Fred Lo and Gio Gahol reading Agay Llanera’s Another Word for Happy
It’s been a year since the last #AprilFeelsDay, and so much has changed for the #romanceclass community since then. The books keep coming and so do the invitations to hold events at different locations, and I’m constantly amazed at how this community continues to grow. And not just in size, but also with the books that it puts out.
Just like the first #AprilFeelsDay, this year’s edition saw the crowd grow and grow as the event progressed. It even called back to that first staging as the venue — Urban Turf at the UP Town Center — was maybe just a tad bigger than Pegi Waffles.
As I watched from the sidelines I was amazed at how I could now distinguish “regulars” from new people; last year I thought of everyone who wasn’t part of that 2013 class as “new”. To think all of this happened in just a year!
Aside from the constant presence that is #Gahoates, even the readers have changed over the course of a year. Salve, Herv, and Jeff weren’t around this time, but now we had Grae, Vanya, Sam, and Fred added to the mix. I think even the relationship between the readers, writers, and the audience has changed. If everyone kept a respectful distance from Gio and Rachel all the way back in La Salle, now it’s no longer unusual to have everyone mingling and talking with each other. I know this sounds cheesy and all, but every year it really does become more and more like a community.
And speaking of community, #AprilFeelsDays2017 also had another community represented as this year’s readings included one M/M pairing and one F/F pairing. You guys, this was special and important to me.
I’ve told several people about this already, but for some reason I thought that the audience would act weird about this. Maybe because when I watched Brokeback Mountain in the cinemas here two college-age girls couldn’t stop themselves from screaming “Yuck!” when Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal kissed. But I was so pleasantly surprised and just a little emotional that people listened, some even got kilig, and nobody acted weird about it, at least out loud.
ANYWAY PICTURES. Here are some from Instagram. If you want more, check out the hashtag #romanceclass or #AprilFeelsDay2017 on Instagram and Twitter!