Pride Month 2024 Media Recommendations

To celebrate Pride Month this year, the PNB community shared some of their favorite LGBTQ+ related media. From books, films, and more, PNB staff have some great recs for you. Thank you to all our PNB community members who sent in suggestions!

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Recommended by Kristen Ramer Liang (she/her), Executive Assistant to Ellen Walker & Board Liaison

From Stonewall and Lambda Award-winning author Kacen Callender, Felix Ever After is a YA novel about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery, all while falling in love for the first time. The main character, Felix Love, desperately wants to know what it’s like to be in love and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. When a fellow student at a summer arts program posts Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned, Felix hatches a plan for revenge. But he could never anticipate that his catfish scenario would land him in a quasi-love triangle! This book explores the joy and heartache of teen love alongside the value of self-worth.

Atlantis: Poems by Mark Doty

Recommended by Nickolas Clark (he/him), Development Coordinator & Database Operations

“Poet Mark Doty conceived of this poetry collection as a way to process the overwhelming grief from losing his longtime partner to AIDS, and the power in his words here is awesome and heartbreaking. The titular “Atlantis” suite is a truly stunning centerpiece, telling the story of a love lived and lost through the image of a city shimmering beneath the oceans of time, both preserved and eroded by the very thing that holds us from it. Have tissues ready.” – Nickolas Clark

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

Recommended by Kristen Ramer Liang, Executive Assistant to Ellen Walker & Board Liaison

This Is How It Always Is, written by Seattle-based Laurie Frankel, is about a family with a transgender child. The book reveals the struggles and joys of family, parenting, revelations, and transformations. Five-year-old Claude says he wants to be a girl when he grows up, and his parents Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world, so the entire family keeps Claude’s secret until one day it explodes. Empathetic and thoughtful, this book encourages discussion around the realities of living with family in our modern times.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Recommended by Nickolas Clark, Development Coordinator & Database Operations

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was written by Carson McCullers when she was just 23. Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, this novel tells the tale of John Singer, who is deaf, and a disparate group of people who pour out their stories to him, including a café owner, a young girl, an itinerant worker, and a black doctor. Each confides in Singer, their silent confidant. This book is a haunting story about the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated and how they live through the human experience.

The Locked Tomb Series by Tamsyn Muir

Recommended by Emma Paulini (she/her), Patron Services Lead

“As many of my colleagues are well aware, this spring I’ve been obsessed with The Locked Tomb series, starting with Gideon the Ninth. Described in the logline as “lesbian necromancers in space,” this book is that and so much more. Sword-wielding Gideon and her childhood enemy, Harrowhark, meet up with the best magic-wielders and fighters from the other eight planets to respond to a call of duty from the Emperor Undying. In trying to increase their power and unravel accumulating mysteries, secrets are revealed, friendships are formed, and things still may not be what they seem… Full of intrigue, bonding, and bone magic galore, this book’s pithy, vibrant characters have become lodged in a special place in my mind and heart for time to come.” – Emma Paulini

The Guncle by Stephen Rowley

Recommended by Gary Tucker(he/him), Director of Communications

“I was expecting this book to be a lighthearted (and lightweight) romp, but it actually packed a surprisingly emotional wallop in its exploration of how our families define us.” – Gary Tucker

Film Recommendations

But I’m a Cheerleader directed by Jamie Babbit

Recommended by Nickolas Clark, Development Coordinator & Database Operations

Megan is an all-American girl. A cheerleader. She has a boyfriend. But Megan doesn’t like kissing her boyfriend very much. And she’s pretty touchy with her cheerleader friends. Her conservative parents worry that she must be a lesbian and send her off to “sexual redirection” school, where she must, with other lesbians and gays, learn how to be straight.

Beau Travail directed by Claire Denis

Recommended by Nickolas Clark, Development Coordinator & Database Operations

Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict, and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup’s mind. This film asks does freedom begin with remorse.

Rebels on Pointe directed by Bobbi Jo Hart

Recommended by Zoë Meadow-Sahr (she/her), Marketing Assistant

Rebels on Pointe is the first-ever documentary film celebrating the world-famous Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. The iconic all-male, drag ballet company was founded over 40 years ago in New York City on the heels of the Stonewall riots. The film juxtaposes behind-the-scenes, archival, interview, and performance footage. Rebels on Pointe is a creative blend of gender-bending artistic expression, diversity, passion, and purpose.

Safe directed by Todd Haynes

Recommended by Nickolas Clark, Development Coordinator & Database Operations

Carol, a typical upper middle-class housewife, begins to complain of vague symptoms of illness. She “doesn’t feel right,” has unexplained headaches, congestion, a dry cough, nosebleeds, vomiting, and trouble breathing. Her family doctor treats her concerns dismissively and suggests a psychiatrist. Eventually, an allergist tells her that she has Environmental Illness.

My Own Private Idaho directed by Gus Van Sant

Recommended by Nickolas Clark, Development Coordinator & Database Operations

In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” Mike Waters is a hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike’s estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant.

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters directed by Paul Schrader

Recommended by Nickolas Clark, Development Coordinator & Database Operations

A fictional account of the life of Japanese author Yukio Mishima told in four parts. The first three parts relate events in three of his novels: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Kyoko’s House, and Runaway Horses. The last part depicts the events of 25th November 1970.

Bonus Content!

Learn more about PNBers who are a part of the LGBTQ+ Community with these videos and articles.

Thanks again to our PNB Community for these LGBTQ+ related recs. If you’ve got a media recommendation for us, let us know! PNB’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee is currently developing a Little Free I.D.E.A. Library to share resources and materials with the PNB Community. Email with suggestions or to donate a book!