Giovanni’s Room, Philadelphia, 1997. It had been my favorite novel around the time I first fell in love with a girl. Was there another, besides Rubyfruit Jungle? My boss had suggested I go. We were researching the experiences of queer people receiving psychiatric care, which were, let’s say, not good. How many letters was our acronym then? We packed the bookstore’s aisles to hear Kate Bornstein read from A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology, and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today. You young people inspire me, she said, and hugged me tightly.

Wildfires burning.
Classroom libraries shut down.
Please tend your fierce light.