LGBTQ+ Book Care Package’s from the Queer Book Library

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Photo Courtesy of Danielle Serio

English teacher and queer alliance advisor creates the LGBTQ+ care packages with several titles surrounding different aspects of queer experiences.

Isabella Mahar, Opinion Editor

The LGBTQ+ library in English teacher Danielle Serio’s classroom has been a staple for students the past few years full of books all centering around queer stories. However, during the pandemic, many students haven’t been able to borrow books, so Serio has begun crafting book care packages.

The library started a few years ago when former Queer Alliance Club President Luciana Benzan began fundraising to research and buy books about representative LGBTQ+ literature.

“Students in this community are used to reading books that pretend they don’t exist or learning history that excludes their experiences. The library is one way we can help rectify that,” said Serio. 

Serio began doing book care packages since so many students were missing out on it due to the pandemic. The effect of staying home all the time has an effect on everyone, especially LGBTQ+ students who may not be able to get these books on their own. 

Serio began asking the community for donations about a week ago and has received a fantastic response- especially from teachers at SJHHS. 

“A care package with a few books that might help them start a conversation about coming out to their family, or that features experiences that they’re currently going through — that might be exactly what someone needs in this moment. I’ve been asking the community for donations for about a week now and have gotten a huge response, especially from other teachers here at San Juan Hills. We all want to see students get the chance to connect with themselves and other people through these books,” said Serio. 

A lot of us are struggling with feeling alone, and that can be amplified if we aren’t feeling seen in the way we want at home. That’s ultimately what all books are for — helping to remind us that there are a lot of us out there and that we aren’t as by ourselves as we think we are,”

— Danielle Serio

To get a package, students may reach out to Serio through her email at [email protected], and she will then ask them a few questions about what they would like to borrow, whether it be YA, comic books to queer history, or a specific experience/identity.  

She then assembles a unique package including two to five titles and wraps them up. Students, whether online or in-person, can pick them up in her classroom or the front office at whatever time works best for them and Serio will try to accommodate. 

These books allow students to feel not only recognized but also respected, no matter what their home environment may be. 

“A lot of us are struggling with feeling alone, and that can be amplified if we aren’t feeling seen in the way we want at home. That’s ultimately what all books are for — helping to remind us that there are a lot of us out there and that we aren’t as by ourselves as we think we are. For LGBTQ+ students, an afternoon spent with a graphic novel or a cozy young adult rom-com that reflects our identity can not only be refreshing but even healing,” said Serio.

Serio’s personal favorite from the library is This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids and Red, White and Royal Blue. This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids because it is very helpful to students who aren’t sure how to discuss their identity with their parents, with the idea of it being a “frequently asked questions” book that finds easier ways to talk about complex things. Then Red, White, and Royal Blue because “I’m a sucker for romance stories with happy endings. Any more, I only have patience for stories where everything turns out okay,” said Serio. 

To donate to the queer book library, click here.