Proud compiled by Juno Dawson
Proud is an awesome collection of unapologetically queer short stories and poems accompanied by artwork. There is a badass and powerful introduction from Juno Dawson herself then several intros from various publishing people. The collection is joyful and sweet and a celebration of pride. I’m going to give a mini review on each piece, some of them very short indeed because I don’t want to spoil anything.
We start with Dive bar, an evocative poem.
Then comes penguins, about Cameron, who is trying to come out and the gay penguins at the local zoo. I felt so bad for Cameron this is the nightmare coming out scenario since he kept getting interrupted, but also it was quite funny. So so cute
On the run follows a gay couple who are on the run after winning the lottery. It made me happy, strange but sweet
The phoenix’s fault is more fantasy based, where the emperor is looking for a wife and any woman over the age of 16 with a phoenix can apply. My thoughts were: BEST FRIENDS GAY PHOENIX DRAGON AMAZING. You want anymore and you’ll have to read it.
As the Philadelphia queer youth choir sings Katy Perry’s ‘firework’… was the thoughts of various members of the choir, quite funny.
Almost certain is about an anxious girl who loves music. Orla is relatable, her room is her sanctuary and her parents are amazed when she goes out on a Friday night. Coming out anxiety is very relatable. So cute and sad
The other team is about a football team with a trans guy. I love the sense of camaraderie and team spirit and acceptance.
I hate Darcy Pemberley is a gay, modern Pride and Prejudice. Lizzie is absolutely savage, and I need a movie like this.
The courage of dragons is the story of a non binary person coming out at school. Dungeons and dragons themed with nicknames for their queer gang and a legendary quest involving prom.
The instructor was a girl getting driving lessons to impress the girl she has a crush on from an eccentric driving instructor. So so so so so cute.
Love poems to the city is a girl who writes love poems campaigning for gay marriage rights in Ireland. It was pretty cool.
How to come out as gay was a poem. Beautiful.
I really enjoyed this collection. It made me smile and I felt at home. There are so many books only with heterosexual characters, it’s nice to have one with mostly queer characters.