Pride Flag Book Tag!

It’s June which means it’s Pride month, I obviously wasn’t going to miss a chance to post about Pride! One of my closest friends is part of the LGBTQ community, I wrote an open letter about them coming out here. So I celebrate pride and I celebrate hard for all the wonderful people I know! So this tag that I watched on Books with Chloe seemed perfect (original creator Common Spence)! As always if you want to do this tag go ahead and make sure you let me know! So here we go!

1. Red (Life) – A book with a spirited protagonist totally proud of who they are. Someone who gives you LIFE

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I went slightly off here by choosing a non-fiction book. I also realised I need to read a lot more novels with LGBTQ protagonists. I adore Melanie Murphey and her book talks openly about her life as a Bisexual woman (and even has merch with the bisexual flag). She is confident, sure of herself and takes no prisoners. You can read my review here and catch her channel here.

2. Orange (Healing) – A book that made you, as the reader, find a deeper meaning or catharsis in your own life

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This is one of my favourite books of all time. I read it at 17 and I think it was one of the first books I read with the protagonist having a lesbian experience. This novel sparked a love for looking at the treatment of women, which went on to take over my degree once I got to university. I started looking at myself and the world around me. It made me re-evaluate a lot  in terms of myself too just before I went to university.

3. Yellow (Sunshine) – A book that fills you with so much joy it could brighten even your darkest day

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This might seem like an odd choice for some but the friendship in this was amazing, the resolution makes my heart happy and just the journey that they go on together. One of my best friends is gay, a lot of people used to think we were a couple or he ‘wanted something’ but it was, and still is, one of the closest friendships I have. This book reminded me of that and challenged what people ‘should’ want and be doing with their lives.

 

4. Green (Nature) – A book that is set out of this world — a reality different to our own

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Dreadnought is set in a world where superheroes are known and part of everyday life. Dani is struggling and feels, deep down, that she is a girl. When superhero Dreadnought dies, Dani is given her wish of a female body, but she also takes the cape and becomes Dreadnought. I loved this novel. Review here.

5. Blue (Peace) – A book where one of the characters finds peace with a difficult truth

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This novel follows Amanda, the new girl at school. Her plan is to blend in, that is until she meets Grant her feelings for him could ruin everything. At her previous school Amanda was Andrew. This is an own voices novel where Amanda needs to find herself and where she belongs in the world.

6. Purple (Spirit) – A book that deals with LGBT+ themes and religion

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Love is Love is a collection to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting. This is a stretch for this part of the tag but there are elements within this talking about religion but from the writers themselves about how love is love, despite what any religion says.

 

 

 

Sunday Seven: Reasons to go to Brighton Pride!

This weekend I went to my first Pride Festival ever! Abbie and I trekked down to Brighton (in the middle of all the Waterloo closures, not fun) to celebrate love for everyone and to visit Ali while he was working the festival. So, why should you attend Pride? Here are 7 reasons…

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1.This oversized deck chair

Yes, yes I am putting this as a reason. I’m also grateful no one managed to get a picture of me and my tiny legs trying to get out of said deck chair.

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2. The People 

Everyone is happy at Pride and just lovely. Here are two amazing guys we met watching the parade, they also had pink sparkly batons. We shared glitter, spoke to random people, took pictures of groups. It was just a great friendly atmosphere.

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3. You can dance to great, cheesy music

Here I am dancing in the 1985 tent. Yep, there was a 1985 tent. The whole festival was full of incredible music but my heart was definitely with anything cheesy, I wasn’t disappointed. Even if I didn’t know that many of the tunes playing when I was in the tent.

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4. The Parade

Everyone in Brighton gets involved in the Parade. I’ve never seen anything like it, as well as a variety of communities, there were huge brands, all the emergency services. Everyone covered in glitter and stars and rainbows. The floats are huge and absolutely amazing, they also literally stop the whole city centre.

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5. Glitter and bright colours everywhere.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen more glitter in my life than at Pride. Above is how I started my day, pink and blue eyeshadow and multicoloured stars. I thought I was prepared. It was so glittery that even the floor on the street was covered in glitter, all the toilets, everything. All. The. Glitter.

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6. To have a great day with your friends 

Abbie and I got to have a great time being silly, drinking wine and just having a damn good time at the best party we’ve ever been to.

 

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7. To celebrate love and remember those who can’t 

This is the whole reason for Pride. We’re celebrating all kinds of love. We’re also remembering those who have died for their love, those who cannot be open in love and more.

 

A big thank you to my best friend Abbie for taking a lot of these photos while we were trying to say phone battery ❤

Love is Love

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I’m writing this with a heavy heart, as a lot of people are around the world. You can’t have missed the terrible news that yesterday a gunman entered Pulse nightclub, murdered 49 people and injured 53. Pulse is a club for LGBT people, this was a planned attack on a community and has since been named the worst attack since 9/11 and the deadliest shooting in the United States. I could get into so much in this post, about my anger about the scum that did this, about my anger towards America’s gun laws but I won’t, because the last thing the world needs right now is more hatred. I refuse to think about him, his twisted ideas. Instead I want to know the names of those who died and those whose lives have changed forever.

