Alisha Boe Wants Straight Cis Allies to Check Out Queer and POC Book Recommendations

Netflix/David Moir

Actress Alisha Boe took to Instagram to share summer reading suggestions that highlight queer people of color stories.

Boe’s recommendations included a wide range of literature – a collection of essays and speeches, a fiction novel, a collection of interviews, and a memoir. Boe explained that in order to be a productive ally, we must actively educate ourselves, and one way to do that is to read the experiences of others. She also asked followers to comment on their queer people of color book recommendations.

 

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Happy Pride!! Here are some summer reading suggestions centering around queer poc stories. As a straight cis woman I’m actively educating myself on how to be a productive ally to the lgbtqia+ community. Beyond immersing myself in their stories, I find that it’s important to amplify queer voices, to listen and learn diligently, to actively educate myself on queer history, and to practice being actively anti-homophobic in spaces where my voice may hold privilege. We all should be continuously listening and learning. Pls lmk if you have any book recs centered around queer poc stories! (I’m obviously no graphic designer, and looking at this now, I realize the color combo makes the text hard to read sorry!!) BOOKS IN ORDER: Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin Queer & Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of our Lives – interviews by Nia King Redefining Realness – Janet Mock

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“As a straight cis woman I’m actively educating myself on how to be a productive ally to the lgbtqia+ community,” wrote Boe in a recent Instagram post. “Beyond immersing myself in their stories, I find that it’s important to amplify queer voices, to listen and learn diligently, to actively educate myself on queer history, and to practice being actively anti-homophobic in spaces where my voice may hold privilege. We all should be continuously listening and learning.”

The first book on Boe’s list is a collection of essays and speeches by Audre Lorde titled Sister Outsider. Lorde was a black lesbian activist, mother, cancer survivor, poet, and feminist writer, and this collection compiles her work from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Most of Lorde’s essays critique the white, academic community of feminists for overlooking blacks and gays and reimagines the dismantling of patriarchal thinking.

Boe also recommends the fiction novel Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, which tells the story of an American man living in Paris in the 1950s. The novel delves into the main character’s relationships with other men, especially Giovanni, an Italian bartender who he meets at a gay bar. It is a story of betrayal and redemption, aiming to show that although society may try to mold the definition of what love should look like and feel like, everyone has the choice to redefine love.

Another of Boe’s recommendations is Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives, which is a collection of 16 unique interviews by mixed-race queer activist Nia King. These interviews cover a wide range of topics, including fat burlesque, queer fashion, and interning at Playboy.

The final book on Boe’s summer reading suggestions is Janet Mock’s memoir Redefining Realness. This memoir draws on Mock’s experience as a trans woman to provide insight into the challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth.

It’s important to remember that even though Pride month is over, we should all continue to educate ourselves and be actively anti-homophobic.

Follow @alishaboe on Instagram to keep up to date!