Imagine being a young lesbian coming of age in the early 80s. It wasn’t socially acceptable to have feelings for someone of your own sex, and many in the LGBT community were ostracized. Then, suddenly, there is a book published that describes you exactly. That is how many lesbians felt when Nancy Garden’s young adult novel, Annie on My Mind, was published in 1982.
Garden was a celebrated LGBT author who passed away on June 23 of a massive heart attack at the age of 76. She wrote young adult and children’s books and was a lesbian who was openly out. This made her a rarity, especially when you look at her list of accomplishments and publishers. She wrote at least one book a year since 1971, with the last being published in 2012. Garden had been nominated for the Lambda Literary Award every year for a 10 year span. She was published by top publishers such as: Knopf, Houghton-Mifflin, Holt, HarperCollins, Scholastic, and many more.
Garden was passionate about writing about issues that young adults faced, especially those in the LGBT community. She brought truth and honesty to the subject of dealing with being gay and lesbian in her books. Her works showed her love for writing and her passion for writing for those who faced the challenges of being gay. Garden’s works ensured no LGBT kid grew up alone and her works were vital to many in the community and will continue to be for years to come.
Nancy Garden has left a legacy for many writers and activists to follow: never let ignorance win, but always let love win.