Why I love going to Pride events with QSAC

by BJ Sikes

BJ Sikes author in front of a pink purple and blue bounce house.

QSAC often has a booth or table at local Pride events (see our schedule below) where several QSAC authors come to sell their books. We share a single booth for greater visibility and because it’s more fun to do an event as a group!

I started attending Pride festivals as a QSAC author last year and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming events.

What makes these events so great? 

I asked Scott what he loved about doing Pride events with QSAC and he succinctly and eloquently said: 

“It’s that feeling I get when folks tell us they are so happy to see us there, especially in places like Placer County, and when teens and parents light up when they see books that represent them and their families.”

I agree with him 100%.

I love when people come and talk to us about reading and writing (even when they don’t buy a book). I love seeing the look on people’s faces when they spot our booth. LGBTQIA+ authors? And their books? It’s hard to identify us just from a casual online search (unless you subscribe to one of Scott’s awesome email lists like QueerRomance Ink). But when you see us in person? Yep, there we are in all our rainbow-y glory at your local Pride event. Being at Pride gives me a sense of being in community with people who GET who we are and love our books because we are telling our shared stories.

I especially love talking to young queer folks who maybe don’t think that they could be published writers. Giving them encouragement to tell their own stories gives me all the warm fuzzies. 

And as a mature (ahem) author, I represent the future for them in some way. I remember those angsty, tumultuous years when I didn’t know who I was or if anyone cared about my stories. The young peeps I talk to are often immersed in all the angsty glory of being a young queer writer. My hope is that by being present as an author, I can show them that maybe it won’t always be so hard. I survived those years and kept writing, so they can too.

Being at the QSAC booth during Pride events lets me encourage everyone who visits the QSAC booth (young AND old) to tell their stories and I hope to see you there!

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