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Bellingham Public Library Celebrates Pride Month in June

The Bellingham Public Library celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride in June. As always, our staff have great recommendations to get you started.

Books for Adults

From biographies and memoirs to fiction written by LGBTQ authors or featuring LGBTQ characters, you can look forward to some great reading this month! Library staff are happy to help you find what you’re looking for on our shelves or from another location. Come down to the Central Library during the month of June and explore the Pride related materials on display or browse from the lists below from home!

Queer Fiction

LGBTQIA Nonfiction

Library Staff Recommends:

How to They/Them by Stuart Getty (nonfiction)

“Getting pronouns right can be a bit intimidating.  How to They/Them provides a quick and easy visual guide to understanding the ins and outs of gender.” – Rob, Public Services Librarian 

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube by Blair Braverman (biography)

Blair Braverman was once a very young woman obsessed with the extreme beauty and danger of the far north. This is a shattering memoir of her years in northern Norway and Alaska, and the growth of her relationship with Quince Mountain, a writer and outdoorsman, the first transgender man to complete the Iditarod race.” – Karen, Public Services Clerk

If you love graphic novels, Public Services Clerk, Ariana, recommends these three:

The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Red Lightning by Marco Bucci

Call Me Nathan by Catherine Castro (graphic novel)

“Although most people will never truly understand what it is like to be transgender, Call Me Nathan uses brutally honest illustrations to portray the trans experience in a very real light.” -Kian, Library Assistant

The Man Without a Face: the unlikely rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen (nonfiction)

The Man Without a Face begins with the night Masha Gessen was shaken awake by their wife and given the news that their friend Galina had been gunned down in the stairway of her apartment building. But the heart of the story the is rise to power of a former KGB agent fueled by malice and resentment.” – Karen, Public Services Clerk

Tin Man by Sarah Widman (fiction)

“Amid explorations of identity, disappearance, the AIDS epidemic, marriage, and loss, Sarah Winman’s Tin Man is a love story repeatedly derailed.  It will rip readers’ emotions to pieces while managing to comfort them in the next breath.” – Rob, Public Services Librarian

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (fiction)

“When it is decided that Earth is ready to compete in a Eurovision style intergalactic singing competition, what’s left of Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros are chosen to represent all of humanity. Success will prove the sentience of the human race to the rest of the universe, failure means total annihilation.  Buckle up and follow the bouncing disco ball for a wild ride, the history of the Metagalactic Grand Prix, glam rock, and interspecies romance.” – Lorena, Library Assistant

Books for Teens

Our Teen Libriarian has put together YA book lists of both fiction and nonfiction, centered around this month’s PRIDE theme!

LGBTQIA Fiction for Young Adults

LGBTQIA Nonfiction for Young Adults

Library Staff Recommends:

Teen Librarian Jennifer recommends checking out some of the amazing teen graphic novels with characters covering the queer spectrum.

“Featuring identity-questioning witch-wannabes (Witch Boy), a girl helping the selkie she’s fallen for (Girl From the Sea), and the magic of first love and great friends (Heartstopper), you can’t go wrong with one of these beautiful books. And these are just a few of the many LGBTQ+ books found on library shelves.”

Witch Boy by Molly Ostertag

Girl From the Sea by Molly Ostertag

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Library Security and Information Attendant Dani also recommends the Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman, and says, “Wish they’d have been around when I was a teen!” Ironically, we found a picture of Dani learning to be a heart STARTER in our photo archives!

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

“When Frances is fired for creating an avant-garde ball gown (and causing a minor scandal), she gets hired on by a prince who wants her to design dresses for him.  This book is full of friendship, angst, and a collection of increasingly fabulous dresses. Ends triumphantly.” – Lorena, Library Assistant

Not Good for Maidens by Tori Bovalino

“A retelling of the poem Goblin Market takes on a modern, queer flavor. Full of gore, goblins, fairies, and magic, Bovalino’s book is a great pick for fans of Holly Black, or Labyrinth!” – Rosalie Public Services Clerk

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

“Wilder Girls is teen sapphic horror that goes for the throat. An ecological nightmare of human mutation, exploring what makes us human when our bodies are monstrous and strange. Highly recommended for fans of biological horror!”  – Rosalie, Public Services Clerk

Public Services Clerk Ariana recommends these two YA graphic novels:

Always Human by Ari North

Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas by Sam Maggs

Books for Children

So many great books to read and stories to hear! Visit the Children’s Department at the Bellingham Public Library to find these great titles and more.

