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TC Tolbert on Community and Collaborative Effort

TC Tolbert on Community and Collaborative Effort

Author: Edit Team

November 19, 2019

For over 30 years, Lambda Literary has shone a light on LGBTQ literature. We do this because books–like all of us in the LGBTQ community–are full of power and possibility.

Lambda Literary recently asked our community of writers to name a book that profoundly shaped who they are and how they see the world. The poet TC Tolbert told us:

The book that changed my life as a child was The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. More specifically, the refrain of the book–I think I can, I think I can–and the theme of community/collaborative effort to get anywhere–these have become the staples of my trans, queer existence. I repeat that mantra even now, 40 years later, when I’m hauling myself up literal and/or metaphorical mountains and I’ve never forgotten how humbling and crucial it is to ask, and be available to others when they ask, for help hauling themselves up and over. And that there may be joy in the hauling together, too.

Today, Lambda Literary needs your help.

Support us, so we can continue the vital work of lifting up LGBTQ voices. In 2019 alone:

  • 60 up-and-coming writers representing the future of queer literature participated in our Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices
  • More than 2,000 students read LGBTQ books through our LGBTQ Writers-in-Schools program.
  • Nearly 200 authors were celebrated at the Lambda Literary Awards.
  • Thousands of book lovers attended one of our 60 public readings and 10 book clubs.

We can’t do this work without you. Let’s haul up and over this mountain together.

TC Tolbert is a genderqueer, feminist poet, and teacher committed to social justice. S/he believes in working across communities–building bridges wherever possible.TC is Tucson’s Poet Laureate and is Writer-in-Residence at Pratt Institute.

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