We've put together a reading list of books about queer and trans politics, history, and liberation, offered in solidarity with everyone across the world standing up against injustice. For the month of June, we’re glad to offer 40% Off the Haymarket titles on this list!
The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black lesbian feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s.
"If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free." —Combahee River Collective Statement
There are trans people here in the past, the present, and the future. H. Melt’s writing centers the deep care, love, and joy within trans communities. This poetry collection describes moments of resistance in queer and trans history as catalysts for movements today.
What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing? Let This Radicalize You is a practical and imaginative resource for activists and organizers building power in an era of destabilization and catastrophe.
Abolition. Feminism. Now. is a celebration of freedom work, a movement genealogy, a call to action, and a challenge to those who think of abolition and feminism as separate—even incompatible—political projects.
Saving Our Own Lives, an anthology of essays from long-time organizer Shira Hassan, tells the stories of how sex workers, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, queer folks, trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people are – and have been – building systems of change and support outside the societal frameworks of oppression and exploitation.
In a series of journal entries—some original passages, others revisited and expanded in retrospect—renowned writer and poet Cherrié Moraga details her experiences with pregnancy, birth, and the early years of lesbian parenting.
Powerhouse, world-renowned queer poet and spoken-word artist Staceyann Chin curates the first full-length collection of her poems.
An indispensable history and contemporary guide to the struggle for authentic sexual equality and liberation.
This heart wrenchingly vivid account of one man's arrest and imprisonment by the Nazis for the crime of homosexuality, now with a new foreword by Sarah Schulman, is an essential contribution to gay history and our understanding of historical fascism, as well as a remarkable and complex story of survival and identity.
Recent victories for LGBT rights have gone faster than most people imagined possible. Yet the accompanying rise of gay 'normality' has been disconcerting for activists with radical sympathies. This book shows how the successive 'same-sex formations' of the past century and a half have led both to the emergence of today's 'homonormativity' and 'homonationalism' and to ongoing queer resistance.
A BreakBeat Poets anthology of writings by Muslims who are women, queer, genderqueer, nonbinary, and/or trans.
How do you imagine trans liberation while living in a cis world? On My Way To Liberation follows a gender nonconforming body moving through the streets of Chicago. From the sex shop to the farmers market, the family dinner table to the bookstore, trans people are everywhere, though often erased. Writing towards a trans future, H. Melt envisions a world where trans people are respected, loved and celebrated every day.
Women’s sexuality is often used as a weapon against them. In this powerful debut, Britteney Black Rose Kapri lends her unmistakable voice to fraught questions of identity, sexuality, reclamation, and power, in a world that refuses Black Queer women permission to define their own lives and boundaries.
What is political poetry and linguistic activism? What does it mean to bear witness through writing? When language proves insufficient, how do we find and articulate a pathway forward?
Further reading recommendations:*
The Politics of Everybody by Holly Lewis — Boldly calling for a new, materialist queer theory, Lewis defines a politics of liberation that is both intersectional, transnational, and grounded in lived experience.
Let the Record Show by Sarah Schulman — Twenty years in the making, Sarah Schulman's Let the Record Show is the most comprehensive political history ever assembled of ACT UP and American AIDS activism.
Transgender Marxism edited by Jules Joanne Gleeson and Elle O'Rourke — The first collection of its kind, Transgender Marxism is a provocative and groundbreaking union of transgender studies and Marxist theory.
Miss Major Speaks by Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and Toshio Meronek — A document of Stonewall veteran Miss Major’s brilliant life and a roadmap for the challenges Black, brown, queer and trans youth will face on the path to liberation.
Bad Gays by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller — An unconventional history of homosexuality that expands and challenges mainstream assumptions about sexual identity.
The Women's House of Detention by Hugh Ryan — This singular history of a prison, and the queer women and trans people held there, is a window into the policing of queerness and radical politics in the twentieth century.
Sexual Hegemony by Christopher Chitty — Christopher Chitty traces the five-hundred year history of capitalist sexual relations by excavating the class dynamics of the bourgeoisie's attempts to regulate homosexuality.
Love's Next Meeting by Aaron S. Lecklider — Combining rich archival research with inventive analysis of art and literature, Love’s Next Meeting explores the relationship between homosexuality and the Left in American culture between 1920 and 1960.
The Stonewall Reader edited by the New York Public Library — For the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an anthology chronicling the tumultuous fight for LGBTQ rights in the 1960s and the activists who spearheaded it, with a foreword by Edmund White.
Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left by Emily K. Hobson — LGBT activism is often imagined as a self-contained struggle, inspired by but set apart from other social movements. Lavender and Red recounts a far different story: a history of queer radicals who understood their sexual liberation as intertwined with solidarity against imperialism, war, and racism.
Histories of the Transgender Child by Jules Gill-Peterson — Uncovers a previously unknown twentieth-century history when transgender children not only existed but preexisted the term transgender and its predecessors, playing a central role in the medicalization of trans people, and all sex and gender.
Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton — In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.
Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by Kate Bornstein — Gender Outlaws includes essays, commentary, comic art, and conversations from a diverse group of trans-spectrum people who live and believe in barrier-breaking lives.
Towards a Gay Communism by Mario Mieli — First published in Italian in 1977, Mario Mieli's groundbreaking book is an early landmark of revolutionary queer theory - now available for the first time in a complete and unabridged English translation.
Homosexuality: Power and Politics edited by the Gay Left Collective — After the leading organisations of radical sexual politics—the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Marxist Group—imploded or dissolved, the Gay Left Collective formed a research group to make sense of the changing terrain of sexuality and politics. Its goal was to formulate a rigorous Marxist analysis of sexual oppression, while linking the struggle against homophobia with a wider array of struggles, all under the banner of socialism.
Faculty and instructors interested in adopting Haymarket titles for their courses can request Exam and Desk copies directly from our distributor, here.
*discount doesn’t apply to titles from other publishers!