#PrideReads

EditI’m dropping out of this theme for the month. The short reason is this: It’s hurting and excluding people I wanted to include in the first place, and that’s not okay. I thought I could patch-job. I can’t. The longer reason is: The original idea happened super-quickly. It jumped from brainstorming to being posted without any chance to look it over. Every suggestion I sent in I sent in with the umbrella term “queer” and references to either (a) genres, or (b) ideas a writer/reader would like to see more of/write. I don’t think I was clear enough when I sent in suggestions I absolutely meant queer that way. That’s on me. So the first graphic came out and was posted and used an incomplete acronym, and yeah, that was cringeworthy. It was posted and tagged before I’d ever seen it and I fired off a request for it to be fixed to the people organizing. And the fix isn’t enough. The specific identity questions don’t cover the full range. Yesterday I started writing some of the posts ahead of time, scheduling them to go live at 7:00a each morning. I wrote a few of them ahead of time—and especially day 5, where my answer was both a resounding no and an explanation of why making the correlation between romance and queer excludes aromantic queers. (I had a similar post outlined for the question about sex, and the question about straight characters, because, again, asexual people are queer, and straight isn’t the opposite of queer.) Anyway. I’m starting to ramble. I thought I could patch-job my way through the month, using every mention of queer to remind and reinforce that my queer is absolutely LGGBTQQIAAP2S+, but there’s enough hurt and dialog out there already to tell me no, I can’t. I’m sorry. My queer includes the whole umbrella, and those identities deserve more than a patch-job. 


 

Hello! I’ve hooked arms with some lovely authors—Kathryn Sommerlot, J.P. Jackson, Kevin Klehr, and Nicki J. Markus—to brainstorm up a month of prompts for a Twitter hashtag about queer reading for Pride month.

So, starting June the first? Daily prompts about reading, writing, and queerness. Join us. Bring your books, authors, recommendations, and wish-lists for asexual, aromantic, bisexual, gay, genderqueer, intersex, lesbian, nonbinary, trans… well, you get the idea. It’s Pride, it’s books.

Join in, tag it #PrideReads, and lets see if we can’t make noise for some awesome books (and shine a light on some awesome opportunities for books we wish we saw more of.)

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(Edit to add: I want to be extra-clear that when I say Queer or LGBTQIA+ I’m including Asexual, Aromantic, Pansexual, Nonbinary, Two-Spirit, and other identities that are far too often gatekept or missed by the queer community at large. The graphic here says queer or LGBTQIA+ and it’s important to me to make sure I’m clear that queer will always mean LGBTQIA2SP+ Etc.)

5 thoughts on “#PrideReads

  1. Pingback: #PrideReads | Reel Charlie

  2. Is there any way to change the prompts and graphic at this point so it includes asexual spectrum, aromantic spectrum, agender, questioning, intersex and pansexual folks? I see that the A has been added, but there are no A related prompts. Queer has a prompt but not questioning. Intersex doesn’t have a prompt. The P is not included at all.

    I know you note identities that are not listed at the end of your post, but I am not comfortable participating in an event with prompts that are skewed to exclude some of the more marginalized queer identities.

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    • I also wanted to note that questions like these are likely to feel hostile to some of the queer umbrella:

      June 5: Does a queer book need to include romance? (This is likely to feel hostile to aro spec folks)
      June 28: Does a queer book need to have sex scenes? (This is likely to feel hostile to ace spec folks)
      June 29: Favourite straight characters from queer novels? (Some trans folks are heteroromantic & heterosexual, some ace folks are heteroromantic, some aro folks are heterosexual. Straight & queer are not opposites or exclusive of each other, but this question implies that they are, which is esp sensitive for trans, ace, aro folks who are often labeled as straight.)

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      • I should have read your comments before I started replying.

        Yes, and yes. I agree, and I’ve already written some blogs ahead of time specifically to make those points on those days, about how those definitions of queerness fall short and exclude queerness.

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    • My note at the end is absolutely there for exactly that reason, and I’ve e-mailed the organizer/graphic designer of the event (again) hoping there can be a fix.

      It’s not enough, I know. My suggestion for the question list was always the umbrella use of “queer” so anyone could suggest any identity for any prompt (I wanted to break it down by genres, not identities).

      To spoil a bit, I’ve written a few of the entries ahead of time yesterday, and my intention for the days about whether or not queer titles need to use include sex or romance is specifically to call out how asexual and aromantic spectrum folk are absolutely queer, and how the assumption of sex/romance is antithetical to queer inclusion; ditto on the day about straight characters, since far too often the assumption is straight being the opposite of queer.

      I don’t want to shirk responsibility here: I absolutely pitched some of the questions (the ones around genre, and what books do you wish you’d seen written—which got reworded into ‘novels’ for this first day—and a book you’d like to write). And I only used “queer” (which got changed to acronyms for some of the questions), as it was always my intention to lead with a wide discussion of what queer meant in the original teaser post.

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