Now that’s not very specific is it, but give me a chance to elaborate. I’ve said before that my stories are big, big places full of small details and where the smaller picture is just as important as the big picture. That being said, there’s things I am hesitant to write about. The way I live my life, the way I think about things, what I want to write about, well it lends towards some discrimination. It pains me that out of a big story, with complicated characters and relationships people will pluck something as simple as my character’s sexuality or gender or race out. and this has been bugging me for a while, that good ole ‘get it off your chest’ blog post.
Look, I want to fall back on, it’s my book, I should write it the way I want to write it (and i will, I’ll get to this later) and it shouldn’t matter what other people think, right? Yes but also no. I want people, certain people, to like my work, people I’ve talked to about it that I am genuinely excited and scared to share this story with but I don’t want to have to sacrifice the integrity of my work, to pick and pull at pieces so they fit someone else better than they fit me, I don’t want to say ‘well I’m not going to have lgbt characters because you don’t agree with it’ but there is also a genuine fear behind this. I know how LGBT fiction is generally received, heck I know how LGBT PEOPLE are generally perceived (also heck, I know how this post might be perceived but I need to get this off my chest my pals) and that is a thing that has been worrying me, i want to be true to my characters and true to myself but how can I do that when I have that fear hanging me over my head.
Now this isn’t me shooting myself in the foot before i’ve given myself a chance to start, you’re right, I honestly don’t know how people will react until they do but my fear is born from years of seeing and understanding and experiencing what it’s like to be queer, what it’s like to write queer characters, and putting your work out in the world is scary enough without the threat of being discriminated against for it.
I think, with my work I want to challenge people with ‘I’m queer but it’s honestly not the most important thing about me’ but, as well as ‘look there are issues here we need to talk about, don’t ignore them and you shouldn’t treat other humans like shit whatever your reason’ I want to create a world where, there is an acceptance (at least a little bit) where I can imagine for a while that it’s ok to be who I am, because my characters are who they are and that’s really important to me.
So ideally, what I’m getting at is that I’m approaching a book where a theme i’m writing about is acceptance (among others) and I’m worried about it not being accepted because of what I’m trying to get accepted (say that sentence three times fast). I think it’s important that I tell this story, I think that I need to read it and that maybe eventually other people need to read it, for whatever reason. If people can create entire worlds full of people like elves and dwarfs and for a moment believe they exist, why can’t I create a world where for a moment I exist.
I’m very much a person who cares about what other people think, I think it’s an incredibly important thing to do, to be empathetic. I also know it gets to me, when I see someone share a homophobic post and I tell myself, I’ve shared my characters with you, my story.
I think it’s important to write about the things you find important, i think it’s important to tell the truth. To be true to yourself. The world isn’t this black and white place, it’s full of messy, complicated humans who have messy, complicated relationships. And there’s something very honest about that.