Hi all! I’m heading back to North Carolina for Wild Goose 2023, and this time instead of stand-up comedy, I’m sharing a live broadcast of the Books, Bible, Beer & Queer Podcast! During the pandemic I, and four or five other (million) people, discovered podcasting and many more are listening to them. It is a great creative outlet. While my work has increased, my podcasting has decreased, and I’m glad to re-ignite that effort this month. And I’m very glad and excited to share that the award-winning songwriter/ singer/musician Spencer LaJoye will be my guest for the live recording. They were the 2021 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition winner! Learn more about them and their music here.
For my second program at Wild Goose, I’m talking about ways each of us can Ignite the Freedom to Read.
Since I wrote the first “Why I Stand Up” blog post (see below) a lot has changed in our country. Part of that includes a massive wave of censorship. I’m writing this on the Fourth of July, a day to celebrate freedom as a country and freedom as individuals. But across the country efforts are being made to stifle the freedoms for people of color and those who are LGBTQ on many levels, including the ability to access and publish materials about their lives. Those freedoms are being squashed in libraries, public schools, churches, and just about every other place. Challenges went from having a single conversation with a parent at a library about a single title, Harry Potter is a great example, to organized well-funded groups asking to remove 20, 40, 100 books from a school or public library, to the level we’re at now, where states are legislating hate. If you want a visual trend or understanding for your state, please take a look at this link, Censorship by the Numbers from ALA.org.
This Fourth of July I’m living the mantra that “Free People Read Freely.” And I encourage you to join the Unite Against Book Bans campaign or speak out whenever you see attempts to censor access to information or voices, regardless of where it takes place.