Queering the Books
Interested in the written word? Queer Readers (affectionately known as QR) has been going in Brisbane since 2007. QR’s Robert tells QP about their friendly gatherings.
Queer Readers (QR) is a book club catering for the LGBTI community; now going into its sixth year. Evolving from conversations between myself and the then New Farm Librarian Pam Fisher, the inaugural meeting of the group was held in November 2007 in the library. People come and go but there are still some people from that first meeting who are in regular attendance.
The aim is to have a friendly and welcoming inclusive group where people could meet in a non-threatening environment, share each other’s company and their love of reading and hopefully expand their interests. Meetings are informal, but structured to the extent there is a reading list to refer to if you wish, but this is not compulsory. The second part of the night is devoted to any general reading that anyone wants to share. QR does not limit itself to any one genre, and certainly not just perceived queer books.
You can get a sense of this scope by going through past meeting minutes on the website and also from the QR blog www.queerreaders.wordpress.com where members are encouraged to post their thoughts on favourite books. Lucy runs our blog and she is an absolute legend.
QR acknowledges the nature of reading is changing with the rapid expansion of e-books and also the popularity of graphic novels. Healthy Communities’ Shaun Staunton hosted nights on graphic novels and e-books before his move interstate, and also there is a queer comic group which is an off-shoot from QR that now meets monthly at Healthy Communities. It attracts a younger demographic of the queer community and it is really great to see it gaining momentum.
2013 promises to be another big year for the group, which supports queer writers and sometimes hosts them when the opportunity arises.
The reading list is up online and suggestions are always welcome as are new members. Our biggest name to date has been Alan Cumming, who came along to talk about his book Tommy’s Tale. I was so nervous I completely stuffed up the introduction and called him Alan Cunningham! But he took it in his stride and was a charming guest and a very genuine guy. I have a few people up my sleeve and I certainly hope to have more guest speakers in the future.
Queer Readers reconvenes for 2013 (meetings are held at New Farm Library meeting room on the third Monday of the month). Check out the QR website at www.qreaders.net, contact the group at
for the comic group.