Queer Reads Library mobile community queer library Hong Kong
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warning: Adult content
Project by:
Kaitlin Chan, Beatrix Pang & Rachel Lau
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April 22, 2022
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Building bridges out of books: Queer Reads Library

While queer spaces are still lacking, books act as a bridge between queer individuals and communities and a room to share, connect and just be. Discover Queer Reads Library, a mobile library building bridges out of books.

In June 2018, ten LGBTQ-themed books for children and young adults were banned from Hong Kong’s public libraries. In reaction to the censorship, Kaitlin Chan and Beatrix Pang founded Queer Reads Library (QRL) 流動閱酷 with a unique concept in mind: creating a mobile library centered around queer themes and narratives.

Co-founders Kaitlin Chan and Beatrix Pang bonded over their love for queer books and zines, that they would exchange with each other. Both in the creative field, Kaitlin is a cartoonist and a cultural worker in Hong Kong, while Beatrix is a visual artist, a cultural producer, and an independent publisher. They later collaborated with Rachel Lau, a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and radio producer, and are now running QRL together.

QRL started with a question: “Where is the queer community in Hong Kong?”. The co-founders realized that Hong Kong was sorely lacking queer spaces and that most of the existing ones were dedicated specifically to gay men. They wanted to create an open community space accessible to most, which can be seen through QRL’s activities.

The mobile collection of books and zines includes more than 170 titles, collected over the years through travels and friendships. Those publications aren’t for sale but only made accessible to learn from and connect to other queer Asian narratives. While most of the library’s works are stored in Hong Kong, the library moves around the world at the rhythm of book fairs. This mobility gives access to more people, and more artists and activists to collaborate with.

QRL collaborate with those people to give workshops and host readings and discussion on specific topics. The non-profit aspect of QRL is essential to the founders, as they want to create a space where people can stay and be present without any commercial purpose.

Their work makes queer publications more accessible, publications that share the lives and stories of queer people across Asia and the world. A crucial community initiative, that definitely needs support. The co-founder Kaitlin Chan is also publishing a graphic memoir, “Homecoming”, in January 2023. Mark your calendar!

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