It seems that on a daily basis we read of continuing efforts by Republican dominated states to roll-back LGBTQ+ rights, whether in teaching sex education (Arizona, Tennessee), transgender sports participation (North Dakota), or access to life-saving hormone medications for trans students (Arkansas). Further abroad in countries as diverse as Russia (and especially Chechnya) and Bangladesh, the lives of our gay brothers and sisters are threatened, which is why the upcoming anthology by journalist Amelia Abraham is perfectly timed and much needed.
— Amelia Abraham (@MillyAbraham) April 8, 2021
Arriving in June 2021 (pre-order now) is this collection of essays, memoirs, and testimonials from a range of LGBTQ+ pioneers. Among the writers are Owen Jones, British journalist from the Guardian, writing about the need for better LGBTQ+ mental health services, Olly Alexander of BBC’s ‘It’s A Sin’ mini-series calling for inclusive sex education in schools, and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 runner-up Peppermint.
In an exclusive interview with Instinct, author Amelia Abraham talked about the genesis for the project and Peppermint’s contribution. “We wanted to get a really strong balance of global voices, people across LGBTQIA+, different ages, and backgrounds, and professions.” She added, “I think it’s a good spread!”
The concept for the book was from her own experiences. “It was the general feeling of so many ongoing issues still to discuss, wanting to refute the idea that we’ve somehow arrived at equality…We talk about achieving ‘LGBTQ+ equality’, but around the world, LGBTQ+ people are still suffering discrimination and extreme violence. How do we solve this urgent problem, allowing queer people everywhere the opportunity to thrive?”
In We Can Do Better Than This, 35 voices explore this question. Through deeply moving stories and provocative new arguments on safety and visibility, dating and gender, care and community, they map new global frontiers in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
As for Peppermint, this multi-talented queen wrote an essay about the images she saw growing up as a trans person in terms of what it means to date trans people. For example, trans people “revealing” that they are trans on the Jerry Springer show and being met with negative reactions. She talks about how all of us, trans or not, internalize this negative representation and how it contributes to some of the stigmas that exist around dating trans people today.
Additionally, Peppermint makes the case for what needs to change in society, partly so trans people can feel safe and embraced in relationships, and partly to reduce the worrying numbers of trans people who are attached by sexual partners. She outlines what better representation looks like, and also how we can all work to eradicated trans dating stigma through the language we use and our behavior on apps.
Perfect for your summer reading, this collection is a must read for everyone concerned about the state of affairs within our global community.