FBC ep29 Lucy Shares Some Pride Month Reads - 6:20:19, 12.54 PM.mp3
1:03PM Jun 25, 2019
Welcome back to the feminist book club podcast, a show for dangerous well read women. Each week we explore literature and media through a feminist lens as one small way to reclaim our time, our books and our stories. Let's get started. Hey, everyone, this is Renee. However, I've got a very special guest for today's episode. Welcome Lucy, our summer intern. Hi, Lucy. Hello there. So Lucy has a very cool episode for you today. But I want to introduce you to her first. So tell us a little bit about yourself.
Oh, okay. Well, I'm going to be a senior at the University of Minnesota. I'm studying journalism with a minor in leadership. So basically, everything I do revolves around me talking about myself and selling myself in this world, so I have to get good at it.
Excellent. Well, you're in a good place. I love talking about myself. I love learning about people. So.
So what do you have for us today? What episode can we expect? I am going to be talking about the top five books you should be reading for pride month since June is pride month and I do identify as LGBT. So definitely want to talk about that.
Excellent. Well, I will leave you to it. Stay tuned, everyone.
Okay, so Hi. Like I mentioned in my intro, I do self identify as a queer woman. So there's nothing I love talking about more than being a queer woman, especially during Pride Month. So you can bet that this month is my jam. I figured with this being both my inaugural podcast and with it being Pride Month, then I obviously have an obligation to make today's episode about the best books to read to celebrate LGBT pride. This was also a challenge to myself to see if I could focus what I this month on LGBT topics and characters as I definitely don't do enough of that. And you know, if I can't celebrate sexuality and reading this month, then when can I? Well, anytime, really, but we're trying to go with the theme here. I had some criteria for selecting books. One the author needed to be LGBT. I wanted no more than one male identifying author, we are still trying to celebrate feminist authors here. And I also wanted each book to be in a different literary category. So I have one why a read one unconventional slash graphic novel type read one collection of essays. I have a historical read and one biography. So without further ado, here are my five top picks for Pride Month reads. The Stonewall Riots by Gail Pittman, been home by Alison Bachtel, the Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, sister outsider from Audra, Lord, and will Grayson will Grayson from David Leviathan. One of the most important things to me on this list was that I wanted to have a book on the Stonewall riots. We are commemorating the 50 year anniversary of Stonewall and the events in New York dusts marking this year as World pride. The absolute least we can do is read about Stonewall, which was the actual first ever occurrence of a pride. Pride started out as riots and protests against law enforcement and the oppression of the LGBT community. And over the years, it's turned into more and more of this big celebration that we all see today. So it's important that we don't forget why we're here during pride, who got us here who paved the way for us how they did it, and we want to talk about them all. Obviously, we want pride to be a really fun month, but we want it to be educational to the Stonewall Riots book is broken up into several parts talking about what led up to the riots, the riots themselves, the aftermath. And then the final section is titled liberation. Each section is then divided into objects, which basically are like really tiny, succinct chapters that have photos from the events that you're reading about, and graphics that go along with the content. And like I said, they're really concise. So everything you're reading feels really pressing and important. And you're really in the moment of what they're saying, like you're very transported to this time. Honestly, this was one of the easiest reads for my short millennial attention span to consume, because it was so concise, and it was the perfect way to learn about a really tough and important historical event in LGBT history. And I cannot recommend it enough to everyone. This is the best way to celebrate pride. And it's the best way to be educated on why we have it. And it's a really good step in showing ally ship, especially if you do not identify with being a member of the community. It's a great way to do your little part this month. My second book suggestion of the list is fun home by Allison ductile. It's my unconventional read I have in quotes because it's a graphic novel. And graphic novels are definitely not everyone's typical taste or go to read, I know that they're not overly popular, so I thought it'd be fun to throw it in there. This is one you totally cannot pass up though. If you're going to grab one graphic novel ever. It's got to be this one. There's no way the story also could have been told in a different style, the illustrations are all equally as important to the storyline, as the words are and the actual plot line that you're reading it the illustrations really actually advanced what you're reading, she tells the story of growing up and realizing her sexuality as a lesbian. But it's told concurrently with future Allison processing the death of her father, who was also a closeted gay man. Bechtel described the story as a labyrinth, which I think is really cool. She says, going over the same material, but starting from the outside and spiraling into the center of the story is how this is told. So we're reading the same material a few different times throughout the novel. But as every time that you come back to the same event, each time, we're privy to a little more background on what's actually happening, or what led up to this event that we're seeing. And it really fully invests you in the story, it gets more and more pressing throughout, because you go, Oh, wait, I read about that the first time. But now I know that this happened first. And there were so many moments in this story that really hit home for me, especially seeing someone else describe those moments as a kid where you're beginning to realize that maybe you're straying from the norm, and maybe you're different. I felt really called out by this book a lot. There's a scene where young Allison sees an older lesbian walk into the restaurant that her and her father and she has this moment where she looks at this woman and recognizes something, some sense of familiarity identity, and I was sitting there sobbing, reading this, I had so many moments like that as a kid, not totally understanding what was going on in the moment. But seeing women who were out and proud, maybe feel something in that time that today, I understand was representation and I felt so seen. It was impactful for me to relate to that feeling in