Prairie Queer - Rae Spoon & Vivek Shraya

June 6, 2013 | Ray

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Whether you've lived on the prairie or in a small town, Rae Spoon & Vivek Shraya's work will move you. Reminding you of what you loved about the prairie / countryside and what can make it so darn hard to live there as a queer and as Vivek describes, as a queer person of colour.

Their new books out are quick reads - but one's you'll want to read again as soon as you've finished.

Both Rae and Vivek are musicians and artists and all-around too cool to describe. Yes, Rae's voice makes me cry, it's so haunting and beautiful.  Also, they're both really nice genuine people.

First, the books:


First Spring Grass Fire. by Rae Spoon If you're not already familiar with Rae, they describe themselves as 'gender retired', very excellent.  - For crash-course info on 'they' the gender-neutral pronoun and its usage see the Toronto Star interview with Rae.


This memoir is Rae's retelling of growing up queer in a Pentacostal family in Alberta.  Never quite fitting in and hiding one's true self, this collection of short stories brings back all the tender and awkward parts of being a teen prairie queer. 5 stars!  Rae's website also rocks.


GodloveshairGod Loves Hair. by Vivek Shraya. His memoir describes growing up queer in a Hindu family in Alberta and his own struggle to reconcile his family's expectations, his own coming-of-queerness, and navigating spaces that don't wholly accept you for yourself - or your tween unibrow. Tragicomic tales.  Funny! 5 stars!

Vivek is so cool, he was part of Young Voices Conference last fall.  Thanks, Vivek!! 

Do! check out his knock-out short films about people always mispronoucing your name and about discrimination against people of colour within queer spaces. His website also rocks.


AAAND, here's a duet that will have you inexplicably crying and laughing at the same time.

What awesome voices: