BLOG TOUR: Proud

This year sees the release of one of my most hotly anticipated books, another brilliant anthology from the wonderful publishers Stripes. This year it’s an anthology to celebrate all things pride… and I’m not going to lie, reading it made me VERY proud.

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Today, I have the absolute honour of hosting one of the authors from the anthology, Michael Lee Richardson, as he talks about his top 5 queer teams. You’re in for an absolutely brilliant blog post, so get yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit! 

‘The Other Team’

Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin talks about biological families and logical families, the idea that we have the families we’re born into, and the families we make of our friends. For me, being queer is as much about our friendships and the people we choose to surround ourselves with as it is our romantic and sexual relationships. 

Queer friendship is one of the themes I wanted to work into ‘The Other Team’, the story I wrote for Juno Dawson’s Proud anthology.

With that in mind, when I was asked to write something for the #ProudBook blog tour, I wanted to focus on my favourite queer teams and my favourite queer teammates – so, without further ado:

Michael Lee Richardson’s Top 5 Queer Teams!

The Crystal Gems

I’m a huge fan of Steven Universe – at this point, figuring out which Crystal Gem someone is most like is basically its own form of zodiac sign – and I love the dynamic between the Crystal Gems: Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven. The fact that they compliment each other, celebrate each other’s differences, and make room for each others quirks and eccentricities is pretty inspiring, as is the fact that they know how to have a good argument and still be there for each other at the end of the day. In the real world, the fact that the Crewniverse – the team behind Steven Universe – is full of queers is also pretty inspiring!

The Fab Five

When I heard Netflix were remaking Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, I was skeptical – the series had its place in the early 2000s, but it felt like we had moved on by 2017. Relaunching the show as Queer Eye – not all the makeovers are with ‘straight guys’ – was a good starting point, but the team Netflix put together was the key to the show’s success. Jonathan Van Ness is my favourite, obviously (when I wrote Alistair from ‘The Other Team’ flicking his ‘hair’ off his shoulders, I was definitely thinking of Van Ness!), but I love them all, and they all bring something unique to the team – not just in their skills, but in their personalities and personas, and it’s nice to see a diverse bunch of queer men working together (especially when it’s for the benefit of other queers).

House of LaBeija

Nothing speaks to the idea of logical families better than houses, part of the drag and ballroom customs which started in Harlem in New York and have become a staple of queer scenes all over the world. From the language – shade, reading, fierce, realness – to the fashion to the dance, ballroom’s influence on queer and mainstream culture can’t be underestimated. I’m particularly fond of the House of LaBeija – Crystal LaBeija, the founder of the House of LaBeija, is often credited as having started ‘house’ culture, and her successor Pepper LaBeija makes a star turn in the legendary drag documentary Paris is Burning.

Babysitter’s Club

Okay, so they’re not canonically queer – but one of the things Proud has made me revisit is the idea that, before LGBTQI+ YA was a going concern, we had to ‘queer’ our YA for ourselves, and there’s no way you could tell 11 year old me the every single one of these girls (and Logan Bruno, boy babysitter) wasn’t queer! The ‘theory’ checks out, too – Ann M Martin, author of The Babysitter’s Club, is queer, and came out publicly after the series was finished. 

Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh

Slightly cheating, this one, as I said being queer teammates was more about friendships than romantic relationships – and Helen and Kate are both! Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh met playing for the England and Great Britain hockey teams – they married in 2013, three years before becoming the first same-sex couple to win an Olympic medal when Team GB won Gold in the women’s field hockey tournament in 2016.

For me, any blog post that celebrates Team GB, The Fab 5 and drag queens in the same blog post is an ABSOLUTE winner. A massive massive thank you to Michael for taking the time to write a blog post for me! I LOVE it so much. 

My review of Proud is coming in the next week or so, so make sure to keep an eye out for it. I promise you this much though… it is EXCEPTIONAL and I can’t wait to shout about it from the rooftops!! 

Why don’t you go celebrate some other brilliant #Proudbook content by checking out the rest of the stops on the blog tour? I have absolutely loved how this blog tour is celebrating all things pride related. 

proud blog tour

A massive thank you to the people of Stripes for sending me an early copy of the book and for inviting me on the blog tour. It’s been an absolute honour to shout about this book everywhere! I can’t wait for it to be released into the wild so everyone can enjoy its majesty! 

S x 

 

S4S – LGBTQ+ TBR

Hellooooo…

Today is the last #SixforSunday celebrating all things Pride. But let’s be honest, my life is all about celebrating pride, so expect to see some more things about it in the future! 

