Pride resistance, uplifting witch news, and more!
Happy Pride month!
To me, Pride is about resistance. It’s a month that honors the queer people (particularly the queer/trans people of color and sex workers) who raged against decades of police brutality and harassment that culminated in the uprising at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969.
And it honors those who’ve continued to resist such injustices in the 70+ years since Stonewall, in spite of the considerable strides queer people have made.
(2022 has seen nearly 240 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills thus far.)
In honor of a queer-adjacent resistance (witches), I want to share this uplifting story I read about in the Morning Brew newsletter.
I say queer-adjacent because those most often accused of witchcraft were people (particularly women) who deviated from the norm in some way. This included outcasts, older people, healers, queer people, and anyone who dared to question the established power structures.
So, this story involves the recent exoneration of Elizabeth Johnson Jr., the last accused “witch” to be pardoned in the Salem Witch Trials of 1693, more than 300 years after her death.
But the truly amazing part is how Elizabeth was exonerated.
This involves a group of determined eighth graders at North Andover Middle School. Led by their history teacher, Carrie LaPierre, the students spent nearly a year fighting on Elizabeth’s behalf, investigating her testimony, writing to legislators, and even crafting the bill that pardoned her.
The story, as LaPierre told NPR, sends a powerful message to those who believe they are powerless to enact meaningful change in the world, and reinforces “how important it is to stand up for people who cannot advocate for themselves and how strong of a voice they actually have.”
I’m excited to announce that my queer, office rom-com, Love Where You Work, was chosen as an NIEA finalist!
It was one of the five LGBTQ+ fiction titles selected, which is pretty darn cool.
I’m currently revising book two of the LWYW series, and hope to get that out into the world in July, so stay tuned!
Books you might like
How You Get Famous by Nicole Pasulka
I have been a fan of Nicole’s acerbic, witty, and thoughtful writing since she was blogging at the now-defunct Nerve.com. We ended up serendipitously meeting at Mother Jones magazine a few years later and have been friends ever since.
How You Get Famous charts the rise of Brooklyn’s drag scene in the late aughts and profiles a ragtag bunch of audacious performers—many of them people of color from working-class backgrounds—who brought the art form to newer, weirder, more glorious heights. (And not just in terms of hair.)
The book is, in Nicole’s words, “a reminder that we can be anything—at least for a few minutes—and we can be celebrated for it.”
Satisfaction Guaranteed by Karelia Stetz-Waters
I read a lot of books that claim to be funny (and are not), so was extremely pleased to discover that Stetz-Waters’ book does, indeed, deliver on that front. I was smiling and chuckling throughout this breezy queer rom-com, which takes place largely in a Portland sex store (that also sells YOLO pillows and fake cats that “breathe”).
If you’re looking for a light read that involves good-natured ribbing and a touch of dad humor, check out Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Or, if you’re looking for a different summer romance read, you might find it in one of the many books in this list.
[I still can’t figure out how to embed polls :sadface emoji:]
P.S. Advice from poet Jane Kenyon: “Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”
P.P.S. If you need an easy Pride gift, consider one of my books or journals.