Aug 10, 2022
Stories written by and about members of the 2SLGBTQ+ communities can be found in all genres of literature. Many of these works center on a coming out story, or the story of a person on the cusp of adulthood. But what happens after someone’s been out for most of their adult life or comes out when they are older? What do these stories look like? To celebrate Capital Pride, and the older adults who are part of our city’s vibrant 2SLGBTQ+ community, the Ottawa Public Library has compiled a list of books that feature senior 2SLGBTQ+ folks as protagonists or prominent characters. It is not an exhaustive list, but it does include characters who are well into adulthood and experiencing life from that perspective.
Featuring characters of all ages from across the rainbow spectrum, the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin is among the best-known chronicles of 2SLGBTQ+ life across several decades. The first book was written in 1978 and the last in 2014 and throughout the series we see the lives of the characters unfold against the backdrop of an ever-changing socio-cultural landscape. Rainbow Rainbow, a collection of short stories by Lydia Conklin, shows the complexity of the queer experience from a variety of 2SLGBTQ+ perspectives. Glimmerings: Trans Elders Tell Their Stories, edited by Margot Wilson and Aaron Devor, is a collection of stories told by fifteen trans elders. Fans of mysteries and police procedurals will enjoy Lies with Man by Michael Nava. Set in the late 1980s, it tells a story of Henry Rios, a gay, middle-aged, Mexican American defense attorney in California. Book three in a series, Lies with Man touches on many aspects of gay life during this time, including the fight against HIV/AIDS discrimination. Along with Glimmerings, this book underscores the point that there is nothing “modern” about 2SLGBTQ+ folks, who have always been an integral part of our society. More titles can be found further down, but these are good bets!
We hope you enjoy some books from this list, and if you have some suggestions, we’d love to hear about them. During the month of August, the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, located at 120 Metcalfe St., will have a display of books, in English and in French, by and about older members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We hope to see you at the branch!