Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is celebrated every June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in New York, an important tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the U.S. Today, celebrations recognize the local, national and international impact of LGBTQ individuals.
SPL recognizes many terms for the LGBTQIAA2S+ community, all of which are valid and welcome. LGBTQ+ will be used throughout our materials for brevity.
Before the Americas
Honoring Two Spirit and Indigiqueer peoples in what we now call the Americas predates colonialism, before the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual+ terminology was introduced. The influence of colonialism has contributed to intolerance in many places, but communities on the whole are continuing, reclaiming and acknowledging relationality with Two Spirit and Indigiqueer existence in the past, present and future of Mother Earth, humanity, communities, ceremonies, traditions and stories. To be Two Spirit and Indigiqueer means to be an intrinsic connection of the biological and spiritual expressions of life.
Indigenous histories are often excluded in the telling of LGBTQIA+ history. LGBTQIA2S+ is an acronym used to recognize Two Spirit peoples as part of the queer community. There are other cultures and communities throughout the world who honor peoples of colonially divergent genders and identities. These identities are as diverse as the cultures from which they come, and the roots and influence of indigeneity are present through modern day.
Sacramento LGBTQ+ Community
In Sacramento, Lavender Heights emerged as the early building blocks for Sacramento’s LGBTQ+ community in the mid-1970’s. Lavender Heights was centered at 20th and K streets as it is today and was anchored by Christie’s Elbo Room (now Faces), the Western (now the Depot), and feminist bookstore Lioness Books. Beyond the confines of the Heights, the region’s LGBTQ+ community was further unified with the 1978 debut of Mom, Guess What?—the Capital City’s first public gay and lesbian publication. In 1979, the city’s first gay pride parade comprised of some 500 marchers started at 14th and I streets, continued down J Street and ending at Capitol Park. A surge in LGBTQ+ population in the 1980’s, the elections of members of the LGBTQ+ community to municipal positions, and the election of ally and Equal Rights Amendment proponent Mayor Anne Rudin showed considerable political traction for the community, another meaningful step toward acceptance. Today, Sacramento’s LGBTQIA community is embraced as vital to Sacramento’s diverse cultural and historical tapestry.
#OwnVoice Reading Recommendations
Celebrate Pride Month with us by reading books by LGBTQ+ authors. The following #OwnVoice book list was developed by the Sacramento Public Library’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Team. #OwnVoice specifies authors from under-represented and marginalized groups, who write from their own perspective and experiences. Author Corinne Duyvis is credited for starting the #OwnVoice movement in 2015.
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus
Neither By Arlie Anderson
My Rainbow by Trinity and DeShanna Neal
Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack
We encourage our community to explore Two Spirit and Indigiqueer authors, characters and podcasters such as All My Relations Podcast #6 Indigiqueer and:
The Gender Wheel: A Story about Bodies and Gender by Maya Christina Gonzalez
47,000 Beads by Koja Adeyoha (Oglala Lakota)
Cuando Amamos Cantamos / When We Love Someone, We Sing to Them by Ernesto Javier Martínez (Nahuatl)
The Moon Within by Aida Salazar (Mexica)
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar
Surviving the City series by Tasha Spillett-Sumner (Cree and Trinidadian)
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (Georgian Bay Métis Nation)
Love after the end: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction by Joshua Whitehead (Peguis First Nation)
A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder by Chacaby Ma-Nee.
More Reading Recommendations
BYOB Book Club
Join us on Zoom last Tuesday of each month for a themed virtual book club. Our virtual book club in June will honor Pride Month with Queer Reads. Read any fiction or nonfiction by or about people in the LGBTQ+ community and be ready to add to your to-read pile! Register in advance for this event.
The following local organizations provide services and support for the LGBTQ+ community.
DROP IN CENTERS
LGBTQ Drop in Center (Adults)
Sacramento LGBT Community Center
1015 20th Street, Sacramento, CA
LGBTQ Drop in Center (Youth)
Sacramento LGBT Community Center Q-Spot
1015 20th Street
The Ripple Effect
A Church for All
4704 Roseville Rd. Suite 110
North Highlands, CA
Sacramento LGBTQ Community Center
1927 L St.
Transgender Suicide Support Hotline
Zuna Institute is a National Advocacy Organization for Black Lesbians that was created to address the needs of black lesbians in the areas of Health, Public Policy, Economic Development, and Education.
Gender Health Center
2020 29th Street, Suite 201
In addition to affordable therapy and counseling, Gender Health Center provides assistance to individuals in the early stages of identifying one's sexuality to friends and family, and those struggling with gender variance.
Sacramento Native American Health Center
2020 J Street
Provides Transgender Care and Hormone Therapy, in addition to Two Spirit Talking Circles.
Our Lavender Collection offers hundreds of items for LGBTQ individuals, allies and those who want to learn about the community.
LGBTQ Magazine Archive
Archival runs of 26 of the most influential, longest-running serial publications covering LGBT interests. Includes the pre-eminent US and UK titles – The Advocate and Gay Times, respectively. Chronicles more than six decades of the history and culture of the LGBT community.
LGBTQ Studies in Video
A cinematic survey of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as well as the cultural and political evolution of the LGBT community. This first-of-its-kind collection features award-winning documentaries, interviews, archival footage and select feature films exploring LGBT history.
LGBTQ Thought and Culture
Resource hosting books, periodicals and archival materials documenting LGBT political, social and cultural movements throughout the twentieth century and into the present day.