There are books where we identify with a character or situation. Other times, there is little familiarity to be felt. Marginalized communities, in particular, do not see themselves in literature as often. Their identities are few and far between no matter how close the reader is to the end of a story. Growing up, Random Acts Regional Representative for Canada East Ted Cabanes knew this to be true. He, therefore, donated books reflecting his community as part of our wellness theme for #GetKind. Random Acts Regional Representative for Canada East Harpreet Kaur also joined Ted during his donation.
Queer Pride Since 1970
Glad Day Bookshop has a pink neon sign matching its storefront veranda. Bicycles rest on the sidewalk, all a part of its charm, which has been cultivated since 1970. So, too, has its collection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer literature. Glad Day Bookshop is not only the first queer-focused Canadian bookstore, but also the oldest worldwide. Cabanes had the desire to donate books to Supporting Our Youth (SOY), an initiative of Sherbourne Health for queer and trans spectrum youth 29 years old and under.
Finding Representation in Prose
Cabanes was delighted to share titles of particular books with other people. “I’ve observed that from my youth until now, there’s been more literature that can cater to my needs, especially as an openly gay cisgender man,” he said. “I wish I had books that had representation of who I identify as. I’m still just trying to play catch up, reading graphic novels and stories that I never thought would have been the norm we have now.”
He purchased four books in total from the bookstore. Two followed the theme of wellness, making them great tools for mental health awareness. The leftovers fell under the genre of young adult. It was a raving success. “We’ve gained a new organization we can support (SOY), and working with Glad Day for inventory or book-related acts will definitely be done again,” he noted.
Have you ever become lost in a book? Felt connected to a particular paragraph or enchanting world? Then perhaps you would like to share its theme to help another. You can get started by having a chat with our friendly Regional Representatives, who are always looking for kind ideas. Our Acts of Kindness proposal page can help, too.