June is Pride Month, when it鈥檚 vital to take the opportunity to remind everyone聽鈥 and even ourselves 鈥 that it鈥檚 a beautiful thing to be the people we are, and love the people we love. In the wake of the horrifying tragedy in Orlando, it鈥檚 more important than ever to fiercely declare and celebrate that 鈥love is love is love is love is love.鈥 This week鈥檚 book club features books that steadfastly support the triumph of love over hate, acceptance over fear and solidarity over division.


1. Love Wins: The Lovers and Lawyers Who Fought the Landmark Case for Marriage Equality by Debbie Cenziper and Jim Obergefell ($19):聽With the current country-wide frustration over the lack of political movement on gun control laws and hate crimes legislation, it鈥檚 tempting to forget that a group of passionate people can change public opinion, the law and the world.

Jim Obergefell and John Arthur were in a loving relationship for twenty years, and thought they would finally be able to take advantage of the Supreme Court鈥檚 2013 ruling that the federal government had to provide equal benefits to same-sex relationships. As Arthur was dying from ALS, this dream became an urgent need. While they were legally married in Maryland, their home state of Ohio would not recognize this union, to the point of the final indignity 鈥 refusing to include Obergefell鈥檚 name on his husband鈥檚 future death certificate. 鈥淛ohn鈥檚 last official record as a person will be wrong.鈥 They hired Al Gerhardstein, a veteran of civil rights legal activism, and strived聽to make a difference in Ohio. They did more than that, changing lives country-wide.

Written by Obergefell himself, along with Washington Post reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Debbie Cenziper, the book chronicles the fight and eventual victory in a moving and sensitive way that preserves the humanity beneath the layers of law,聽as well as聽the beautiful love story of a promise kept.

鈥淎s you begin this new chapter in your lives, remember: All your yesterdays have led you to today, and your love will lead you into tomorrow,鈥 writes Obergefell. There鈥檚 still a long way to go on the road to equality and safety, and progress is never a given. That鈥檚 why it鈥檚 so essential to have an inspirational reminder that success and change are possible 鈥 and who knows 鈥 maybe this week鈥檚 filibuster will set us on the road to another.


2. I鈥檓 Just a Person by Tig Notaro ($17):聽鈥淕ood evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer.鈥 In 2012, comedian Tig Notaro had a distinctly unfunny year: She was diagnosed with the devastating intestinal disease C. Difficile, she broke up with her girlfriend, her mother died suddenly and she received a diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer.

Notaro, not one to be conquered by hardship, found strength by turning this seemingly humorless turn of events into a blazingly funny and insightful set in Los Angeles just days after her diagnosis. This became, as Rolling Stone put it, 鈥渋nstantly legendary,鈥 selling more than 100,000 copies once Louis C.K. released the audio of the performance for download as an album called Live, and resulting聽in a Grammy nomination. I鈥檓 Just a Person is Notaro鈥檚 story of those difficult days and her triumphant comeback.

鈥淚t was the first time that I felt a need to tell the truths of my life because there was nothing left to protect,鈥 writes Notaro. While her famous performance was truthful and necessary, Notaro considers I鈥檓 Just a Person to be the 鈥渕eat鈥 covering the 鈥渟keleton鈥 of her stage declaration. Filled with searing honesty and a lack of self-pity or drama, the book is equal parts pain and laughter.

In the past few years, Notaro鈥檚 been no stranger to daring moves and brave words (in 2014 she performed part of her set topless to show her mastectomy scars), and she hopes the book will likewise bolster the reader鈥檚 courage and understanding, even though (or perhaps because) she鈥檚 鈥渏ust a person.鈥 And, hey, things are looking up for Notaro: A best-selling album, Grammy nom and book later, she married her wife, Stephanie, this past October.


3. Being Jazz: My Life As a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings ($12):聽Pride isn鈥檛 just important to the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities; it also provides a much-needed voice for the often marginalized transgender community. Teenager Jazz Jennings is a trans woman who made the transition at the age of five with the full support of her parents. Now, she鈥檚 dealing with the changes of adolescence on top of the changes inherent in transitioning.

Jennings is no stranger to the public eye; only a year after her transition, she was interviewed by Barbara Walters in a famous session that served to quell misconceptions and change some hearts and minds. Since then,聽Jennings has released聽a picture book for curious children (Orange Is the New Black鈥檚 Laverne Cox says, 鈥淚 wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid鈥), held meetings with Oprah and President Obama and started a YouTube channel, which resulted in her being named one of the 25 Most Influential Teens by Time.

In her refreshingly straightforward memoir, she discusses her dedication to her advocacy聽work, as well as the bullying and discrimination that makes it a necessity.聽Jennings鈥 story and desire to help others have been vital in, as Barbara Walters says, adding 鈥渦nderstanding and compassion for the transgender experience.鈥 Katie Couric calls her an 鈥渆loquent spokesperson.鈥 We call it love.

What books show you the power of love? Tag us in your next proud read @BritandCo.

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(Featured photo via Getty)