Isn’t it funny how you can get used to something so alien so quickly? Staying indoors. Keeping six feet away from other human beings. Wearing a surgical mask. Becoming distant from the rest of humanity…
That’s what a lot of us have done, necessarily. But as the spectre of COVID seemingly recedes, what we probably didn’t expect was the reserves of courage we’d need to step outside the relative safety of our homes and back into the world.
As LGBT+ people, we’re used to needing courage. We need it to come out (over and over and over again). We need it to face bullies and those who would take away our freedoms and rights. We need it to take that first step inside a gay bar or attend our first Pride march. We need it for that first kiss or contact with our “first.” Many of us need it simply to step out of our houses.
And that’s what everyone who’ll come to our Queer the Shelves event this weekend will pull on. Their courage. Some will choose their favourite outfits, the ones that help just a little with that self-confidence or self-esteem issue; some will have to pull on their big-human pants to face a host of people they don’t know or haven’t seen in a while; some will be terrified and vacillate between coming or not, unsure what lays ahead and if they can cope with it; some will be super excited and can’t wait to be with people again.
However you’re feeling, we want you to join us. You’ll be among your people, your tribe. For every event Brey and I have ever done, people have told us their fears about attending and how they’re so pleased that they overcame them. They’ve met lifelong friends, partners, and authors they’ve been reading for years. We’re a wonderful bunch, honest, and we can’t wait to see you.