Last week­end, New York sparkled with col­or as the city’s annu­al Pride March and thou­sands of pro­test­ers hit the streets. This year in par­tic­u­lar, we’re remind­ed that Pride is not only an expres­sion of joy, but also an urgent call to lis­ten to mar­gin­al­ized voices.

JBC’s own return to in-per­son events this month (after a two-year hia­tus!) was a wel­come oppor­tu­ni­ty to uplift queer voic­es in Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture. We kicked off the month at The Cen­ter for Fic­tion with a con­ver­sa­tion between Feli­cia Berlin­er (author of the forth­com­ing debut nov­el Shmutz) and Abby Stein (trans­gen­der activist and author of the mem­oir Becom­ing Eve) about sex­u­al­i­ty and gen­der iden­ti­ty with­in Hasidic com­mu­ni­ties. The fol­low­ing week, we host­ed a salon on the ter­race of the Pub­lic Hotel to hon­or the recent win­ners of the Berru Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award for Poet­ry in Mem­o­ry of Ruth and Bernie Wein­flash. Lisa Richter (the 2020 win­ner for Nau­tilus and Bone) spoke about Anna Margolin’s queer Yid­dish poet­ry. Joy Ladin’s wife read from the after­word of The Book of Anna, in which Joy (the 2021 win­ner) describes how writ­ing about a Holo­caust sur­vivor allowed her to express her own pain as a secret­ly trans­gen­der person.

In the vir­tu­al world, it was a treat for me to speak with Abi­gail Weaver about The Lit­tle Bot­tles,” a sto­ry about the bond between two shtetl women and the mag­ic invoked by one of them. I was thrilled that so many of you could join us for this final meet­ing for the year of Paper Brigades Short Sto­ry Club. If you couldn’t make it, don’t wor­ry – you can now watch a record­ing of the dis­cus­sion with Abi­gail here.

And for the indoor kids” at heart: if your ide­al way of mark­ing Pride is to curl up with a mean­ing­ful book, of course we’ve got you cov­ered. :) You can check out our ever-grow­ing LGBTQIA+ read­ing list here. Do you have favorites we should add? Recent reads that you’re dying to dis­cuss? Please let me know! Some short­er LGBTQIA+ high­lights from the past year include an essay by Sam Cohen, an inter­view with Melis­sa Broder, a sto­ry by Yael van der Wouden, and a com­ic by S. Bear Bergman and Saul Freedman-Lawson.

As June comes to an end, I hope these sto­ries will help you cel­e­brate queer Jew­ish writ­ing all year long.

Hap­py read­ing, and hap­py Pride!

Bec­ca Kan­tor is the edi­to­r­i­al direc­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and its annu­al print lit­er­ary jour­nal, Paper Brigade. She received a BA in Eng­lish from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia and an MA in cre­ative writ­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of East Anglia. Bec­ca was award­ed a Ful­bright fel­low­ship to spend a year in Esto­nia writ­ing and study­ing the coun­try’s Jew­ish his­to­ry. She lives in Brooklyn.