SBBI was referred to Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues by a close friend of mine this past summer. She said the book would change my life. She turned out to be absolutely right, as I have never read a more heart-wrenching tale of the search for self identity amidst overwhelming ignorance and hate.

Jess Goldberg never felt comfortable living life as an average girl. She would always be more compelled to take part in activities that were commonly held to be masculine, and she was always attracted to women. The book documents her struggles of being a butch lesbian, passing off as a man, and the search for someone who she could love. The novel also does a very good job highlighting the importance of Stonewall and workers’ unions in the gay communities, and takes a hard look into the identity politics in said communities.

Expertly written and filled with scenes so powerful that they stick with you for a long time, Goldberg wrote what many often hold to be a masterpiece of Gay and Lesbian literature. I finished this book completely overwhelmed by what I had just read, but it was a good feeling. Stone Butch Blues will make you angry at the intolerance of the time, sad for Jess, and hopeful that things work out for her. It is easy to recommend reading it to anyone interested in Gay and Lesbian literature or who wants a well written, worthwhile novel.

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