Here at I Heart SapphFic, we’ll be celebrating Pride all month long. Why? Because IHS organized the first ever I Heart SapphFic Pride Collection, which includes 8 standalone stories by some of the hottest names in sapphic fiction.
To help everyone stay on top of all the good things happening during June, we’ve decided to do a weekly roundup.
Here’s the link for the week one roundup.
And, now for week two…
Up first, authors in the collection have been sharing Pride memories in the IHS readers group on Facebook. Here’s who shared this week:
TB and Miranda were kind enough to invite me to contribute to the I Heart SapphFic Pride Collection, and it’s been an amazing honor being part. My story, Faux Pas, is a small-town fake-dating culinary romance that’s equal parts sweet and funny, and soft and heartfelt, and it’s been such a joy sharing it with you all! Seeing people loving the book has lit me up.
TB asked me to share a favorite Pride memory to celebrate the joy of the gayest month of the year with the group, and I’m going to be honest, it’s taken me a lot of thought! So I miiiight get a bit wordy, but… I’m an author, I’m paid to be wordy.
I grew up in a conservative household where I could never be openly queer (especially not trans!), and I only just a couple weeks ago hit my 5-year anniversary of leaving that household—and half that time, there’s been a pandemic. Yikes. That was a “how much time has passed??” realization I didn’t need 😬
So, I’ve never been to a Pride event or really been in a place to celebrate it! I sat down and wrote down an account of everything I’d done in June past years, trying to find a little queer story to share, whether Pride or not—when I slipped out for a queer sleepover and got to wake up for the first time to people calling me my real name, when I ended up more or less accidentally in a queer board game group in a new city and ended up more or less accidentally with all queer friends—but the more I thought it through, the more I realized I can’t pin down this experience into just a single memory.
Pride is about belonging exactly as you are. Especially being a trans woman, looking back over my past is a lot of feeling like I don’t belong, even in queer groups. That feeling of being insecure in my own body, like experiencing it all through a third-person lens, kept me from ever feeling like a part.
But that’s miles away now.
Today, I have nothing but love from a whole queer community around me, and we get to celebrate Pride together, loud and proud in all the colors of all the Pride flags. And even better, I get to share my little gay books with all of you, and you’re all SO good to me and so kind about my books. I’m blessed with an amazing girlfriend who loves me exactly for who I am, a dream career, and even an opportunity to contribute to a Pride book collection that will, I hope, mean as much to someone who reads it as it does to me.
Or if you just think the book is cute, that’s good too. Sometimes we just want something cute.
So, for me? I think the happiest Pride memory is the moment we’re making right now, sharing this book I love alongside some of the best friends I could know, and—you know, the sales numbers don’t hurt, either. I think if I could go back and show my younger self how much joy there could be in queer community, she’d think it was too good to be true.
So thank you to TB and Miranda for organizing this collection, to all the other authors for being a part, and to you, our readers, for joining us on all these happy little sapphic adventures in our stories together.
Of course, if you really want to be a stickler for one specific moment, we can say that sleepover. We had pancakes the next morning. Can you ever go wrong with pancakes? And of course I finished my anecdote with food.
Faux Pas: Click here to buy or read in Kindle Unlimited.
I had so much fun working on the Pride Collection, and a mishap at a parade plays a key role in my novel, The Glow Up.
I had my own Pride parade ‘mishap’ many years ago – though mine sadly did not end in true love.
Once upon a time and a couple years before I came out, I went on vacation with my then-boyfriend and his very religious family… in Cape Cod… in June. Guess where we ended up? Provincetown, of course.
Not only one of the queerest cities in the US, but on the day of their Pride Parade – which we accidentally drove right into!
Sitting in a minivan of uptight conservatives while a rainbow explosion of queer celebration happened around us was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had, and the silence inside that van was deafening.
Now, more than a decade later, I am so happy to be celebrating Pride from the -other- side of the van!
Want to read a much happier accident at a Pride parade, along with many other awesome Pride stories?
The Glow Up: Click here to buy or read in Kindle Unlimited.
Happy Pride Month everyone! I was so excited to be included in the I Heart SapphFic Pride Collection this year with my story about a queer prom and Lizzie’s desperate and often hilarious search for the perfect prom date.
Like Lizzie, I also love Pride-adjacent events way more than the parade — I prefer stomping in Dyke Marches and moving the couches at house parties to make a dance floor full of sweaty queers. I think I’ve been to the actual Pride festival exactly once and spent most of my time in the petting zoo there, to be honest.
