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Alberta Books for Pride Month
Explore the richness and resilience of Alberta’s LGBTQ2S+ community with a curated collection of books for Pride Month, celebrating diversity, inclusion, increased visibility, and the ongoing journey towards equality.
This is a small selection of the titles available —find more available books at your local independent bookstore or public library and continue to support these stories.
Transcribing Moonlight is a collection of autobiographical haibun which outlines the life of a trans woman from December 2018 to December 2019. The form of the journal itself is traditional for haibun; while experimental at times, the haibun pay attention to the physical world and are therefore able to capture the changing seasons, moons, and phases of the narrator’s life. As the title may suggest, the moon is a point of focus for the collection, as the phases of the moon often match up and echo the phases and transitions of the narrator. In this way, the traditional trope of the moon and the traditional form of haibun become more nuanced and modern, as they represent a marginalized group and some of the struggles that trans women face, both externally and internally. These phases and struggles include gender (eu/dys)phoria, coming to terms with sexuality, life after graduation, relationships, and family issues.
“Most people know their gender identity by the time they are two or three. My memories don’t go back quite that far, but as far back as I do remember, I was never certain. I asked my mother and grandmother over and over again, ‘Am I a boy, or am I a girl?’–asked so many times they got sick of answering and started getting mad at me, and then I would hear, ‘I told you!’ They always told me that I was a boy, but I was never convinced. It would take me over sixty years to arrive at a clear understanding of my problem–I was trapped inside what we now would call ‘the gender binary,’ the notion that there are only two choices.”
So begins The Bridge, Keith Maillard’s fascinating memoir of growing up in West Virginia in the 1940s and ’50s: a time and place where the word “nonbinary” didn’t exist. This memoir from one of Canada’s most celebrated writers is an instant classic–timely, accessible, and wonderfully evocative. Maillard is a natural, gifted storyteller.
PASS ME BY: ELECTRIC VICE
Kat Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen
The second book in the award winning Pass Me By series follows a chance encounter between Ed and the captivating androgynous singer of the pulse-pounding glam rock band ELECTRIC VICE, which pulls Ed into a world of mascara, weathered leather, platform heels and neon. Pass Me By: Electric Vice is an inverted coming of age story about understanding queer identity and what happens to the stories you never tell.
Kat Simmers , Ryan Danny Owen
Published: Oct 19, 2021 by Renegade Arts Entertainment
Merry Bell needed to get out of Vancouver. Fast. Returning to her home town of Livingsky, Saskatchewan was a desperate step. Living with plenty of secrets, but no money, friends, or place to live during a prairie winter, all while trying to start her own PI business proves to be more of a challenge than she imagined. With a first case that quickly turns more dangerous than it first appeared, Merry must deal with a dodgy client, the murder of the surgeon who performed her gender affirming surgery, and more than one mysterious stranger. As Merry struggles to start over in her hometown, she not only has to unwind a mystery which imperils Livingsky’s most powerful people, but must face a past she’d rather leave behind.
Joshua Whitehead, in dialogue with Angie Abdou
Evolving from a conversation between Joshua Whitehead and Angie Abdou, Indigiqueerness is part dialogue, part collage, and part memoir. Beginning with memories of his childhood poetry and prose and travelling through the library of his life, Whitehead contemplates the role of theory, Indigenous language, queerness, and fantastical worlds in all his artistic pursuits. This volume is imbued with Whitehead’s energy and celebrates Indigenous writers and creators who defy expectations and transcend genres.
Indie Rock candidly focuses on a queer poet/musician’s life in Newfoundland and his personal struggles with addiction, OCD, and trauma. This intelligent and punchy collection is steeped in musicality and the geographies and cadences of Newfoundland. With an astute attention to form, rhythm, and aesthetics, Joe Bishop tells an honest and contemporary coming-of-age story about an artist alienated from, but fascinated by, the world he inhabits. Readers dealing with grief and living through recovery will find solace in these poems, as will those conflicted by faith, curious about the rigid confines of masculinity, or yearning to hear a voice like theirs in verse.
OTHERS OF MY KIND
Alex Bakker, Rainer Herrn, Michael Thomas Taylor, and Annette F. Timm
Others of My Kind: Transatlantic Transgender Histories is an illuminating look at the transatlantic, transgender community that helped to shape the history and study of gender identity. From the turn of the twentieth century to the 1950s, a group of transgender people on both sides of the Atlantic created communities that profoundly shaped the history and study of gender identity. Others of My Kind draws on archives in Europe and North America to tell the story of this remarkable transatlantic transgender community. This book uncovers threads of connection between Germany, the United States, and the Netherlands to discover the people who influenced the work of authorities like Magnus Hirschfeld, Harry Benjamin, and Alfred Kinsey not only with their clinical presentations, but also with their personal relationships.
BURNING THE NIGHT
From small-town Alberta, Curtis comes to Edmonton to obtain a teaching degree. There he forms a close friendship with his elderly, blind Aunt Harriet, considered a family pariah due to her eccentric enthusiasm for a lost world of artists and musicians. When Curtis begins reading aloud to Harriet the diary her intended husband Phillip kept before his death during World War One, an obsessed Curtis examines parallels to his own life: his desire to become a skillful artist and to find fulfilling love.
Timeless and essential, award-winning author Glen Huser’s Burning the Night spans across generations and distance, traversing from Vancouver to Halifax, as it bears down on the history of Canadian painting and Curtis’s awakening as a gay man.