“Pride & Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes” by Kathleen Archambeau— Out and Happy

Archambeau, Kathleen. “Pride & Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes”, Mango, 2017.

Out and Happy

Amos Lassen

There was a time in LGBT American history that gay youth had no role models. We grew up being afraid of our sexuality being discovered by parents, friends and society but today we are very lucky that this is no longer the case. In “Pride and Joy: LGBTQ Artists, Icons and Everyday Heroes”, LGBTQ activist Kathleen Archambeau, uses the stories of out and happy gay people to empower today’s queer youth to do more than survive regardless of challenges, losses and risks. By looking at other out and happy gay people, they are encouraged to live openly. The stories we have here are powerful and they help to recognize and fortify the strength of our community and our individuals. These are diverse stories of those living good lives all over the world. We read, for example “why playwright Tony Kushner quit cello and how writer Colm Toibin found his voice, how choreographer Bill T. Jones got the best advice from his mother, how being an inaugural poet changed Richard Blanco’s life and how Ugandan activist “LongJones” escaped death threats and gained asylum”.

Many of these stories are appearing in print for the first time and we see that they are universal and inspiring. We read about and how a Mormon who was raised in the bravery of a Uruguayan author who was rejected by her immediate family even as she began a family of her own, how a Mormon who was raised in Utah went on to become executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and how one NBA sports executive found the courage to come out. We have stories that are set in a Methodist church, London, Harlem, New Zealand and how these locations impacted the lives of those living there.

This is a look into the LGBTQ community and is a wonderful read not only for gay youth but also for straight friends, allies, parents and families.


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