Read With Pride began as an one-time fundraising endeavor for TriPride in East Tennessee. However, our founders’ passion for the project inspired them to create a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness and readership of LGBTQIA+ stories year-round. By collecting, curating, and, most of all, sharing literature that reflects the experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community, we hope to spread knowledge, acceptance, and support for LGBTQIA+ individuals through the power of literature.

Meet the Staff of Read With Pride

Co-founder of Read With Pride

Kadee Whaley is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Kentucky and a Co-founder of Read With Pride. In her composition and film courses, she encourages students to consider the experiences of others and stresses the importance of civic engagement in achieving equity for all. A long time ally of the LGBTQIA+ community, Read With Pride combines two of her greatest passions: cultivating inclusive representation in popular culture and a love of books.

Co-founder of Read With Pride

Alyssa Sciortino is a pediatric speech language pathologist and Co-founder of Read With Pride. As a practicing clinician at a child development center, she emphasizes the importance of empathy, diversity, and inclusivity when shaping young minds and fostering their self-expression. As a passionate ally, she started Read With Pride to communicate these values and increase access to Children’s Literature that teaches self-love, promotes acceptance, and represents an array of childhood experiences.  


Stirling Crawford is a Pre-Med student at the University of Kentucky and Read With Pride‘s first volunteer. His first event was Frankfort, KY’s Capital Pride in 2019.