- kaichangthom.com screenshot
I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes From The End of the World (Arsenal Pulp Press)
“Reading is for losers, but watching TV is cool.”
These were the opening remarks from award-winning author Kai Cheng Thom at the release of her book, I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World at Venus Envy last week.
Dozens of attendees laughed and cried as Thom—the winner of the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBT Writers and a Lambda Literary Award nominee—mixed readings of heart-wrenching essays with side-splitting jokes and communal healing exercises, all in front of a wall of dildos. Thom sees collective laughter as a way to bring people together and release feelings of shame. The crowd at Venus Envy got to experience this first-hand.
I Hope We Choose Love, Thom’s fourth book, is a “call for nuance in a time of political polarization, for healing in a time of injustice, and for love in an apocalypse."
Thom emphasizes the book is not called “I think we’ll choose love,” but “I hope we will.”
The author and social media heavyweight says in challenging times it is so easy for anger to become a survival tactic, especially in the queer community: “We know so much about trauma, but so little about how to heal from it,” she says.
Thom hopes we choose the most revolutionary way to face the end of the world: With love for one another. “Love is the only good option in this time of the apocalypse,” Thom says, “what else do we have?”
Thom reads about her dislike of babies (or heteronormative family values), the dangers of callout culture and transformative justice.
When the apocalypse comes for Haligonians? Thom says we have the skills we need. “You’re in Halifax, which is almost like a rural town, I imagine you all know how to grow cheese,” she says.
Thom says her book is for everyone: “No matter who you are or what familiarity you have with the queer community, the notion that we all deserve to be loved and are indispensable will become more relevant.”