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GLBT Autobiographies & Biographies

GLBT Autobiographies & Biographies

The autobiographies and biographies on this page are not necessarily from 'famous' people, but GLBT community members - sharing their diverse life experience. Please note: there are more Gay and Lesbian biographies in the separate gay and lesbian non-fiction sections. We hope you find a LGBT biography that peaks your interest on RainbowSauce. 

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These books are available from Canada, the UK and the USA, click your nearest flag for further reviews or purchase information. You can now click on any author on this page to view a complete listing of their published work!

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Leroy Aarons - Prayers for Bobby : A Mother's Coming to Terms With the Suicide of Her Gay Son - GLBT Non Fiction All Books by Leroy Aarons - Author of : Prayers for Bobby : A Mother's Coming to Terms With the Suicide of Her Gay Son
Paperback - 288 pages (September 1996) 
Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0062511238

"GLBT Autobiography/Biography: Bobby Griffith was an all-American boy ...and he was gay. Faced with an irresolvable conflict-for both his family and his religion taught him that being gay was "wrong"-Bobby chose to take his own life.
Prayers for Bobby, nominated for a 1996 Lambda Literary Award, is the story of the emotional journey that led Bobby to this tragic conclusion. But it is also the story of Bobby's mother, a fearful churchgoer who first prayed that her son would be "healed," then anguished over his suicide, and ultimately transformed herself into a national crusader for gay and lesbian youth.

As told through Bobby's poignant journal entries and his mother's reminiscences, Prayers for Bobby is at once a moving personal story, a true profile in courage, and a call to arms to parents everywhere."

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Ken Baker - Man Made: A Memoir of My Body - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Ken Baker - Author of : Man Made: A Memoir of My Body
Hardcover - 284 pages (March 1, 2001) 
J P Tarcher; ISBN: 1585420832

"GLBT Autobiography; Masculinity and Gender Studies - Sexual Dysfunction - The bracingly honest memoir of a star athlete who lived with a brain tumor that flooded his body with female hormones and sent him into a sexual netherworld from which he would emerge with insights about sexuality and manhood few could imagine."

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Betty Berzon - Surviving Madness : A Therapist's Own Story - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Betty Berzon - Author of : Surviving Madness : A Therapist's Own Story
Hardcover (March 2002) 
Univ of Wisconsin Pr; ISBN: 0299176207

"Queer Autobiography; Betty Berzon, renowned psychotherapist and author of the bestselling book Permanent Partners, tells her own incredible story here. Berzon’s journey from psychiatric patient on suicide watch—her wrists tethered to the bed rails in a locked hospital ward—to her present role as a groundbreaking therapist and gay pioneer makes for purely compelling reading...(continued)"

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A Brevard - The Woman I Was Not Born To Be: A Transsexual Journey - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Aleshia Brevard - Author of : The Woman I Was Not Born To Be: A Transsexual Journey
Paperback - 280 pages (February 2001) 
Temple Univ Press; ISBN: 1566398401

~*~ Featured Book Review ~*~
"Told with humor and flair, this is the autobiography of one transsexual's wild ride from boyhood as Alfred Brevard ("Buddy") Crenshaw in rural Tennessee to voluptuous female entertainer in Hollywood. Aleshia Brevard, as she is now known, underwent transitional surgery in Los Angeles in 1962, one of the first such operations in the United States. (The famous sexual surgery pioneer Harry Benjamin himself broke the news to Brevard's parents.)
Under the stage name Lee Shaw, Brevard worked as a drag queen at Finocchio's, a San Francisco club, doing Marilyn Monroe impersonations. (Like Marilyn, she sought romance all the time and had a string of entanglements with men.) Later, she worked as a stripper in Reno and as a Playboy Bunny at the Sunset Strip hutch.
After playing opposite Don Knotts in the movie The Love God, Brevard appeared in other films and broke into TV as a regular on the Red Skelton Show. She created the role of Tex on the daytime soap opera One Life To Live. As a woman, Brevard returned to teach theater at East Tennessee State, the same university she had attended as a boy.
This memoir is a rare pre-Women's Movement account of coming to terms with gender identity. Brevard writes frankly about the degree to which she organized her life around pleasing men, and how absurd it all seems to her now."

