Prairie Queer - Rae Spoon & Vivek Shraya
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.
God 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: