“The Book of Pride” by Mason Funk— The Heroes of the Gay Rights Movement

Funk, Mason. “The Book of Pride: LGBTQ Heroes Who Changed the World, “, Harper One, 2019.

The Gay Rights Movement

Amos Lassen

In “The Book of Pride”, writer Mason Funk captures the true story of the gay rights movement from the 1960s to the present by the use of detailed, interviews with the leaders, activists, and ordinary people who were part of the movement. There are the people that made it happen. They fought battles both personal and political, many times without the support of family or friends and under the threat of violence and persecution. By highlighting these stories of bravery and determination, we see a human face on the Pride movement. Likewise we honor that chapter in our history thus giving us the chance to see the power that is in each of us. In effect, we are called upon to look within ourselves and to discover our own courage in order to create positive change. (This is especially important for today’s LGBTQ youth). It is also important in that we see how important in ensuring that the history of the LGBTQ movement can never be erased. Hopefully that by reading about those who have done so much will inspire others to resist all forms of oppression with pride.

Mason Funk has chosen to concentrate on 75 leaders and activists on the front lines of the LGBTQ movement from the 1960’s to the present. We have wonderful photographs and interviews that have been compiled by  OUTWORDS, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the stories of LGBTQ people. 

Of the 75 individuals featured here, we have marriage pioneer Evan Wolfson, trans icon Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Stonewall-era rabble-rouser Mark Segal and legendary anti-DADT activist Grethe Cammermeyer among others. These LGBTQ icons frequently fought battles often while under the threat of violence and persecution.  Just by mentioning their names, we honor them but this book goes a step further and lets us actually hear from them. What they have to say is our history.

This is just one of the many books coming out now and are related to this year’s Pride celebrations that honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall revolts. While Stonewall is important on its own, it is not the sole incident that led to liberation. I feel it is important to know as much as we can and here is a book that will help you do so.

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