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Vern L. Bullough (Editor) - Risk Takers and Trend Setters: Biographies of Pre-Stonewall Gay Activists and Supporters - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Vern L. Bullough - Editor of : Risk Takers and Trend Setters: Biographies of Pre-Stonewall Gay Activists and Supporters
Hardcover: (November 2002)
Publisher: Harrington Park Pr; ISBN: 1560231939

"The 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City, which thrust the struggle for civil rights for homosexuals into the consciousness of North Americans, was so seminal an event that it is easy to forget that it did not occur in a vacuum. Editor Bullough (ed., Encyclopedia of Birth Control; coauthor, Sexual Attitudes) redresses this with a collection of 49 short biographies of activists, written by such authors as Felice Picano, James T. Sears, Wayne R. Dines, and Charley Shively. Included are not just gays, lesbians, and transgendered individuals but such figures as Alfred Kinsey, Evelyn Hooker, and Bullough himself, who, although not themselves gay, worked to reduce the stigma attached to homosexuality. Most of the names, with such exceptions as Kinsey, Allen Ginsberg, Christine Jorgensen, and perhaps Franklin Kameny, are undeservedly obscure. A few of the biographies are uneven or awkwardly brief, but overall they admirably convey the passion and commitment of these men and women. This inspiring chronicle of risk takers and trendsetters (the book's original title) merits a place in all history, gay and lesbian studies, and human sexuality collections."

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Jan Clausen - Apples and Oranges : My Journey To Sexual Identity - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Jan Clausen - Author of : Apples and Oranges : My Journey To Sexual Identity
Hardcover - 224 pages (January 26, 1999) 
Houghton Mifflin Co (Pap); ISBN: 0395827523

"GLBT Autobiography/Biography; When Jan Clausen, long-time lesbian activist and poet, left her lover of 12 years for a man, she was exiled, as she puts it, "from the Garden of Dykedom." Her social circle, her reputation, her writing career--all hinged on her public identity as a lesbian. "Public" rather than "sexual": Clausen casts her dilemma not in personal but in social terms, remarking at one point that people want to know "which version of me is real." In this elegant, sharply focused memoir, she recalls her early sexual life with men, her absorption in radical politics of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and her gradual cultivation of "protolesbian sentiments." As her feminist poetry gained notice, Clausen found "the promise of inclusion in a tiny, woman-only avant-garde more enticing than membership in an undifferentiated throng." Although she presents this book as an argument against the either/or model of sexuality, it is more an elegy for that lost sense of inclusion in a beleaguered minority. A thought-provoking and seductive work. --Regina Marler (Amazon.com)"

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John Colapinto - As Nature Made Him : The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by John Colapinto - Author of : As Nature Made Him : The Boy Who Was Raised As A Girl
Paperback - 304 pages (February 19, 2001) 
Harper Perennial; ISBN: 0060929596

"GLBT Autobiography; Once you begin reading As Nature Made Him, a mesmerizing story of a medical tragedy and its traumatic results, you absolutely won't want to put it down. Following a botched circumcision, a family is convinced to raise their infant son, Bruce, as a girl. They rename the child Brenda and spend the next 14 years trying to transform him into a her. Brenda's childhood reads as one filled with anxiety and loneliness, and her fear and confusion are present on nearly every page concerning her early childhood. Much of her pain is caused by Dr. Money, who is presented as a villainous medical man attempting to coerce an unwilling child to submit to numerous unpleasant treatments.
Reading over interviews and reports of decisions made by this doctor, it's difficult to contain anger at the widespread results of his insistence that natural-born gender can be altered with little more than willpower and hormone treatments. The attempts of his parents, twin brother, and extended family to assist Brenda to be happily female are touching--the sense is overwhelmingly of a family wanting to do "right" while being terribly mislead as to what "right" is for her. As Brenda makes the decision to live life as a male (at age 14), she takes the name David and begins the process of reversing the effects of estrogen treatments. David's ultimately successful life--a solid marriage, honest and close family relationships, and his bravery in making his childhood public--bring an uplifting end to his story. Equally fascinating is the latest segment of the longtime nature/nurture controversy, and the interviews of various psychological researchers and practitioners form a larger framework around David's struggle to live as the gender he was meant to be."

