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Lit: We celebrate pride at the library

By Saara Itkonen, Library Director, Creston Valley Public Library
Everyone is welcome at the library. It says so on the front door. (Photo by Saara Itkonen)

By Saara Itkonen, Library Director, Creston Valley Public Library

Did you know that June is Pride Month in Canada? Celebrations in towns and cities across the country pop up to celebrate the brilliance and resilience of the LGBTQ2+ community. At this time of year, I often think of singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile’s words, that queer people are especially “sparkly” and I love that in June we get to celebrate our LGBTQ2+ community members in all their sparkliness.

This June, I feel it’s especially important to celebrate the queer community here in Creston because of the unprecedented backlash and hate happening just across our border, which has also been spilling into our Kootenay communities.

Just this spring, the Nelson Public Library had to postpone a drag queen storytime program from going forward after staff and community members were threatened with violence. Can you imagine being so angry that you would sooner threaten people’s physical safety than simply mind your business and let families with queer kids, parents, and/or caregivers have a small children’s program to celebrate themselves? A program filled with love, joy, silliness, and above all, belonging and acceptance?

READ MORE: Online backlash forces Nelson library to postpone drag story time event

Thankfully, this horrible and unnecessary situation ended up bringing community groups and members together to connect deeper and plan more programs and events to celebrate the Nelson queer community, now and into the future. Talk about love winning!

As we often do at the library, this year we celebrate Pride by highlighting LGBTQ2+ authors who tell inclusive stories to help queer kids and adults feel seen and understood. Here are some of our favourite authors, from non-fiction to poetry to graphic novels, and their titles available to borrow in our collection:

1) T.J. Klune: bestselling romance and fantasy writer, with stories focusing on LGBTQ2+ characters.

The extraordinaries


In the lives of puppets

Heat wave

Flash fire

Under the whispering door

The house in the Cerulean Sea

2) adrienne maree brown: activist, writer, and facilitator

Emergent strategy : shaping change, changing worlds

Pleasure activism : the politics of feeling good

3) Steven Rowley: bestselling and award-winning novelist.

Lily and the octopus

The guncle : a novel

The editor : a novel

The celebrants : a novel

4) Alys Fowler: popular British horticulturalist and journalist who focuses on organic, accessible landscape gardening.

The thrifty forager : living off your local landscape

The edible garden : how to have your garden and eat it, too

Abundance : how to store and preserve your garden produce

The allotment planner : more than 200 ways to enjoy your plot month by month

5) ND Stevenson (formerly Noelle): American cartoonist, graphic novelist, animation producer, creator, showrunner, and executive producer of the animated television series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.

The fire never goes out : a memoir in pictures


Lumberjanes series

6) Billy Ray Belcourt: poet, scholar, and author from the Driftpile Cree Nation who’s works encompass a variety of topics and themes, including decolonial love, grief, intimacy and queer sexuality, and the role of Indigenous women in social resistance movements.

A minor chorus : a novel

A history of my brief body

NDN coping mechanisms : notes from the field

Of course, these authors and titles are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the brilliant and sparkly stories available to borrow from the library, so be sure to visit us this June, check out our Pride display and tell us who your favourite LGBTQ2+ authors are.