As a part of #OtherworldlyPride, we asked our authors what Pride means to them! Read their responses below, and find out more about Tor Teen’s epic, new queer YA fantasies!

TJ Klune, author of Flash Fire

“On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States held in a 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to grant same-sex marriages. The queer community was elated. Shortly after, some straight people declared that homophobia was over. In the fall of 2016, I was called a homophobic slur in a grocery store parking lot by a good ol’ boy in a truck after he’d seen me getting out of my own car with a rainbow pride sticker on the back. I said nothing, ignoring him and going about my day. But I kicked myself repeatedly for not sticking up for myself. The reason I didn’t, of course, was for my own safety. Anecdotal, sure, but it wasn’t the first time, nor the last. When I was a baby queer in Tucson, Arizona, I learned from a group of drag queens that Pride isn’t just a yearly thing we get together to celebrate for. Pride is a state of mind. Pride is a riot. Pride is standing up to the street preachers with their bullhorns at our parades, spinning lies about hellfire and eternal damnation. Pride is a rebellion to all those who think us as lesser, who will never understand what it means to have individual rights threatened. We are here. We are queer. And you better get used to it because we’re not going anywhere.”

Mark Oshiro, author of Each of Us a Desert

“Pride means two things for me: It is a chance for those of us in our community to honor and respect our history, one that is long, storied, and built on the work, sacrifice, and radical brilliance of our elders. Pride literally does not exist if it weren’t for a violent rebellion led primarily by Black and brown trans and queer folks. It is also one of the most unique celebrations in the world, a time for us to uplift one another and practice mindful joy. This year, it is especially meaningful to me, as it is the first year I get to be out as nonbinary!”

Charlie Jane Anders, author of Victories Greater Than Death

“Right now I’m missing the San Francisco Trans Pride March so much. Hundreds of trans and non-binary people and our allies, marching down the street, waving signs, chanting, singing, crying, dancing past the pet supply store, putting fresh rips in our fishnet tights, being present and loud and unavoidable. Motorists honking at us not out of hate but in support of our street party. Trans Pride is a party but also a totally necessary coming together of hundreds of members of our community, supporting each other and showing that we are here for each other as a community. In this current era of rampant transphobia, I crave more than ever to be part of a giant crowd, stretching as far as the eye can see, showing that WE ARE STILL HERE AND WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE AND WE LOVE BEING OURSELVES. Try to crush us at your peril. We have loud music and gorgeous fashions and we are all marching for each other.”

Lauren Shippen, author of Some Faraway Place

“Pride, to me, means celebrating who you are in the way that feels best to you. That can mean dressing in your best rainbow get-up and hopping on a float, it can mean getting on social media and sharing your pride with your online community, it can mean hanging inside with a few friends, playing a board game or watching a movie, safe in the knowledge that you are loved for who you are. But alongside the beautiful celebration of each other and our shared queer identity, Pride also means remembering all the people who fought and struggled to get us to this point. It means remembering and honoring all our LGBTQ+ siblings who came before us, especially our Black and trans siblings who have risked so much to start and lead a movement striving for equality.”

Charlotte Nicole Davis, author of The Sisters of Reckoning

“To me, pride means loving yourself for being yourself. It means being unapologetic about who you are. I didn’t come out until college, so I think part of the reason I love writing YA so much is that it gives me the chance to imagine the queer childhood I never had. Queer kids deserve stories about falling in love for the first time, about finding your people, about discovering who you are. They deserve to be proud, too.”

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