Serena Freewomyn

10 Books Every Lesbian Should Read

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | December 18, 2007 10:47 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: lesbian books, lesbian history, lesbian sex, LGBTQ history

Inspired by Michael's list of 10 books every gay boy should read, I thought I'd put together a list for the ladies. Cuz hey, that's just how I roll.

Whether you're a seasoned lesbian, a gold-star member, or a fledgling baby dyke, here's a list of nonfiction books that will give you a better sense of our lesbian her-story, as well as books to increase your familiarity with your cooch. Enjoy!

1. On Our Backs Guide to Lesbian Sex: This guide gives you the ups
and downs on lesbian sex, including how to practice safer sex and even has
tips for flirting.

2. The Whole Lesbian Sex Book: Another great sexual health guide
for anyone who has a vagina and/or loves vaginas.

3. Making Gay History: As already noted by Michael.

4. Surpassing the Love of Men: A great history of "romantic
friendships" between women in the 18th and 19th centuries. Essentially,
any book by Lillian Faderman is a must read.

5. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: An oral history of women in
the Buffalo bar scene in the 1940's and 50's. Davis and Kennedy give an
interesting genealogy of butch/femme identity.

6. Coming Out to Parents: This is a great two-way guide for both
parents and children. I highly recommend it to anyone, no matter what age,
who wants to understand the coming out process.

7. Queer Theory: An Introduction: Annamarie Jagose gives a fairly
good primer on how we got from the homophile movement of the 1950's to the
queer movement of the early 1990's. A little dense in postmodern language,
but she does a good job of breaking it down.

8. And the Band Played On: Also already recommended by Michael.

9. Undoing Gender: Judith Butler's latest, this book is much
easier to understand than her earlier works. It explains her concept of
gender performativity and also explains where the LGBTQ movement should go
in a post 9-11 context.

10. Stone Butch Blues: Although it's fiction, this
semi-autobiographical narrative of Leslie Feinberg is a must read for
everyone!


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Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | December 18, 2007 1:37 PM

I swear that as I was reading this I could hear Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin singing "Sisters are Doing it for Themselves. This is a really great list.

Thanks for posting it Serena!

I think I'll post a separate list for fiction tomorrow.

Just saw theres a list for gay guys posted to so any thing out there for the Trans folk?

My American History: Lesbian and Gay Life During the Reagan/Bush Years
by Sarah Schulman - 1994

I think a primer for lesbian activits

Since I came out in the mid-1970s and was even part of a women's collective that ran a women's bookstore near IU Bloomington in the late 1970s, you'd think I would have read more than one of these!

Thanks for adding on to Michael's post, Serena. If you get a chance, go back in and add the author names so I can add these to my wishlist. :)

Cathy - we've asked a couple of the contributor's if they'd like to write a list. We'll see what we get!

I'd like to suggest a few MUST READS for lesbians--
Any book by Audre Lorde; This Bridge Called my Back, Moraga and Anzaldua; any book by Cherrie Moraga...