PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Just in time for Pride Month, a local indie bookstore has been included in Oprah Daily Magazine’s guide to LGBTQ bookstores.
Jessica Stephenson, owner and operator of Lit on Fire Books, said she couldn’t believe it at first.
“I said I’ll believe it when I see it, and then it came out, and I was like wow that’s great. I feel really honored,” she said.
Stephenson said Lit on Fire, located on Main Street in Peoria, is more than a bookstore. To her, it’s a gathering place for the community.
“I try to be very out so that people in the LGBTQ community feel seen [and] represented. So its very colorful, very much a space safe for folks of all walks of life to come,” she said.
Stephenson said she is looking forward to resuming free in-store events post-pandemic.
“Free community events are something I’ve been known for including Open Mic Night, First Friday bookstore hangs, adult read-ins, where we lock each other in the bookstore overnight and read all night and have snacks,” she said.
Stephenson said she hopes the inclusion in the magazine guide will increase the shop’s visibility.
“I would like to see this to be coming into my own. People finally realizing hey I’m here, I exist. I’m here to support the queer, people of color, anyone who needs safe place to feel love and represented,” she said.