By Katrina Young | Out on the Page
It’s that time of year again. Spring and summer are peak vacation times and one of the best companions on a relaxing vacation is a good book.
Patrons of the second annual Expressions of Pride Literature and Arts Festival hosted by the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation are able to get the titles on their summer reading list during the festival, which occurs on May 2.
The festival features hundreds of titles by LGBT authors of color and offers a chance to attend readings from three amazing authors (Rigoberto González, Chinelo Okparanta and Craig Womack).
As we were preparing for the festival, I found myself thinking about what expressing Pride really looks like and the importance of literature in doing so. Of course Pride season is one of my favorite times of the year (the festivals, parties, energy, a sense of community, and the rainbow everything) but “pride” is so much more than a great weekend once a year. It is part of our everyday lives. It is shown in how we live and love.
There are as many different ways to express pride, as there are individuals in the LGBT community. Literature alone is a form of pride expression but more so it is a mode of sharing with the world the abundance of ways we express the pride not seen at your local Pride festival. Our lives are significant. Our stories are significant. Our pride is significant. LGBT literature plays a great role in humanizing and giving voices to our lives and the way we express our pride.
One of the ways I express pride is through my work. People often ask me why I do the work I do with the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation. Consistently my answer is that I believe in the power of literature.
The best love stories, mysteries, sci-fi stories, comedies and dramas, come from the pages of literary fiction. Once we fall in love with the amazing story lines we often feel empowered to do more. Chase more dreams. Be more proactive. Be confident. Be proud. Be better people. We do more because seeing ourselves reflected in literature gives strength to our dreams and ideas and fosters understanding and diversity. Our fears are no longer in control and that makes us our most powerful selves. Without fear stifling us we are able to be our authentic selves and that is one of the greatest gifts we can give to both our loved ones and ourselves.
Although the Expressions of Pride Literature and Arts Festival is only for one day each year, we at the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation are always available to assist you with finding ways to express pride through literature.
We have several other exciting events planned for the remainder of the year. You can visit us at our website sdliteraryfoundation.org and like us on Facebook to stay up to date. We look forward to connecting with you and hearing about your expressions of pride!
Expressions of Pride — A Literature and Arts Festival, will be held May 2 at the Diversionary Theatre space, 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. A book and art festival exhibit takes place from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; and two readings and performances will be held 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. and 6 – 7 p.m. Free mimosas from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. if you purchase a book. For more information visit sdliteraryfoundation.org.
—Katrina Young is the treasurer of the Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation. She is a lover of literature and a developing activist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.