Rainbow Reads for Young Readers

Rainbow Reads: Middle Grade

Library Staff Recommends:

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour and Kaylani Juanita

“A sweet, universal story about the hurt of missing someone you love and the joy of being reunited with them. Subtle and poignant, this picture book is a treasure.” – Ali, Children’s Librarian

Recommended for ages 4+

Sam Is My Sister by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

“Based on the true story of a family, this is a heartwarming recollection of a transgender child’s experience. The author uses age-appropriate language to explain both Sam’s good and challenging interactions, but emphasizes the importance of honesty and acceptance.”

Recommended for ages 6 – 9

Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston by Esme Symes-Smith

“Callie is nonbinary, and dreams of becoming a knight like their famous father. But that’s just not how things are done in Helston, and that’s not about to change. Trapped by rigid rules of gender and magic, and with war on the horizon; Callie and their friends must band together to stand up for themselves and each other in the face of a system that would rather none of them exist at all.” – Rosalie, Public Services Clerk

Recommended for ages 8 – 12

The Moth Keeper by Kay O’Neill

“Kit has an important job in her desert community. She tends to the lunar moths who pollinate the village’s sacred tree. Yet she struggles with the long and lonesome nights that keep her separated from the people she cares about. This enchantingly illustrated tale weaves a beautiful story about the importance of community, nature, and friendship.” – Siena, Public Services Clerk

Siena also recommends:

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

Recommended age: 8 & up

The Real Riley Mayes by Rachel Elliot

“Fifth-grader Riley Mayes knows that she loves art and comedy, but at school she feels confused by crushes, haircuts, and new friendships. With help from her family and her favorite comedian, Riley finds a way to show her real self to her classmates and friends.” – Jo, Public Services Clerk

Recommended for ages 8 – 11

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

“When Bea’s whole world changes, her parents give her a notebook with “The list of things that will not change.” This list helps Bea navigate all the issues that cause her anxiety in 5th grade: her parents’ divorce, getting a new sister and family secrets. This book is full of unique, complex characters and timely issues that many kids deal with every day.” – Lesley, Children’s Specialist

Recommended for ages 9 and up

The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy

“Rahul is starting middle school and he’s feeling uneasy about it – will people like him? Can he truly be himself? His grandfather tells him to find something you’re good at and become the absolute BEST at it. Join Rahul in his journey to figuring out what he can be best at, with many laughs and tears along the way. You’ll be rooting for him all the way to the last page.” – Bernice, Children’s Librarian

Recommended for ages 10 and up

The Insiders by Mark Oshiro

“While fleeing from bullies at his new school, twelve-year-old Héctor Muñoz discovers a magical janitor’s closet that connects him with two other kids in different parts of the country facing similar issues. United through time and space, they work together to face these problems and learn how to advocate for themselves and others.”

Recommended for ages 10 and up

Films and Documentaries Featuring LGBTQ+ Stories

The Bellingham Public Library has a great selection of films to choose from, and also provides access for you to stream films from Kanopy! To find eFilms and eDocumentaries, use your library card to sign up with Kanopy, the Library’s source for free online videos. Access them on your computer, mobile device or TV.

Kanopy has great films centering the LGBTQIA experience for Pride Month. To explore these titles, visit Kanopy Pride Month selections. The Library’s DVD collection also features some fantastic movies that are available for you to browse in person!

Local LGBTQ Events

OUTSPOKEN: Queer Youth Open Mic

“Celebrate youth pride! Come share and hold space for this celebration and stage for young queer voices in our community.
All queer youth are invited to share poetry, music, or a story at our open mic night.”

Thursday, June 1, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. First Congregational Church 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham WA

Advance tickets required
Free to attend for all ages

Whatcom Youth Pride Parade and Festival

Do you identify as a LGBTQIA+ youth in Whatcom County? Or a youth ally? Come march and celebrate! The fun begins at Bellingham High School.

Saturday, June 3, 2023 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Trans Women, Non-Binary Fem, and Intersex Support Group

Every Tuesday; 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Inner Child Studio, 715 W Orchard Dr. Suite 2

An opportunity to connect and share your unique experience with other humans who have their own stories from which we all can learn. Offer support, friendship, affirmation, and kindness to each other and yourself.

Pride IN Bellingham

“Pride IN Bellingham attracts guests from all walks of life and of all ages who come together from Bellingham and across Washington State to celebrate the Pride Movement and LGBTQIA+ rights together.”

Pride IN Bellingham Events July 8 & 9, 2023

LGBTQ+ Resources

PFLAG of Whatcom County

PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed. We are working to make PFLAG Whatcom a haven of unity and acceptance through community collaboration. Because together we are strong.

Washington State LGBTQ Commission

The Washington State LGBTQ Commission works to improve the state’s interface with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, and intersex community, identify the needs of its members, and ensuring that there is an effective means of advocating for LGBTQ equity in all aspects of state government.

The Trevor Project

“A Lifeline for LGBTQ youth in crisis”. Providing information and support to LGBTQ youth 24/7, all year round.