However, my favorite Pride memory has to be the 2019 parade. It was the first parade I got to share with my siblings, because Denver Pride weekend almost always used to fall on Father’s Day, which is a hard sell for my close family. For their first Pride, my sister, in true straight ally fashion, really focused hard on the “What pride shirts are we all going to wear?” aspect of the event and my brother was just happy to have somewhere nobody would blink at him wearing a kilt. I swear, once the parade started, these two became absolutely obsessed with getting every item of swag, waving at every assless-chapped gay man on a float, and singing at the top of their lungs to Robyn, Gaga, and George Michael. Having my siblings there to share in that was really special and made me appreciate the parade all that much more. We’re going again this year and taking my niece and my daughter (who my sister has already purchased matching rainbow sunglasses for) and I can’t wait to keep up the tradition for years to come.
I hope you get to share Pride in some way with someone you love this year, too!
Every Version: Click here to buy or read in Kindle Unlimited.
Today, it’s my turn to share a little Pride memory in celebration of the month and the release of the Pride Collection. (Huge thank you to TB & Miranda for inviting me to this project!)
Having never been to a Pride event when I was in my twenties, I did have a friend who had just rented a place right outside of the Castro in San Francisco. I was visiting for the weekend and my friend, a gay man, wanted to take me out because he’s an extravert and loves to torture me. I remember the rainbow EVERYTHING all around; I remember the porn playing right there on the screen in one of the bars we walked into; I remember him asking me if I wanted a drink when we went into a bear bar, and I said no. He asked if I wanted a water because “they take care of their hags here,” and I said I was fine and laughed. What I remember most of all, though, is the naked men in strategically placed leather just walking up and down the street like that was something everyone did. I remember laughing with my friend and thinking that this was a place where people could just be themselves. My extravert friend made new friends that night, and one of them was a woman about my age with a pixie cut who was wearing rainbow suspenders attached to capri jeans and had glitter on her face. I’m pretty sure she flirted with me, but since I have no idea how actual flirting works, I’m not 100% on that one. Anyway, it was a fun night that ended with us crashing on my friend’s giant sofa after we managed to make it up one of the massive hills in that city.
Pride Festival: Click here to buy or read in Kindle Unlimited.
Despite being one of the organizers behind this year’s I Heart SapphFic Pride Collection, I have to confess that I’ve only been to Pride once, and it was entirely by accident. It’s not that I don’t like the idea of Pride. I just don’t like huge crowds. I don’t even attend my town’s annual food truck festival, and I can smell the barbecue truck from my backyard.
However, I do really like birthdays and I don’t like to disappoint children. This is why, when a dear friend invited me to join her at the Boston Public Garden a few years ago to take a ride on the swan boats and have a picnic for her daughter’s birthday, I figured it would be a nice, low-key way to spend a Saturday in June.
I started to suspect something was up when traffic was backed up nearly a mile from downtown, unlike anything I had ever seen. It was much too late to turn around, and besides, I was in charge of bringing lemonade for the picnic, and I was not going to be the reason a six-year-old’s party was ruined. So, I forged ahead, handed over my credit card to the nearest parking garage before I could be shocked into unconsciousness by finding out how much it would cost to park for the day, and made it to the garden just in time to claim my spot on the picnic blanket for what turned out to be a front row seat for the Boston Pride Parade.
It was a beautiful day. The parade was so much fun. The Public Garden was full of happy people and rainbows everywhere, including tiny bandanas worn by all the Make Way for Ducklings statues. There were colorful balloons, and a local bank was handing out little Pride flags that all the kids at the party were thrilled to wave as we rode the swan boats.
Even though ending up in the middle of a Pride celebration was “accidental,” everyone at our little picnic was so excited to be there. And I have to say, nothing can give you hope for the future like listening to a group of totally typical first graders discussing with each other how you’re allowed to love anyone you want, like it would never have occurred to them that anyone would think otherwise.
But as much as I enjoyed seeing the city of Boston during Pride, this year I think I will stay home and read the I Heart SapphFic Pride Collection instead!
Take Two: Click here to buy or read in Kindle Unlimited.
Here are the daily Pride Photos we shared on the socials
Stepping into Week 2 of Pride
A rainbow on the beach
A shop window in Salem, MA
Some of TB’s besties getting in the spirit
TB sees rainbows everywhere and found these in Rockport
Miranda at a book event
Em, Faith, Miranda, & TB