I watched the coverage from the moment I got up, when I was first aware, to now. There’s still a tab open on my laptop with BBC updates. What I can say though, and something that hasn’t surprised me is the reaction from the LGBT community, because around the world they have stood together, they are mourning but they are strong. People will attempt to dismiss this, to take away from the fact that this was an attack on the community because of who they are, who they love, but they can’t. The LGBT community and all of us allies are going to follow their lead and do what they do best, we’re going to fight back with love and stand united.

fc07286ab26e248feba026f71c9b8c57I’ve never understood ‘homophobia’, which FYI isn’t a real thing, I’ve never understood people hating anyone for who they love. I have friends who are gay, know a lot of people in the LGBT society and you know what, they’re just people. So what if they don’t conform to some bullshit social norm, most of us don’t nowadays anyway! I sat yesterday and just tried to understand, asking my boyfriend why? Why would someone do this to innocent people?

We all need to stand up and be counted now, show our solidarity. Hatred will not silence the wonderful, brilliant community. We must stand up and give support to those affected and to every LGBT person, we need to show them we will do whatever they need so that they can feel safe again. We’ll attend Pride, we’ll write blog posts, we’ll tweet our love, we’ll support them and go against anyone who wants to take away their rights. We will be there for them.

Let’s not shy away from that this attack was. This was an attack on the LGBT community, call it what it WAS, unlike the Sky News presenters this morning.  I write while holding back the tears and thinking about each and every person lost in this tragedy, wishing I was in Orlando, that I could donate blood and that I could help. I will say though that you will not be forgotten, your deaths will not be in vain. I’ll continue to stand with the LGBT community, as I always have, defending their right to love whoever they want to. I stand with you. We’re all human and Love is Love.

 

 

Images from Pinterest

Book Review: This Book is Gay – James (now Juno) Dawson

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‘This is a manual for everyone – no matter your gender or sexaul preference’

When I saw this book at a YA lit fair I was intrigued. The bright and beautiful cover attracted me and then I read the cover. I thought this would be a novel about someone who is gay but this is something much better. I would even go as far to say this is one of the best books of a generation. This Book is Gay is a book which covers a lot of ground that the author thought was missing after teaching PSHE (health class for my American readers) but not just from one opinion, there are stories from so many different people all with different experiences.

When this was published, James Dawson was a gay man, in the time since James has announced that his real self is Juno, a transgender woman and I celebrated along with the rest of twitter. None of that matters because the writing is funny, interesting and highly educational btu in a way you feel like you’re chatting to a friend. I only mention this incase people are confused when trying to find ‘James’ on Twitter later.

I don’t believe in someone being 100% gay or 100% straight. It seems to me, even more so after reading this, that there are so many different parts of the spectrum that slapping an either/or label on everyone is just stupid. I’ve never had a girlfriend but I feel that I’m the person who falls in love with someone because of who they are, not because of what’s in their pants. I fell in love with a male, I’m going to marry him at some point but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good looking female. If people want to label me after that, then so be it.

The book has both serious and funny chapters throughout as well as some brilliant illustrations. Some of the chapters include; Stereotypes are poo, Where to meet people like you, Nesting, Hats, The ins and outs of gay sex and Welcome to the members club. There is even a bit for parents and carers, lists of charities and organisations and notable gay and LGBTQ celebs and allies (named: A guide to recognising your gay saints). There is so much in here and I learnt so much I will just shout my love for it from the rooftops!

I 100% feel that this book should be given out at all schools as an important tool for learning and accepting LGBTQ youth. Dawson is right, there isn’t enough sex education for young  LGBTQ people. I thought long and hard after reading and we didn’t cover safe sex for anyone who wasn’t straight which, frankly, is just ridiculous. How can you just ignore the needs of people just because they’re not ‘the norm?’, they can still get STI’s like anyone else? They still have questions and worries like anyone else. If I was in charge of a school I’d make sure everyone was given a copy and there were copies in the library too. This is superbly written and has a lot of great info from a variety of people, not just Juno herself.

There have been arguments that there isn’t as much information for the Lesbian community. I can see the points people have made but I do feel there is a good amount of content in here, after all there are only so many pages here. The part about lesbian sex is a little thin, and maybe that’s what people are upset about and I can understand that. Other than that though, I feel like this is a good and inclusive guide.

Of course I’m going to give this book 5 stars *****. I was truly inspired by Dawson, her writing, her style and the way that the book itself was put together. I think everyone should read this, because everyone will learn something from it. A truly phonomenal book, not one to be missed.