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PATTERSON

JAMES

Special Guest Columnists!

Sharing Pride by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

When we were teenagers, no one in our lives celebrated Pride. There might have been a few parades in far-off and magically accepting places, but the idea that an entire month of the year would be spent celebrating LGBTQIAP people in towns and cities all over the nation sounded like a fantasy. Our book Once & Future is a different kind of fantasy: a genderbent King Arthur retelling starring a group we refer to as the Knights of the Rainbow. A lot of people have asked how this cast came to be so diverse. The truth is that we simply included folks like the ones in our own lives. It felt natural to us, and we didn’t set any limits on who could sit at the new round table. It’s amazing how many times we’ve heard, “This is the first book I’ve read with LGBTQ characters in it,” or “This book has more LGBTQ inclusion than I’ve ever seen.” It can be easy to think that just because books are being published, or a celebration like Pride is becoming widespread, the work is done. But it’s really just beginning. If there is one thing we can urge people to do, it’s this: proudly hand books with LGBTQ main characters to all people. This might seem counterintuitive to allies who are working first and foremost to connect these books to LGBTQ youth. Yes, that’s important. No, don’t stop! But also, don’t stop there. Trying to figure out “who needs these books” is a false equation. Everyone does. The out and loud, the quietly questioning, the readers who think they couldn’t 14

Story Monsters Ink | June 2019 | StoryMonsters.com

photo by Nicholas Bromm

possibly connect with a book about a gay or bi or trans character—until they do. We never know what we will need in a story until we’re reading it. Specific identity and shared humanity are both things to be proud of. When you hand these books to all readers, you’re telling a story: There is something in here for you, no matter who you are.

Profile for Story Monsters Ink

Story Monsters Ink® - June 2019  

This month's issue includes interviews with NBA legend Kobe Bryant, SNL alum Vanessa Bayer, Mickey Rapkin, Zack Bush, Symonne Harrison, Timo...

Story Monsters Ink® - June 2019  

This month's issue includes interviews with NBA legend Kobe Bryant, SNL alum Vanessa Bayer, Mickey Rapkin, Zack Bush, Symonne Harrison, Timo...