Get Your Queer On
What’s the one experience that everyone attending the ALA Annual Conference will share? The annual San Francisco’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride parade! One of the biggest LGBTQ parades in the world, this
one is likely to be even more festive than ever, fueled by the passage of
Ireland’s referendum permitting same-sex marriage and, perhaps, by a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage from the U.S. Supreme Court. The parade
kicks off at 10: 30 a.m. on Sunday at the intersection of Market Street and
Beale Street and proceeds down Market Street to 8th Street, in downtown
San Francisco, neatly bisecting the ALA Annual Conference, with the
Moscone Center on one side of Market Street and most of the conference
hotels on the other.
This is isn’t the first time ALA and Gay Pride have overlapped. Back in
1992, ALA also landed in San Francisco during Pride Week, and members
of what was then ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Task Force marched in
the parade and ended up on the cover of the July/August issue of American
Libraries, which elicited heated responses—both positive and negative—that
ran in the magazine for months. “After receiving your July/August issue, I
was shocked to see you glorifying and linking the homosexual movement
to the American Library Association,” one ALA member wrote.
Once again, members of ALA’s GLBT Round Table will be marching, but
also this year’s conference is chock full of queer programming. Start with
the preconference Rolling Out the Rainbow Carpet: Serving LGBTQ Communities (Friday, 8: 30 a.m.– 12 p.m., MC 132N), at which an all-star cast
will discuss programming, collection development, and outreach to gay,
lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer/questioning individuals.
Later that day, at the Opening General Session (4–5: 15 p.m., MC auditorium), Roberta Kaplan, Edie Windsor’s lawyer, will discuss her role in defeating the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the Supreme Court, the
subject of her forthcoming book.
And here’s a real sign of progress: we’re finally getting queer romances
that don’t end in tragedy, and you can hear all about them at a Saturday
Ignite Session: Not Another Sad Gay Love Story: LGBTQ+ Romances for
Your Library (Saturday, 11: 30 a.m.– 12 p.m., MC 130N).
Also on Saturday are sessions on the importance of collecting, preserving, and making available materials documenting the history of LGBTQ
activism, such as Curating Activism in LGBT History (1–2: 30 p.m., MC
3005W) and The History and Evolving Acceptance of Collecting LGBT
Materials in Libraries, a conversation among academic, public, and school
librarians about the past and present state of LGBTQ materials collection
in libraries (also 1–2: 30 p.m., at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square).
Transgender People at the Library: Moving from “Them” to “Us” (Saturday,
3: 30–5 p.m., MC 2004W) is designed to shift attendees’ understanding of
transgender people from a label to a more personal identity, enabling library
workers to better serve their patrons and their fellow coworkers.
All conferenced out? Then head over later on Saturday to the GLBTRT
Social (6:30–8: 30 p.m., Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch of the
San Francisco Public Library, 1 Jose Sarria Court).
Finally, don’t forget the Stonewall Book Awards Program (Monday,
10 a.m.- 12 p.m., MC 3005W), celebrating the very best in LGBTQ literature.
The Stonewall Book Awards are the first and longest enduring book award
series for LGBTQ writing.
And finally, for a great overview of events serving multicultural groups at
ALA, check out Loida Garcia-Febo’s list on her blog (loidagarciafebo.word-
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