each of the interviewees At the archive s website, these interviews and others are both filmed and transcribed, so you can watch, listen, or read each interview if you want to learn about a particular person Most of the interviewees are from the baby boomer generation, though there are a few who are older In addition to personal experiences, the interviews speak of the AIDS crisis, the revolutionary spirit of the 60s, Anita Bryant and the rights campaigns of the 70s, the 90s and Don t Ask, Don t Tell, and the early 2000s and the fight for marriage equality The interviews are inclusive, representative, and diverse There are conversations about divisions within the LGBTQ community, and their hopes and visions of the future Seventy five interviews are in this book.I found great value in reading the stories of these wonderful people It is comforting to hear words of wisdom from your elders, and that is exactly what this book is a reminder that we are not alone So much of LGBTQ history is about loneliness, and that is evident in many of the interviews But there is also the warmth and happiness in a found family, in a community, with people who know and love you All interviewees have found varying levels of peace and comfort in their lives, and I believe that message is incredibly needed among our youth today This is also a book about many aspects of American history that, for many different reasons, we just don t hear about in public education I certainly never learned about the AIDS crisis in my high school history classes, and yet I had some of the best history teachers I believe it wasn t their fault From what I can tell, the interviews are diverse and inclusive, from various socioeconomic levels, gender and sexual identities, racial and ethnic identities, religious identities it feels like there s something for everyone here Recommended for young adults, new adults, all adultsRed flags frank discussions of various kinds of sexual acts, historical photos including sex toys, drug use and abuse, mental illness, AIDS death, suicide, conversations about homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, ageism 3 A Joyfully Jay review 4.5 starsThis is an astounding collection of narratives Hats off to the OUTWORDS team for their tremendous effort to document LGBTQI history in the United States True to the acronym, The Book of Pride reflects the diversity in the community The book is full of the personal accounts of not just gay and lesbian activists, but multiple bisexual and transgender people as well There is a nod to the intersex community with Gigi Raven Wilbur s account of his her history the book s editor intentionally uses both male and female pronouns to reflect Gigi s self identification as both male and female Doc Duhon s story touches on not just bisexuality, but also polyamory, dominant and submissive relationships, and the leather community The stories are told by people who tried to cure themselves by marrying and trying to live the cishet version of Americana before coming out they are told by people who turned into activists by dint of being in the right place at the right time such as Stonewall they are told by people who have served in America s military The variety of histories included is truly marvelous and to read the words of the people who lived through the times, who led the charge, is nothing short of amazing.Read Camille s review in its entirety here. I received an ARC copy of this book from EdelweissThis was such a moving book I was basically just crying on and off all throughout reading this, but I would say in a good way most of the time Obviously everything is not perfect for LGBTQ people even today, but it s just absolutely incredible to hear some of these people s stories and what they had to go through just to be who they are and be allowed to exist in the world I think this is a very important book because it interviews only people who are older and were instrumental in founding many LGBTQ groups and getting laws changed that benefit us all today I think that recently there has been kind of a feeling among young people that all old people are the enemy or something and this book is a great way to show how much we actually owe to the people who have come before us and that LGBTQ have always existed and aren t by any means a new thing Also this book is part of a larger project called OUTWORDS and they have a website which includes the video copies of all the interviews featured in the book as well as many and I think it said transcripts and pictures as well Definitely a really good read if you are interested in LGBTQ history. This book is a series of 75 interviews to document the history and experience of LGBTQ pioneers across the US While I wished there were stories about education leaders in the book, the collection shows how nascent the Pride movement truly is and the stories are really incredible examples of resistance, power, courage, and social change The interview with Betsy Parsons is certainly one 65 year old Parsons is a retired English teacher in Maine Born in Boston and raised in rural Illinois, Betsy talked about her experience as the first Maine teacher to come out and to keep her job In the mid 90s the most prevalent form of hate language in the school was anti gay language, Betsy explains in the Book of Pride Constant ridicule and verbal harassment, coupled with physical harassment, shoving, hitting, tripping, and punching Teachers would not typically intervene because to target LGBT people was acceptable Betsy continued, A former student, a young lesbian, came back to visit me She told me that during her freshman year of high school, when she was my student, she had been on the brink of suicide the entire year I thought her life was perfect She was brainy, beautiful, and musical When I heard about that eight years later, it was just shocking for me I asked what I could have done to make that year less painful, less frightening My former student said, you could have been out That moment was a point of no return for me I was going to have to either leave public school teaching or find a way to keep teaching and come out Not only did Betsy come out to her English students, doing so by using literary characters to teach about the persecution of minorities, but she also founded GLSEN chapters in her school and throughout the state. I wish the interviews were in depth Otherwise, a very good compilation. 3.5 Stars This is a very important read I just wish that the interviews were longer. The Book of Pride consists of many many interviews from the Outwords project Mason Funk interviewed LGBT individuals, every day peop,e, who helped shape tne course of gay history These stories, especially those of our elders are so important I would love to also listen to audio of these interviews This is a well edited collection, from a range of voices. Not to begin this review on a negative note, but some patterns and phrasings and such in this book dropping the assigned gender and deadname of nearly every trans subject really left a bad taste in my mouth However, given the value of these interviews as records of LGBT elders, and the fact that language is one of the slipperist and most contentious subjects in the community, I think it s best to let them go, albeit with a note to think about things critically for example, I would really hope that cishets don t run with the it s cool to just call people queer s train than they already have At the end of the day this is a compendium of LGBT history, a precious record given how much has been erased, and I can t give this book enough credit for that.I would recommend pairing this book with the podcastMaking Gay Historythe podcast features recordings of decades old interviews with LGBT pioneers including titans such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson , many of whom have since passed away Maybe The Book of Pride could publish audio transcripts of their interviews as well, if they haven t done so already hearing the authentic, unvarnished voices of these people who have done so much creates a connection that still brings me to tears Either way, I m grateful for what both these sources have brought. Meet The Leaders And Activists On The Front Lines Of The LGBTQ Movement, From The 1960 S To The Present, Through Stunning Interviews And Compelling Black And White Photographs Compiled And Presented By OUTWORDS, A Nonprofit Dedicated To Preserving The Stories Of LGBTQ People The 75 Individuals Featured In THE BOOK OF PRIDE Including Marriage Pioneer Evan Wolfson, Trans Icon Miss Major Griffin Gracy, Stonewall Era Rabblerouser Mark Segal And Legendary Anti DADT Activist Grethe Cammermeyer Fought Battles Frequently Under The Threat Of Violence And Persecution By Capturing These Accounts, We Honor An Important Chapter In American History And Ensure That The Story Of The LGBTQ Community Is Safeguarded For Generations To Come The Brave And Determined Activists Celebrated In THE BOOK OF PRIDE Inspire Each Of Us To Resist All Forms Of Oppression With Ferocity, And To Do So With Great Pride.