Homophobia puts the LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, two-spirited) community at higher risk for depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and phobic disorders, suicidal thoughts and acts, self-harm, isolation, job insecurity, homelessness, and alcohol and drug dependence.
How do we improve the lives of our LGBTQ2S family and friends?
Love your Loved Ones:
Family acceptance results in good mental and physical health.
Support your Colleagues:
Support from friends, supportive workplaces, and neighbourhoods counters internalized homophobia (the acceptance of negative stereotypes) and, therefore, contributes to higher self-esteem.
Connect to Community:
When LGBTQ2S people, and their family and friends, identify as being part of the LGBTQ2S community, they no longer feel alone. The connection to a supportive community significantly reduces internalized homophobia.
Check out these recommended books and movies; all are available online or for curbside collection and are completely for free with your Brampton Library Card:
Unconditional: A guide to loving and supporting your LGBTQ child by Telaina Erikson. Erikson provides parents with the framework for helping their LGBTQ child navigate the world.
We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib. Habib wrestles with her faith and her family, comes to terms with her sexuality while traveling in Tokyo, and finds her true self in a queer-friendly mosque in Toronto. The book, like the title, is a rallying cry to find the power and pride in being your true self.
The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes. A graphic memoir that is full of hope and the joy that comes from becoming your true self.
Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs by Jennifer Finney Boylan. This book was sparked by Boylan’s blog - which went viral when she wrote the evolution of her gender identity in a unique way - via the dogs she’s loved throughout her life.
Wow, No Thank You.: Essays by Samantha Irby. The self-deprecating, and hilarious essayist, examines the most cringeworthy particulars of her own life, from the panic of being without a smartphone to "lesbian bed death."
Here for It by R. Eric Thomas. If you enjoy David Sedaris’ writing - how it offers both hilarity and cultural criticism - then you’ll love this book. Thomas, a columnist for Elle, reveals both the danger and the humour of being a queer person of colour in Trump’s America.
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Just published in 2019, this poetic novel is already considered a masterpiece. The book is written as a letter from a son, Little Dog, to his mother - who cannot read. He uncovers family history that began in Vietnam before he was born. He makes connections between his mother’s life and his own, including a bittersweet love story. Beautifully written and full of insight.
Real Life: A Novel by Brandon Taylor. One of the most anticipated releases of the year, Taylor’s debut novel provides a window into what it is like to be Black and LGBTQ2S in the Midwest.
You can also check out our Pride Book List for more recommendations.