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Jayne County and Rupert Smith - Man Enough to be a Woman - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Jayne County, Rupert Smith - Authors of : Man Enough to Be Woman
Paperback: (April 1996)
Serpent's Tail; ISBN: 1852423382

"GLBT Autobiography; Life story of the world's first Rock 'n' Roll transsexual. An account of Jayne County's life from her cissy-boy childhood in Georgia to her current 90's renaissance."


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Angela Y. Davis - Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billies Holiday - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Angela Y. Davis - Author of : Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billies Holiday
Paperback - 427 pages (February 1999) 
Random House; ISBN: 0679771263

"GLBT Autobiography/Biography; The female blues singers of the 1920s, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, and Bessie Smith, not only invented a musical genre, but they also became models of how African American women could become economically independent in a culture that had not previously allowed it. Both Smith and Rainey composed, arranged, and managed their own road bands. Angela Y. Davis's study emphasizes the impact that these singers, and later Billie Holiday, had on the poor and working-class communities from which they came. The artists addressed radical subjects such as physical and economic abuse, race relations, and female sexual power, including lesbianism. Ma Rainey was well known as a lover of women as well as men, and her song "Prove It on Me" describes a butch woman who dresses like a man and dates women. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism places the fluid sexuality of these women within a larger context of African American artists' attempts to subvert and recreate America."

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Noelle Howey - Dress Codes : Of Three Girlhoods-- My Mother's, My Father's, and Mine - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Noelle Howey - Author of : Dress Codes : Of Three Girlhoods-- My Mother's, My Father's, and Mine
Hardcover - 368 pages (May 2002) 
Picador USA; ISBN: 0312269218

"GLBT Autobiography/Biography; If the only time you think you've seen a transsexual is on the Jerry Springer show, Noelle Howey's thoughtful, funny memoir of her suburban childhood with a cross-dressing dad may leave you wondering where all the fireworks are. The first half of Dress Codes is like anyone's story of parental neglect. "I had a dad possibly like yours," Howey explains, "sullen, sporadically hostile, frequently vacant." It was her loving mother who eventually confided her father's secret when Howey was 15, by which time it came as a relief that the remoteness, the drinking, the mood swings were not the young Noelle's fault, but the result of her father's constantly stifled "yearning for angora." Although the early chapters are interesting, Dress Codes really takes off at the halfway point, when her father realized he was not a heterosexual male transvestite, but a woman. His sexual transition, and the family's awkward adjustment to it--including the author's inability in high school to keep any secret aside from this One Big Secret--is written with warmth and insight, and colored with a lonely girl's lingering disappointment."

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Aphrodite Jones - All She Wanted (Boys Don't Cry) - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Aphrodite Jones - Author of : All She Wanted (Boys Don't Cry)
Mass Market Paperback - 317 pages (February 1998) 
Simon & Schuster (Paper); ISBN: 0671023888

"Transgender Biography; True Story Behind Brandon Teena and the Movie 'Boys Don't Cry - Click through for extensive book reviews."

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Bambi Lake, et al - Unsinkable Bambi Lake The: A Fairy Tale Containing the Dish on Cockettes, Punks and Angels - GLBT Non-Fiction All Books by Bambi Lake, Alvin Orloff, Exene Cervenka - Author of : Unsinkable Bambi Lake The: A Fairy Tale Containing the Dish on Cockettes, Punks and Angels
Paperback (June 1996) 
Manic D Press; ISBN: 0916397424

"Queer Autobiography; An engaging narrative that makes it difficult for the reader to put down. The fantastic quality of this book is not just the history and the story.. but how much the author's voice, wit, wisdom and beauty, comes across.. loud and clear.. it is like having a 200 page conversation with Bambi in your boudoir.. telling you all about the glam, the glitz, dish, and the juice of her fabulous life."

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