Roanoke can turn to LGBTQ community center for queer literature

ROANOKE, Va. – LGBTQ books tend to make it on book ban lists.

But a library in Roanoke is protecting LGBTQ content to give people a chance to connect to literature.

The Roanoke Diversity Center offers more than 3,000 books featuring LGBTQ challenges and characters.

Library Manager Samantha Rosenthal even carries her own book, Living Queer History, which highlights testimonies from the LGBTQ community and their thoughts on the past.

According to Rosenthal, Jim Ricketson was a Roanoke gay man who collected LGBTQ books during the 1990s.

After he passed away in 2000, the library opened to the public in his honor.

“I think for a long time for LGBTQ people and maybe particularly here in Southwest Virginia it’s been hard to access material that shows we are part of the fabric of the community,” she said. “That we belong here.”

You can reach out to the Roanoke Diversity Center or visit the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project to explore the selection of literature.


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