A Pride Month collection on display at Riverhead Free Library Photo: Alek Lewis

The Riverhead Free Library is celebrating Pride Month with a display of a special collection of books and DVDs focused on the experience of the LGBTQ community.

“We wanted to put books in there that represent everybody,” librarian Kelsy Holts said. The books and dvds on display are a mix of fiction and non-fiction that represent different gender and sexual identities.

June was declared Pride Month to commemorate the anniversary of the June 1969 Stonewall Riots, when members of the gay community fought back against police who raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bars in New York City. The six days of protests and violent riots sparked the gay rights movement.

Holts and Cher Armstrong were two of the librarians who helped pick the collection. They said they wanted to highlight some of the rarer queer identities, like asexuality, where someone doesn’t experience sexual attraction, and intersex, where people have bodily or anatomy variations that fit outside of the male and female binary.

“We just want to put out the message that everyone is welcome here and everyone feels included,” Armstrong said. She said this is especially true with teens and people in their early-20s. “They are the ones who are still figuring out who they are,” she said. 

The books also highlight the lives of famous LGBTQ individuals, like Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who was either gay or bisexual. The display also includes the DVD of Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman, a biographical film about Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, who was in a polyamorous relationship with the two women who inspired his iconic comic book character.

The poster at the center of the display was designed by Holts and the pride bookmarks were designed by librarian Andrea Hill. 

The library’s Adult Programming Department has two events planned for Pride Month: an adult drag queen hour on Friday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. and LGBT 101 on Tuesday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m..

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]