C/O Yoohyun Park
PCC’s book club provides opportunity for dialogue about 2SLGBTQIA+ literature
On Oct. 29, McMaster Student Union’s Pride Community Centre held their first Pride Book Club meeting of the year. The introductory meeting allowed members to meet each other and discuss possible queer and trans book options for the book club, as well as the importance of representation in media to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
Although the first book club meeting was held on a Friday, the PCC will be announcing a different meeting date and time after determining what schedule works best for all book club members.
According to club facilitators Shruthi Krishna and Matt Aksamit, the Pride Book Club is a space for students to access and discuss 2SLGBTQIA+ literature. Both Aksamit and Krishna noted the significance of having a space for 2SLGBTQIA+ literature available to students.
Aksamit highlighted the importance of having a safe space when discussing 2SLGBTQIA+ experiences and Krishna emphasized that shared experiences among 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals make the book club experience even more unique.
“It’s always really nice to have a space where everyone who is talking about the books relates on some level,” said Krishna.
Outside of a sense of comfort and shared experiences, Krishna and Aksamit also highlighted the role of the Pride Book Club in 2SLGBTQIA+ education.
“It provides a sense of learning more about the community, which is something that we’re always striving to do and it’s a continuous process. I think books always allow you to empathize deeply and to learn more about other people and other struggles, which I think is really interesting,” said Aksamit.
Aksamit noted that this can help members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to understand their common and differing experiences.
Krishna added that 2SLGBTQIA+ literature can also provide insight into how intersectional identities impact experiences within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
Aksamit also discussed the role of escapism in fiction, specifically noting that this sense of escapism is often especially important to members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
“I think that we live in a world that can be very exhausting to exist in just being queer and trans inherently. So I think that [the project] allows people to escape their reality for a second and just join in on a space where they can have fun engaging [in] discussion with other queer and trans folks,” said Aksamit.
Krishna and Aksamit have many titles lined up for the coming weeks. Krishna specifically noted that they would likely read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Detransition, Baby. Aksamit also expressed excitement about another upcoming title, The House on the Cerulean Sea.
“[The House on the Cerulean Sea] really is escapism to the max. It’s a queer story, but it’s so heartwarming. And it’s really nice to have a nice, warm and heartwarming story. It’s really good,” said Aksamit.
Students are not required to have their own copy of the books that they will be reading. The PCC will be providing students with digital copies of the chosen books. After compiling a list of possible books, books are chosen based on votes from members of the book club.
Queer and trans representation is often lacking in media. The PCC is a service that provides McMaster University students with a safe space to engage in dialogue regarding 2SLGBTQIA+ issues. With the Pride Book Club, students have the opportunity to find representation in queer and trans books while sharing their thoughts with a supportive community.