this book. It's such a quick read. And I think many people can relate to it even outside of the LGBT themes. My third book is the autobiography, the Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. I found this book through an LGBT literature class I took at school. And maybe Nelson actually came to talk to my class. So this book holds a really special place with me, it was really awesome to be able to ask her the questions that I had annotated. In the side of my book, she writes about her relationship with her partner who is gender fluid, gender non conforming, and transitioning during their relationship all while Nelson is pregnant. It's one of the most laid all out their books I've read yet you are getting the bare bones of her life. And especially in the realm of queer reading, which was very refreshing. I don't read many books that are like, Hey, this is exactly what I am going through. And it's cool to be able to relate on the career level as well. Nelson opens up about her pregnancy, her birth, and all the gross shit that comes with it. But it's all part of this larger picture of what it looks like to be part of a queer family. And what does making a family look like for an LGBT couple? I have not found any books that talk about what life is like in an established queer family. So brought up a lot of feelings for me like wow, okay, there are people out there living the life, I want to in a family setting. Love how tricky the topic of family is, especially when you are a queer person looking for representation in what family life is like. There were a lot of fresh perspectives, I got hit with reading this one. And it's going to be a powerful one for anyone who struggles with family identity or needs some representation on queer family life. Book number four is sister outsider by Audra, Lord. If you haven't read Audrey Lord before you need to change that, like right now, like right now, she self identifies as a black, lesbian, feminist poet. So all great things that we want to support here. Sister outsider is a collection of essays she's written and different speeches she's given throughout her career. Reading the speeches, specifically, it was a powerful experience to just sit back. Imagine her reading it out loud, and invoking that feeling of what it would have been like to be in a room with her speaking her work. It was some really moving things to read. The topics of her essays revolved around different oppressed identities, and she talks about racism, homophobia, sexism, all things she's experienced in her life and is now speaking out on. One of the things that most resonated with me in this book is how she touches on the importance of the language we use, and how it helps us to pass along our truths and speak to our understandings of our own experiences. There's a lot of ownership involved. She's made me think about how I speak about my own experiences being LGBT, the language I use around my community, especially how it can use my privilege to make spaces more intersection. It was a big call out like you are an LGBT woman, but you are white and I sat there with my whiteness a lot in this book. I don't know it made me really reflective of my whiteness and I think it's an important read for others looking for more introspection on their race and on intersection ality as a whole. The fifth and final book of the hour or little segment here, we're not here for a full hour is will Grayson will Grayson by David love within. This is my young adult pic. And I really wanted to include a why a book to show how important representation is for a younger audience. If we can introduce the topic of sexuality to kids in a respectable fun, and engaging way and kids can feel like they're not alone from early on. I wish I had books like this to read when I was 12 and didn't understand what it meant that I like to grow. I felt so confused and alone. And if I hadn't read a book, where characters were experiencing the exact same things, then it would have saved me years of confused thoughts and awkward conversations trying to learn about sexuality without making it seem like I cared. You know, the whole like, haha, what's that asking for a friend, not me. I'm not queer. This is a fairly light hearted book too, which is so refreshing. I feel like a lot of queer books have this stigma like, Oh, you need to be hitting on the really heavy topics needs to be sad. So it's really refreshing to be like, wow, gay kids can have fun too crazy. Go figure. Both of the main characters have the name will Grayson, hence the repeated title. And the book just follows their lives and how their friends and their family intertwine. There's out and proud queer characters, there's musical numbers, there is literally a full musical that is produced in this book. It's phenomenal. There's teenagers, that's generally laughable now that I am not a teen and going through the angst. And overall there's just a really good feel to the novel. I highly recommend this to a younger audience, to anyone with young children. Or honestly, just to anyone who wants to enjoy a good young adult read for once. Were never too old to read a kids book like absolutely never. It's really nice to pick up a book and be like, wow, these words are big. I can whip through this in you know, an instant.
Well, those are all the reads I have for Pride Month here. It's my absolute favorite time of year, absolute favorite time of year. I just love celebrating love. I love having a widespread excuse to be boldly myself to walk into a room and be like, Hello, I am clear this month this month is for me. I always just feel so generally inspired this month. And connecting back to the roots of how we got to where we are today with the LGBT community. I am so proud to be part of this. So thank you for letting me share some books that are near and dear to me. I hope you can find one out of this list that you can connect with. That's the goal here I would love for everyone to find something that they can get educated on LGBT culture about I would love someone to feel represented and found here. That is all I have for this episode. I cannot wait until next time when I'll hit you with just as interested in the topic.
Thanks for listening to today's show. As always, a rating and review in the podcast app of your choice goes a long way in supporting feminist media. We'd love to have you join the feminist book club subscription box a community driven subscription box which features a book of the month and products from women and queer owned businesses delivered directly to your doorstep. This is an easy way to vote with your dollars as you'll be supporting this podcast small women and queer on businesses and the charity beneficiary of the month, which receives 5% of total sales use code podcast for a discount on any subscription package. Learn more about the box and get the show notes for today's episode. feminist book club. com See you next time.