Dear Queer: Queer Book Recommendations

An advice column about sexuality, gender, dating and overall queerness

By Mollie Whuppie /// Staff Writer

Dear Queer,

Do you have any book suggestions for summer (especially ones pertaining to queer theory stuff)?

— Queer-Bookworm

Dear Queer-Bookworm,

You asked the right person! Since there are tons and tons of books that I could suggest, I am going to limit it to some of my favorites. Now, this is not a canon or a representation of the entirety of queer lit. These are all books that I have read for class or on my own that have affected me and given me a vocabulary to discuss things like queer theory, the prison industrial complex, race, gender, oppression, women, family and my own sexual orientation. The genres here range from creative fiction to hardcore theory and statistical analysis. They are ordered by the year they were published.

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (1927)

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (1968)

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks (1981)

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (2003)

Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others by Sara Ahmed (2006)

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano (2007)

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof (2009)

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow (2010)

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (2010)

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay (2014)

In life, we are influenced by and subject to certain privileges, systemic oppressions and identities. Whether you’re a Republican, a lesbian, a father, a college graduate, a muslim, an immigrant, or a veteran, you are a person. A human being with feelings, needs and a heart that is pumping blood throughout your body. What I’m trying to say is we need to stick together.

So, as I move closer to the end of the semester and the end of my time here at LC, I think it’s important to remember something my mother always quotes to me from the Bible (and no, this is not from one of our E&D readings): “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its mold….” Now I say it to you — hold on to the experiences that have forged your identity to this point.

Who will you be when shit hits the fan in the form of a zombie apocalypse? Or in a recession when you lose your job? Will you still strive to understand instead of being understood? Will you continue to keep an open mind to those different from you? Will you acknowledge your privilege as a college graduate and strive to use it to make the world a better and more equal place? How will you choose to act and respond towards those around you? The choice is yours.

Though we will each interpret this question differently, and act accordingly, I believe that all of us have the tools to respond to it. To question our actions, learn from our mistakes and set forth in this world to make use of our liberal arts education and change the world.

Your Queer,

Mollie Whuppie, aka Seraphie Allen (‘15)

 

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