Patrick Califia on libraries…

Patrick Califia is one of my all time favourite writers. Thanks Jen for clipping this from Xtra West for me. He writes:

When I came out, the first place I headed to to find out about my sexuality was the library and thank god there were librarians who were opposed to censorship and kept whatever minimal sources of information there were. It’s through the printed page, through the written word that we know about the folks that have gone on before us, and it’s the way that we leave the little trail of breadcrumbs for the new folks to follow. It’s invaluable just for that reason alone.

-Author, Patrick Califia tells a crowd at Toronto’s first ever Writing Outside the Margins literary festival, produced by Xtra West’s sister paper Xtra, Aug 26.

This reminds me of the second place story in the Beyond Words story contest, The Cure, by MP Jorgensen. He wrote about how as a young gay man, he went to the library to read about curing his homosexuality, and ended up “learn(ing) that I could love and be loved as a gay man, not only by others and myself, but also by my creator…I am grateful, and perhaps owe my life, to the BC and Canadian library system, that allows freedom of information and makes it available to all, at no cost.”

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