Interview with Ngozi Ukazu, author and illustrator of “Check, Please!”

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At last year’s Flame Con (the queer comic con held in NYC), I had the pleasure of meeting up with author and artist Ngozi Ukazu. Her web comic, Check, Please!, was the most funded Kickstarter of all time, and has taken the internet by storm. In between talking about the amazing art on display and our shared love of hockey, we took a few minutes to chat about pies, queer rep in sports, and #Hockey, the first volume of Check, Please!, which will be published this autumn by First Second!

College, baking, coming to terms with your sexuality, and hockey… what more could you ask for in a comic? “Check” it out:

Eric Bittle—former Georgia junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and amateur pâtissier—is starting his freshman year playing hockey at the prestigious Samwell University in Samwell, Massachusetts. And it’s basically nothing like co-ed club hockey back in the South. For one?

There’s checking.

It’s a story about hockey and friendship and bros and trying to find yourself during the best 4 years of your life.

Today I’m thrilled to feature Ngozi on the blog! And be sure to check the end of the post for purchase links and more.

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Hockey Is For Everyone: At Home with the Penguins

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Photo by El @ Just Love

We spent part of February talking about Hockey Is For Everyone month and the impact that it has on us as queer fans. This past Monday, I had the chance to attend my second Hockey Is For Everyone game of 2018, and the first that highlighted the LGBTQ+ community.  That it was in my home arena, with my local team made it even more important to me.

PITTSBURGH, PA – MARCH 05: at PPG Paints Arena on March 5, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images) ©Pittsburgh Penguins 2018

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Hockey Is For Everyone: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the National Hockey League. The NHL devotes one month each season to elevating diversity and inclusivity in professional sports, pairing with organizations like You Can Play to help bring together “all people who play or watch hockey, including fans of every race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and those with disabilities.” (Source) Using the hashtag #HockeyIsForEveryone, the League hopes to spread awareness and open conversation on social media.

El recently appeared on SB Nation’s Fear the Fin blog to discuss the emotions after watching a Hockey Is For Everyone game earlier this month, and what it’s like when your team fails you in their inclusion efforts.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

 

Also check out Part 1Part 2

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Hockey is For Everyone Month: El’s Thoughts

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February is Hockey is For Everyone month in the National Hockey League. The NHL devotes one month each season to elevating diversity and inclusivity in professional sports, pairing with organizations like You Can Play to help bring together “all people who play or watch hockey, including fans of every race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and those with disabilities.” (Source) Using the hashtag #HockeyIsForEveryone, the League hopes to spread awareness and open conversation on social media.

This year’s Hockey is For Everyone is especially exciting, as the NHL announced several ambassadors to help promote the month, including Angela James, a black hockey player and one of the first women to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and Harrison Browne, the first openly transgender player in professional hockey. And this year we’ll see hundreds of NHL players warm up before games using rainbow Pride Tape on their sticks, showing their commitment to including LGBTQ+ players and fans in the sport.

The Just Love team has a few hockey fans among our ranks, so over the next couple of days we’ll take some time to talk about what #HockeyIsForEveryone means to us, as well as how (and if!) events like these make sports more welcoming.

Also check out Part 2 | Part 3

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Book to Screen and the Golden Globes

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By now, we’ve all heard about the going-ons at the 75th Golden Globes earlier this week. It was a night of protests, both silent and very, very vocal. It was a platform for women to call out the men of Hollywood… and yes, in typical award show fashion, there was plenty of bad humor.

Call Me By Your Name by André AcimanBut I want to take a moment to talk not about the celebrities wearing black, but instead about a gorgeous queer book that became a gorgeous queer movie… a movie that was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama.

That book (and movie) is, of course, Call Me By Your Name, written by André Aciman and adapted to screen by James Ivory and Luca Guadagnino.

Rita wrote a glowing review of the book this past summer, where she called it, “heartbreaking” and “beautifully written”. You can check out her full review of the book here.

But I want to take a minute to talk about this movie, and how amazing it is to see this queer story nominated for one of the biggest awards in Hollywood.

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Changes

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We’re super excited to announce some changes for the Just Love blog. Since 2015, we’ve been devoted to reviewing and promoting queer lit and queer lit authors. But as 2018 begins, we’ve decided to change things up a bit, and broaden our horizons.

Going forward, Just Love will be a platform to elevate, discuss, and, yes, review queer media of all shapes and forms. From movies and television shows, to sports and celebrities, we want the blog to be a place where we can highlight the topics that really matter to us.

But we’re not giving up on books! Our dedicated (and brilliant!) team of reviewers will still be sharing their thoughts on the books that impact them the most– for better and for worse. However, we’re changing up our review policies a bit, to help our crew and our readers find the books they want to read.

Finally, we’d love to open up our blog to you! Not only do we encourage you to engage with us in the comments, but we’d love to see your thoughts on whatever you’re passionate about. If you have a topic you’d like to blog about, feel free to drop us a line!

We hope you’ll stick with us going forward, and we look forward to an amazing 2018!

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