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I’m So Proud Of This Community | 30 Days of Pride

Welcome back to 30 Days of Pride on Ace Of Bens!

I’ve saved my own personal pride post for last, not because I necessarily wanted to be the wrap-up, but because I didn’t really know what to talk about until last night. I’ve talked about my coming out experience on here before. Already, I’ve made a bunch of recommendation posts, including a list of 20BiTeen releases. So what more is there to talk about?

There’s a lot more to talk about, actually. It’s just not so personal, because it’s not about me but all of you reading this. This community, the book, reading, and writing community, has become a virtual home for me. I mean it!  I’ve tried to take hiatuses from Twitter, which is my main platform, but I can’t stay away from the people there. Even when I do take breaks, I find myself talking to my main group chat buddies (shout out to the book brothel) through text, checking up on my favorite authors on other platforms like Instagram, and reading new blog posts or watching new videos from my reviewer friends.

Some may call it an internet addiction (and honestly, it’s hella rude for you to call me out like that), but I mean, is it really an addiction if it’s good for me? I’ve found my people here.

I never would have found the incredible group of people dedicated to boosting diverse books and other media, if it weren’t for the online book community.

Yeah, we all mess up sometimes, but there are so many people out there who are genuinely trying their best. And yeah, we fight a lot, but damn, we’re like a big (mostly) happy, dramatic family. At the end of the day, when it’s time to take a break from the drama and shut out the latest Hot Take from enemies of Young Adult literature and diverse books, I know I can escape it all with the friends I’ve made.

And oh my gosh have I made so many friends here! That’s not to brag of course. It’s just wild to me, because when I went to BookExpo last month (which was an AMAZING privilege. I already can’t wait to go back and see everyone again!), I spoke to SO MANY people that I had previously never met in real life. They were people on all levels of the publishing industry who recognized me from Twitter and my blog? I just—you’re trying to tell me that authors and publicists and reviewers I didn’t recognize myself all know me, an anxious trans boy from the Pocono Mountains, just by looking at my name tag? I suppose I technically introduced myself online. But the point is that this community has given me a voice, a platform to scream my lungs out on.

You are the ones who make me feel welcomed and valid.

So much so that you were really the first ones I came out to about being a non-binary trans man (because who’s really binary any more? Let’s be real. It’s old news.) You’re the ones I feel like I can scream about an entire list of 2019 book releases with bisexual characters in them and feel like people are listening. Three years ago, I would have felt like that was too niche a topic worth trying to share. But y’all are like, “Oh my gosh, give it to me! I definitely need to add them all to the hundreds of books already on my TBR!”

But most importantly, you all made 30 Days of Pride possible.

I gave myself a hefty goal in April to collect 28 guest posts that would help me fill up the 30 days in June along with Introduction and Wrap-Up posts. While I didn’t quite get there, I am so impressed and proud to say that 30 Days of Pride, in its first year had 2 hosts, 27 guest posters, and 14 interviewees who have collectively created 51 posts for this event. Of course numbers aren’t everything, but that’s pretty spectacular to me. And of course this event would be nothing without its readers! The support and attention this event has gotten are really something. This is the first month I have ever reached over 1,000 views. As of the time I’m posting this, I’m less than 100 views away from 2,000. (This is going to be a tough new record for me to break again.) That means that the 26 posts for this series on Ace Of Bens have collectively been viewed over one thousand times. That is absolutely wild to me!!

So thank you, to every single person who has had even a small part in making an event like this possible.

Thank you to all the LGBTQ+ authors for writing the books you’ve written. To the guest posters who are out there living their best gay lives. To my fellow host Tay, who when I told her about this ambitious idea immediately said, “Sounds great! Can I co-host?” To all the readers who may be to shy to post their own stories or are simply comfortable sitting back and cheering the rest on. To all the allies in the publishing, writing, reading communities who have played a bigger part than probably all of us realize. I’m so happy to be able to share this corner of the internet with each and every one of you.

As 30 Days of Pride and Pride month itself come to a close, I want to wish you all a happy pride month. I hope  you’ll remember, even though corporate sponsors only recognize it for 30 days, pride is a year-round event. Celebrate it 365 days a year. Remember that trans women of color started what we now call pride. Listen to people of all backgrounds, all 12 months. They all have a story to tell, and this blog series has shown that you’re probably going to want to listen. So thanks for listening. See all in LGBT Wrath Month!

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