After two years of writing, editing and lots of crying over coffee, Gears for Queers took its first steps into the world on Thursday 4th June 2020.
We’re overjoyed to be sharing this story with you. It’s a strange and vulnerable thing to have this part of us out there for everyone to read and we are spending time to care for ourselves during the aftermath.
With Covid, we had to find a new way to have a launch party. It was particularly sad not seeing our friends and family on the day and we wanted to create an event which had the same DIY, community feel that is so important to us. We asked some of our favourite authors, cyclists, activists and booksellers to film some videos with us. What resulted was a mammoth two and a half hour programme with talks and discussion from some of the coolest folk around, plus some rad Tunes.
If you missed the launch and would like to view the videos, they can all be found on our youtube channel here.
Here’s a run down of the videos from the night.
Q&A with Category Is Books
Category Is Books is an LGBTQIA+ bookshop based in Glasgow and would have been the base for our launch party. Fi and Char, who run the shop, are two of the coolest, raddest people we’ve ever met and we fully recommend supporting their amazing, inclusive indie bookstore. We met on zoom to do a Q&A about Gears for Queers.
We had to realllllly shorten the chat we had (I think in the end we spoke for three hours about anything imaginable) and the two videos will be updated with full versions at some point. For now you can enjoy the shortened versions:
Please follow and support Category Is Books @category is books (Twitter, Instagram)
Emily Chappell is an amazing cyclist and author (and one of our absolute heroes). For our launch they sent a video from their (self-described) gayest book What Goes Around. It’s a really great book and a fantastic listen (petition for Emily to read us all bedtime stories anyone?) You can read more about her books, cycling adventures and cycle couriering on her website http://thatemilychappell.com/.
Lili interviewed Esmond from Cycling UK. They chat about a load of interesting things, including Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival for Key Workers.
Lili talks to Richard from Pride Out, an awesome community led organisation running LGBTQ+ bike rides around the UK.
Lili chatted to Stuart from Pink Saltire, a Scottish LGBTQ+ organisation about they’re work in rural communities and how they’re adapting to the current situation.
Amy Lunn reads from Gears for Queers
Actor and good friend Amy Lunn performed a reading of chapter 72 of Gears for Queers.
Author Eris Young read an extract from their book They/Them/They’re. We’ll be posted the video again shortly. At the launch it became apparent we’d uploaded the wrong version of the video… we’re tidying up subtitles and it will be here v.shortly. Watch this space.
A youtube watch party is like sharing a giant playlist, so in that spirit as well as producing our own content, we also shared other videos that we loved. The first was from Create Health and features the amazing Jools Walker aka Ladyvelo. Jools is an author, cyclist, blogger and fashion icon and in this video she talks about cycling and mental health. She is also one of our favourite people and has been amazing support throughout the bookwriting process! You can check out her website here, where you can also buy her book Back in the Frame – we recommend it!
We also showed this excellent short film about cyclist and artist Brooklyn Bell, which we love because its about cycling, the outdoors, art and creating representation. It’s called Becoming Ruby and features discussions about inclusion and identity as well as jaw dropping cycling. You can find out more about her on instagram @badgal_brooky
We’ll also be making a playlist of the tunes, and these videos, on our youtube channel shortly, so stay tuned.
Thank you to everyone who attended our launch. Gears for Queers would never have been possible without the support of the community surrounding us, our parents, our friends and complete strangers on the internet! You can buy it at all big retailers, but we always recommend seeing if your local indie bookshop can deliver to you! You can also order a copy direct from Sandstone Press, or get a signed copy from us here!