Worldwide, the month of June is celebrated as Pride month to honour the 1969 Stonewell Uprising in Manhattan. LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual) communities from all around the world gather to celebrate love, create awareness and extend solidarity towards the history of the LGBTQ Movement.
Although the COVID-19 outbreak might have restricted us to our homes, the rainbow shines even brighter online this year. There are tons of dance competitions, live sessions, and fun challenges celebrating love and pride.
The main aim behind the celebration of Pride month is to create awareness about the history of struggle and prejudice faced by the community. What better way than reading stories to gain some insight?
Here is a list of 5 fictional novels, set across the globe, that I feel will help us understand the power and joy of love!
Set in the lanes of Chandni Chowk to the beautiful valleys of Kashmir, Arundhati Roy unravels the journey of Anjum, a trans-woman struggling to make space in the heterosexual world, and her adopted daughter, Tilottama, and her journey of love. The novel intricately links the passion, pain, loss, and the battle of creating space in society.
Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book is set in the 20th-century town of Georgia. This epistolary novel traces the journey of four African-American women: Celie, Shug Avery, Sofia, and Nettie. It is a catalogue of their lives amidst domestic violence, silence, sexual abuse to female companionship and growth. The Color Purple teaches us not just love but also about the unbreakable bonds that we create with one another.
Set in Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to prohibition-era Detroit, Middlesex traces the journey of Calliope Stephanides, from becoming Callie to Cal. This coming-of-age story unravels the mysteries of incest and genetic composition. The rich, complex family drama compels us to learn and unlearn our perception of identity.
Shyam Selvadurai’s raw and exquisite composition, Funny Boy traces the coming of age story of Arjie and his experiences about growing up gay in a middle-class Tamilian household in Sri Lanka. Arjie’s bewildered sexual awakening is compassionately juxtaposed with the experiences of national violence uprisings between the Sinhalas and Tamils. The story is a mix of personal and political and self-realization.
A semi-autobiographical novel, Akwaeke Emezi fabricates a narrative that links the spiritual and the sexual. Rooted in the Igbo cosmology, Freshwater follows the journey of Ada through Nigeria and America. Her coming to terms with her fractured and multiple selves, Ada realizes and finds peace not in a singular self but in her amalgamation of all her selves, in being Ogbanje.
We are already halfway through the month of love, take a virtual tour across the globe through these books and let the joy of love shine!