Today marks the beginning of World Pride, which is being hosted in Toronto this year. Toronto is also the home of Wattpad HQ, and we couldn’t be more happy for our city to be hosting such a prestigious event.
In honour of World Pride, we’d like to celebrate the very vibrant LGBTQ community that has come together on Wattpad by sharing the words and experiences of some Wattpadders who are most active in the community.
Wattpad has over 60,000 stories dealing with LGBTQ themes, and many of those stories have inspired people who were questioning their sexuality. “When I first signed up with Wattpad, I was still questioning, and it was this site that helped me come to realize who I really was,” said Tristan-Walker who helps run the WattPride account, “I just hope I can return the favour for someone, some day.”
Writers and readers from the community described Wattpad’s LGBTQ family as vast, vibrant, tight-knit, uplifting, and overwhelmingly positive. “Nowhere else have I seen such strong convictions for the LGBTQ community,” Wattpad user RaeKitano says. “The writers and the readers I have been involved with have been supportive, encouraging and often given strength when needed to those who might struggle in their real life situations. I've never met with any hostility or negativity. On a whole the community is one I am very proud of.”
Another Wattpadder explains how fiction can be a bridge to awareness and acceptance. “If I had been a reader of LGBTQ fiction when I was younger, my coming out to myself experience would have been much easier,” Wattpadder rigor_samsa explained. “As readers take in the characters and allow themselves to see them for what they are (human beings), it builds acceptance in many people from around the world.”
And that acceptance can be rare on the Internet. “It's one of the few places where I feel safe being openly gay on the internet,” says writer Woowoowriting. “Plus I met my lovely girlfriend on this site, so I'd say that the community is pretty nice.”
Many of our writers take their mission to promote LGBTQ acceptance on Wattpad seriously. Railene wants to normalize LGBTQ stories and take the focus away from the characters’ sexuality: “In my writing, I've always wanted to reverse that: to write about a real person, with a life, and a career, and friends, and family, and responsibilities, and problems, and feelings, and objectives - who just happens to be gay or bisexual. In real life, that's what it's like. Our sexuality is only one small part of the amazing, complex people that each one of us is.”
We asked the community for some of their favorite LGBTQ reads and collected them into this World Pride reading list. Tweet us your own coming out stories and your favorite Pride stories @wattpad with the tag #worldpride.
Special thanks to the following Wattpadders who contributed to this post: TheAlias, AnjelBobeck, LauraWarby, chokingcrayons, queercutie, grin--, Autumn_Breeze, rei226, ParadoxicalWhim, lydiarse, moira_, murphybyrne, waterfalIs, elveloy, and kuraigirl.