June is Pride Month!

June is Pride Month!

June is Pride Month and I'm happy to invite you to explore our book collection for Pride!  It includes memoir, essays, children's books, and fiction drawn from our Queer Studies section as well as recently published titles that I happy to put out for the first time in this display. 

Starting to think about writing our Pride newsletter, I'm surprised by just how many different things I'd like to say and how concepts blend into one another!  At Roundabout, we always talk about books and collections (and even the store itself) as "having something to say."  So, what to say today? 

In listening to reporting on the early days of the Pride Parade in Northampton, I heard that some people marched with paper bags over their head to cover their faces--present in solidarity--bold and risky to take part--and anonymous in the reality that being fired from their jobs would be likely with any personal identification.  Thus, who the marchers were become unknown, but their presence and conviction were logged as real and part of the community. 

Yet, also, it feels to me like Pride connotes something in addition the to weighty story of Queer rights in our community.  If on the one hand, merely expressing one's existence and here and Queer is bold and radical (and I think that is true), on the other hand, the means of expression was specific, exuberant, bold, gay, florid--in a word, proud.  It was Proud in the the sense the expression need not be confined to the story other people thought your life ought to tell.  This panoply of expressions proved durable and Pride parades still make a joyful noise. 

So, where do we fit in?  I feel proud that our community has a lot of public and private places that recognize Pride Month.  Especially our independent bookstores show have meaningful collections.  I was impressed by all the queer fiction Imaginary Books has all the time, for example.  Indy bookstores in general grok it. 

For us, we've had a longstanding tradition of wanting some books for beginners if there is such a thing!  By that I mean, what if you start from a place of love and openness and don't know the language for how to think about, say, non-binary gender expression.  We like having some titles that introduce trans concepts or even things like They/ Them pronouns.  We've received feedback that this has been helpful, and sometimes simply helpful is simply great to hear. 

I also want to have things on the other side of the spectrum.  We delight in the philosophy and scholarship that has come out of the Queer rights movement.  We have memoirs and essays that will take you deeper in the history of Queer identity, movements, and reflection.  I think Queer Studies is a place where philosophy is alive, awake, and worth taking time with. 

There is a little fiction, too!  Including Orlando, which is also playing at the Shea as a play this weekend!  That book was written long ago now!  But, it enchants me. 

Well-wishes to you all and may your boldness of being who you are be more and more warmly received!  Happy Pride Month to Everyone!