I originally wanted to read this for #pride month, but I don’t know. Life. I’m glad that I made it a priority and read it now, though.
Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
I haven’t read a book that made me mad in a really long time. I’m glad that this book was the break from that. When I get mad at a book that’s really good, it’s because of how it all played out and what the outcome of everyone’s actions led to. It’s been a really long time since I felt this way and honestly, I appreciate the anger.
On reading LGBTQ books
There’s a lot of books in the world. Like, a lot.
However, I’ve probably only read 2-3 books with LGBTQ themes. And I’m not talking about some Boys Don’t Cry stuff that makes you pity the community or The Danish Girl a poor adaptation of a real trans person’s struggle. I’m talking about characters living their lives with real feelings and real relationships. No haters, please.
I mean you can say the same about books with POC, but this is about pride and I want to talk about that right now. I know there will be people who don’t like what I’m about to write, so you can see yourself to the door if that’s the case.
Here’s a list of the books I’ve read with LGBTQ themes:
- Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
- I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
- Select stories from Summer Days and Summer Nights
That’s it. Any other book I just happen to pick up features predominantly straight couples. And it’s not like I’m choosing these books because of that, it just happens to be that way.
But I strongly believe that if we want worldwide acceptance and understanding, we should all be exposing ourselves to stories. I think that it’s bigger than a trans person wanting to read a story about another trans person struggling with the same issues. I think that’s one point, but ultimately us as a society still need the education in order to come out of our ignorant fog.
I think about how nervous and afraid some people are to discuss coming out to their parents or friends. If we lived in a society that fully accepted that everyone may have their own sexual preference, then people won’t have to make a huge production over coming out. It would just be another normal thing. You bring your partner to dinner to introduce them to your friends and no one bats an eye. You bring your partner to meet your parents and they make their opinions on the person based on whether or not they will treat their kid well.
But we aren’t there yet. Not everyone is all accepting that you’ve come to an epiphany about yourself and discovered a part of you that you didn’t even know about. Ultimately the struggle is real and that’s where stories come in.
If there were more stories about gay relationships or the struggle to feel comfortable in your own skin, not only will people feel comfortable coming to terms with themselves, but it will be an education to those it doesn’t apply. Being a straight woman, I don’t know much about questioning my sexuality and being comfortable has come super easy for me. I can’t imagine what it’s like. I want to know more. I want the education.
Granted not everyone is a reader and going to accept that, but the reading community is large and as someone has quoted before, it only takes a small spark. There’s new readers born every day. If I could encourage any LGBTQ writer out there, I would say write those books. Write your feelings. Bear your souls so that we all can benefit from what you’ve learned. Life is short, but knowing yourself will make the journey longer.
I think I’m going to make it my next book move to read more about the LGBTQ community. Ultimately it comes down to this; there’s no ignorance in reading. There’s only love and that’s what we should all remember. That love is love is love is love is love.
That Hamilton speech made me cry.
Finally, I apologize if the acronym I’m using is wrong. Again, I’m ignorant to these things so if you know the more accurate one, please let me know so I can adjust it.
Love you always,