Welcome to Purple Hand Press!

We publish books that document and reimagine the role of LGBTQ people in history. Much of what we know about our history has only recently come to light. In the past, the truth about LGBTQ lives was hidden by censorship or euphemisms. In fact, many famous and not-so-famous people lived unconventional lives right under the noses of their contemporaries. Our historical fiction tells their stories. Our first series, Passing Rites,  written by Elena Graf, follows the aristocratic Stahle family through the 20th century.

The Purple Hand Story

  • On October 31, 1969, sixty members of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and the Society for Individual Rights (SIR) staged a protest outside the offices of the San Francisco Examiner in response to a series of news articles disparaging LGBT people. Examiner employees dumped printer's ink from the third floor of the building onto the crowd. The protesters used the ink to scrawl 'Gay Power' and other slogans on the building walls and stamp purple hand prints throughout downtown San Francisco.

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The Passing Rites Series

The Passing Rites Series follows aristocratic physician Margarethe von Stahle and her family through some of the most challenging events of the 20th century.

  • Occasions of Sin

    For seven centuries, the German convent of Obberoth has been hiding the nuns’ secrets—forbidden passions, scandalous manuscripts locked away, a ruined medical career, perhaps even a murder. In 1931, aristocratic physician, Margarethe von Stahle, is determined to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding her head nurse, Sister Augustine, only to find herself embroiled in multiple conflicts that threaten to unravel her orderly life.

  • Lies of Omission

    In 1938, the Nazis are imposing their doctrine of “racial hygiene” on hospitals and universities, forcing professors to teach false science and doctors to collaborate in a program to eliminate the mentally ill and handicapped. Margarethe von Stahle is desperately trying to find a way to practice ethical medicine. She has always avoided politics, but now she must decide whether to remain on the sidelines or act on her convictions.

  • Acts of Contrition

    The war has finally come to an end and Berlin has fallen. Nearly everything Margarethe has sworn to protect has been lost. After being brutally abused by occupying Russian soldiers, Margarethe must rely on the kindness of her friends to survive. Fortunately, the American Army has brought her former protègè, Sarah Weber, back to Berlin. As Margarethe confronts events that occurred during the war, she must learn both to forgive and be forgiven.