Love is Love (by too many contributors to list here) = 5/5.
I am bisexual. There. I’ve said it. I couldn’t think of another way to start this book review that would do justice to the book itself and, more importantly, and pay tribute those who died in the attack on the Pulse night club in Orlando for just being who they were. It’s not something I’ve been hiding, but I have only really told my husband, some extremely close friends, and people I’ve gotten to know in more recent years. Now you know, too.
Love is Love is a short graphic novel (just over 140 pages) filled with 1- and 2-page stories created by dozens of authors in reaction to the June 12, 2016 shooting at Pulse and the loss of 49 LGBTQ+ lives. Some of them are autobiographical, some are about imaginary characters and heroes, and some are simply a single full-page illustration. All are about love. All are about acceptance, friendship, family, hope, unity, hatred, prejudice, loss, and grief.
This is the graphic novel length I typically devour in a single sitting over the space of an hour or two, sometimes three.
Love is Love took me 5 days to read.
The emotions it summoned were too raw for me to take all at once. There were more than a handful of times when I had to put it down and cry–or suppress tears in order to get ready for the day. When I finished reading the whole anthology, I cried. I am sure that one day, when I reread it, I will still cry.
Perhaps more than any of the books I’ve reviewed from my list, I think this one needs to be added to school curricula. It provides snapshots of life across the U.S., including the prejudices–and welcomes–faced by LGBTQ+ people in our modern America. It is a collective memoir, a primary source that I hope future historians will look to when studying civil rights in the U.S. because it is a stark representation of the realities of hatred, prejudices, acceptance, and love in our society today.
TL;DR: Love is love.
Review originally written 4 April 2017