July 10, 2021
My Pride Month reading challenge is over.
I enjoyed reading a wide range of books and graphic novels that covered topics such as first loves, coming out, and heartbreak, as well as discovering one’s identity, freedom of speech, and freedom of speech. ‘like.
Although I have read so many types of stories, one question ran through my mind all the time: where were they when I was young?
Growing up in the early 2000s, I didn’t know any LGBTQIA history. Even thinking about it now, I don’t remember having access to any of these types of books.
I questioned this because reading these books gave me so much joy and happiness as well as a sense of connection. I sympathized with a lot of the characters in those stories that I read. Honestly, I don’t think I ever had any connections to any stories before taking on this challenge.
Reading these stories, I felt like I understood the characters, and I felt they understood me too. We had something in common, and I didn’t have a hard time feeling it.
I also felt seen and heard. I have seen some of my own experiences unfold through the lives of these characters.
And everything seemed normal.
This is why LGBTQIA stories are essential.
These stories help foster a sense of normalcy around LGBTQIA people. Reading about the day-to-day life and challenges of people identifying with people other than straight and cisgendered underscored just how normal they are.
This sense of normalcy can also bring pride to people who may have been ashamed of being different. This is important, especially for children and adolescents (and anyone else) who experience this feeling of being other for the first time.
While these stories normalize the lives of LGBTQIA people, there are still specific challenges and experiences unique to each of us. And reading about them is necessary for us because they nourish us and help us to grow. They offer us insight into what lies ahead, such as navigating coming out, fostering healthy relationships, and building self-confidence.
These stories are also important for people who do not identify as members of the LGBTQIA community. It helps them better understand the community and teaches tolerance, acceptance and appreciation for people who identify themselves differently from them.
Although Pride Month is over, I am very happy to take on this challenge. Having said that, I am continuing this challenge throughout 2021. But instead of challenging myself to read LGBTQIA stories, I also plan to read books with more intersectionality and include black bodies, Native, Asian, Hispanic and with different abilities. representation and voice.
In total, I read 3,472 pages throughout this challenge. I also saved $ 317.78 by borrowing all of these books here at the library. PS I read a few other books last week including Laura Dean keeps breaking up with me, I never promised you a rose garden, The Stonewall Riots, The Adventures of Honey and Leon, and What if it was us).
This press release was produced by the Bucks County Free Library. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.