Read Proud: Memoirs & Biographies for Adults

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Staff Image

"Read Proud" thought bubble logo over rainbow background

 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh engages all of our communities in literacy and learning. Check out the titles below for contemporary memoirs of LGBTQIA+ individuals and ask your local librarian for more.

The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures

In a collection of essays and personal mini-comics that span eight years of her young adult life, author-illustrator Noelle Stevenson charts the highs and lows of being a creative human in the world. Whether it’s hearing the wrong name called at her art school graduation ceremony or becoming a National Book Award finalist for her debut graphic novel, Nimona, Noelle captures the little and big moments that make up a real life, with a wit, wisdom, and vulnerability that are all her own. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son

In this poignant and urgent love letter to his son, award-winning Broadway, TV and film producer Richie Jackson reflects on his experiences as a gay man in America and the progress and setbacks of the LGBTQ community over the last 50 years. When Jackson’s son born through surrogacy came out to him at age 15, the successful producer, now in his 50s, was compelled to reflect on his experiences and share his wisdom on life for LGBTQ Americans over the past half-century. You can also check out this title as eBook on Hoopla.

Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs

This is a book about dogs: the love we have for them, and the way that love helps us understand the people we have been. It’s in the love of dogs, and my love for them, that I can best now take the measure of the child I once was, and the bottomless, unfathomable desires that once haunted me. There are times when it is hard for me to fully remember that love, which was once so fragile, and so fierce. Sometimes it seems to fade before me, like breath on a mirror. But I remember the dogs. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

In the Dream House: A Memoir

In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla, as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby, and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life

Ryan O’Callaghan’s plan was always to play football and then, when his career was over, kill himself. Growing up in a politically conservative corner of California, the not-so-subtle messages he heard as a young man from his family and from TV and film routinely equated being gay with disease and death. Letting people in on the darkest secret he kept buried inside was not an option: better death with a secret than life as a gay man. Nearing the twilight of his career, Ryan faced the ultimate decision: end it all, or find out if his family and football friends could ever accept a gay man in their lives. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla and as eBook on Hoopla.

Something That May Shock and Discredit You

Daniel Mallory Ortberg is known for blending genres, forms, and sources to develop fascinating new hybrids–from lyric rants to horror recipes to pornographic scripture. In his most personal work to date, he turns his attention to the essay, offering vigorous and laugh-out-loud funny accounts of both popular and highbrow culture while mixing in meditations on gender transition, family dynamics, and the many meanings of faith. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby and as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir

Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one’s truest self. You can also check out this title as eBook on Overdrive/Libby.

What Is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life

In riveting close readings threaded with personal memoir and illuminated by awe, Doty reveals the power of Whitman’s persistent presence in his life and in the American imagination at large. How does a voice survive death? What Is the Grass is a conversation across time and space, a study of the astonishment one poet finds in the accomplishment of another, and an attempt to grasp Whitman’s deeply hopeful vision of human possibility. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Hoopla.

A Year Without a Name: A Memoir

For as long as they can remember, Cyrus Grace Dunham felt like a visitor in their own body. Their life was a series of imitations–lovable little girl, daughter, sister, young gay woman–until their profound sense of alienation became intolerable. Moving between Grace and Cyrus, Dunham brings us inside the chrysalis of gender transition, asking us to bear witness to an uncertain and exhilarating process that troubles our most basic assumptions about who we are and how we are constituted. Written with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs , A Year Without a Name is a potent, thrillingly unresolved queer coming of age story. You can also check out this title as eAudiobook on Overdrive/Libby.