In The Club

Queer Histories

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed.

Y’all, we’re about to start Pride Month! *plays DJ horns* I love how joyous Pride is as a heritage month, but there is of course, still lots to learn about queer history. As we get ready to shanty-you-stay in all the glorious Pride events this month, I’ve got a few illuminating queer history books.

But first — a reminder to check out our new podcast First Edition. You can subscribe to First Edition on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or your podcatcher of choice.

Nibbles and Sips

spicy tuna on crispy rice bites

Crispy Rice Spicy Shrimp Bites by Seafood_Network

This is such a good idea for a light-feeling food that also feels kind of fancy. I love the combination of shrimp, sriracha, Kewpie mayo, and crispy rice. It’s also fairly simple, as all you need are:






– soy sauce

And a little technique!

cover of Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity by C. Riley Snorton

Here, Snorton details the rich history of Black transpeople, especially how they have been cut out of the narrative of trans and queer history. By using the narratives of enslaved people seeking freedom, Afro-modernist literature, journalism, and other sources, Snorton shows just how much race has determined how topics like queerness and gender have been represented.

cover of Our Work Is Everywhere: An Illustrated Oral History of Queer and Trans Resistance by Syan Rose

Our Work Is Everywhere: An Illustrated Oral History of Queer and Trans Resistance by Syan Rose

In this unique collection, Rose documents the many voices of queer people across the country. Various members of different queer and trans communities — from activists to artists to healers — speak on their experiences. We hear about the dire issue that is Black mental health, disability healthcare, the issues Pacific Islander writers face, and more — all illustrated through colorful and interesting artwork that embodies each individual.

cover of The Lavender Scare

The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government by David K. Johnson

This award-winning book shows how the U.S. has been in the business of homophobia. Many know, for instance, of the Red Scare, but the Lavender Scare of the ’50s was a similar moment in U.S. history when queer people were considered a threat to the country. Through declassified documents, interviews with people who worked in D.C. at the time, and a lot of research, Johnson details just how damaging this persecution was. He also highlights how it led to the Gay Rights movement.

sister outsider cover

Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

This collection of essays is essential reading for any intersectional feminist, queer history, Black history, or social justice reading list. In it, Lorde dissects the various ways each social justice movement — of the time, and now in many ways — falls short of their purported goals. She speaks about her experiences as a Black queer woman, and all the ways Western patriarchy is damaging. But she also offers a way towards healing, too.

Suggestion Section

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Looking for fascinating stories, informed takes, useful advice, and more from experts in the world of books and reading? Subscribe to Book Riot’s The Deep Dive to get exclusive content delivered to your inbox.

From book Riot:

I hope this newsletter found you well, and as always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_. You can also catch me talking more mess in the new In Reading Color newsletter as well as chattin’ with my new co-host Tirzah Price on the Hey YA podcast.

Until next time,