A letter to bookstagram from your dearest Rea,
I want to cover so many things with this so this might jump around or feel somewhat brief. But if a topic feels brief do not worry, I probably noticed that myself and am planning a longer post on the subject.
Okay so recently on instagram many people, including myself have been saying “Don’t use non-lgbtqia books for a bookish rainbow” and many people have been getting angry at that. But here’s a few things I want to point out.
Have you noticed when we started advocating for this? A month before Pride Month. Okay now that you have that in mind does what we are saying really bother you?
This is the month LGBTQIA+ folks can have to be proud of who they are, not that they can’t do it all year long, but this designated month is for them. Them who all year long are bombarded with heteronormative ideals in society. Them who are being constantly misgendered when they are out in society. Them whose identity is being erased by everyone, even among the LGBTQIA+ community itself. This is their month. This is the month to be proud of who they are even if they are closeted.
A little historical background but Pride Month is a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. This happened on June 28, 1969. This marked the beginning of all the Pride Parades and Marches. This marked it all for the LGBTQIA+. The beginning of their public fight. This month is not just pride but it’s part of historical event for them all and that is still fighting strong to this day.
So they march for the times they were afraid to be their true self and for the people who sit at home still afraid.
They march for the people who lost their lives in the fight for being who they are.
Yes, the rainbow has symbolism for other things such as religion and hippies have used it for signs of peace. But this month… this specific month LGBTQIA+ people in your community are asking you this favor.
Does it still bother you knowing that? Do you still want to scream at us that nobody owns the rainbow? Do you still have that utter need to make a bookish rainbow during Pride Month with books with straight cis characters? Is making a rainbow with non lgbtqia+ that important to you that you have to still do it?
If so I’m really sorry that your heart is so cold.
If not, thank you for understanding.
Now that you understand why the rainbow is important to the LGBTQIA+ community and if you actually are going to take the time to make a book pride rainbow don’t use books that have a allo straight cis MC. Yes, the best friend may be bisexual or they may know someone transexual but that doesn’t stop it from being a story about a allo straight cis character. Those books are usually what I call “cookie” books because they treat the MC as if they deserve cookies for having LGBTQIA+ friends. We want stories where the LGBTQIA+ character is the MAIN character. We don’t want to see books with the token LGBTQIA+ character. I highly encourage you to do Kevin’s(@sumptuousbooks on instagram) June book challenge as a challenge to diversify your bookshelves with LGBTQIA+ MC.
Take time and find our stories at least this month.
Also it being Pride does not mean people are opening their dms so you can ask what their sexuality and gender is. Nor are they supposed to answer all your questions. There are many people who have opened their dms for questions but do realize that not everyone wants that.
And to all my lovely LGBTQIA+ people, both closeted or freely themselves, reading this I hope you have a wonderful and safe pride.