On Saturday, the 14th, I had the privilege of attending my first Pride event here in Indianapolis. It was such a positive and uplifting day, and I’m so glad Lynley Wayne and Jambrea Jo Jones let me tag along on their coattails as a reviewer representative of the genre we write, read and love. As days go, I’ll tell you it’s one I’m not likely ever to forget. Indiana is one of the remaining states in the union that’s not only stubbornly holding on to the man/woman/marriage definition but is a state that’s been working hard to make marriage unconstitutional for same gender couples. After attending Indy Pride and seeing the projected one-hundred-twenty-thousand men, women, and kids in attendance, Indiana is a state that seems poised to move forward and make equality a verb rather than a noun.
We have so many people to thank for their generosity, for without the donations we received, our booth wouldn’t have been such a huge success. The depth of our gratitude can’t be expressed in a few words, but suffice it to say it’s because of these donations that we helped to introduce and spread the word about the M/M romance community to Indianapolis.
Many thanks go to:
MLR Press for your donation of Chapstick (Which, P.S. – people got a kick out of the fact we were giving away vanilla Chapstick in the booth next door to the Indianapolis Kink Society)
Ethan Stone for the donation of books and bookmarks
Jennifer Wright for your donation of books and discount coupons for the purchase of your books at Totally Bound
Sloan Parker for the donation of books
Rider Jacobs for the donation of magnets
Deanna Wadsworth for the donation of bookplates, bookmarks, stickers and discount coupons
EM Lynley for the donation of bookplates
Christopher Koehler for the donation of your books.
And finally, a special thank you to Lynley Wayne’s husband, Brian, for making the spinner wheel so we had a way for people to win all these great prizes.
It was gratifying for us to introduce people who love to read to a genre of books some didn’t know existed, and it was even more gratifying when I found people here and there who’d read some of the authors I love, but celebrating books is nothing when compared to meeting people who’ve been marginalized, who’ve been made to feel less than because of who they love, who’ve ever had to hide a part of themselves because of fear of rejection by the people who are supposed to accept and love them unconditionally. When a pagan woman tells you their community is so often forced into hiding because of the misunderstanding of their beliefs, I think it proclaims in big bold letters that Pride events are necessary for anyone who has to put on a public face in order to avoid being judged and condemned. Pride is the day when people can shed the uniform of conformity and celebrate without fear of being ridiculed and harassed for it, and I think I can safely speak for the three of us when I say it was that atmosphere that made it such an amazing day.
Indy Pride was twelve hours of chatting and pimping and people watching. It was a day filled with more than a few laughs and a lot of celebrating. And of Steve Grand, who is so beautiful and talented and I’m sorry I sucked so badly at videotaping him! But here, here’s a .gif of him that I was able to salvage from the wreckage of my Amishness. Enjoy!