Skip to Main Content

Pride! Celebrate LGBTQ+ with the Library

Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk at Gay Pride San Jose, June 1978 (cropped)mans face smiling black and white

Harvey Milk was a major figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ civil rights. Milk got elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and was passionate about many issues besides gay rights, such as education, public transit, and low income housing. Sadly Milk's career was cut short after he was murdered by a rival politician. Years after his death, Milk remains well-known in the fight for gay rights and in 2009 posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given by president Barack Obama for his bravery in leading the fight for gay rights. It is the highest civilian honor in the USA. 

Source: Biography in Context: Harvey Milk

Photo of Harvey Milk Harvey Milk at Gay Pride San Jose, June 1978 CC BY SA

Bayard Rustin

african american man with glasses wearing a suit and tie
Bayard Rustin at news briefing on the Civil Rights March on Washington in the Statler Hotel. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division PD


(March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) was an African American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights. Rustin worked with the March on Washington Movement, in 1941, to press for an end to racial discrimination in employment. Rustin later organized Freedom Rides, and helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to strengthen Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership and teaching King about nonviolence; he later served as an organizer for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Rustin was a gay man and, due to criticism over his sexuality, he usually acted as an influential adviser behind the scenes to civil-rights leaders. In the 1980s, he became a public advocate on behalf of gay causes, speaking at events as an activist and supporter of human rights.
Retrieved from Wikipedia, February 10, 2023

Maura Healey

governor maura healey of massachusetts with arms foldedMaura Healey is the Governor of Massachusetts. Healey ran for attorney general in 2014 and won, which made her the first openly gay attorney general in the country. 

Source: Biography in Context: Maura Healey



Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution!

A picture book telling the story of Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, the transgender women of colour who fought for LGBTQ+ equality. Depicting the events that surrounded the Stonewall Riots, this is a playful introduction to trans identities and LGBTQ+ history for young children.

The Mayor of Castro Street

The Mayor of Castro Street is Shilts's acclaimed story of Harvey Milk, the man whose personal life, public career, and tragic assassination mirrored the dramatic and unprecedented emergence of the gay community in America during the 1970s. Known as "The Mayor of Castro Street" even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk's personal and political life is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope.

Magnus Hirschfeld

Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was one of the first great pioneers of the gay liberation movement. He was an early champion of women's rights, campaigning in the early 1900s for the decriminalization of abortion and the right of female teachers and civil servants to marry and have children. By 1933 Hirschfeld's commitment to sexual liberation made him a target for the Nazis. This biography follows Hirschfeld from his birth to the heights of his career during the Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism. Ralf Dose illuminates Hirschfeld's ground-breaking role in the gay liberation movement.

Travels in a Gay Nation

For two years, Philip Gambone traveled the length and breadth of the United States, talking candidly with LGBTQ people about their lives. In addition to interviews from David Sedaris, George Takei, Barney Frank, and Tammy Baldwin, Travels in a Gay Nation brings us lesser-known voices--a retired Naval officer, a transgender scholar and "drag king," a Princeton philosopher, two opera sopranos who happen to be lovers, an indie rock musician, the founder of a gay frat house, and a pair of Vermont garden designers. 

Rainbow Warrior

In 1978, Harvey Milk asked Gilbert Baker to create a unifying symbol for the growing gay rights movement, and on June 25 of that year, Baker's Rainbow Flag debuted at San Francisco's Gay Freedom Day Parade. Baker had no idea his creation would become an international emblem of liberation, forever cementing his pivotal role in helping to define the modern LGBTQ movement. Rainbow Warrior is Baker's passionate personal chronicle, from a repressive childhood in 1950s Kansas to a harrowing stint in the US Army, and finally his arrival in San Francisco, where he bloomed as both a visual artist and social justice activist.