Category: News

Lu’s Picks for Transgender Awareness Week!

Every November we celebrate Transgender Awareness Week! This week exists to raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and to address the issues the community faces.

Our staffer Lu has put together this list of 11 books that they feel represents this week. All authors are trans and the last three titles are for the allies!

Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution, Susan Stryker

Susan Stryker is my hero. She’s given us an extremely well written and researched history of transgender people in the United States. Stryker offers concise and accessible coverage of trans people in society from the 1850s on to modern day. History is needed for trans liberation to occur!


Little Fish, Casey Plett

Casey Plett rocks and is an amazing novelist. She won a Lamba Literary Award for her first work of short stories [A Safe Girl to Love] and here she gives us a whole novel! All I’ll say is: Complex trans women characters, identity and family issues, and trans futures.


Transcendent 3: The Year’s Best Transgender Themed Speculative Fiction, edited by Bogi Takács

Another collection of trans/genderqueer speculative fiction stories!! I’m literally thrilled about this new book considering how much I enjoyed the first two! We got a whole anthology of non-cis experiences: “from an intergalactic art heist to the everyday life of a trans woman through the lens of horror movies; non-binary parenting in the far future, to a unique method of traveling back to the past.” Fun genre tropes including and/or subverted by transness? Yes please!


To my Trans Sisters, edited by Charlie Craggs

Here’s the most loving compilation of advice from dozens of angelic, thriving trans women, written for trans women! Laura Jane Grace, Isis King, Marci Bowers, Bionka Simone, and soo many others share their words and experiences in solidarity and hope. Jennifer Finney Boylan describes this book best: “A love letter to our community from the women who understand.”


Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotica, edited by Tobi Hill-Meyer

In this exciting new piece of trans media there are 30 stories that offer revolutionary erotic fantasies by trans people, about trans people, and for trans people at the crossroads of history, biology, anxiety, and love. This collection serves as a breath of fresh and necessary air, counteracting so much alienation through healing and hot stories.


I’m afraid of Men, Vivek Shraya

The beautiful Shraya, a trans artist, explores how masculinity was imposed on her as a child and illustrates the trauma caused by a life oppressed by misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. Through her perspective Shraya gives a beautiful re-imagining of gender for the twenty-first century.


How to Understand Your Gender: A Practical Guide for Exploring Who You Are, Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker

I’ve found this book to be a great way to explore, learn, and support myself through the tough and vulnerable process of digging into my gender identity. It’s full of resources, easy explanations of terminology, reflecting points, and just comprehensive information! I fully recommend it to get the language and understanding to express your gender identity.


101 alternatives to suicide for teens, freaks, and other outlaws, Kate Bornstein

Who doesn’t want and need positive encouragement? I love it. In the words of Sara Quin, “I take strength from this confident, honest book and from Kate’s success as a compassionate human being who has courageously spoken out for all of us living outside of the box. We are being offered alternatives and insight from an ally who has been there and survived.” My hot take: Kate Bornstein is an amazing trans elder and this book is fun and empowering.


For the allies

Gender Diversity and Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace: The Essential Guide for Employers, Sarah Gibson and J. Fernandez

Support trans people by informing yourself on how to create an inclusive work environment! It’s based on new research on non-binary inclusion within businesses so it gives new info and a business case for inclusion. So… slip it under the door of your boss! Really though – if you have any say in employing others, you need this book!


“You’re in the Wrong Bathroom!”: And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions about Transgender and Gender-nonconforming People, Laura Erickson-Schroth, Laura A. Jacobs

A wonderful and straightforward dispelling of harmful myths! This book offers you a chance at a greater understanding of the trans experience in accessible language and easy format. Through this read, you’ll push back against the ill-informed prejudice society has taught you!


A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson

For you or anyone you know who may be struggling to get a grasp on this concept! Through a disarming comic-book style, get a grasp on they/them pronouns and find alternatives to gendered language. It’s a guide in the format of a dialogue between best friends and it’s honestly so cute, fun, and easy!


Books Everyone Should Read for LGBT History Month

October is quickly approaching, and so we decided to put together a list of books everyone should read for LGBT History month. Do you have these titles on your bookshelf?


How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS

How to Survive a Plague by David France provides a detailed account of the activists fighting to stop the AIDS epidemic. Thoroughly researched and expansive, France gives insider insight into the harrowing fight for the rights and lives of people with a positive diagnosis.


Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

Lillian Faderman’s Gay Revolution documents the struggle for LGBTQ rights in the United States. Using interviews from key figures, from politicians to legal activists to members of the community, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
Out in the Union by Miriam Frank tells the story of queer Americans in the labor force and their activism for their rights in the workforce. Frank explores the intersections of the labor and LGBTQ movement, including not only coming but also discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and access to healthcare for same-sex couples.

When We Rise: My Life in the Movement

In Cleve Jones’ memoir, When We Rise, he recounts his dive into politics in San Francisco, as well as his first-hand account of the AIDS epidemic and his efforts to raise awareness through The AIDS Memorial Quilt and The AIDS Foundation. This moving book tells the intimate story of a prolific figure in the LGBT movement.

