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Celebrating Queer Athletes - In honor of Pride month, DC Public Library and The Washington Mystics have selected some amazing autobiographies and biographies for both adults and young adults that explore the lives and careers of LGBTQIA+ athletes.

This summer, DC Public Library is teaming up with the Washington Mystics to recommend great reads that you can check out with your library card! In honor of Pride month, we have selected some amazing autobiographies and biographies for both adults and young adults that explore the lives and careers of LGBTQIA+ athletes. Check out the library’s Pride Month page to find more great reads for all ages. Happy Reading!

Forward, Abby Wambach

Forward, Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. Named by Time magazine as one of the most influential people of 2015, the soccer player captured the nation's heart when she led her team to its recent World Cup Championship. Abby is a vocal advocate for women's rights and equal opportunity, pushing to translate the success of her team to the real world. Now Abby recounts her own decisions, wins, losses, and the pivotal moments that helped her become the world class athlete and leader she is today. Abby's book goes beyond the soccer field to reveal a person grappling universal questions about how we can live our best lives, and become our truest selves. Written with honesty and heart, Forward is a blueprint for individual growth and rousing call to action.


The Race to Be Myself

The Race to Be Myself, Caster Semenya

Olympian and World Champion Caster Semenya is finally ready to share the vivid and heartbreaking story of how the world came to know her name. Thrust into the spotlight at just eighteen years old after winning the Berlin World Championships in 2009, Semenya's win was quickly overshadowed by criticism and speculation about her body, and she became the center of a still-raging firestorm about how gender plays out in sports, our expectations of female athletes, and the right to compete as you are.

Told with captivating speed and candor, The Race to Be Myself is the journey of Semenya's years as an athlete in the public eye, and her life behind closed doors. From her rural beginnings running free in the dust, to crushing her opponents in record time on the track, to the accusations and falsehoods spread about her in the press, the legal trial she went through in order to compete, and the humiliation she has been forced to endure publicly and privately. This book is a searing testimony for anyone who has been forced to stop doing what they love.


Coming Home

Coming Home, Brittney Griner

On February 17, 2022, Brittney Griner arrived in Moscow ready to spend the WNBA offseason playing for the Russian women's basketball team where she had been the centerpiece of previous championship seasons. Instead, a security checkpoint became her gateway to hell when she was arrested for mistakenly carrying under one gram of medically prescribed hash oil. Brittney's world was violently upended in a crisis she has never spoken in detail about publicly--until now.

In Coming Home, Brittney finally shares the harrowing details of her sudden arrest days before Russia invaded Ukraine; her bewilderment and isolation while navigating a foreign legal system amid her trial and sentencing; her emotional and physical anguish as the first American woman ever to endure a Russian penal colony while the #WeAreBG movement rallied for her release; the chilling prisoner swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout; and her remarkable rise from hostage to global spokesperson on behalf of America's forgotten. In haunting and vivid detail, Brittney takes readers inside the horrors of a geopolitical nightmare spanning ten months. 

And yet Coming Home is more than Brittney's journey from captivity to freedom. In an account as gripping as it is poignant, she shares how her deep love for Cherelle, her college sweetheart and wife of six years, anchored her during their greatest storm; how her family's support pulled her back from the brink; and how hundreds of letters from friends and neighbors lent her resolve to keep fighting. Coming Home is both a story of survival and a testament to love--the bonds that brought Brittney home to her family, and at last, to herself. 


All In: An Autobiography

All In, Billie Jean King

In this spirited account, Billie Jean King details her life's journey to find her true self. She recounts her groundbreaking tennis career--six years as the top-ranked woman in the world, twenty Wimbledon championships, thirty-nine grand-slam titles, and her watershed defeat of Bobby Riggs in the famous "Battle of the Sexes." She poignantly recalls the cultural backdrop of those years and the profound impact on her worldview from the women's movement, the assassinations and anti-war protests of the 1960s, the civil rights movement, and, eventually, the LGBTQ+ rights movement.

She describes the myriad challenges she's hurdled--entrenched sexism, an eating disorder, near financial peril after being outed--on her path to publicly and unequivocally acknowledging her sexual identity at the age of fifty-one. She talks about how her life today remains one of indefatigable service. She offers insights and advice on leadership, business, activism, sports, politics, marriage equality, parenting, sexuality, and love. And she shows how living honestly and openly has had a transformative effect on her relationships and happiness.

Hers is the story of a pathbreaking feminist, a world-class athlete, and an indomitable spirit whose impact has transcended even her spectacular achievements in sports.


The Yards Between Us

The Yards Between Us, R.K. Russell

The Yards Between Us explores Russell's life in the NFL, his love of football, men and women, walking the devastating tightrope of keeping his sexuality secret, the tension between his private and public lives, and the importance of crashing through barriers. One part inspirational journey and one part coming of age as an athlete struggling to break a mould, THE YARDS BETWEEN US follows in the footsteps of powerful sports memoirs like Agassi's Open, Misty Copeland's Life In Motion and Megan Rapinoe's One Life. Ryan's memoir shows us the power, the love and the benefit of starting over and starting strong.

Audiences: Adults