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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Proud Authors Read

Thank you to my friends and supporters who came to hear Rachel Spangler and me read at the Church of the Holy Trinity. This was a special Pride Sunday, because it was exactly 40 years ago, in the early hours of June 28, 1969, that the modern gay rights movement began at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. Police, enforcing the discriminatory laws of that time, raided the Stonewall, and gay men, lesbians, and people who would be described today as bisexual and transgendered fought back. For three days. Those were some angry queers!

One measure of the progress we have made, at least in some countries like Canada, is the massive number of police officers who marched today in the Pride Parade, along with proud members of the armed forces. None of this don't ask, don't tell %$#! The Pride theme was reflected in our audience, a wonderfully diverse group in terms of age, ethnicity, ability, orientation and gender. The more readers, the better is what I say!

Now, unbeknownst to me when I planned this event was that the service would be joined on Sunday by our Spanish-speaking congregation. Which meant that our reading had to follow a sacred salsa dance. Rachel bravely plugged away through the bilingual chaos, and all was well. I especially appreciate the support of my fellow writers: Carol Lawlor, an original member of my writing group who helped me with Arusha for years; and Jeffrey Round, author of The P-town Murders and Death in Key West, whom I met just a couple of months ago at another reading. Toronto writers are the best!

Thanks to the people of the church for hosting this event. They have welcomed me from the first days I ever spent in Toronto. As our new Pride banner says, "Every day is Pride Day at Holy Trinity."


Amy Robertson said...

Congrats, J.E.! Sounds like a great event. How did you select what you would read? Or did you read from the first chapter?

J. E. Knowles said...

Thanks, Amy! Good question. Because the title is Arusha, I wanted to read a later section, right before the characters travel to Africa. Since this was my first reading from the novel, it took me till the last minute to decide!

Anonymous said...

So Jacqui, did you feel as cool as I did? Fun, wasn't it?

J. E. Knowles said...

Hey, Bobbi. Yes, it was a lot of fun. The questions and answers were great too.