CORVALLIS, Ore. — With Pride Month coming up in June, a Corvallis author is hoping her new children’s book will help start conversations about LGBTQ pride.
Rosiee Thor, who writes young adult fiction, is often busy with projects in her writing room located in her Corvallis home. Her dog, Tess accompanies her as she works on various projects.
Her latest project, a children's book titled “The Meaning of Pride,” asks kids and the community what pride means to them. On its first day out in April, it was a number-one new release on Amazon.
"'Meaning of Pride' is my ode to queer representation and both pride as an event and pride as a feeling," said Thor. "It asks the question, ‘what does pride mean to you?’ So kids can really explore that idea of the different ways that they can embody pride in their life, whether that means their cultural heritage, their queer identity, the haircut that they chose to get that day or just being a really good friend and finding ways to celebrate the pieces that make them, them."
She said growing up, there weren’t books about people like her.
“I was reading about boys and girls falling in love, and that just didn't really resonate with me,” Thor said.
“So when I became an author, I knew that I wanted to write books about people like me, because people like me deserve to see that representation in media.”
The inspiration behind the book is somewhat unexpected. Thor said a photo of Megan Rapinoe winning the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019 inspired her. Thor said she remembers seeing the look on Rapinoe’s face and thinking it was the embodiment of pure pride. From there, she said it was the fastest writing process she’s ever had in her life. The book took two hours to write and within a week it had been sent off to editors.
Thor said the book was a collaborative effort with a number of editors who worked on it in addition to the illustrator, Sam Kirk.
“Sam Kirk is just a wonderful human being who had such a vision for this book.”
Thor has written two other books that are for teens and young adults. "Tarnished Are the Stars" came out in 2019 and "Fire Becomes Her" was released in February. Both feature all-queer main characters and center love in all its forms.
“We deserve to see ourselves being the heroes of stories and fighting dragons and casting spells and all those kinds of fun things,” said Thor.
For Thor, who has wanted to be an author since she was young, each time a book is completed and she holds it in her hands, it’s a special feeling.
“It's such an overwhelming feeling because it's something that you've put so much of yourself into,” said Thor. “For me, it's such a dream, you know. This is something that when I was like 12, I was sitting in my bedroom thinking, ‘I'm gonna be an author someday and I'm going to hold my books and people are going to read them.”
Her hope is that her books find the people who need them and that her readers feel uplifted and empowered to be themselves.
“Especially right now with book banning happening in so many places […] I just really hope that these books find the people who need them. I know that I needed them when I was a teenager.”