#PrideLibrary19 – My Experiences With Our Pride Month Challenge

Hi! Wow. This month has flown by and today is already the final day of Pride Month! That also means #PrideLibrary19 is ending and I wanted to share my experiences with this challenge with you all!

This month was awesome. Lots of people participated – there are almost 1000 posts with our hashtag on Instagram! I’m not too sure about bookbloggers – almost none linked back to one of my posts so I can’t see how many participated. For next time it might be handy to know that you should link back to a post, not a homepage, if you link to someone’s post, they get a ping, so they know someone is talking about a specific post!

I’ve seen and noted tons of recommendations. Not just Young Adult books, but all kinds of age group books and genres! There were some prompts where I was the one asking for recommendations, and basically no one was able to recommend something. This could have different explanations.. either I’m not following the right people (or vice versa), or there are way too few books with certain types of representation. It saddens me that there are still so few books out there with good representation.. it makes it so hard for people to get to understand themselves.

There was one thing that really bothered me. June is Pride Month. Pride Month. This challenge was created in order to shine a light on queer books, queer characters and queer authors. While not all prompts specified – actually, most didn’t – it was pretty obvious that they were intended to be used to display queer books, queer characters or queer authors. I’ve been scrolling through instagram every couple of days and even though we have had almost 1000 posts, so many were with books that had nothing to do with the queer community.. they were just used so that people could tag the picture with #pridelibrary19 and either get more exposure or have a bigger chance to win the giveaway. Now, me and the other co-hosts don’t care that you don’t have a lot of queer books, but we want people to shine a light on the ones you dó have.

So while I’m happy we’ve had a huge outreach and we’ve recommended a lot of amazing queer books to people who didn’t know of them before our challenge, I’m also very disappointed by people that have been using our challenge for whatever reason, and have not been promoting queer books. And yes, we’ve been telling people over and over – through instagram stories, in our intro posts, in our own posts..

I don’t know if we’ll do another Pride challenge next year, but I’m definitely looking forward to it if we do. Queer books have helped me so much while discovering my own sexuality and I really hope we’ve helped others with our challenge. I really hope that the people that will be participating will promote queer books. You can promote non-queer books all year, I really don’t care. Pride Month is the only month there is extra attention for queer books. Please give them the attention they deserve 🙂

How was your Pride Month? Have you read more queer books? Or maybe started your first one? Let me know down below in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “#PrideLibrary19 – My Experiences With Our Pride Month Challenge

  1. Dany says:

    I was in a slump and didn’t read a book for this pride month. But I got a lot of recs from my fave bloggers which I’ll be going through soon! It’s awful that people are misusing the hashtag , but it’s great pride month is getting bigger and a lot of attention. Let’s look at the positive side to keep us sane! Great post Michelle ❤️

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  2. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites says:

    I’ve seen other people mention that their tags, or the replies in a giveaway, are filled with non-diverse titles despite that being the explicit purpose of the tag / giveaway – which is definitely super disappointing. not to be defeatist, but I feel like if something gets enough attention it’s almost inevitable that it’ll be misused this way; I can only imagine how frustrating it is as the organizer, but personally I would try to focus on the positive impact that you have at the same time.

    as for recommendations, I think the problem is twofold: there is a lack of representation overall (and especially for certain identities), and many of the diverse books that *do* get published, don’t get as much publicity. so definitely a systemic problem and an uphill battle, but there’s already been a huge change for the better in just the past few years, and I’m optimistic that it will continue.

    LGBTQIA+ books make up a significant amount of my TBR so I’m reading them all year round, but I did find a few standouts in June: the Wayfarers trilogy, The Psionics series, Let’s Talk About Love, and Uncomfortable Labels (which comes out this month)!

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  3. Para says:

    Personally, I didn’t try especially hard, but three out of six books I finished (plus three of those I’m currently reading) had a queer protagonist, and another had queer minor characters. So I think that’s alright. I also got a lot of good recs from various lists floating around.

    People tagging non-queer books as such for views is so scummy though 😠

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  4. TheCaffeinatedReader says:

    I’m not going to lie, about 2/3 of my read list for June if not more actually had great representation as far as queer books go. In fact Kingdom of Exiles had a bisexual male character and seriously, I was so shocked, they’re like wild unicorns in the usual genres I read so it was such a great surprise. I loved seeing how many books I should be adding to my tbr and got to know so many more authors as well through your pride month lists

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