May | Lavender Literary Society: Cookie Woolner x Brontez Purnell

Thursday, May 30, 6pm


Virtual Book Club Meeting. Graphic design by the incredible Loveis Wise (they/he), a multidisciplinary artist, designer, creative director, and Capricorn, drawing reimagined futures and playfulness in Los Angeles.

Event Details

The American LGBTQ+ Museum Book Club is a space for community and connection, bridging generations through the magic of storytelling. The selections will be a mix of popular queer history and memoir with inspiring authors and iconic guest facilitators. The pages we turn will become stepping stones for intergenerational dialogue, fostering understanding, empathy, and unity. Together, we’ll traverse the landscapes of queer culture, savoring the nuances and complexities that make our stories uniquely ours.

This isn’t just a book club; it’s a movement. Reading together becomes a powerful act of empowerment, a catalyst for change, and a testament to the resilience of the LGBTQ+ spirit. Participants will be a part of something extraordinary. In this book club, we won’t just read, we’ll weave the threads of our stories into a tapestry of strength, resilience, and pride.

The Famous Lady Lovers by Cookie Woolner

Hosted by Brontez Purnell

Dr. Cookie Woolner is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Memphis where she teaches classes on modern US history, the histories of women and gender, queer history, and the history of popular culture and music. Her first book, The Famous Lady Lovers: Black Women and Queer Desire before Stonewall, was published in 2023 on the University of North Carolina Press’ Gender and American Culture series and was nominated for the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction from the Publishing Triangle. Woolner has also published in periodicals from Harper’s Bazaar to The Journal of African American History, has recently been interviewed by NBC News and Time Magazine, and her book has received accolades from Ms. Magazine and the Library Journal among other outlets. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her formerly feral cats Bessie and Loretta.

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down, and 100 Boyfriends, a collection of stories. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Award in Fiction, he was named one of the thirty-two Black Male Writers of Our Time by T: The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Purnell is also the frontman for the band The Younger Lovers, a cofounder of the experimental dance group the Brontez Purnell Dance Company, the creator of the renowned cult zine Fag School, and the director of several short films, music videos, and the documentary Unstoppable Feat: The Dances of Ed Mock. Born in Triana, Alabama, he’s lived in Oakland, California, for more than a decade.