So, I *was* scheduled to attend the open mic night at the Annette Street Library this Tuesday as a guest of honour to read from, "The Night Girl". However, I have been following the controversy with the TPL leadership's decision to rent space to a TERF activist with concern.
After reading and agreeing with the statement issued by the Toronto Public Library Workers Union (see here: http://local4948.org), I have decided that I cannot, in good conscience, attend this event at this time.
Among other things, my novel is about groups of individuals, marginalized to the point of erasure, standing up for themselves against the forces keeping them down. It would be hypocritical of me not to see the irony of speaking at the TPL while this controversy is occurring.
I regret any inconvenience this causes to the staff of the TPL, who work tirelessly and are, as the TPLWU notes, having their efforts undercut by the decision of the TPL leadership. I regret any inconvenience to people who were showing up at this event to see me.
But, in the end, I've got to do what I've got to do. I will not cross a picket line without permission, and while there was no physical picket line to cross, the virtual one is very clear to me.
Hopefully, if this matter is resolved well, I can come back at some other time.