"I read myself out of the closet," says acclaimed gay author Christopher Bram. "I could explore that part of myself in books."
Bram's most famous novel, Father of Frankenstein, became the Oscar winning film Gods and Monsters. Bram fictionalized the final days in the life of 1930s Hollywood filmmaker James Whale, who had injected a strong gay subtext in his classic chillers Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and The Old Dark House (1932). Whale's refusal to stay in the closet played a role in his blacklist from the industry in the early 1940s.
Bram is one of the authors featured in Authors With Pride, a selection of classic LGBT literature made available anew in e-book form. Offerings include Laura Z. Hobson's groundbreaking novel Consenting Adult, first published in 1975. Hobson (1900-1986) penned the autobiographical tale as a remembrance of her own coming to terms with her gay son. The book was a best seller at a time when people "simply didn't discuss such things.” Hobson often addressed topics that people didn't want to hear about, as in her 1947 expose on anti-Semitism, Gentleman's Agreement.
Though Hobson was a straight woman, the vast majority of authors represented indeed identify as LGBT. Offerings include the trashy but fun novels of Harold Robbins, whose tales of the rich and privileged often included titillating encounters with lesbianism and bisexuality. More serious and important works include Martin Duberman's Stonewall, a historical accounting of the riots that launched the equality movement.
There's also children's books, such as Lights Out Shabbat, in which a young Jewish boy spends the Sabbath with his beloved Grandma, and her female partner.
Some of the featured authors may surprise a few readers, like the 19th century children's writer Louisa May Alcott (Little Women) and noted science fiction writer Issac Asimov. (were they gay? I guess you never know!)
Selections span a variety of generations, genders and genres. There are gay Western adventures alongside works of serious literature and stories taken from LGBT history.
Open Road Media is offering a collection of gay themed books for $2.99 during Pride month. Check them out at OpenRoadMedia.com/lgbt.