Susan Stryker’s comprehensive Transgender History chronicles the history of transgender folks starting from the 20th century to today. Stryker covers medical, political, as well as cultural struggles and advancements in this informative book.
Homintern by Gregory Woods details how homosexuality in the twentieth-century influenced greater Western culture. Crossing continents, languages, and nearly a century, Woods’ expansive study demonstrates how the visibility of gay people in the arts and creative fields has changed the course of global history.
Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner advocates for bisexual people and against the stigma and prejudice they face from both straight and homosexual communities. Eisner’s approach illuminates the intersections between bisexuality and feminism, transgender, and queer studies to provide a radical manifesto for the bisexual community.
Queer Brown Voices illuminates the intersections of race, ethnicity, nationality, and immigration within queer studies. Focusing on the myriad of voices in the LGBT Latinx community, this book is as accessible as it is interesting.

Queer: A Graphic History

Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele’s Queer: A Graphic History provides an overview of the LGBTQ movement in graphic novel form. This incredibly accessible book that is both an informative and entertaining way to learn about landmark moments and theories in queer history.

The Disappearing L by Bonnie J. Morris investigates the rise and fall of lesbian and women-only spaces, such as festivals, bookstores, and support spaces created in the 1970’s. Morris interrogates why, when LGBTQ acceptance is on the rise with the passage of marriage equality and the repeal of DADT, lesbian orientated spaces are closing up shop.

New Arrival! Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man

In this groundbreaking new book, Thomas Page McBee, a trans man, trains to fight in a charity boxing match at Madison Square Garden while struggling to untangle the vexed relationship between masculinity and violence. Through his experience boxing—learning to get hit, and to hit back; wrestling with the camaraderie of the gym; confronting the betrayals and strength of his own body—McBee examines the weight of male violence, the pervasiveness of gender stereotypes, and the limitations of conventional masculinity.

“With Thomas as your gloved guide, you’ll peer into locker rooms, through ropes, and at douchebags challenging strangers to sidewalk beatdowns. … McBee explores why men so frequently confuse violence with power and why being a man ought to rely on a willingness to spar, first and foremost, with one’s own shadow.”
—Myriam Gurba, author of Mean

“Until I read this book, I didn’t realize how tired I was of reading about masculinity as cold, hard, and fixed.”
—Ann Friedman, New York magazine columnist and cohost of Call Your Girlfriend

Order your copy online now or stop by the store today!

Grey Gardens Ticket Give Away Spectacular!!!

Just two weeks away from the big event, and we got to thinking: who is the BIGGEST GREY GARDENS FAN IN THE WORLD? What a better way to find out than a free give away contest! That’s right! FREE (you Dirty lil’ Cheapskates)!
This is your chance to win two VIP tickets — that includes a ticket to the screening on July 19th, as well as a signed copy of Marble Faun of Grey Gardens: A Memoir of the Beales, the Maysles Brothers, and Jacqueline Kennedy, a Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room tote bag, and complimentary wine at a meet and greet with the authors!
These are the rules:
  • Post a creative video where you’re dressed as your favorite character from the film. BECOME THE CHARACTER and tell us why you deserve to be named THE BIGGEST GREY GARDENS FAN.
  • Post your video on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, but make sure to tag both of our stores!
  • Videos should be no longer than 60 seconds.
  • Your video must be uploaded by Friday, July 13th at 11:59pm.
  • The winner will be announced on Monday, July 16th.

This is your big CHANCE!

Ten Books for Pride 2018

One way to recognize LGBTQ+ communities is to make sure their voices are heard, so for Pride Month 2018 we have put together a list of books we think are worth reading (or re-reading) this summer. Here are ten books for your Pride 2018, in no particular order:

We the Animals

Justin Torres’ first novel was a big hit when it was released seven years ago, and if you have not had the chance to read it yet, you should do so before the film version is released this summer. We think the movie, like the novel, is going to be a big deal!

In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology

Joseph Beam’s In the Life remains one of the best collections to explore what it means to be both black and gay in the US. This book is especially important to us, because Joseph used to work here at the store.


Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic

A best seller since it was released, this is truly fantastic collection for, by, and about trans people.

Bingo Love

This is a heart warming story of love at first sight that takes a lifetime to mature.

World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America

The World Only Spins Forward explores the importance, and resurgence of, the ground breaking play Angels in America.

Harvey Milk: His Lives and Death

Lillian Faderman’s new and comprehensive look at this LGBT icon is a great pick for fans of history and biographies.

Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-Making

A long overdue look at the contribution of African American Lesbian media-making.

Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color

A great anthology of our most important poets!


This year’s Pulitzer Prize Winner is hands down hilarious, and now out in paperback!

La Bastarda

The first novel by an Equatorial Guinean woman to be translated into English, a fantastic edition to any LGBT library.