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Feeling left out during Pride? This creator has the solution

Pride month is a time that brings up a whole lot of feelings for folks in the queer community. Who’s allowed at Pride, exactly, and who’s not? If you’ve just come out but you’re still figuring out who you are, is it ok to show up at a Pride event? What about if you’re an egg, or in the closet?

The bottom line is that there’s no wrong way to celebrate Pride, and if you’re ever at an event where you feel like your queerness is dismissed or ignored, get out of there. Everyone belongs at Pride, but that doesn’t stop some people from feeling left out, and those feelings can be really painful to deal with.

Luckily, one TikToker has a suggestion, and it involves (surprise) reading.

Lesbian TikToker Sarah Schauer recently came on to the app to share the books she’s been reading recently, mostly by queer immigrants. “A lot of immigrants experience this thing called ‘ambiguous grief, and a lot of people in the disability community experience it as well.”

So what is ambiguous grief? It’s exactly what it sounds like. When you’ve lost something or someone but not through anything as final as death, it’s hard for your brain to process that loss. We crave finality, so when we lose something like a community or a friendship, it can be hard to deal with the emotional fallout.

“So a lot of [queer] immigrants,” Schauer explains, “they love the community and the safety and the friendships they’ve built in the place they’ve immigrated to, however they still grieve the life that they could have had back in their homelands.”

Obviously we should all be reading more stories from queer immigrants, but Schauer has an even deeper connection to make.

“I hear a lot of bisexuals and pansexuals talk about how they’re in love with someone but they’re married to someone of the opposite sex, or another gender. So they grieve the…queer relationships they could have had. That’s a very valid experience.”

It absolutely is. So if you’re feeling alienated this Pride season, here are some books that might help shine a light on ambiguous grief.

Greenland, by David Santos Donaldson– This mind-blowing, formally fascinating novel takes readers through time and space to investigate queer lives and the trauma of displacement.

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib– This memoir takes Habib from Pakistan to a new life in Canada, where her realization of her queerness creates yet another kind of othering she must overcome.

Asylum, by Edafe Okporo– This memoir follows a queer Nigerian man trying to escape the persecution queer people face in his native country.

The Foghorn Echoes, by Danny Ramadan– This heartbreaking queer love story follows its heroes from Syria to Vancouver as they try to find a safe place they can call home.

Hijab Butch Blues, Lamya H– Lamya H’s journey of self-discovery moves from South Asia to the Middle East to New York city as our hero discovers all the many ways to yearn for queer love and community.

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