Fancy Fruits: Exploring Language and Liberation in the June Horner PFLAG Collection


Author/Creator ORCID





Bachelor's Degree

Citation of Original Publication


Collection may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. To obtain information or permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Goucher Special Collections & Archives at 410-337-6347 or email



The June Horner PFLAG Collection, which came into Goucher College’s Special Collections in 2022, is composed of books on gay and lesbian identity in the form of memoirs, biography, nonfiction, and fiction texts mostly spanning from the late 1970s through the 2000s. Ms Horner, the donor, is the former librarian and founder of the PFLAG Maryland chapter, which she began in 1985 after her son’s coming out in 1984. A librarian in Howard County, she struggled to find books that could help her understand her son’s experience and decided to create a resource for other parents. The collection’s purpose was clear, and simple: to provide those trying to come to terms with and understand the identities of their loved ones with learning resources. During a time when it was very difficult to find any publications which spoke about LGBT identity, let alone positive and genuinely informative ones, the library likely served as many member’s first or even only point of access to this information. And given the collection’s size and purpose, it could be seen as representative of the state of LGBT publishing at the time. Through examining this collection and looking at the details of the language and terminology that authors used, I hoped to track how both members of and friends of the community were imagining gay identity.