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The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

DVHS Library introduces new book club centering around LGBTQ+

Hebe Wang
The LGBTQ+ Book Club is one out of two book clubs hosted by the DVHS Library, focusing largely on reading books involving LGBTQ characters.

The first meeting of DVHS’ newly-formed LGBTQ+ Book Club took place on Jan. 25.

Initiated by DVHS librarian Annalisa Raphael, the LGBTQ+ Book Club is the second club run by the library, alongside the Library Book Club run by fellow librarian Allison Hussenet. 

While the first meeting is set to happen at the end of January, the idea of an LGBTQ+ Book Club was first mentioned to Raphael at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year by Allison Gardiner, the advisor of the Gender-Sexual Alliance(GSA) Club at DVHS.

“[Creating the book club is] sort of like in conjunction with GSA to bring GSA into the library.” Raphael said. “We decided to move forward with that plan of having a book club focusing on LGBTQ plus books.”

Following up on Gardiner about how she initially came up with the idea, Gardiner responded that it was in fact DVHS students that had first brought up the idea of an LGBTQ+ Book Club.

Outside of the influence from GSA, Raphael’s personal history also has a part in her efforts to create the book club.

“I have a bachelor’s degree in gender and sexuality studies. When I was in college, I did a lot of academic professional reading of sort of LGBTQ+ literature and history.” Raphael explained. “[Queer studies is] something that I’m really interested in.”

Another reason Raphael started the club revolves around reading and its impacts on understanding, particularly in terms of empathizing with others.

“For someone who doesn’t know anything about it, reading about fictional characters can help sort of put yourself in their shoes,” Raphael explained. “At least for me, it helps me sort of  empathize with people a little bit better and sort of understand what they’re going through.”

For students who enjoy reading books revolving LGBTQ+, the book club is an opportunity, especially among the rise in book bans across the U.S.

“I think for me, obviously there’s not a whole lot of queer books and it’s really nice getting the chance to read queer books instead of just like you know the standard stories over and over again.” DVHS Senior Nova Starling said.

In terms of preparation, Raphael thought about a LGBTQ+ Book Club for months before deciding that the days before winter break was the best time to advertise the book club.

There are eight books, all containing LGBTQ+ characters, listed on the interest form that Raphael has compiled as options for the book club including: “The Girl’s I’ve Been By”, “Last Night at the Telegraph Club”, and “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe”, which were the top three options picked by students at the time of Raphael’s interview.

After a follow-up with Raphael, it was confirmed that the first book for the book club is “Last Night at the Telegraph Club.”

Though Raphael was the one who compiled the books, Raphael has different plans for book options when the book club starts rolling.

“For the rest of the year for the book choices, I’ll have students come up with [the book choices] and then the students will vote on what they want to read.” Raphael said.

Currently, Raphael is considering having a maximum of one meeting once a month. She hopes that the club can impact the diversity of genres read by students.

“I’m hoping that this gives them the opportunity to read more diversely and maybe pick up books they wouldn’t have before,” Raphael expressed.

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About the Contributor
Hebe Wang
Hebe Wang, Staff Writer
Hebe joined Journalism to improve her writing skills and also to gain people skills. She was in J1 last year. In her free time, Hebe enjoys learning about biology and listening to music. Her goal for this year is to become a better interviewer and to write more interesting articles. If Hebe could be anyone on the Tribune, she would be Trisha because she's one of the few people that she knows relatively well since they sat next to each other in Journalism 1. Another reason is that Trisha has better writing skills than she does.

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