A round-up of September’s most intriguing LGBT books, music, events, and movies


I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel

(Children’s book coming out September 4)

I Am Jazz is a children’s book that tells the true story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender child. Jazz has been the face for transgender children ever since she appeared on 20/20 in 2007. Now this book makes her story accessible to other children as well.

Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

(CNN documentary airing September 4 at 9pm ET)

Kristin Beck was a Nave SEAL for 20 years, serving in the special counterterrorism unit SEAL Team Six. After retiring, she began transitioning and came out in 2013 (by posting a picture of herself as a woman on LinkedIn). She has since written a memoir titled Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming out Transgender. Lady Valor is CNN’s documentary about her experiences and life now.

Not Enough!

(Queer music and arts festival on September 7)

Not Enough! in Portland invites everyone in the LGBT community to collaborate, experiment, and actively create culture. The festival features music, film, and a gallery.

Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones

(Poetry coming out September 9)

Saeed Jones is the editor of BuzzFeed’s LGBT blog and a poet. In NPR’s ecstatic review of Jones’ new poetry collection, Amal El-Mohtar stated, “There are too many exceptional poems here to single out, and not a single one that didn’t impress me; to itemize them would be something akin to admiring individual stitches in a fabulous piece of couture.” The poems form a loose narrative of Jones’s childhood as a queer African-American boy in the South. Here’s our review, which contains enough samples to whet your appetite. 


(Amazon Prime series debuting September 16)

This Amazon series is written and produced by Jill Soloway, the woman who helped produce both Six Feet Under and The United States of Tara. Buzz has been building around the show ever since the pilot episode came out in February, and we shared our excitement about it last month. In the pilot, Mort is the recently divorced father of three grown children. He invites them all over for dinner, where he tells them he’s going to share some heavy news. The kids expect to hear that he has cancer, but as he squashes those fears they break into bickering and leave before he’s revealed his secret: he is transitioning into a woman named Maura. The show promises to be a three-dimensional portrayal of a trans character intended for mainstream audiences—a pretty exciting prospect indeed.


(Movie coming September 19) 

In 1984, a group of miners in South Wales began the longest strike in British history. Their largest supporters? A gay and lesbian group from London, who donated more money than any other fundraiser for the cause, painted a minibus with the words “Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners,” and drove down to show solidarity. This movie, directed by Tony Award-winning Matthew Warchus, tells the true story of two minority groups in a Welsh mining town that came together and conquered prejudice in the ‘80’s.  

Mary Lambert

(Music tour September 20-October 17)

Mary Lambert, who just headlined the Luscious queer music festival, is on tour this month, making stops in New York City; Salem, MA; Thousand Oaks, CA; San Francisco, CA; and Albany, NY. Even if you don’t know her name, you definitely know her voice—she sang the chorus of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s hit song “Same Love” (the part that goes “I can’t change/even if I tried/even if I wanted to/my love, my love, my love”). Since breaking out, she has released a poppy single, “Secrets.”

Folsom Street Fair

(The world’s largest leather event, September 21 from 11am-6pm)

The world’s largest leather event happens this month in San Francisco. Around 400,000 leather and fetish enthusiasts will hit Folsom Street to mingle with likeminded people in a safe space (or just to gawk). There will be indie music, including MNDR and Austra, two EDM stages, and a performance stage for erotic artists. Clothing is optional, with three different coat and clothes checks. Proceeds from the Folsom Street Fair benefit Hospitality House, Project Open Hand, Dolores Street Community Services, National AIDS Memorial Grove, and Paws, among other charities.

Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow

(Memoir coming September 23)

Charles Blow, a regular editorial writer for the New York Times, first began writing this book during his two years commuting from Brooklyn to DC for a job with National Geographic. His inspiration to begin writing his life story came when two 11-year-old boys hung themselves after homophobic bullying at school. Blow recounts his own life growing up in the South poor, black, and sexually conflicted.

Advanced Style

(Movie coming out September 26)

We have written previously about Ari Seth Cohen’s blog of “the most stylish and creative older folks” on the streets of New York, which has led to a documentary on stylish older women who aren’t afraid to stand out. A woman sitting on her steps in pearls and subtle (but eye-catching) purple tights sums up her philosophy: “I never wanted to look young, I wanted to look great.”

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