The Lambda Literary Foundation’s LGBT Writers in Schools Program connects authors with classrooms, and in turn, provides hope.
“Hope saves lives. Hope is a person who is like you, who feels what you feel. If you can’t find such a person close by, a character in a book can provide hope. Therefore, LGBT books save lives.” ~Steven Reigns
The Lambda Literary Foundation’s mission is to “nurture, celebrate, and preserve LGBT literature through programs that honor excellence, promote visibility and encourage development of emerging writers.” While the Foundation not only recognizes and promotes quality LGBT literature, it also connects authors and high school or collegiate classrooms through its LGBT Writers in Schools program. It’s about encouraging diversity, acknowledging LGBT writers’ contributions to literature, facilitating an open discussion about LGBT issues and societal impact, and giving a voice to those who have long been silenced.
So can a book truly save a life? We all need to feel we are not alone. We all desire our story to be told. When a character resonates with our personality, that book becomes a part of us. Some turn to religious texts for salvation and guidance. Others to self-help manuals. Why should a novel or memoir be any different? As long as the reader can find hope through the text, that book matters. Our LGBT students deserve readily accessible novels and authors to inspire hope as equally as all other students.
This is what we at The Good Men Project also seek. A forum of stories that can spark discussion, guide decisions, perhaps even inspire hope. And perhaps that hope not only saves a life but enriches it.
Image credits: Kait Marie/flickr