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SHARING PRIDE

JAMES PATTERSON

And if you are queer, your story matters to everyone. Recently we had the chance to meet so many librarians in parts of the country where it can still be difficult to shelve books with LGBTQIAP characters. They told us that they’re fighting to get Once & Future on the shelves, buying it with their own money, handing it around in secret. They know how important inclusion is. They know that stories can change everything. We also had a magical book event for Once & Future at our local independent bookstore. It was called Space Prom (!) and everyone dressed up in their best combination of futuristic and Renaissance Faire gear. We partnered with the local Outright branch, so there were a few dozen LGBTQIAP teens there. It was a deliriously happy sight. A few years ago, we had to

“We got to share pride that night. We were telling a story: There is a future for you. A future where you can see people like you on the shelves and in the bookstore, where you can reach for hope and happiness.”

And we had a love story as epic as anything in the pages of Once & Future. That night, at the end of reader’s theater, we got engaged. (A complete surprise to one of us at the time!) The teenagers in the audience had such a strong reaction to that moment. Some were crying. Others were excited beyond words. We got to share pride that night. We were telling a story: There is a future for you. A future where you can see people like you on the shelves and in the bookstore, where you can reach for hope and happiness. Neither of us could imagine seeing a proposal like this when we were teenagers. When the legend of King Arthur first spread, its ideals of equality must have felt impossible, too. But the future can always get better. The table can always be rounder. We fight intolerance together. When we proudly share LGBTQ stories, we are all knights of the rainbow.

move from a place that was unsafe for our family. It felt like we’d spent years fighting our way through nearly as many battles as our characters—with somewhat fewer dragons and spaceships. Now here we were, surrounded by community and celebrating a wild, funny, adventurous story that we got to write together and publish with the powerhouse of JIMMY Patterson Books supporting it at every turn.

James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller with one unwavering goal: to turn kids into lifelong readers. jamespatterson.com

StoryMonsters.com | June 2019 | Story Monsters Ink

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