The Library is OPEN! Because what– Reading is FUNDAMENTAL, (and no this isn’t for throwing shade like on RuPaul’s drag race.) This is a post to celebrate the queer authors that are a part of our very own Pride and Joy Foundation community and celebrate queer authors as we enter Pride month and summer kicking off is a great time to grab a book and read.
Did you know the publishing world is hella hetero? According to Row House Publishing, a newer publisher that promotes equitable publishing, it is 89% straight/heterosexual and 99% cisgender. The industry is also very white. (I am sure this all this information is no surprise).
YOUR voices matter because YOUR Voice is YOUR Power.
I am about to graduate with an MFA in Writing Nonfiction and I have spent the last two years decolonizing the traditional literary canon by choosing to read BIPOC and/or queer writers. Here are 5 (but I have so many more…) recommendations of Queer BIPOC...
We are one month out from our next Pride and Joy Parent event, Prepping your family for Pride and are so excited that Rae McDaniel (they/them) will be joining our incredible panel of distinguished guests.
Rae is a licensed therapist, certified sex therapist, gender specialist, coach, educator, and author of the new book Gender Magic. They are the Founder and CEO of Practical Audacity, a Gender & Sex Therapy practice in Chicago, Illinois. We spoke with them about writing their book, Gender Magic, what pride means to them, and some notes on allyship. Here is more from our conversation.
"I believe the world is a better place when we all have the freedom and audacity to be our biggest, most lit-up, authentic selves. That’s my mission and I hope you will join me in it." -Rae McDaniel (they/them)
Pride and Joy Foundation (PJF): Could you speak a little on the process of writing Gender Magic? (How long did it take, how did the idea...
Take a moment and think about a time you found yourself somewhere in the pages of a book. Was it because the character shared an interest or a personality trait of yours? Was it because you had the same hopes or desires as a character? Was it because they achieved a dream you hoped you would someday too?
I have always been a voracious reader. As a kid, I found parts of myself in books all of the time. In Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” I found the peculiar parts of myself celebrated. In E.L. Konigsburg's “The View from Saturday,” I found the nerdy parts of myself winning. And in Louise Fitzhugh’s “Harriet the Spy,” I found the aspiring writer in me begin to blossom. But as a young person, I almost never saw the queer parts of me in the stories I read.
Because there were so few stories with LGBTQ+ kids in them, and because those few often depicted a difficult life, I assumed that my queer identity was wrong and meant to be hidden from others...
I'll never forget my first phone call with a major literary agent. My TEDx talk had been selected by Global TED to be featured on their YouTube channel for the day and boom! The phone began ringing, mostly because I had seeded some pretty incredible relationships while waiting for the talk to premiere.
I'll also never forget a year later when that same literary agent said "Your proposal is great, your sample chapters are amazing. But. The game has changed. Instead of needing 15k followers to get a book deal, you need 50k. And I don't think you can get there. We're done."
Wait, you're saying my marketing plan is on point AND I have a great product, but because I don't have a billion followers (which can be bought for goodness sake! so it's a BS metric), I can't publish my book?!
Watch me. I went on to form my own publishing company and I've started to publish other LGBTQ+ authors in the realms of memoir, business, self-help, and other...