So, I’m upset. I’m actually so upset that I find it hard to articulate my thoughts well. Not the kind of upset that has me crippled and crying in a ball on the bed. No. I’m the angry kind of upset. The kind that fuels my inner fire and makes even more determined to do what I want to do, and to stand up for what I believe in.
Trump has been in office about four days. One of the first things he (or his administration) did was to take down the LGBT Rights and Climate Change sections from WhiteHouse.gov. One of his first actions was to sign an anti-abortion bill while surrounded by 7 other men. (And now I get wind that he has put out the okay to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline.) These are not small things and they are setting the tone for the next four years. I have deliberately avoided watching the Inauguration at all because I didn’t want to give Trump more ratings, and I knew it would just anger me. I saw the tiniest clip of it this mornings thanks to a friend tagging me in something on Facebook, and apparently at some point Trump had said “from now on it’s going to be America first”. He said that, and yet he’s ignoring at least half of American’s citizens. (Though, let’s be honest. If we were going with what the citizens wanted Hillary Clinton would be president.)
Alas, this isn’t meant to be a political post, though I am very passionate about politics. I am just a humble author, but I can’t ignore politics. I am a woman and I am queer. I can ignore neither of those things in my day to day life. I write lesbian stories. I wear a big rainbow bracelet that I got at Pride last year. I am outspoken when it comes to LGBT rights and I’m not going to stop being so. I am lucky that I happened to fall in love with someone who, when people see us, immediately label us as a straight couple. I say lucky because it means I am able to walk outside holding my love’s hand and not deal with sneers or snide comments. But I could have easily fallen for someone of the same gender where I wouldn’t be afforded that privilege. (And in reality, it was more likely for me to fall for someone of the same gender. I am more attracted to women than I am to men.)
Yes, that is a privilege. My lesbian and gay sisters and brothers don’t have that luxury. Two of my good friends, Z and V, are one of the sweetest, cutest couples I have had the pleasure of knowing. But because they are a gay couple they are constantly aware of who is around and watching whenever they so much as want to hug one another in public. Stop and imagine for a second not being able to hug your significant other without being afraid. That’s what being gay or lesbian is like. So, yes, as a queer person, being able to hold my partner’s hand out in public without having to worry about who’s watching is a privilege. Obama did so much work towards trying to make it so that it wasn’t that way. He was trying to get America to see us as what we are–equal to our straight brothers and sisters.
I fear what the next few years will look like. We are moving backwards, not forwards. I have never felt more afraid to walk outside my door than I have since Trump won the election back in November. I am terrified every day, where I never was before.
All of this has compounded to make me even more determined than ever to put beauty out into the world. I’ve been writing lesbian fiction since I was a teenager. I do it for a myriad of reasons, but one of the biggest is so that queer people have a way to see themselves in stories and know that they aren’t invisible and that they are worthy of stories, too. I write them so that even in dark times like these there is somewhere happy queer people can go to forget the atrocities in the world, even if it’s just for a short time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that these past few weeks. I want, now more than ever, to flood the world with lesbian stories. I think in the coming years they are going to be needed more than ever. I am currently working on Someone Like You (the novel I began writing last November for NaNoWriMo) and it will be released later this year. But in addition to that I’ve cooked up something I’m calling Over The Rainbow that will put several lesbian stories out in the world for FREE. I’ll give more details in the coming days, but I will say that this will be hitting web waves at the beginning of June, just in time for Pride Month, and will go all throughout the month.
The past year I didn’t release anything, and even before that I would just put out small things once a year. But this year…I want this year to be different. I want to write and release these stories and make sure those who need them have them. If Trump is going to put out so much, then I want to take action and put out love and beauty. So this year you’ll be seeing a lot more from me. Stay tuned for more details!