(The year a lady kicked some butt)
This book is an introduction to the concept of The Meaning of Pride. We have seen this story before, the mapping of the who came before, and the ideas presented, yet this time it is fresh due to the language Rosiee Thor uses. It is telling us as if we are having a conversation with them.
The illustrations are what make the picture book even more fresh. There are people we know from other books, works and stories (Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson) but there are contemporary people as well (Leslie Jordan, Laverne Cox). And while I have seen books that have people like RuPaul and Cox, I have never seen Jordan or poet Andrea Gibson before (and if they are the Andrea Gibson I am thinking of, they are one bada$$ poet!). There were other names of history I was not familiar with; therefore, I was able to have one more chapter of the history of the GLBTQ+ community.
(OMG Lea DeLaria????? I LOVED meeting them! They were so nice and handsome!)
The dimension and levels of the concept of pride is celebrated in multiple ways and the illustrations are as bold, brassy, colorful, detailed and, well, as proud as the community can be. Sometimes you can tell who someone is due to a familiarity of their features, but also due to a signature quality or part of them we know (Freddie Mercury might not look like him at first blush, but there is no question that is their signature move with the microphone). They are fun images that complete the text.
I would not say this book is for everyone, the picture book format could be a turn off, but it should have something for everyone. And what I really took away from this book is that the story is not over. Yes, we might know Oscar Wilde or Milk and their contributions, but with the “pop culture of today” (I mean there are drag queens even I have heard of) it will help make it familiar to a modern reader and show a connection that story is not a “long time ago and with a bunch of old dead people” but is here and now (looking at you Elliot Page).
(I hope this is the Andrea Gibson I know and love reading)