By Cleve Jones
Cleve Jones’ memoir (or a book of stories, as he calls it) is an engrossing personal account of the U.S. LGBTQ movement. Jones covers everything from his 1960’s childhood in Arizona to his reaction to marriage equality being legalized in 2015.
As is expected in a memoir, there are triumphs and tragedies. It is genuinely inspiring to see how much has been gained in 50 years for LGBTQ people in the U.S. and how hard and bravely people worked, especially when it could cost someone their family, job, or life. The tragedies Jones describes are nothing short of devastating. Jones lived through the AIDS crisis and the assassination of his mentor, Harvey Milk. However, Jones’s rejection at the hands of his father, whom he assumed would be open-minded, is the saddest to read.
Despite some of the subjects, the book is a must read because of what it covers. In the books Acknowledgments, Jones writes that his generation is disappearing and that his purpose in writing the book was so that future generations will know what past activists went through- “What we fought for, what we lost, and what we won.” Books like this are needed not only to learn from the past and see how far we’ve progressed, but for inspiration to keep fighting.
You can find this book in our catalog here.