LGBTQ+ PRIDE Month: Discerning, Illuminating, & Celebrating Our Shared Humanity
June 1, 2019
Across the United States and far beyond, the month of June has come to be associated with the celebration of a population once highly stigmatized and excluded, but now increasingly seen as exemplars of diversity, authenticity, love, courage, and human and civil rights. It’s a demographic that advocates for universal human dignity, and I’m proud to be numbered among them.
It’s not been easy. The discernible progress made toward honoring such an important set of values has been and for many continues to be an arduous and often fraught journey, which warrants thoughtful reflection and no small amount of pride. In our view, therefore, the 30 bright summer days of June are deserving of celebration as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
AWP is very fortunate to have a significant membership of LGBTQ+ identified and allied writers, educators, publishers, agents, and other stakeholders. We have a vibrant LGBTQ+ caucus, led by writer and essayist Bruce Owens Grimm, and we have many creative writers who stand in solidarity with all who advocate for their sexual orientation or gender identity to be respected and better understood by our society.
Building that broad-based understanding, empathy, and connection in a time of deepening social, political, and cultural divisions is an appropriate calling for our creative writing community, and we’ve responded with exuberant creativity to generate a rapidly expanding literature. Navigating this literature is easy, thanks to the many online compilations of “best of” poetry and prose, memoirs and essays, and so much more. Take the tour of websites offered by Penguin Random House, the Advocate.com Editors, Mashable, Goodreads, and Publishers Weekly, among others.
The AWP staff wishes all of you a very happy PRIDE Month!
Chloe Schwenke, PhD
Executive Director, AWP