A quick thank you from me to say thank you to everyone who has suggested books for me to read, or characters for me to discover, in the past month or so. I’m all about diversifying my reading pile, so please keep suggesting me books! 

Today’s #SixforSunday is:

What’s still on my LGBTQ+ TBR pile!?

So these are either newly recommended books to me, or books I own that I still haven’t got round to reading!

I already own 2 of these, I need to get to buying/borrowing the others! 

See you next week for March’s #SixforSunday theme of  ‘An ode to…’, starting with your favorite author. 

S x 

S4S – Characters I’d Go On A Date With…

Evening #SixforSunday pals,

How are we all on this fair Sunday? It’s been very sunny (but chilly) in Newcastle today. I’ve been for my breakfast, cried at my book on the bus home (standard Elliott craic really) and have scheduled all of next week’s blog posts… I know, productive OR WHAT?!

Today’s #SixforSunday post was one which took me some time to think of because I had TOO MANY ANSWERS and then was brutal and had NO answers… so bear with me! 

Today we’re talking:

Six characters I’d like to go on a date with

Now I’m listing characters, regardless of their sexuality (because let’s be frank, they’re fictional so it won’t happen anyway!)

  1. Izzy O’Neill from The Opposite of Okay.
    Yes, she’d frighten the life out of little old me, but she’s HILARIOUS and I have such a weakness for people who make me laugh.
  2. Kaz bloody Brekker from Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom.
    Do I even need to explain this one?!
  3. Luvian Fen from State of Sorrow.
    I love this sarcastic, charming, witty twat man 
  4. Jin from Rebel of the Sands trilogy.
    JIN THO. I mean, I can’t NOT want to go on a date with him. I think he is one of my biggest fictional crushes in the world.
  5. Amani from Rebel of the Sands trilogy.
    She’s badass, she’s brilliant, she’s funny – what more could I possibly want?!
  6. Emery from The Paper Magician trilogy
    I adore this man. I miss him so much. I may have to read The Paper Magician again soon. 

What about you? Who are some of your fictional crushes? I have ALL KINDS of other people on my list… but those, I think, are my final 6. Ask me again in a few months and I’m sure it would look VERY different!

Remember to share your #SixforSunday posts using the hashtag!

S x 

S4S – Fave LGBTQ+ characters

Good afternoon friends! 

How are we all this fine (but chilly) Sunday?! I hope you are all well. I was in London yesterday for the Scholastic Book Feast blogger event (see my post coming next week for more details!) and today I’m just chilling. 

You’re not here to hear how my weekend has been though, you’re here for #SixforSunday I know your priorities! 

Today’s #SixforSunday prompt is:

Favourite LGBTQ+ characters

Surprisingly, all of my fave LGBT+ characters are all male characters! 

  1. Jack from Jack of Hearts and Other Parts by L.C.Rosen
    He just made me laugh SO much. I loved him. I MAY have to reread this book sometime soon. 
  2. Simon AND Blue from Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
    I couldn’t choose between them, so I get to choose them both. 
  3. Aaron from More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera
    I just wanna hug him. I’ve BEEN there. Poor Aaron
  4. A from Someday/Every Day/Another Day by David Levithan
    Tbh, I could have chosen ANY of David Levithan’s characters, but A is one of those characters who has stuck with me for a few years now. I really love the character of A.
  5. Aled from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
    I remember reading this book and LOVING Aled so much. This is another book I need to reread sometime soon. Would DEFINITELY recommend.
  6. Jimmy from I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman
    I loved Jimmy. In fact, I loved MOST of the characters in this book and Alice Oseman does SUCH GOOD diverse characters. 

So… since the men are repping here… can you all shout your fave LGBTQ+ characters at me? I need more of them in my life! 

S x 

S4S – LGBTQ+ books

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the little hiatus last week… I’d had a very busy weekend and I didn’t have my usual blogging time! I am back now, with a blog EVERY DAY next week to make up for my silence! 

Today we have a good old #SixforSunday post, with this month celebrating LGBTQ+ month! I can’t wait for us to be shouting about all the brilliant LGBTQ+ books there are out there! 

Today’s #SixforSunday prompt is:

LGBTQ+ faves

Some of my utter faves, in no particular order:

Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

The Lovers Dictionary – David Levithan

I Was Born For This – Alice Oseman

More Happy Than Not – Adam Silvera

Proud – Various authors (review to come!)

Jack of Hearts and Other Parts – L. C. Rosen

I am so so glad that #SixforSunday is supporting and celebrating all things bookish LGBTQ+ this month. Please share your favourite LGBTQ+ books, chracters, authors and illustrators this month! 

Let’s show the world we are PROUD.

S x