Launched in fall 2020, our LGBTQ+ Reading Group is for members of our campus community (faculty, staff, and students) to learn more about gender, sexuality, the LGBTQ+ community, and identity through engaging novels, educational volumes, memoirs, and more.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
Our upcoming spring 2022 pick is Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. The first fifty members of the UT community who sign up below will receive a free copy of the book and be invited to our book discussion happening later in spring 2022. Please note that books will not be available for pick-up or shipping until January 24, 2022, the first day of classes. Signing up prior to that day secures your free copy!
About the book: When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Oya Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others’ emotions.
Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith… and a startling vision of human destiny.
Please be advised this book contains discussions of physical and sexual violence.
Our fall 2021 pick was Love Letter’s to Jane’s World by UT alum Paige Braddock.
About the book: Love Letters to Jane’s World is the essential Jane’s World collection debuting twenty years after Jane Wyatt first appeared in Paige Braddock’s trailblazing comic strip about a young lesbian woman making her clumsy way in the world and the friends who help (or hinder) her along the journey.
The Eisner-nominated Jane’s World was the first syndicated comic strip with a lesbian main character to appear in many major newspaper markets. This new volume collects the most quintessentially “Jane” storylines from the strip’s early, middle, and later years, and pairs them with “love letters” and notes of appreciation from notable fans.
Our summer 2021 read was Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
About the book: Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….
But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself. Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.
In spring 2021 our pick was Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera.
About the book: “Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to
her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself. Check out more about this book at Gabby Rivera’s website.
Our fall 2020 book selection was Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by author and activist Janet Mock. We had 89 students receive a copy of this book. For more information on the book, check out Janet’s website.