'I Hope We Choose Love' selected for Queen's Reads 2021-2022

'I Hope We Choose Love' selected for Queen's Reads 2021-2022

Personal essay and poetry collection focuses on storytelling that calls for love and nuance in the pursuit of transformative justice.

By Nikta Sadati, Division of Student Affairs

August 18, 2021


Photograph of author Kai Cheng Thom.
Kai Cheng Thom published I Hope We Choose Love in 2019. (Rachel Woroner.)

This year, Queen’s Reads will explore queer stories that focus on Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and transgender experiences, through the 2021-22 selection I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World by Kai Cheng Thom.

Thom, who is a poet, essayist, performance artist, and social worker combines personal essays and prose poems that blend the confessional, political, and literary, taking cues from contemporary thought leaders in the transformative justice movement.

I Hope We Choose Love was published in 2019 and was Thom’s non-fiction debut. The collection was a 2020 American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book and won the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature.

TBook cover of I Hope We Choose Lovehe annual Queen’s Reads program engages students in meaningful discussion, encourages critical thinking, and promotes connection and community building among students, faculty, and staff. Year-long programming will create opportunities for the Queen’s community to discuss themes of justice, violence, vengeance, forgiveness, family, and the political polarization of social movements today. 

The Student Experience Office (SEO) in Student Affairs runs the program and has been working to ensure that this year’s selection helps promote further dialogue about social justice and the active practice of seeking equity.

“Queen’s Reads is more than a common reading program,” says Meg Ferriman, Director of Student Life at the SEO. “It is an opportunity for students and Queen’s community members to unpack and explore complex topics related to systemic oppression and racism through community-based discussions. Striving for equity, diversity, and inclusion includes an understanding that our learning is ongoing and life-long.”

This year’s program will include an Author Talk in March 2022, as well as collaborative events and initiatives with the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Education and Bystander Intervention Program. Queen’s Reads will also be present on Instagram, holding online discussion events based on the themes of the book.

“There are numerous ways to participate in Queen’s Reads programming this year – both synchronously and asynchronously,” says Clarissa de Leon, the Queen’s Reads programming Coordinator. “All are welcome to attend events, no matter how much or little of the book you’ve read.”

A free copy of I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World will be available to all Queen’s students, faculty, and staff. The e-book can be downloaded on the Queen’s University Library website starting at the end of this month. Physical copies will also be available across campus in September.

Visit the Queen’s Reads website to learn more about the book, programming, and events.