The Book of Pride is the outgrowth of Mason Funk's project OUTWORDS, an online archive of interviews with LGBTQ pioneers and elders who forged and witnessed LGBTQ history. It features people like Kay Lahusen, the first openly gay photojournalist in the United States. And Kylar Broadus, a black trans man and lawyer whose advocacy has resulted in fundamental legislative protections for trans people. And John James, publisher of AIDS Treatment News, which became a lifeline for people with AIDS and helped spur drug companies to take HIV seriously.
Funk's goal is to preserve queer history, to empower and inspire young queer people and--especially--to recognize the individuals and the work featured in this book. "We must build this archive as a permanent place of honor for the people who found the courage, strength and conviction to picture something better for themselves and who set out on the long, tumultuous, chaotic, unmapped journey to transform their vision into reality," he writes in the introduction.
Grouped in sections with titles like "Community," "Liberation," "Spirit" and "Survival," Funk's interviews represent a colorful, inspiring, pluralistic cross-section of backgrounds, goals, professions and sensibilities. There are club owners and community organizers; veterans and clergy; drag performers, authors, educators and lawyers. They contributed to the vibrancy of LGBTQ communities in cities, and lit beacons for those in rural areas. Some of them have worked to bring LGBTQ people into the mainstream, while others have resisted convention and affirmed their right to live in bold new ways. Together, they have--as the title of the book proclaims--changed the world. --Hannah Calkins, writer and editor